Moral Issues Behind the Budget Numbers

Blog Post
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

With presidential primary voting today in New Hampshire, it remains important for the candidates to clearly spell out their plans for fiscal reform. As The Concord Coalition’s Sara Imhof wrote in a recent op-ed: “All Americans benefit from government in various ways, so the burdens of deficit reduction should be borne by all. We need elected officials who understand that, and who are willing to set responsible budget priorities and find equitable ways to pay for them.”Beyond all the federal budget numbers, she notes, are fundamental moral issues: “Fairly distributing the burdens of society, helping those who are truly in need, paying for what we want, and protecting future generations from heavy debts they had no say in creating.”Presidential hopefuls should explain, for example, how they would ensure the solvency of critical safety net and retirement programs without leaving even more unpaid bills to our children and future generations.“If a candidate takes a dim view of raising additional revenues, it is particularly important that he or she provide detailed explanations of the government services and benefits they would be willing to give up,” writes Imhof, Concord’s Midwest regional director. “Vague promises to ‘cut waste’ are insufficient.”Other questions she suggests that voters ask themselves as well as the candidates:  “Are we acting as good fiscal and civil stewards? Are we contributing our fair share to society? Are we demanding only those government benefits and services that we are willing to pay for?” Read more with Press Candidates on Fiscal Responsibility