As candidates for federal office put their fall campaigns into high gear, The Concord Coalition has released its latest “Key Questions” that voters should ask them about the nation’s fiscal challenges.
The publication includes information to help voters assess current political rhetoric on topics such as the defense budget, Social Security, Medicare, the U.S. health care system, tax policies, government waste, highway spending and the need for compromise and bipartisan cooperation.
As in past economic recoveries, the short-term federal budget picture has been improving. But deficits are projected to begin rising again in a few short years, and the nation remains on an unsustainable long-term path.
Congress once again spent much of the past year floundering over what were once considered routine fiscal decisions. Many decisions were simply punted into the new fiscal year that began last Wednesday. That includes basic appropriations legislation that will be needed to keep the government open past mid-December.
Given all of that, voters should expect candidates in the coming weeks to explain — clearly and specifically — how they intend to deal with the huge challenges ahead.
FY 2014 by the Numbers (CRFB)