Fiscal Policy

The Federal Budget


Nine facts about the Great Recession and tools for fighting the next downturn

May 23, 2016, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, Ryan Nunn, Lauren Bauer, David Boddy and Greg Nantz

Between December 2007 and June 2009, the United States experienced the most severe recession in the postwar period. Given the massive human cost of recessions, it is incumbent upon policymakers to assess the policy tools at their disposal and identify those that are most effective at hastening economic recovery during a downturn. The Hamilton Project describes how different groups of workers were affected by the Great Recession, what works in fiscal stimulus, what could be done differently in future recessions, and the fiscal preparedness of states for the next downturn.

  • Podcast

    Keeping the U.S. Fiscal Ship afloat

    May 11, 2016, Louise Sheiner, David Wessel and Adrianna Pita

  • In the News

    So my hope from the budget conference is modest.  Turn off the destructive sequester for a year or two, without insisting that all of it be paid for in the same time period. Set realistic spending caps, mandatory spending adjustments, and revenues consistent with that objective.  Drop the threats of another shutdown or debt ceiling standoff. Demonstrate that the regular order still has some currency in Congress.

    November 1, 2013, Thomas E. Mann, CNN
  • In the News

    Other than an image problem, political polarization and gridlock at the Federal government level are a problem of great concern (...) However, the U.S. will not lose its image, mainly because below the surface a lot is going on that will continue to attract investment to this country.

    October 16, 2013, Ernesto Talvi, BBC
  • Interview | Washington Post Wonkblog

    Alice Rivlin Was In Charge of the Last Government Shutdown. This is What She Saw.

    September 27, 2013, Neil Irwin

  • In the News

    The Congress ought to get serious. They need to raise the debt ceiling so we don’t have this ridiculous counterproductive argument again.

    September 5, 2013, Alice M. Rivlin, Bloomberg
  • Expert Q & A | Michael E. O'Hanlon

    Sequestration and U.S. Defense Spending: Healing the Wounded Giant

    May 13, 2013, Michael E. O'Hanlon

  • Interview | NPR

    As 'Devastating' as Sequester is, not 'Immediate Catastrophe'

    March 3, 2013, Thomas E. Mann

  • In the News

    What has a chance of going somewhere if the president and the Congress can get back together is some version of a grand bargain, and a grand bargain means we have to slow the growth of the entitlements, especially Medicare and Medicaid. We have to put Social Security back on a firm foundation. And we have to reform our tax code so it raises some more revenue. We need to do that and stop fooling around with this counterproductive thing called the sequester, which is bad macro policy, it would reduce employment when we don't want to.

    February 23, 2013, Alice M. Rivlin, CNN
  • In the News

    There's a defense wing of defense hawks, and they've been pretty vocal about the impact on the Defense Department and national security, generally. And we know there's a hard-core group as well that's opposed to any and all revenue increases. And between the two of those, there's no agreed-upon path of what to do, and so it looks like they may prefer the sequester to any alternative — certainly the alternatives the Democrats are offering up.

    February 21, 2013, Sarah A. Binder, National Public Radio
  • Podcast

    Real Specifics: 15 Ways to Rethink the Federal Budget

    February 20, 2013, Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney

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