‘Window of Opportunity’ Seen for Long-Term Reforms

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Demonstrating the wide range of options available to put the federal budget on a more responsible course, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation has released five sets of proposals developed by different organizations.

Foundation President and CEO Michael A. Peterson said that while the plans differed and reflected the priorities of the individual organizations, they showed that lawmakers “have many tools to put us on a better fiscal path.”

The proposals were presented at the foundation’s 2015 Fiscal Summit in Washington last week, which drew a long list of elected officials, federal budget experts and others to discuss the nation’s fiscal and economic challenges.

In recent years, annual federal deficits have dropped as the economy strengthened. But the summit underscored that the longer-term trends are not sustainable.

“Higher debt in the long run reduces our capacity to do productive private investments, and that’s a drag on productivity and thus a drag on people’s incomes. . . . ,” said Doug Elmendorf, former director of the Congressional Budget Office. “What’s unpredictable is how high debt might prevent us from reacting to future challenges — domestic economic problems, international issues.”

Peterson said the current stability of the U.S. economy offered “a new window of opportunity to begin to address the nation’s long-term fiscal imbalances.”

The Peterson Foundation provides funding for The Concord Coalition.

External links:
‘Solutions Initiative III’ Demonstrates Range of Policy Options
2015 Fiscal Summit (Peter G. Peterson Foundation)
Former CBO Chief Explains Budget Problems (Fiscal Times)

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