• The Health Care Reserve Fund: A Historic Commitment to Reform

    As I have said more than a few times before (even on this blog) reducing health care costs is the key to the country’s fiscal future and also to providing relief to American families from rising health care bills.

  • Using Statistics to Drive Sound Policy

    This morning I delivered a speech at a Joint Symposium of the Committee on National Statistics and the American Academy of Political and Social Science on a topic near to my (admittedly wonkish) heart—the role of Federal statistics in developing and executing good public policy.

  • Determining What Works, Line by Line

    We in the Administration have spoken often about the President’s Budget heralding a new era of responsibility—an era in which we not only do what we must to lift our economy out of recession, but in which we also lay a new foundation for long-term growth and prosperity.

  • This Week in Budget News

    This week is another busy one at OMB: we are releasing the full account-level budget on Thursday.

  • Congratulations to Xav Briggs

    Champagne corks are flying (or more accurately, Diet Coke cans are being opened) here at OMB to congratulate Xavier de Souza Briggs for being awarded tenure by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology today.

  • Congratulations to Emmanuel Saez

    My co-author and friend Emmanuel Saez was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal on Friday. The prize, which is awarded to the best American economist under the age of forty, is one of the highest honors the economics profession can bestow upon one of its own.

  • Nudging Along

    One of the most important intellectual developments of the past several years that has had a huge impact on my own thinking has been the rise of behavioral economics.

  • The Case for Reform in Education and Health Care

    This morning I delivered a speech before the Association of American Universities, an association of 62 major public and private research universities in the United States and Canada.

  • Move Over R2, CPO is Here

    Lately, OMB has been consumed with the “B” in our title – the budget – but an equally important part of our mission is the “M” or management of the federal government.

  • Important EPA Finding

    In addition to its other responsibilities, OMB reviews proposed regulations and coordinates an interagency review process. We have now concluded review of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) proposed finding that emissions of greenhouse gases from motor vehicles contribute to air pollution that endangers public health and welfare.

    In addition to its other responsibilities, OMB reviews proposed regulations and coordinates an interagency review process. We have now concluded review of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) proposed finding that emissions of greenhouse gases from motor vehicles contribute to air pollution that endangers public health and welfare. Now that review is concluded, the endangerment finding will be published in the Federal Register and subject to public comment.

    EPA's proposed finding closely follows the language of the Clean Air Act, and includes two components.

    First, certain greenhouse gas emissions constitute air pollution that may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health and welfare.

    Second, emissions from motor vehicles cause or contribute to that air pollution.

    The proposed finding is carefully rooted in both law and science.  In Massachusetts v. EPA (2007), the Supreme Court found that greenhouse gases count as "air pollutants" under the motor vehicle emissions provisions of the Clean Air Act, and signaled that EPA should answer the question whether greenhouse gas emissions are air pollution that endangers the public health and welfare. After an extensive analysis of the scientific evidence, and a careful process of interagency review, the EPA proposes to answer that question in the affirmative.

    By itself, the EPA’s proposed finding imposes no regulation.  (Indeed, by itself, it requires nothing at all.)  If and when the endangerment finding is made final, the EPA will turn to the question whether and how to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new automobiles.  The President has made it clear that he wants to move the nation toward clean energy, and that part of that effort involves a legislative approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions under a "cap and trade" program.  Such a program would be more effective and efficient than most types of regulation.  While such a program is being debated in the Congress, however, the Administration is following both the science and the law with regard to the Clean Air Act.

    Learn more about the finding here.

  • Changing the Game in Health Care

    The National Journal blog entry on the Administration’s proposals on health care reform highlights some important issues. But is also contains some red herrings – like the idea the Administration’s proposals won’t reduce costs.

  • Economic Downturns and Crime

    The economic downturn imposes significant costs on families. But does it also increase crime?

  • New Study on Hospital Readmissions

    Estimates suggest that as much as $700 billion a year in health care services delivered in the United States cannot be linked to improved health outcomes – and one reason is that we have incentives for more care rather than better care.

  • IOU, an Explanation

    How much does the federal government owe? It might seem like a simple question to ask those of us wearing the green eyeshades, but there are lots of different concepts used to answer it.

  • Not Your Reg-ular Blog Post

    I know most of OMBlog’s readers are budget wonks – or “propellerheads” to use the now-popular White House term – but OMB also takes a very active and serious role in the management of the federal government, and that includes the regulatory agenda.

  • Climbing the Hill

    Today is a big day in the budget world as the House and Senate Budget Committees kicked off Congressional action on the federal budget with their markups of the budget resolutions.

  • CBO's New Numbers

    CBO released its re-estimate of the President’s Budget today.

  • Funding for Domestic Programs in the Budget

    How much does the Administration’s FY 2010 Budget increase domestic programs this coming year? If you listen to some critics, you would think that the answer is “the biggest increase ever.” But if you approach the question analytically . . .

  • Fair and Square: NDD Spending to Historic Lows

    As I’ve blogged about before, the President’s Budget brings non-defense discretionary spending (NDD) down to its lowest level as share of GDP since 1962.

  • The Fiscal Impact of Winding Down a War

    The President is committed to responsibly winding the war down. I don’t do foreign policy, but I can tell you this: ending wars saves money – and so the Administration’s budget includes savings from ramping down overseas military operations over time.