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.
A common theme of both interviews was that policymakers and citizens alike need to learn, or relearn, how to build trust and resolve differences for the good of the nation.
“If we can’t build bridges between the parties, at least we should be building bridges between the government and the people it serves,” said Swett. “Unless and until that starts happening, I think we’re going to continue to see the kind of upheaval that we’ve seen; the kind of protest that we’ve seen and, quite frankly, the division that we’ve seen in our country’s population. That is not going to be sustainable. That has to be fixed.”
Farmer said that Principles and Priorities gives his students “a chance to see what it’s like to be elected officials having to make difficult decisions.”
“This is a good learning experience for them to understand what elected officials and decision-makers, in general, have to deal with. You have to put aside your personal beliefs and personal values and focus on the priorities of the greater good of society,” Farmer said.
Hear more on Facing the Future. I host the program each week on WKXL, NHTalkRadio.com (N.H.), and it is also available via podcast. Join me and my guests as we discuss issues relating to national fiscal policy with budget experts, industry leaders, and elected officials. Past broadcasts are available here. You can subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeart Radio or with an RSS feed. Follow Facing the Future on Facebook, and watch videos from past episodes on The Concord Coalition YouTube channel.