Washington, DC – Robert L. Bixby, Executive Director of The Concord Coalition, testified before a subcommittee on the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee regarding the 2007 Financial Report and the nation's future fiscal challenges. Bixby emphasized that the 2007 Financial Report, which shows future "fiscal exposures" with a present value of $53 trillion, demonstrates that future promises cannot be sustained and improving the nation's long-term fiscal outlook will require hard choices on spending and taxes.
The hearing, entitled "In the Red: Addressing the Nation's Financial Challenges" was held by Senators Thomas Carper and Tom Coburn, the Chairman and Ranking Member respectively, of the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security.
Bixby noted that there is nothing inevitable about a fiscal crisis, and the problem we face--essentially a structural imbalance between what government promises and how much it collects in taxes to pay for those promises--is one that can be cured if we begin to address it now.
As a framework for action, Bixby recommended that Congress and the next President should:
- Commit to a balanced budget
- Incorporate long-term projections and controls into the budget process
- Take every reasonable step to constrain the rising cost of health care and retirement programs--Social Security and, especially, Medicare
- Make clear to Americans that ultimately taxes cannot be cut unless programs are cut commensurately
The Concord Coalition is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to balanced federal budgets and generationally responsible fiscal policy. Former U.S. Senators Warren Rudman (R-NH) and Bob Kerrey (D-NE) serve as Concord's co-chairs and former Secretary of Commerce Peter Peterson serves as president.