(Concord Coalition Executive Director Robert) Bixby said the current U.S. fiscal policy is unsustainable. He said getting the nation's financial house in order will require charting a politically sensitive course that will include revamping major entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security; cutting overall spending; controlling health care costs; and reforming taxes to raise revenue.
“We need some leadership from our leaders,” he noted. “The public is ready to make these choices if they are dealt with honestly and they have the facts. The public is willing. What is difficult to get through is the political chaff, the political fire that tends to polarize rather than bring people to consensus.”
Bixby said that Congress and the president will be facing a “self-inflicted crisis” of sorts in January when some tax increases and spending reductions will automatically take effect – a situation that will pose an opportunity to deal with a long-term package aimed at correcting the nation’s fiscal woes over a period of years. If they fail to act this time, he said, the inaction could trigger “a very negative market reaction” from a business community gripped by economic uncertainty and increasingly alarmed by the prospect of a fiscal cliff.