CFR Presents

Renewing America

Ideas and initiatives for rebuilding American economic strength.

Posts by Category

Showing posts for "Debt and Deficits"

Europe or Anti-Europe?

by Michael Spence
Euro coins are seen in front of displayed flag and map of European Union (Dado Ruvic/Reuters).

MILAN – A knowledgeable friend in Milan recently asked me the following question: “If an outside investor, say, from the United States, wanted to invest a substantial sum in the Italian economy, what would you advise?” I replied that, although there are many opportunities to invest in companies and sectors, the overall investment environment is complicated. I would recommend investing alongside a knowledgeable domestic partner, who can navigate the system, and spot partly hidden risks. Read more »

Escaping the New Normal of Weak Growth

by Michael Spence
Euro banknotes and a calculator are placed on a currency graph and ticker (Dado Ruvic/Reuters).

MILAN – There is no question that the recovery from the global recession triggered by the 2008 financial crisis has been unusually lengthy and anemic. Some still expect an upswing in growth. But, eight years after the crisis erupted, what the global economy is experiencing is starting to look less like a slow recovery than like a new low-growth equilibrium. Why is this happening, and is there anything we can do about it? Read more »

Why Paul Ryan Should Not Endorse Donald Trump

by Edward Alden
U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan takes questions at a news conference after his meeting with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (Jim Bourg/Reuters).

House Speaker Paul Ryan is reportedly still trying to decide whether to endorse the presumptive Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump. Asked this week at a news conference whether he was ready to back Trump, he would say only “I have not made a decision.” While pressure is growing for Ryan to jump on the GOP bandwagon starting to form behind Trump, the answer should be obvious: No. Read more »

Managing Debt in an Overleveraged World

by Michael Spence
A woman holding an umbrella walks in front of an electronic board displaying various countries' stock price index outside a brokerage in Tokyo (Issei Kato/Reuters).

MILAN – What ever happened to deleveraging? In the years since the 2008 global financial crisis, austerity and balance-sheet repair have been the watchwords of the global economy. And yet today, more than ever, debt is fueling concern about growth prospects worldwide. Read more »

A World of Underinvestment

by Michael Spence
G20 leaders G20 Leaders Summit G20 leaders watch a cultural performance at the G20 Leaders Summit in Brisbane November 15, 2014 (Jason Reed/Reuters).

When World War II ended 70 years ago, much of the world – including industrialized Europe, Japan, and other countries that had been occupied – was left geopolitically riven and burdened by heavy sovereign debt, with many major economies in ruins. One might have expected a long period of limited international cooperation, slow growth, high unemployment, and extreme privation, owing to countries’ limited capacity to finance their huge investment needs. But that is not what happened. Read more »

Congress’s Budget Game Gets Uglier

by Renewing America Staff
Chairman House Budget Committee Tom Price House Budget press conference Capitol Hill Washington Chairman of the House Budget Committee Tom Price (R-GA) announces the House Budget during a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 17, 2015 (Joshua Roberts/Courtesy Reuters).

In recent years Congress has slashed non-defense discretionary spending close to its lowest point in half a century. In his new column for Bloomberg View, CFR Adjunct Senior Fellow Peter Orszag observes that the new budget that Congress has put forth would continue to cut discretionary spending as a percentage of GDP over the next decade. This means that funding for agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Transportation Security Administration would continue to shrink relative to the economy as a whole–and the country’s growing population. If Congress continues to employ budget games and cut into essential government services, he writes, the result would be an economic disaster.

Renewing America Progress Report: Federal Debt and Deficits

by Edward Alden
CFR Renewing America Federal Debt Deficits Scorecard The CFR Renewing America Federal Debt and Deficits Scorecard

It’s not often that one hears the phrase “European steeliness.” But while the United States continues to punt its serious tax and spending problems ever farther down the field, Europe’s big economies have actually done something about fiscal challenges that were even bigger than those facing the United States. Read more »

Policy Innovation Memo: How to Stop the State Subsidy Wars

by Edward Alden
A Tesla Motors Inc Model X is seen at Tesla's introduction of its new battery swapping program in Hawthorne, California (Lucy Nicholson/Courtesy Reuters).

The Renewing America Initiative is releasing today our new Policy Innovation Memo “Curtailing the Subsidy War Within the United States,” which I co-authored with Associate Director Rebecca Strauss. The problem is a vexing one. Governors and state governments quite rightly spend an enormous amount of time and energy trying to attract job-creating investments to their states. They think about how to get the right mix of tax policy, education, infrastructure and sensible regulation that will draw business to their states. They compete vigorously with other states, and other countries, to sell companies on the merits of locating in their state. All of this deserves applause. Read more »

U.S. Budget Deal: A Needed Step

by Renewing America Staff

While the new budget deal isn’t a grand bargain, it is a necessary first step, writes CFR’s Robert Kahn on his blog “Macro and Markets.” The deal won’t dramatically reshape spending over the next two years, but it will restore a sense of sanity to U.S. fiscal policy. Additionally, Democrats and Republicans both crossed former red lines, giving a sense of where the budget debate may head in the coming year.

Policy Initiative Spotlight: Questioning the Wisdom of Corporate Tax Incentives

by Steven J. Markovich
The shuttered General Motors Willow Run Powertrain plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, June 2012 (Jeff Kowalsky /Courtesy Reuters).

Many states and cities offer a variety of tax incentives (credits, exemptions, deductions) to businesses with the aim of spurring growth and job creation, but few carefully analyze the costs and benefits. Some recent research has brought the wisdom of corporate tax breaks into question, and several states are considering reforms to assess the public value of their programs. Read more »