The economic recovery and some steps by elected officials have reduced deficits over the past few years. But they will soon rise again and Washington has done little to deal with the key drivers of long-term budget shortfalls: an aging population and the rising costs of health care, entitlement programs and an outdated tax code.
“In just a few years, the debt – already quite high by historical standards -- is projected to rise as a share of our economy again and to continue doing so indefinitely after that,” Jason Peuquet and Joshua Gordon warn in a recent guest column in the San Jose Mercury News.
Gordon, The Concord Coalition’s policy director, and Peuquet, a research fellow with the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, will present Principles and Priorities, a federal budget exercise, in the San Jose area this Friday. The program is hosted by Concord, Fix the Debt and U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.).
Fortunately, Peuquet and Gordon write, there are some fresh opportunities “to put the conversation about unsustainable debt back on the agenda.” These include a bipartisan effort to reform Medicare payments and new tax proposals by President Obama and U.S. Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.).