April 17, 2014

State of the Union Address Fell Short on Fiscal Concerns

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

Although President Obama’s State of the Union Address last week covered a wide array of topics, it failed to focus on the critical topic of fiscal sustainability.

“When the President did mention fiscal issues in his speech it was mostly to promote new spending or tax cuts with no cautionary reminder that even a ‘pay-as-you-go’ standard will not be enough to correct the underlying structural deficit that already exists,” says Concord Coalition Executive Director Robert L. Bixby.

Obama’s tone, however, seemed to fit the prevailing mood on Capitol Hill.

“Many Democrats seem relieved that the President downplayed the deficit and, as a whole, Republicans seem no more interested in serious budget negotiations this year than he does,” Bixby wrote in a blog post after the speech.

While a “grand bargain” on fiscal issues may not be possible in this election year, Bixby says the public still deserves to hear from the President about what must be done to meet the fiscal challenges ahead. Obama will have another opportunity to discuss meeting those challenges when he releases his proposed budget for Fiscal 2015 early next month.