Trump Budget Is a Confession of Failure on Fiscal Challenges

Submitted by swinn on Mon, 02/12/2018 - 14:12

WASHINGTON -- President Trump’s proposed budget for Fiscal 2019 falls far short of what is needed to put the nation’s finances on a sustainable path, particularly in light of the deficit-financed spending and tax breaks that he and Congress approved in the last two months.

Robert L. Bixby, executive director of The Concord Coalition, issued the following statement today:

This budget is essentially a confession of failure on dealing with the nation's fiscal challenges.

Spending Deal Rejects Any Semblance of Fiscal Responsibility

Submitted by swinn on Wed, 02/07/2018 - 23:17

When 2017 began the nation had a new Congress, a new president and an old problem: debt on an unsustainable path. One year later, the new Congress and the new president have done nothing to address the old problem. In fact, they have made it worse.

The tax cut that was passed with great fanfare just before Christmas and celebrated as a “gift” to the American people will add at least one trillion dollars to the debt we are leaving to our children.

New Concord Radio Program Focuses on Fiscal Challenges

Submitted by swinn on Tue, 02/06/2018 - 11:17

Former Senator Bob Kerrey and Concord Coalition Executive Director Robert L. Bixby discussed the nation’s difficult fiscal challenges this week in the inaugural broadcast of Concord’s radio program “Facing the Future.”

Warnings on the Debt Limit

Submitted by swinn on Tue, 02/06/2018 - 09:47

In part because of new deficit-financed tax cuts, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has moved up its projection for when lawmakers must act on the federal debt limit to the first half of March.

That projection had previously been late March or early April.

If Congress fails to raise the $20.5 trillion debt limit in time, CBO reminded them in a report last week, it “would ultimately lead to delays of payments for government activities, a default on the government’s debt obligations, or both.”

Rising Interest Rates Will Increase Federal Budget Challenges

Submitted by swinn on Mon, 02/05/2018 - 16:31

Last week brought some good news for the economy and challenging news for the federal budget.

The good news was a solid jobs number -- a gain of 200,000 in January -- and an even more promising gain in average hourly wages to 2.9 percent from a year earlier. Combined with steady, if unspectacular, growth of 2.6 percent at an annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2017, the economy seems to be doing pretty well.

Deficit of Debt Discussion in State of the Union

Submitted by jgordon on Wed, 01/31/2018 - 10:08

It is deeply disappointing that in his first State of the Union Address President Trump failed to mention the state of the nation’s finances.

He could have told the American people that the national debt is at its highest level relative to the economy since the end of World War II and is on an unsustainable path.

He could have warned that health care and retirement income programs, primarily Medicare and Social Security, are steadily growing on autopilot faster than the revenues needed to pay for them as the population ages.

GAO Reports on Medicare's Expensive Prescription Drug Spending

Submitted by jgordon on Mon, 01/29/2018 - 14:41

A recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) highlights how current law can boost the costs of certain expensive drugs through Medicare.

The report focuses on the pricing of Medicare Part B drugs, which are usually administered under a doctor’s supervision. In 2015 Medicare spent $26 billion on Part B drugs.

In Memory of Ed Lorenzen

Submitted by jgordon on Mon, 01/29/2018 - 11:03

Fiscal responsibility lost a great champion on Friday with the tragic death of Ed Lorenzen and his youngest son.

At The Concord Coalition we lost a valued colleague and cherished friend.

Our hearts go out to Ed’s family, including his two surviving children, and to our friends at the Committee For a Responsible Federal Budget where Ed worked for the past several years.

The deep sense of loss we all feel with Ed’s passing can only be mitigated, in part, by the gratitude we feel for having known him.

The High Cost of Stop-Gap Budget Measures

Submitted by swinn on Fri, 01/26/2018 - 12:55

No sooner had Congress approved its fourth budget stop-gap measure in four months than lawmakers began talking about the need for a fifth one in February.

On Wednesday the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, Majority Whip John Cornyn, raised the possibility that “we may be talking about March” before lawmakers can reach an agreement on spending caps and a final catch-all spending bill for the current fiscal year.