President's Speech to Congress Overlooks Fiscal Challenges

Submitted by jgordon on Wed, 03/01/2017 - 13:14

WASHINGTON -- The Concord Coalition expressed concern tonight that President Trump’s speech to a joint session of Congress failed to discuss in any detail how his administration planned to meet the nation’s key fiscal challenges or finance his new proposals.

Pension Protection Programs Need Further Repairs Soon

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 02/28/2017 - 14:11

With large numbers of baby boomers moving into their retirement years, the federal government corporation that insures pension benefits for nearly 40 million workers and retirees faces growing difficulties that require Washington’s urgent attention.

Trump's Troublesome Tweet on the Debt

Submitted by jgordon on Mon, 02/27/2017 - 14:05

President Trump’s Saturday morning tweet on the national debt left many budget watchers scratching their heads about its dubious factoid and irrelevant comparison.

Here’s what Trump said:

“The media has not reported that the National Debt in my first month went down by $12 billion vs a $200 billion increase in Obama first mo.”

The facts are accurate but meaningless.

CBO Report Shows 'Welfare' Isn't Driving Deficits

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 02/21/2017 - 14:01

new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that non-health means-tested government programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as food stamps) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), are growing at a much slower rate than other federal benefit programs. The report analyzed both spending trends over the past decade and projections for the upcoming decade.

New Report on Health Care Costs Should Provide Focus for Secretary Price

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 02/21/2017 - 13:58

In the release of their annual projections for National Health Expenditures (NHE), the federal government's chief health care actuaries see the sector growing to represent one-fifth of the entire economy by 2025 (up from 18 percent in 2016). Understanding this growth and how to moderate it should be front-and-center for newly confirmed Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price.

A Roadmap for Savings, Better Tax Collection

Submitted by jgordon on Fri, 02/17/2017 - 13:56

President Trump and many lawmakers in both parties have promised to attack waste and substantially improve government efficiency. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has just handed them a long list of opportunities to do so in its latest “High Risk List.”

Rising Interest Costs Increase Pressure on the Budget

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 02/07/2017 - 13:54

With interest rates in recent years far below traditional levels, it has been easy for American taxpayers and their political leaders to overlook one of the chief drawbacks of the federal debt: the borrowing costs.

But as Congressional Budget Office (CBO) officials have made clear recently, there is good reason for elected officials and the public to start paying more attention to what the government pays in interest -- and how rapidly these payments will rise in the coming years unless big changes are made in the federal budget.

Three Key Points for President Trump and Congress to Consider When Drafting a Budget

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 01/31/2017 - 09:54

On Jan. 24, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its budget and economic projections for the next 10 years showing a $9.4 trillion cumulative increase in budget deficits. The projections assume that current law remains in place.

The Concord Coalition urges President Trump and the new Congress to be mindful of three key points derived from CBO reports:   

1. Absent serious policy changes, fiscal policy will remain on an unsustainable course.

Trump Needs a Wall of Fiscal Discipline

Submitted by jgordon on Mon, 01/30/2017 - 13:50

In an interview on Fox News last week, President Trump said that he would like to have a balanced budget “eventually,” but not at the expense of higher spending for the military.

“So a balanced budget is fine,” Trump said. “But sometimes you have to fuel the well in order to really get the economy going. And we have to take care of our military. Our military is more important to me than a balanced budget because we’ll get there with a balanced budget.”

Remembering Paul E. Tsongas

Submitted by jgordon on Tue, 01/24/2017 - 13:46

Last week marked a sad anniversary at The Concord Coalition. On Jan. 18, 1997, former U.S. senator and Concord Coalition co-founder Paul E. Tsongas passed away.

Twenty years later, his example and vision continue to guide us.

Upon his death, The Concord Coalition issued a statement about him and his legacy that we republish below.