The National Debt

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and the Republican Study Committee presented an alternative budget plan to Paul Ryan's that proposes even deeper domestic spending cuts.

The 'aggressive' GOP alternative to Paul Ryan's plan

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and the Republican Study Committee unveil a budget that would eradicate the deficit by 2020. Will it get a better reception than Rep. Ryan's controversial plan?

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
Commentators are picking apart Rep. Paul Ryan's budget, which claims to bring unemployment rates below 5 percent by 2020.

Will 'RyanCare' really drop unemployment to a 50-year low?

So says the conservative Heritage Foundation and Rep. Paul Ryan. But their projections have been picked apart by commentators. Who's right?

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
"This is not a budget. This is a cause," said Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) during his Tuesday announcement of a budget that would slash spending by $6.2 trillion over the next decade.

Paul Ryan's budget: Will Americans buy it?

Washington is buzzing about the Wisconsin Republican's drastic plan to save the economy. But how will voters react?

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will present a 2012 budget proposal that would slash Medicaid and Medicare spending, and is already drawing harsh criticism from the Left.

Paul Ryan's 'controversial' $4 trillion in cuts: The next big budget fight

Lawmakers are still locked in talks over federal spending for the next six months, but the GOP is ready to unveil a 2012 budget proposal that slashes Medicare and Medicaid

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) says he will vote against raising the debt ceiling unless it is tied to a plan to cut government spending.

Could rogue Democrat Joe Manchin lead a revolt on the national debt?

The West Virginia senator declares that he will break with his party and vote against raising the debt ceiling. Will that trigger a rebellion?

The National Debt : Fact Sheet
Defense Secretary Robert Gates' proposed $178 billion military cuts has sparked a rift among Republican leaders.

Defense budget cuts: The split within the GOP

Traditional Republicans for whom Pentagon spending is sacrosanct are clashing with Tea Party-backed deficit hawks. Who will win?

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf outlines the country's projected deficit, which has ballooned by $414 billion since August estimates.

The $1.5 trillion deficit: Whose fault is it?

The Congressional Budget Office says this year's federal spending plan will be a record $1.5 trillion in the red. Let the finger-pointing begin...

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
When Standard & Poor's slashed Greece's and Portugal's credit ratings last year, the European markets panicked.

Why America's credit rating might be cut, and why it matters

Moody's and S&P have warned that the U.S. is in danger of losing its AAA credit rating. How could that happen, and what would it mean?

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
"Debtris" illustrates how the interest on government debt compares to other figures, such as the cost of obesity-related illnesses (top, green).

If the national debt were a game of Tetris...

Animators turn the so-called "debt puzzle" into a video game — with some startling results

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
"The debt ceiling is not something to toy with," says Austan Goolsbee, Obama's top economic advisor.

Federal debt ceiling: The looming showdown

Republicans, and not just the Tea Party ones, are threatening to vote against raising the U.S. debt ceiling, sending the U.S. into default. Will they really do it?

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), a member of Obama's bipartisan debt-reduction commission, says a "flatter tax" is a more realistic goal than a national sales tax.

Time for a national sales tax?

The idea of dramatically revamping the U.S. tax system to reduce the deficit is gaining momentum. Would a federal sales tax help?

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
"The era of debt denial and its consequences are over," said Erskine Bowles, co-chair of Obama's deficit-reduction panel.

Did Obama's debt panel waste its time?

The Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction commission has issued its final plan, but is it so controversial it will simply be ignored?

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
Obama's proposed pay freeze for civilian federal employees could save $5 billion over two years.

Is Obama's federal pay freeze a 'gimmick'?

The president wants to freeze civilian federal employees' salaries for two years. Will this make a dent in the deficit — or is it just an empty gesture?

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
How can we trim the deficit?

The deficit panel's 'painful' $200 billion cuts: Too extreme?

The leaders of the presidential debt-reduction panel propose slashing everything from military spending to Social Security benefits

The National Debt : Opinion Brief
Rep. Paul Ryan will have to defend his proposed plan to halve the deficit by 2020.

Paul Ryan's deficit plan: The 'audacity of dopes'?

The GOP congressman says his "Roadmap" of steep spending and tax cuts could halve the budget deficit. Critics say the plan is "flimflam"

The National Debt : Sunday Talk Show Briefing
What should Obama do about the tax cuts?

Unemployment and the deficit

If Republicans say cut spending, why extend expiring tax cuts?

Subscribe to the Week