‘A Moral Duty’ to Heed Familiar Fiscal Warnings

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There were no big surprises in the latest Long-Term Outlook from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). No real surprises, either, in this summer’s annual reports from the trustees who oversee Medicare and Social Security.

“And that’s the problem,” say John Tanner and Michael Castle, co-chairs of The Concord Coalition. “Each year the trustees have warned lawmakers that Social Security and Medicare are not on a sustainable track. The CBO has routinely offered a similar warning for the entire federal budget. Just as routinely, lawmakers have ignored these warnings.”

In a recent guest column in Roll Call, Castle and Tanner — former House members from different parties — write that Washington’s “can-kicking ritual . . . . will ultimately harm the economy, make entitlement reform more difficult, and unfairly burden younger Americans.”

Next year, the co-authors say, the country will elect not just a president but a “fiscal steward” who “will either lead a transition to a better future or preside over a steady decline.”

That’s why they voice strong support for the First Budget initiative — by Concord and Fix the Debt — to press the presidential candidates on how they would address the national debt.

“It’s not just about numbers,” Tanner and Castle write. “We have a moral duty to overcome whatever political obstacles may exist in pursuit of a brighter future for our children and grandchildren.”

External links:
First Budget Website

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