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The Concord Coalition produces a weekly radio show and podcast called "Facing the Future."

Hosted by Robert L. Bixby, Concord's Executive Director, the show dives into topics related to U.S. fiscal policy -- like health care, taxes, national security, the national debt and more -- with budget experts, industry leaders, elected officials and candidates for public office.

Chase at the radio station

 

Listen to learn more about how the nation’s fiscal and economic challenges -- and possible solutions -- impact current and future generations.

The show is broadcast on Concord, New Hampshire radio station WKXL each week on Wednesdays at 3:00 p.m., with subsequent rebroadcasts on Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. and Sundays at 11:00 a.m.

Subscribe to the podcast on SpotifyPandoraiTunesGoogle Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeart Radio or with an RSS feed. And follow "Facing the Future" on Facebook

 

Recent Shows

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New Health Benefits, But for How Long?

Friday, December 03, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, Concord Coalition Policy Director Tori Gorman and I spoke to Joshua Gordon, Director of Health Policy for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget about some of the health care provisions that are contained in the version of the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) passed by the House, that now awaits action in the US Senate.  According to CRFB estimates, the bill includes close to $330 billion in new health care costs, mostly offset by about $325 billion in health care cost savings and new revenue. 

 

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If Your Taxes Go Up, Will You Know It?

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we focused on the political environment facing President Biden’s Build Back Better Act (BBBA) now that it has passed the House and moved onto the Senate. Joining me in that discussion were The Concord Coalition’s Policy Director, Tori Gorman, the Coalition’s Chief Economist, Steve Robinson, and Communications Director Av Harris.  We also had an in depth discussion on Steve’s latest issue brief entitled Will President Biden Rais

 

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Can The Democrats Message "Yes"?

Thursday, November 18, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we focused on the political arguments surrounding President Biden’s Build Back Better Act (BBBA) and specifically the concerns raised by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin – a fiscally conservative Democrat – over the cost of the bill and how it is paid for.  The bill cannot survive a Senate vote without Manchin’s support, and his outsized influence has already whittled down the overall price tag of the new social safety net and climate change spending bill from an estimated $3.5 trillion over 10 years to $1.75 trillion.  

 

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Building Back Better Bang for the Buck

Friday, November 12, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we explored the potential economic effects of President Biden’s Build Back Better Framework, as released by the White House on October 28th, 2021, and the cost of making its temporary provisions permanent. Our guest was Kent Smetters, Faculty Director of the Penn Wharton Budget Model. Concord Coalition Policy Director Tori Gorman joined me for the conversation with Dr. Smetters. 

 

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Democratic Supply-side Economics

Thursday, November 04, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we discussed the economic strengths and weaknesses of the Build Back Better Act now making its way through Congress. Democrats are pushing to finalize this broad social spending and climate change bill, which would cost about $1.8 trillion over 10 years and be paid for with a number of new tax provisions targeted at large corporations and households earning more than $400,000 a year. Our guest was Bill Gale, a senior fellow in the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution.  

 

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A Wealth of Tax Problems

Thursday, October 28, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we looked at various proposals on how to pay for the roughly $2 trillion social spending bill that Democrats hope to pass soon. These proposals include familiar ideas like raising rates on corporations and upper-income households, as well as new ideas like implementing some form of a "billionaires tax."  We also looked at the potential for raising revenue through better enforcement of existing laws (the “tax gap”) and the amount the Treasury loses  through ill-targeted "tax expenditures." 

 

 

 

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Don't Forget the Budget's Pre-existing Condition

Thursday, October 14, 2021

This week on Facing the Future we took a step back from the day-to-day budget battles in Washington to consider the overall fiscal outlook. Our guest was Brian Riedl, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, who recently published a comprehensive chart book on federal spending, taxes, and deficits. Among the questions we discussed were: What is driving CBO’s projected $112 trillion deficit over 30 years, and could the deficit top $3 trillion yet again within a decade?

 

 

Can Democrats Reconcile on Reconciliation?

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Can Democrats Reconcile on Reconciliation?

Thursday, October 07, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we sorted through the various internal divisions among congressional Democrats that have slowed President Biden’s legislative agenda. We also looked at some non-traditional ideas that have been floated for getting around the debt limit, which was given a small boost of $480 billion in a deal struck at the end of the week. 

Cutting it Close on Shutdown and Default

 

 

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The Arrhythmia of Federal Finances

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, Tori Gorman and I discussed balance sheets, risk, and the “arrhythmia of finance'' with Peter Fisher, Senior Fellow at the Center for Business, Government & Society at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, where he also serves as a Clinical Professor. Our discussion encompassed the long-term budget outlook, debt limit dysfunction, and the challenges of monetary policy in the post-pandemic environment. 

Don't Forget Social Security and Medicare Challenges

 

 

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Don't Forget Social Security and Medicare Challenges

Thursday, September 16, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we got a thorough briefing on the latest Social Security and Medicare Trustees’ Report from Dr. Charles Blahous, a former Public Trustee of both programs and now Senior Research Strategist at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution. Concord Coalition Chief Economist Steve Robinson, a former Senior Policy Advisor at the Social Security Administration, joined the conversation.

 

Negotiating Infrastructure as Concord Hits the Road

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Negotiating Infrastructure as Concord Hits the Road

Thursday, September 09, 2021

This week on Facing the Future we went from Georgia to Colorado and back to Washington, D.C. as we discussed the upcoming reconciliation bill, a view from the grassroots, and the 2021 Social Security and Medicare Trustees' Report. 

 

 

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Big Budget Challenges Loom in September

Friday, September 03, 2021

This week on Facing the Future our guest was Austin Smythe who has over 30 years of experience working in both the legislative and executive branches of the Federal government. Concord Coalition Policy Director Tori Gorman joined the conversation as we previewed a host of looming budget challenges that Congress and President Biden are facing in September.

 

 

States Have Budgets Too

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States Have Budgets Too

Thursday, August 26, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we took a break from the federal budget but kept our focus on public sector budgeting. States have budgets too and the choices can be just as difficult and just as impactful on constituents as the federal budget. As an example, we examined the New Hampshire state budget with Phil Sletten, Senior Policy Analyst at the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute, an independent, non-profit policy research organization in Concord NH, where he has worked since 2016.

Alzheimer's Drug Has Big Costs and Many Questions

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Alzheimer's Drug Has Big Costs and Many Questions

Thursday, August 19, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we turned to health care and the brewing controversy over Aduhelm, a new drug for treating Alzheimer's Disease that was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Is it effective, will it be covered by Medicare and how much will it cost? We asked Josh Gordon, Director of Health Policy at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Next, we looked at where things stand in Washington as the two parties move from a bipartisan infrastructure bill to a one-party budget resolution.

Bipartisan Race for the Bottom

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Bipartisan Race to the Bottom

Friday, August 20, 2021

This week on Facing the Future we heard from Tom Kahn, a veteran Democrat congressional staffer who is concerned that both parties have abandoned fiscal discipline. Concord’s National Field Director Phil Smith joined the conversation. 

Pay-for Potholes and Budget Clues

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Pay-for Potholes and Budget Clues

Thursday, August 05, 2021

This week on Facing the Future we waded into several fast-breaking budget developments in Washington, including the Senate's bipartisan infrastructure plan and the upcoming budget resolution. Concord Coalition Policy Director Tori Gorman and Chief Economist Steve Robinson, both Capitol Hill veterans, joined me to  examine whether the infrastructure bill is paid for and what clues the budget resolution will give us about the even bigger "reconciliation" bill expected this fall. 

Why the National Debt Still Matters

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Why the National Debt Still Matters

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

This week on Facing the Future we talked with Richard Jackson, President and Founder of the Global Aging Institute, and the author of a timely new paper titled, Why the National Debt Still Matters. Concord Coalition chief economist Steve Robinson, who contributed a debt model used in the paper, joined the conversation.

What's Up With Inflation?

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What's Up With Inflation?

Thursday, July 22, 2021

This week on Facing the Future we looked at a subject on the minds of many economists as well as everyday consumers: what’s up with inflation? Are recent sharp increases something to be concerned about and how does it affect our economic future? We also assessed the outlook for jobs, wages and overall economic growth.

Why the Debt Limit Doesn't Control the Debt

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Why the Debt Limit Doesn't Control the Debt

Thursday, July 15, 2021

This week on Facing the Future we looked at the nation’s statutory debt limit. What is it? Why doesn’t it work to control the growing debt and are there viable alternatives? To get answers and perspectives, we talked to Susan Irving, of the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Concord Coalition Policy Director Tori Gorman joined the conversation.

A Grand Strategy of Resolute Restraint

Special Guests:Michael O'Hanlon, Director of Research in Foreign Policy, The Brookings Institution.

Navigating Uncharted Waters

Special Guests: Joe Minarik, Senior Vice President and Director of Research at the Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board.

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Navigating Uncharted Waters

Thursday, July 01, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we got an update on the economic recovery from Joe Minarik, Senior Vice President and Director of Research at the Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board. We also heard about an idea he has for paying off the extra federal debt incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Concord Coalition Policy Director Tori Gorman joined the conversation.

Kerrey and Danforth: Address the Debt and Meet in the Middle

Special Guests: Concord Coalition Co-Chair Bob Kerrey. Concord Coalition Co-Chair Jack Danforth.

Swing Voters and Uncertain Costs

Special Guests: Rich Thau, President of Engagious. Tori Gorman, Policy Director of The Concord Coalition. Steve Robinson, Chief Economist of The Concord Coalition.

Dead Men Still Ruling: Can We Shift Priorities?

Special Guests: Eugene Steuerle, Institute Fellow and Richard B. Fisher Chair at the Urban Institute, Tori Gorman. Policy Director of The Concord Coalition. Steve Robinson, Chief Economist of The Concord Coalition.  

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Dead Men Still Ruling: Can We Shift Priorities?

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we looked at some longer-term budget and economic issues that are crucial for understanding President Biden’s policy agenda and whether it would fully address the challenges ahead, Joining me for this discussion was Eugene Steuerle of the Urban Institute, one of the nation’s top experts on the budget, economic growth and taxes.

Biden Presents His Budget

Special Guests: Marc Goldwein, Senior Vice President and Senior Policy Director of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Steve Robinson, Chief Economist of The Concord Coalition.

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Biden Presents His Budget

Thursday, June 03, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we took a close look at President Biden’s much-awaited Fiscal Year 2022 federal budget. My first guest was Marc Goldwein, Senior Vice President and Senior Policy Director of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Later, I was joined by Steve Robinson, Chief Economist of The Concord Coalition.

A Blue Dog's Perspective on Fiscal Responsibility

Special Guests: Representative Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-7)

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A Blue Dog's Perspective on Fiscally Responsible Investment

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

This week's guest on Facing the Future was Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-7th). In addition to serving on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, she Chairs the Blue Dog Coalition's Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility and Government Reform. 

Looking Beyond a Disappointing Jobs Report

Special Guests: Diane Lim, economist.

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Looking Beyond a Disappointing Jobs Report

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, I talked to EcomonistMom.com blogger Diane Lim about the surprisingly weak April jobs report. Then we turned our attention to President Biden's proposals for the "care economy," including their potential to expand the work force and the political difficulty of raising enough revenue to pay for them.

UnRepresented and UnSustainable

Special Guests: Tori Gorman, Policy Director of The Concord Coalition.

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UnRepresented and UnSustainable

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

This week on Facing the Future Tori Gorman and I went to the movies, an appropriate thing to do following the Oscars. We looked at some fiscal policy aspects of an award winning  documentary called UnRepresented, which deals with the influence of money in politics. At the conclusion, I had some observations about the new 2020 U.S. Census data and its implications for future economic growth. It’s not good news.

Don't Keep it in Vegas

Special Guests: Former Ambassador and New Hampshire Congressman Richard Swett, Professor Jayce Farmer of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. 

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Don't Keep it in Vegas

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, former Ambassador and New Hampshire Congressman Richard Swett gave me his thoughts on President Biden’s policy agenda. Then I took a virtual trip to Las Vegas with Concord Coalition National Field Director Phil Smith. We interviewed Jayce Farmer, a professor of public policy at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who has conducted our budget exercise Principles and Priorities with his mid-career graduate students for the past three years. 

The Skinny on Biden's Budget

Special Guests: Richard Jackson, president of the Global Aging Institute. Tori Gorman, Policy Director of The Concord Coalition. Steve Robinson, Chief Economist of The Concord Coalition.

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The Skinny on Biden’s Budget

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

What’s a “skinny budget?” Concord Coalition Policy Director Tori Gorman explains on this week’s Facing the Future podcast. We also look a little deeper into the Biden Administration’s expansive definition of “infrastructure” with Concord Coalition Chief Economist Steve Robinson. Rounding out the podcast is a thought provoking conversation with Richard Jackson, President of the Global Aging Institute, about the macro challenges of population aging. Spoiler alert; it goes beyond the budgetary impact.

Two Views: Biden's Infrastructure Plan 

Special Guests: Ben Ritz, Director of the Center for Funding America’s Future at the Progressive Policy Institute, and Brian Riedl a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

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Two Views: Biden's Infrastructure Plan

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

It was infrastructure week on Facing the Future and we tried to “bridge” the divide between differing perspectives of President Biden’s $2.3 American Jobs Plan. Our guests were Ben Ritz, Director of the Center for Funding America’s Future at the Progressive Policy Institute, and Brian Riedl a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Also joining the conversation was Concord Coalition policy director Tori Gorman.

The Question for Biden: How to Pay the Bills?

Special Guests: Jim Capretta, Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Isabel Sawhill, Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution. Tori Gorman, Policy Director at The Concord Coalition.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat: Reconciliation

On the latest Facing the Future we were joined by Jon Lieber, a Capitol Hill veteran of many important budget negotiations and the current Managing Director of the Eurasia Group and Tori Gorman, Policy Director of The Concord Coalition. We reviewed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, the politics of immigration, and more.  

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Wash, Rinse, Repeat: Reconciliation

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

On the latest Facing the Future, we took a wide-ranging tour of the fiscal policy landscape as the Biden Administration prepares to unveil new proposals that media reports indicate could cost $3 trillion or more without offsets. Our tour guide was Jon Lieber, a Capitol Hill veteran of many important budget negotiations who is now Managing Director of the Eurasia Group. Concord Coalition policy director Tori Gorman joined the conversation.

Detailed Proposals and Fond Farewells

Special Guests: Concord Coalition Policy Director, Tori Gorman, Concord’s National Field Director, Phil Smith, and Director of Health Policy for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Josh Gordon. 

 

We Need a Strategic Plan

Special Guest: Former Comptroller General of the United States, David M. Walker. 

Time to Put the Genie Back in the Bottle? 

Special Guests: Hamilton Project Director and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Wendy Edelberg, and Bill Hoagland, a senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

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Time to Put the Genie Back in the Bottle?

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

On the latest Facing the Future, I was joined by Concord Coalition Executive Director, Robert L. Bixby, Concord's Policy Director, Tori Gorman, and Bill Hoagland, a senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center. We discussed the ongoing reconciliation process.

Also this week, an interview with Hamilton Project Director and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Wendy Edelberg, on COVID-19 relief proposals, which was recorded as part of a recent webinar.

Reconciling Differences: COVID Relief and Immigration Reform

Special Guests: Former Ambassador and immigration attorney, George Bruno, and Concord Coalition Policy Director, Tori Gorman.

Vaccine Distributors and Accountants

Special Guests: Robin Abbott, CEO of the New Hampshire Society of CPAs, and Matt DiLoreto, vice president of state government affairs for the Healthcare Distribution Alliance.

Providing Help Where It's Needed Most

Special Guest: Ben Gitis, a senior policy analyst for the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Economic Policy Project.

Shape of Things to Come: Five Imperatives for Policymakers

Special Guest: Richard Jackson, president of the Global Aging Institute. 

 

Senators Kerrey and Danforth: Bipartisanship and "Regular Order" Needed in Congress

Special Guests: Former U.S. Senators Bob Kerrey (D-NE) and Jack Danforth (R-MO). 

GAO: Guardrails Needed for Long-Term Fiscal Policy

Special Guest: Gene Dodaro, the Comptroller General of the United States and head of the Government Accountability Office.

Reconciling Deficits

Special Guest: Director of the Progressive Policy Institute’s Center for Funding America’s Future, Ben Ritz.

Narrow Margins Call for Compromise

Special Guest: Tim Penny, former U.S. Representative, current president and CEO of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. 

Blog Post

Narrow Margins Call for Compromise

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

On the latest Facing the Future, I was joined by Concord Coalition Executive Director, Bob Bixby, and former Congressman from Minnesota, Tim Penny. We discussed challenges facing the incoming Biden administration and the new Congress as we begin 2021, the importance of long-term fiscal responsibility, and U.S. House of Representatives rules changes that affect PAYGO.

 

Past Show Archive