Former Social Security and Medicare Public Trustees Launch Oversight Initiative

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 06/27/2017 - 09:47

A new report by Charles Blahous and Robert Reischauer, who up until last year were the public trustees of Social Security and Medicare, highlights the financial challenges facing both programs as part of a new initiative at the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC).

david oman portrait

David Oman is the Senior Strategic Consultant for The Concord Coalition. For four decades, David has held leadership roles in business, government, and politics. His experience includes stints in broadcast journalism, as Chief of Staff to two Governors of Iowa, and as a leader in Iowa state politics. He has a well-earned reputation for working across party lines to accomplish goals and build bipartisan alliances statewide on numerous commissions and councils. David continues to maintain a heavy degree of involvement in Iowa state politics, national politics and public policy deliberations.

David is a native of Cedar Falls, Iowa and a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa. He is a member of the Des Moines Rotary Club.


Picture of Ashley Hunt

Ashley Hunt is the Grassroots and Outreach Director for The Concord Coalition. In this role, Ms. Hunt works with volunteers across the nation in advocating for fiscally responsible federal budget policies and raising awareness of the impact these policies will have on future generations.

Prior to joining The Concord Coalition, Ms. Hunt worked at a bipartisan public affairs, public relations, international counsel, and government affairs firm based out of Des Moines, Iowa, where she specialized in public affairs, grassroots engagement, event management, and issue advocacy. Ms. Hunt worked with clients from a wide range of industries, including health care, energy, and financial and economic organizations to amplify client messaging through earned media, events, and volunteer engagement.

Ms. Hunt has extensive experience in planning and executing large and small scale events, including Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA)’s annual Roast and Ride fundraiser, former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s annual birthday fundraiser, and the Global Insurance Symposium.

Ms. Hunt is graduated from Iowa State University in 2014 with a degree in speech communications and event management.

As Fiscal Pressures Mount, Concord Coalition Forum in Washington Will Look at Key Lessons for the Future

Submitted by jgordon on Thu, 06/22/2017 - 16:16

WASHINGTON -- It’s late June and Washington has no budget, no agreement on health care reform, no sign of tax reform, growing worries about a government shutdown this fall and a looming crisis over the federal debt limit.

How did we get to this point and what is the way forward?

A Concord Coalition forum June 29 in Washington will address these issues, taking a look at the fiscal lessons that have been learned over the last 25 years and how those lessons apply to the major fiscal policy challenges of the next quarter-century.

President Trump's Budget Is 'Incoherent'

Submitted by jgordon on Fri, 06/09/2017 - 15:30
In a recent op-ed Robert L. Bixby, executive director of The Concord Coalition, and Maya MacGuineas, head of the Campaign to Fix the Debt, explain why they have shifted their grade on President Trump's proposed 2018 budget from "incomplete" in March to "incoherent" in its final form. They say the plan assumes away many problems and fails to confront many of the challenges that must be met to put the budget on a sustainable path. This column appeared on June 10 in the The Portsmouth Herald in New Hampshire.

Legislative Concerns About Trump's Budget

Submitted by jgordon on Wed, 06/07/2017 - 16:14

The federal government’s financial problems are so large that all parts of the budget -- from entitlements to defense spending to tax breaks -- should be considered “on the table” for fiscal reform discussions.

Comprehensive, lasting reform will require substantial public sacrifice. As responsible elected officials in both parties have long recognized, this burden will need to be widely shared. Proposals that fail to spread the burden lack both mathematical and political credibility.

CBO Remains Essential to Responsible Budget Decisions

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 06/06/2017 - 16:11

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is responsible for providing Congress and the American public with objective, detailed and non-partisan analysis of current fiscal trends and proposed legislation.

Given the difficulties of that assignment and the stakes that are often involved for elected officials, the CBO inevitably faces some political potshots and second-guessing. Over the years some of that has come from Democrats and some from Republicans.

N.H. Programs Encourage Young Adults to Focus on Fiscal Issues

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 06/06/2017 - 16:10

After a recent “Budgets & Beers” presentation concerning federal budget problems -- notably a massive and growing debt -- I was asked: “What hope do we have for the future?”

That is a good question, one that comes up frequently when people begin to understand the depth of the country’s fiscal problems.

Fortunately, there is much hope  -- especially if younger Americans become more aware of our nation’s fiscal challenges and engaged in the search for solutions.   

Hassett Hearing Brings Realism to Economic Discourse

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 06/06/2017 - 10:13

President Trump’s nominee for chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), Kevin Hassett, appeared before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee for his confirmation hearing on Tuesday.

Mnuchin: Debt Limit Deadline May Be Sooner Than First Expected

Submitted by jgordon on Wed, 05/31/2017 - 16:08

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin warned lawmakers recently that the deadline to raise or suspend the federal debt limit may be sooner than previously thought. The change is due to lower-than-expected tax receipts in April, which is typically the best month of the year for the government’s balance sheet due to tax-filing deadlines.