September 21, 2014

Fiscal and Environmental Sustainability

  • The national debt has grown significantly in recent years due to rising annual deficits. A deficit occurs in any year the government spends more...

While the nation’s fiscal and environmental challenges are often viewed separately, they share several similarities. Ross Gittell, a University of New Hampshire professor, and Robert L. Bixby, executive director of The Concord Coalition, wrote in a recent op-ed that in both cases, short-term thinking can create long-term problems. Because the benefits of wise policies and strategic thinking are not immediately apparent, their importance is often underplayed in elections.

Fortunately, Gittell and Bixby note, many good solutions exist. Spending cuts, entitlement and tax reform, curbs on health care inflation and tougher budget rules in Congress can improve the fiscal outlook. Effective environmental steps include energy-saving technologies, greater reliance on renewable energy, and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

The op-ed appeared in the New Hampshire Union Leader shortly before the university and Concord hosted a day-long conference in which panels of experts emphasized the twin goals of fiscal and environmental sustainability.