Competing Budget Priorities: The Public, The House, The White House

Mar. 3, 2011, 9:00am-10:30am
Robert Bixby

This event will release a new analysis comparing the different approaches to the budget of the American public, the Obama administration and the Republican-led House of Representatives.

The preferences of the American public were established through an innovative study in which a representative sample of Americans was presented the discretionary budget and allowed to adjust it, getting constant feedback on the effect on the deficit. They were also presented a wide range of detailed options for adjusting tax revenues.

The public’s preferences were then compared to the approach of the Obama administration expressed in the proposed 2012 budget and of the House Republicans expressed in the recent legislation to revise the current year budget.

All of these approaches are quite different, revealing highly different priorities, and raising questions about the political viability of the approaches being pursued by the Obama administration on one hand and the House Republicans on the other. The public also appears to favor deeper reductions in the deficit than either the administration or the House Republicans.

The study was conducted by the Program for Public Consultation (PPC), a joint program of the Center on Policy Attitudes and the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, and fielded by Knowledge Networks.

Presenter: Steven Kull, director Program for Public Consultation

Moderator and Discussant: Philip Joyce, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, author The Congressional Budget Office: Honest Numbers, Power, and Policy Making

Discussant: Robert Bixby, Director, The Concord Coalition

Coffee and light refreshment will be served.

Please RSVP: 301-458-0444 or [email protected].

About the Host
Robert Bixby Headshot

Robert L. Bixby is executive director of The Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan organization that encourages fiscal responsibility in Washington and helps educate the public about the federal budget and the need to protect our children and future generations from excessive government debt.

Bixby joined Concord in 1992 and served in several positions, including policy director and national field director, before being named executive director in 1999. He has served as a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force (the Domenici-Rivlin commission), which produced a model plan for comprehensive fiscal reform.

He frequently speaks around the country on the nation’s fiscal challenges and possible bipartisan solutions, including greater government efficiency, tax reform and improvements in the entitlement program. He has testified at congressional hearings and been interviewed by news organizations around the country. Bixby has appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN and Fox News.

He and The Concord Coalition’s “Fiscal Wake-Up Tour” were also featured prominently in the critically-acclaimed documentary film “I.O.U.S.A.”

Bixby has a bachelor's degree in political science from American University, a juris doctorate from George Mason University School of Law, and a master's degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Before joining Concord, he practiced law and served as the chief staff attorney of the Court of Appeals of Virginia.