Dealing with the federal debt should be a top priority for the presidential candidates, according to a new paper by Robert L. Bixby, executive director of The Concord Coalition, and Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
“The next president will face an array of pressing issues; everything from income inequality to crumbling infrastructure, terrorism, retirement security, tax reform and health care costs,” they write. “One issue, however, transcends them all: the unsustainable projected growth of the federal debt. No candidate’s vision of the future, regardless of party or ideology, will be credible if it rests on the premise of unsustainable debt.”
The paper was released in conjunction with a program last week at the Brookings Institution entitled “Campaign 2016: Will promises be kept?” Bixby was also a program panelist.
MacGuineas and Bixby warn that it would be a mistake for candidates to conclude that our fiscal problems are behind us.
“Presidential candidates should craft their campaign promises with a realistic appreciation for the magnitude of the debt problem, its root causes, and the consequences of doing nothing,” the paper says.
The authors also emphasize the need for voters and the media to carefully scrutinize candidates’ proposals.