May 24, 2017

"Reducing the Federal Deficit: Do We Have the Political Courage To Do What It Takes?"

April 17, 2010
The Maddy Forum, 90.7 KFSR (Fresno, CA)


In a recent U.S News and World Report article,Alice Rivlin, former founding director of the Congressional Budget Office and the former director of Pres. Clinton’s Office of Management and Budget warned that the rising federal debt is going to be "a real tsunami if we don't get ahead of it." Putting the federal budget back in balance without stalling a still-fragile economy, she notes, is a huge challenge. We can start, Rivlin says, by trimming outmoded federal programs and increasing revenue over the long term by raising the retirement age for Social Security and means-testing Medicare benefits. As she and others have noted, however, we can't get out of this problem without doing both spending cuts, especially slowing the growth of entitlement, and tax increases. In short, reducing the federal debt will require the political courage to cut spending and increase taxes. Recently, Janet Ryan, a member of the Fresno Unified School District Board and a member of the Concord Coalition sat down with Robert Bixby, Executive Director of the Concord Coalition; and Stefan Bryd-Krueger, Youth Outreach Coordinator for the Concord Coalition to discuss the strategies and options to reduce the federal deficit. What are our options—and do we have the political courage to do what it takes to do what it will take to reduce the federal deficit?