WASHINGTON--Elected officials must follow up the new two-year budget deal with much larger efforts to put the nation’s finances on sounder long-term footing, according to Robert L. Bixby, executive director of The Concord Coalition.
“The question is whether this is the beginning of a new phase of bipartisan cooperation on deficit reduction or the end of any efforts to reach a grand bargain,” he writes in a new blog post. “At this point, it is impossible to say.”
But he says one thing is certain: “The budget deal does not relieve the worsening fiscal strains caused by an aging population, rising health care costs and an inefficient tax code. Fiscal policy was on an unsustainable path before the deal and it will remain so after the deal.”
The agreement on overall appropriations levels for 2014 and 2015 would provide the framework appropriators need to negotiate their spending bills and reduce the possibility of another government shutdown.
Yet Bixby notes that lawmakers have left in place the potential for another debt limit crisis next year. The agreement also ignores other hurdles such as an extension of the farm bill, extension of emergency jobless benefits, and spending cuts for Medicare physician reimbursements.
The full blog entry, entitled 'The Budget Deal: A beginning or the End?' can be found here:
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The Concord Coalition is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to fiscal responsibility. Since 1992, Concord has worked to educate the public about the causes and consequences of the federal deficit and debt, and to develop realistic solutions for sustainable budgets. For more fiscal news and analysis, visit concordcoalition.org and follow us on Twitter: @ConcordC