The Congressional Budget Office released its economic analysis for 2013 in its annual summer budget update on Wednesday, reporting, “The sharp increases in federal taxes and reductions in federal spending that are scheduled under current law to begin in calendar year 2013 are likely to interrupt the recent economic progress.” While some experts predict that the impact will be less dire than projected and are more focused on the deficit and interest rates, lawmakers are butting heads over just how to prevent the dramatic economic shift predicted by the CBO.
As American lawmakers debate reining in, auditing, reforming, or even abolishing the controversial Federal Reserve System following a growing wave of bipartisan outrage over its bailouts and wild currency printing, discredited U.S. central bank boss Ben Bernanke is actually urging Europe to create a centralized fiscal authority to be more like the United States. But the process is actually already well underway.
Apparently the Fed boss believes further concentration of power in the hands of the unelected European bureaucrats — largely responsible for the current crisis — would somehow help quell the region’s ongoing economic turmoil. Free market advocates, however, have argued that the exact opposite is true: For Europe to properly deal with the crisis, it should get governments — and especially the emerging European Union super-state — completely out of the way.
As concerns over the U.S. dollar and the Federal Reserve continue to grow, U.S. lawmakers explored sound money, competing currencies, and the route to monetary freedom during an August 2 hearing chaired by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). It was the final House Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee hearing led by the long-time champion of honest currency and reining in the controversial Fed, but analysts say the impact of Rep. Paul’s work is only just starting to be felt.
Some members of the Federal Reserve are encouraging the Fed to make policy changes to pre-empt problems that may arise as a result of a global financial crisis provoked by a European downturn. However, the Fed is also hesitant to make a decision in fear of possible political ramifications as the presidential election nears and Republicans and Democrats remain on opposing sides on the issue of Fed monetary policies.
The class warfare rhetoric that accompanies the tax debate is reigniting as congressional lawmakers battle over how to address a pending increase of the estate tax, also known as “the death tax.” The current rate of the tax, which is imposed on the transfer of the estate upon an individual’s death, is a component of President George W. Bush’s tax cuts that are slated to expire at the end of the year.