At Washington University, Experts Explain Budget Challenges

Author: Steve Winn
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The next president will face difficult challenges with the federal budget, and younger Americans have much at stake in whether those challenges are effectively met.

Three speakers delivered that message Thursday to students at Washington University in St. Louis, site of the next presidential debate Sunday.

“The bottom line is that the debt is — under current policies of the federal government — on an unsustainable course,” said Robert L. Bixby, executive director of The Concord Coalition. “That’s something that the next president will have to deal with.”

The program also featured G. William Hoagland, senior vice president of the Bipartisan Policy Center, and Joseph Minarik, senior vice president at the Committee for Economic Development.

Hoagland’s presentation included assurances to the students that they would receive some Social Security benefits. But absent reforms, he cautioned, their benefits would be roughly 27 percent lower than currently scheduled.

Minarik’s remarks included several reasons why fiscal reform is so hard, including political polarization and the fact that “anything you do to try to solve the budgetary problem is going to hurt somebody.”

On Wednesday Washington University students participated in a budget exercise presented by Concord. Co-hosts for both programs were Concord, the Washington University Student Union, WashU Votes, and the university’s Presidential Debate Steering Committee.

These events were part of a series of programs that Concord is presenting at universities where this year’s presidential and vice-presidential debates are being held.

External links:
“Principles & Priorities” — Federal Budget Exercise (Concord)

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