When The Concord Coalition was founded in September 1992, it was already apparent that the federal budget was on an unsustainable path. Thirty years later, that is still the case. Despite the “peace dividend” of the 1990s, and surprisingly lower healthcare and interest costs than were anticipated, we have arrived at what was once considered the “long-term” with a debt that has more than doubled as a share of the gross domestic product (GDP), going from 47 percent of GDP in 1992 to 98 percent in 2022.
More alarming is where the debt is headed. Over the next 30 years, the Congressional Budget Office projects that under current law the debt will reach 185 percent of GDP.
Since its founding 30 years ago, The Concord Coalition has urged lawmakers of both parties to make the hard choices on spending and taxes needed to achieve a sustainable fiscal path and grow the economy. We have emphasized that the budgetary decisions of today will affect the economic opportunities of future generations.
As our founding co-chairs former Senators Paul E. Tsongas (D-MA) and Warren B. Rudman (R-NH) put it: “We see a nation whose economy is failing to grow fast enough to meet the needs of our people. We see a stalled, stagnating, undernourished economic system where staggering deficits choke much-needed investment…. For too long, we have postponed necessary surgery on the economy…. Being free does not allow us to hope that by avoiding today’s problems we will avoid tomorrow’s crises.”
We do not believe that it is time to throw in the towel and embrace the dangerous proposition that deficits and debt don’t matter. It is the duty of this generation to fight for a sustainable budget and a brighter economic future.
As we observe our 30th anniversary, we rededicate ourselves to that task and we urge you to join us.