The federal debt is already at a post-World War II high as a share of the economy, and heading higher on an unsustainable path that Washington is unlikely to fundamentally change in the coming year.
That’s why Concord Coalition Executive Director Robert L. Bixby and Maya MacGuineas, head of the Campaign to Fix the Debt, say the 2016 presidential candidates must “ensure that their politically appealing promises — including any new spending or lower taxes — fit within a sustainable budget.”
In an op-ed Sunday in the Nashua Telegraph (N.H.), MacGuineas and Bixby emphasize that voters “have a right and a responsibility” to find out what the candidates are prepared to do about the debt problem.
The op-ed also warns that often “a false choice” is posed between addressing our fiscal challenges and growing the economy when these are actually mutually supporting goals:
“Ever-rising federal debt will have negative ramifications for the economic well-being of all Americans. On the other hand, putting the debt on a sustainable long-term path would pay dividends in the future for jobs, wages, opportunity and growth.”
The op-ed is based on paper by Bixby and MacGuineas that was released in conjunction with a recent program at the Brookings Institution on the 2016 campaign.
Paper on Federal Debt and The Presidential Candidates (Bixby & MacGuineas)
Program on Campaign 2016 Promises (Brookings)
First Budget Website