Public Agenda
Issue of the Week

The Sequester

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Each week, Public Agenda explores how we can find sustainable solutions to one of the many complex challenges our nation faces.

At the end of this week, the sequester is due to take effect, meaning an automatic $85 million in federal spending cuts. The sequester is a drastic attempt to address our federal deficit, and a solution that pretty much no one supports.

Reducing the deficit, and balancing our nation's budget, will be complicated. Can we find a bipartisan solution better than the sequester? What are our choices and the tradeoffs we will need to grapple with before we can agree on a pathway forward?

We invite you to explore our surveys, reports, discussion guides, blogs and commentary to learn more about this complex issue.

You can also read more facts about the sequester specifically at the Washington Post's Wonk Blog.



8 report/survey(s) found.


CITIZENS' SOLUTIONS GUIDE - THE FEDERAL BUDGET

PDF | POSTED: Monday, September 10th, 2012

For most voters in the U.S., the federal budget is one of their top concerns as they decide who to vote for this November.

Issue Area(s): Federal Budget


SOCIAL SECURITY, THE BUDGET AND AN AGING POPULATION

PDF | POSTED: Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

This discussion starter helps citizens think through tough decisions involving values and money and consider several approaches to keeping Social Security solvent.

Issue Area(s): Civic Education, Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


SLIP SLIDING AWAY SURVEY RESULTS

PDF | POSTED: Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Despite signs of recovery from the "Great Recession," significant numbers of Americans find themselves living lives of economic struggle, and worry about whether they'll keep a middle-class life in the long term.

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


SLIDESHOW: THE BUCK STOPS WHERE?

PDF | POSTED: Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

The November 2010 update of Public Agenda's public opinion surveys on this issue, is Part II in our series of reports designed to examine attitudes among Beltway "movers and shakers" on the nation's fiscal problems.

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


THE BUCK STOPS WHERE? (TOPLINE)

PDF | POSTED: Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

The November 2010 update of Public Agenda's public opinion surveys on this issue, is Part II in our series of reports designed to examine attitudes among Beltway "movers and shakers" on the nation's fiscal problems.

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


MAKING SURE OUR GOVERNMENT USES OUR MONEY RESPONSIBLY

PDF | POSTED: Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

Bringing the federal debt under control will mean making tough choices, but people need to be able to trust their leaders to act and spend responsibly.

Issue Area(s): Federal Budget


IT'S TIME TO PAY OUR BILLS

PDF | POSTED: Sunday, January 1st, 2006

This report analyzes public thinking about the U.S. government's fiscal future and providing political leaders with six specific, publicly supported steps so that real federal budget reform could take place.

Tags: budget challenges, national debt

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


AMERICANS DELIBERATE OUR NATION'S FINANCES AND FUTURE

PDF | POSTED: Sunday, January 1st, 2006

Two public opinion research studies conclude that the public has little difficulty understanding the magnitude of the fiscal challenge facing the nation.

Tags: debt, deficit, economy, federal budget, fiscal stability, health care, medicare, public engagement, social security

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


9 article(s) found.


LET'S PAY FOR OUR PRIORITIES

Commentary | POSTED: Friday, November 16th, 2012

Imagining a positive outcome for a strategy as dumb as the fiscal cliff is a challenge. If all the provisions went into force, the cliff would, in fact, do a lot to put the budget on a sustainable course.

Tags: fiscal cliff, budget, federal budget

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


WE MUST AVOID AUSTERITY ON STEROIDS

Commentary | POSTED: Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Going over the fiscal cliff is basically austerity on steroids. It means that taxes will rise suddenly for nearly everyone.

Tags: fiscal cliff, budget, federal budget

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


THE ONLY WAY TO RUIN SOCIAL SECURITY

Commentary | POSTED: Friday, February 25th, 2011

Let's start with the obvious. Social Security is a beloved and vital program that needs changes. Politicians are afraid to touch it, and some its staunchest supporters say we don't need to talk about it now because its problems aren't all that serious. T...

Tags: income taxes, social security, social security trust fund, scott bittle, jean johnson

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget, Voting & Government


WOULD GETTING THE ECONOMY ON TRACK GIVE US A FREE PASS OUT OF THE FEDERAL BUDGET MESS?

Commentary | POSTED: Friday, January 28th, 2011

It looks like the country might finally be gearing up to tackle our massive federal deficits and growing federal debt. If history is any guide, serious debate about unpleasant things like cutting popular programs and raising taxes will be accompanied by ...

Tags: deficit, economy, federal budget, taxes, economic growth

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


29 blog entries found.


NO EASY WAY OUT: WHAT LEADERS CAN LEARN FROM CITIZENS ON THE NATIONAL DEBT

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Thursday, December 13th, 2012

As our nation's leaders continue to struggle to build common ground on the best ways to approach the problem, perhaps they can take a cue from the public.

Tags: deficit, deliberation, federal budget, fiscal cliff, national debt, national issues forums, no easy way out, public engagement

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


A DIFFERENT TAKE ON HOW THE PUBLIC THINKS ABOUT THE ECONOMY, BUDGET

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Monday, March 21st, 2011

How does the public really grapple with the issues surrounding the economy and the federal budget? Two recent presentations from Public Agenda suggest the public is looking at these problems very differently than policymakers or the media.

Tags: federal debt, federal deficit, higher education

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


THE BUDGET CHALLENGE, IN 500 WORDS OR LESS

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Tags: federal budget deficit, medicare, national debt, social security

Issue Area(s): Federal Budget


GETTING THE DEBT DEBATE IN PERSPECTIVE

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Thursday, February 10th, 2011

We'll be hearing a lot about the federal budget in the next week but how much of the debate will actually help Americans figure out their choices?

Tags: budget deficit, economy, government spending, national debt, recession, tax reform, taxes

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


LESSONS FROM THE MOVIES, ABOUT MAKING CHOICES

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Over the past couple of weeks, Washington has been consumed by choices over taxes and spending: first the furor over the deficit commission report, then over the compromise on the Bush tax cuts.

Tags: deficit, deficit commission, federal budget, government spending, health care reform, medicare, national debt, social security

Issue Area(s): Federal Budget, Voting & Government


ARE THE DEBT REDUCTION STARS ALIGNED?

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Is Washington really ready to act on our fiscal problems? On Nov. 30, The National Academy of Public Administration invites you to a panel discussion on the findings from Public Agenda's latest update to its "The Buck Stops Where?" survey, which measures...

Tags: budget deficit, economy, fiscal crisis, national debt, spending cuts, tax cuts

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


'STARTING POINT' FROM DEFICIT PANEL CO-CHAIRS IGNITES DEBATE

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, who are co-chairing President Obama's deficit commission, say the plan they put out yesterday is a "starting point" and they sure did start something, judging from the reaction today. It's important to remember that this ...

Tags: alan simpson, deficit commission, erskine bowles, fiscal commission, fiscal future, u.s. economy

Issue Area(s): Federal Budget


PROSPECTS FOR CURING THE SERIOUS DISEASES OF THE 21ST CENTURY

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Thursday, October 21st, 2010

What does science need to move forward toward unlocking the unknown about HIV, cancer, autoimmune disorders, neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, cellular and genetic diseases, and more?

Tags: hiv-aids, medical research, science

Issue Area(s): Federal Budget, Science & Society


GET THE PICTURE: VISUAL BUDGET TOOL & NEW IPHONE APP

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Keeping score on the federal budget is more complicated than it needs to be. Take today's official report on the status of the Medicare and Social Security programs. There's positive news, in that Medicare's financial situation is projected to improve as...

Tags: balanced budget, budget, deficit, deficit commission, economy, fiscal, fiscal crisis, fiscal future, national debt, tax cuts

Issue Area(s): Civic Education, Federal Budget, Science & Society


POLL SAYS PUBLIC FAVORS DEFICIT OVER STIMULUS: THE KEY QUESTION IS WHY

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

For the first time, the Pew Research Center survey reports reducing the deficit is a higher priority than spending to stimulate the economy but that may say more about public attitudes toward the stimulus than it does about the deficit.

As recently ...

Tags: economic stimulus, economy, federal budget, federal deficit, national debt, our fiscal future, recession, taxes

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


PUBLIC OPINION ON THE DEFICIT: NOT EITHER/OR, BUT NOW OR LATER

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Wednesday, July 14th, 2010


There's been a lot written in the media and the blogosphere about surveys on whether the public is more worried about the economy or the federal deficit and most of what's written only sees half the story.

Public concern about the deficit is risin...

Tags: budget, budget deficit, deficit, economy, entitlements, federal budget, fiscal crisis, jobless, national debt, unemployment

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF THE BUDGET

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

The opinion writers continue to debate whether the country needs more economic stimulus or more budget-cutting this "opinionator" faceoff in the New York Times is the latest contribution. But the more the commentators talk, the more confusing this may ...

Tags: budget deficit, economy, federal budget, fiscal crisis, jobs, national debt, recession, red ink, unemployment

Issue Area(s): Federal Budget


JOIN US WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30, IN WASHINGTON

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Monday, June 28th, 2010

There's never been a better chance to step up as an active citizen and join the deliberation on the serious issues we face as a nation. Friends of Public Agenda are invited to join us on Wednesday, June 30, in Washington for a panel discussion on the nat...

Tags: deficit, federal budget, federal budget deficit, fiscal crisis, national debt

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


RATIONAL TALK ABOUT THE BUDGET

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Monday, June 28th, 2010

If anything comes through loud and clear about Saturday's America Speaks National Town Meeting on the federal budget, it's this: the American people can still grapple with complicated, even daunting, issues, and come to solid conclusions.

Tags: deficit, economy, federal budget, fiscal future, national debt, national town meeting

Issue Area(s): Federal Budget


THE BUDGET: MORE INSIDE BASEBALL

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Thursday, May 27th, 2010

This has been a big week for the federal budget if you can actually follow what they're talking about.

Tags: choosing our fiscal future, debt crisis, european debt crisis, facing up, federal budget, greece, jobs bill, line-item veto, medicare, national debt, national town meeting, rescission, students face up to the nation's finances

Issue Area(s): Federal Budget


THE FISCAL FUTURE: IS IT SERIOUS? ARE WE SERIOUS?

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Friday, April 30th, 2010

It's been a big week for fiscal responsibility or at least for talking about it.

Tags: deficit, deficit commission, economy, entitlements, federal budget, fiscal, national debt, red ink, social sec

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


AN ENGINE WITH NO BRAKES

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

"It's unbelievable how much this debt is going to grow over the next 10 years, 20 years, 30 years. And if we don't attack it now, there's going to be no money for those who want to invest it in education, innovation or research so that we can be competit...

Tags: alan simpson, budget, deficit, deficit commission, economy, entitlements, erskine bowles, fiscal future, obama

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


YOUR TAXES AT WORK

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Friday, March 12th, 2010

Kudos to USA Today for an amazing chart on where our federal taxes go. This one is interactive and tells you exactly what's happening to the federal taxes someone with your income level pays, broken down by the amount that you personally pay for budget i...

Tags: budget, deficit, economy, government spending, income tax, national debt, taxes

Issue Area(s): Federal Budget


DEFICIT TOPS THE PUBLIC'S LONG-TERM WORRIES, BUT ARE THEY READY TO ACT?

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Friday, March 12th, 2010

Jobs are still the top problem facing the country today, according to the latest Gallup survey, but for the first time ever, people say the federal deficit will be the biggest problem 25 years from now.

Tags: facing up to the nation's finances, federal budget, federal deficit, national debt, our fiscal future, public opinion, taxes

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


THE DEFICIT COMMISSION IS BORN: NOW WHAT?

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

It's official: President Obama today created the bipartisan fiscal commission he proposed in his State of the Union message. Of course, the commission itself is just a step toward a plan but what are our options for that plan?

Tags: alan simpson, bipartisan, budget, deficit, deficit commission, erskine bowles, fiscal future, obama

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


SOUND FINANCIAL ADVICE

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Friday, February 12th, 2010

In the season when many Americans' minds turn to thoughts of getting some financial advice to help with their taxes, the Senate is following suit, on another serious matter that affects all of our bottom lines.

Tags: budget deficit, federal budget, fiscal future, gdp, medicare, national debt, senate budget committee, social security, taxes

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


GOVERNMENT WASTE, AND WHAT'S REALLY BEING WASTED

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The American public says more than half of every federal tax dollar, 53 cents, is wasted, according to an ABC/Washington Post survey released today. But what that survey suggests to us is what's really being wasted isn't money; it's trust.

Tags: government waste, public confidence in government, trust in government, trust in public officials

Issue Area(s): Federal Budget


FISCAL SANITY: IT'S BEEN DONE BEFORE

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Today's must-read budget story is in USA Today, which makes a point that often gets lost when we debate getting the federal budget under control: namely, that it's been done before, and not that long ago, either.

Balancing the budget in the late 1990s...

Tags: deficit, entitlements, federal budget, fiscal future, health care, national debt, social security

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


UP TO THE LIMIT?

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Thursday, February 4th, 2010

The House voted today to raise the national debt ceiling to $14.3 trillion, but by a pretty close vote on what's usually a routine matter. Opponents said the debt has to be brought under control; supporters pointed out that without an increase in the deb...

Tags: debt ceiling, committee on the fiscal future of the united states

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


THE BUDGET AS BOARD GAME

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Monday, February 1st, 2010

In a torrent of news about President Obama's new budget proposal, two things really stand out to us and they're probably not the points upon which most of the coverage and commentary will focus.

Issue Area(s): Federal Budget


CALLING THE QUESTION ON THE NATIONAL DEBT

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Thursday, January 28th, 2010

In the State of the Union speech last night, President Obama said the one of the most thoughtful ways of attacking our budget crisis is to name a bipartisan commission to guide our fiscal future onto a sustainable path, in contrast to the unsustainable p...

Issue Area(s): Federal Budget


HEADING FOR A COMMISSION?

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Monday, January 25th, 2010

A bipartisan commission of some kind to make recommendations on reducing the deficit and controlling the national debt is looking more and more likely. The Senate is supposed to vote on the idea Tuesday, but if that fails, reports say President Obama wil...

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


BUDGET COMMISSIONS, TOUGH OPTIONS, AND THE PUBLIC

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Thursday, January 21st, 2010

The idea of a bipartisan commission to draft a plan to get the federal budget on a sound footing has been embraced by President Obama and Congressional leaders, and will likely be a major point in next week's State of the Union speech. Under the plan, a ...

Tags: budget, deficit, national debt, fiscal, our fiscal future, economy, budget commission

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


SIX QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT THE FEDERAL BUDGET

BLOG ENTRY | POSTED: Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

One of the biggest problems in getting Americans engaged on the nation's fiscal challenges is that the problem is so hard for most people to get their arms around. The numbers are so huge, the issues so arcane and the problems so daunting that people may...

Tags: entitlements, facing up to the nation's finances, federal budget, federal deficit, medicare, national debt, our fiscal future, social security, students face up to the nation's finances, taxes, where does the money go

Issue Area(s): Federal Budget


8 multimedia file(s) found.


MAKING SURE OUR GOVERNMENT USES OUR MONEY RESPONSIBLY

PDF | POSTED: Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Bringing the federal debt under control will mean making tough choices, but people need to be able to trust their leaders to act and spend responsibly.

Issue Area(s): Federal Budget


SOCIAL SECURITY, THE BUDGET AND AN AGING POPULATION

PDF | POSTED: Thursday, November 8th, 2012

This discussion starter helps citizens think through tough decisions involving values and money and consider several approaches to keeping Social Security solvent.

Issue Area(s): Civic Education, Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


CITIZENS' SOLUTIONS GUIDE - THE FEDERAL BUDGET

PDF | POSTED: Monday, September 10th, 2012

For most voters in the U.S., the federal budget is one of their top concerns as they decide who to vote for this November.

Issue Area(s): Federal Budget


SLIP SLIDING AWAY SURVEY RESULTS

PDF | POSTED: Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Despite signs of recovery from the "Great Recession," significant numbers of Americans find themselves living lives of economic struggle, and worry about whether they'll keep a middle-class life in the long term.

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


SLIDESHOW: THE BUCK STOPS WHERE?

PDF | POSTED: Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

The November 2010 update of Public Agenda's public opinion surveys on this issue, is Part II in our series of reports designed to examine attitudes among Beltway "movers and shakers" on the nation's fiscal problems.

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


THE BUCK STOPS WHERE? (TOPLINE)

PDF | POSTED: Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

The November 2010 update of Public Agenda's public opinion surveys on this issue, is Part II in our series of reports designed to examine attitudes among Beltway "movers and shakers" on the nation's fiscal problems.

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


IT'S TIME TO PAY OUR BILLS

PDF | POSTED: Sunday, January 1st, 2006

This report analyzes public thinking about the U.S. government's fiscal future and providing political leaders with six specific, publicly supported steps so that real federal budget reform could take place.

Tags: budget challenges, national debt

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget


AMERICANS DELIBERATE OUR NATION'S FINANCES AND FUTURE

PDF | POSTED: Sunday, January 1st, 2006

Two public opinion research studies conclude that the public has little difficulty understanding the magnitude of the fiscal challenge facing the nation.

Tags: debt, deficit, economy, federal budget, fiscal stability, health care, medicare, public engagement, social security

Issue Area(s): Jobs & Economy, Federal Budget