25 Years, 25 Lessons on Fiscal Reform

Submitted by jgordon on Thu, 07/06/2017 - 08:19

The Concord Coalition is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. From the beginning, we have been more than “deficit hawks” with an eye only for balanced budgets. Rather, our focus has always been - and remains - achieving federal budget policies that are sustainable over the long term. We believe that this is an economic imperative and a matter of generational responsibility.

The American People, If Presented With Credible and Understandable Information, Can Make Tough Fiscal Policy Trade-offs

Submitted by jgordon on Wed, 07/05/2017 - 23:35
Over the past 25 years, The Concord Coalition has hosted hundreds of events with lawmakers, universities, civic organizations, trade associations and many others to focus attention on the nation’s long-term fiscal challenges. Our goal has been to present these audiences with straight-forward facts in programs that are free of partisanship and ideology. The message has been simple: Whether you prefer a smaller or larger government, it must be paid for.

The Independence and Credibility of the CBO Are Essential

Submitted by jgordon on Wed, 07/05/2017 - 23:33
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provides a critical service for policymakers and the public: projecting the budgetary and economic impacts of proposed legislation. Since its inception in 1974, CBO has established an unparalleled track record for objectivity and analytical rigor.

Popular Options, Like Cutting Waste, Fraud and Abuse or Growing Our Way Out of Debt, Are Not Enough

Submitted by jgordon on Wed, 07/05/2017 - 23:28
Many politicians who want to simultaneously receive credit for promoting fiscal responsibility while avoiding the tough decisions required often look for easy solutions. The two most common of these are pledges to cut “waste, fraud and abuse” and to “grow our way out of the problem.” These supposedly easy options, however, are not enough to address our nation’s long-term fiscal challenges.

Demographics Drive Our Long-Term Fiscal Challenges

Submitted by jgordon on Wed, 07/05/2017 - 23:20
The heart of the nation’s long-term fiscal challenge is a changing demographic landscape. The ongoing retirement of the baby boom generation will continue to slow the growth rate of the workforce, which will slow potential economic growth (GDP) compared to earlier decades. According to CBO, the average annual growth rate of potential labor was 1.4 percent from 1950 to 2016. Due mostly to the baby boomer retirements, CBO projects that rate will fall to just 0.5 percent by 2027.

Fiscal Policy Remains Unsustainable

Submitted by jgordon on Wed, 07/05/2017 - 14:34
While much has changed in the past 25 years, this fundamental reality has not: Federal budget policy remains on an unsustainable track, driven by structural forces that increase federal spending faster than revenues.

CBO Report Shows the Costs of Procrastination

Submitted by jgordon on Thu, 06/29/2017 - 15:48

WASHINGTON -- The Concord Coalition said today that updated projections by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) underscore the need for President Trump and Congress to turn their attention to the worsening budget outlook.

The Current Health Care Policy Approach Has Fiscal Risks

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 06/27/2017 - 11:07

With the release of the Senate health care proposal and its analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), it’s clear that the House and Senate are taking the same approach on health care policy.

According to CBO, the Senate bill would decrease spending by $1,022 billion and decrease revenue by $701 billion, leading to a total deficit reduction of $321 billion over the 10-year budget window from 2017 to 2026. The House bill was scored as reducing the deficit by $119 billion.

Time to Reform the Debt Limit

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 06/27/2017 - 10:25

Congress has a curious way of doing financial business: It agrees to spend money and then periodically threatens not to pay the resulting bills.

It is a bizarre and potentially dangerous political ritual, unique among national governments around the world, that involves the statutory federal debt limit.

Yet another crisis over raising that limit is looming, and it comes at a time when elected officials in Washington seem to have trouble meeting even their most basic budgetary responsibilities.