A Tale of Two Deadlines

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 09/05/2017 - 12:28
Two deadlines converge by coincidence this year. They are not related to one another and the precise consequences of failing to deal with them in a timely manner are different. Missing either of the deadlines, however, has the potential to do harm to the nation’s fiscal situation and the economy. There is certainly no good reason for provoking a standoff on either.

Tax Cuts Don't Pay for Themselves

Submitted by jgordon on Wed, 08/30/2017 - 13:49
Some argue that cutting taxes will generate a level of economic growth sufficient to offset a substantial part, if not all, of the revenue lost. Under this theory, tax cuts do not cause deficits, but generate the growth necessary to reduce deficits. Yet, there is little historical or academic evidence from the past decades to suggest that tax cuts alone pay for themselves.

Washington Needs to Address All Our Needs, Young and Old

Submitted by ahunt on Thu, 08/17/2017 - 14:42

In this guest column originally appearing in The Keene Sentinal, Concord Coalition New England Regional Director Chase Hagaman contends that elected officials in Washington should quit procrastinating and seize opportunities to address our nation's fiscal challenges. 

"You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again.”

Effective IRS Actions Can Help Cut Deficit

Submitted by ahunt on Thu, 08/17/2017 - 11:57

During budget negotiations in the coming weeks, Congress should ensure that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has sufficient funding to effectively enforce the tax laws and improve taxpayer assistance and education services. This would allow the federal government to actually receive more of the taxes it is owed.

A Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution is Not Necessary for Responsible Fiscal Policy

Submitted by jgordon on Fri, 08/11/2017 - 12:50
Many politicians and members of the public who are frustrated with the inability of Congress and the president to make responsible fiscal choices have proposed a seemingly simple solution:  Amend the Constitution to require a balanced budget. While the sentiment behind this idea is understandable, it would be very difficult in practice to compel a balanced budget each year, and attempting to enforce it through the courts would be all but impossible.

It's Easier to Correct Overshooting on Deficit Reduction Than Undershooting

Submitted by jgordon on Thu, 08/10/2017 - 11:33
A common excuse for inaction on federal deficits is that relative to the size of the economy, they aren’t abnormally large and are projected to stay that way for a few more years. Furthermore, current projections may prove to be overly pessimistic, the argument goes, so what reason do today’s policymakers have to act immediately?

Bipartisan Policy Changes Can Put the Debt on a Downward Trajectory

Submitted by jgordon on Wed, 08/09/2017 - 13:11
When The Concord Coalition was founded in 1992, the national debt was on a sharp upward trajectory. Yet just five years later, Democratic President Bill Clinton signed legislation passed by a Republican Congress that implemented the first balanced budget in decades. By the time Clinton left the White House, the Congressional Budget Office was projecting a 10-year surplus of over $5 trillion and there was even discussion about whether the national debt could be paid off entirely.

Looking Back 20 Years at the 1997 Balanced Budget Agreement

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 08/08/2017 - 10:15
This past Saturday marked 20 years since President Bill Clinton signed the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA). The act was the result of an agreement with the Republican-controlled Congress designed to balance the budget by 2002.

Swift Bipartisan Action Needed on Health Care

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 08/01/2017 - 07:20
With the Senate’s failure to pass health care legislation in last week’s votes, Congress should turn to a bipartisan approach. This is needed both to fix the serious, short-term problems with health care marketplaces around the country and to propel health care cost-control initiatives over the longer term.

It’s Important to Distinguish Between Short-Term Cyclical Deficits and Long-Term Structural Deficits

Submitted by swinn on Thu, 07/27/2017 - 13:37
Not all deficits are created equal. In designing policy responses, it is important to distinguish between “cyclical” and “structural” deficits. Cyclical deficits are caused by a weak economy. Recessions drive down government revenue because many workers and businesses are no longer earning as much taxable income. At the same time, government spending rises because more people need assistance through programs such as Medicaid, unemployment benefits and food stamps.