Making Fiscal Policy More Real, Relatable

Special Guests: Robert L. Bixby, Alison Acosta Winters, Diane Lim

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On Facing the Future, Concord Coalition Executive Director Robert L. Bixby joined me, Senior Policy Fellow in Economic Freedom at Americans for Prosperity Alison Acosta Winters and Senior Advisor at the Penn Wharton Budget Model Diane Lim. They discuss the work of PWBM and AFP on economic and fiscal policy and methods to make such issues more understandable and relatable.


Acosta Winters reminisced with Bixby about their work on the “Fiscal Wake-Up Tour,” saying it is likely time for another bipartisan, nationwide public engagement effort. Acosta Winters also provided an update on recent AFP activities and her policy recommendations to avert a national debt crisis.

“My view is that this really is a spending problem; taxes might be part of an ultimate solution, but I want to focus in on what is the biggest driver of our fiscal imbalance and that is entitlement programs,” she said. “We want them to be affordable and sustainable; we want them to be fair for seniors, but we also want them to be fair for taxpayers both today and in the future.”

She also said that benefits should flow to those that need them the most by increasing minimum benefits, focusing on anti-poverty, reducing benefits for higher-income earners and more.

“Our proposal is … let’s think about putting more emphasis on people that have the least ability to save for retirement,” Acosta Winters said. “We would prioritize resources for Social Security and Medicare more on lower earners.”

Lim, the “Economist Mom,” shared details on her latest endeavor with PWBM, which is a nonpartisan, research-based initiative that provides economic analysis of public policy’s fiscal impact.

“Institutionally, we are not for hire … we’re not being paid to get a certain answer; we’re going to be very objective,” she said. “We have the capability of making these economic models and the results that come out of the models a lot more real, like putting human faces in our economic model.”

Hear more on “Facing the Future.” I host the program each week on WKXL, (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, elected officials and candidates for public office. Past broadcasts are available here. You can now subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play or through RSS.

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