Dear Secretary Clinton and Mr. Trump,
The Concord Coalition respectfully asks both of you to detail what you intend to recommend that Congress do to put our Federal government’s borrowing, spending and tax policies on a sustainable course. Nonpartisan experts agree that our current path is not sustainable.
Projections by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) make it very clear that an aging population and rising health care costs are putting increasing pressure on the federal budget, threatening to squeeze out other national priorities. As part of The Concord Coalition's 2016 Lookout Campaign, we are urging both of you to provide the American people with specific spending and tax proposals that nonpartisan experts say would place the budget on a sustainable path.
In that regard, here are some pertinent questions we believe you should address:
1. Debt held by the public now stands at 77 percent of the economy (GDP), roughly twice the average over the past 50 years. It is projected to rise to 86 percent by 2026 and 141 percent by 2046. Do you see this as a problem? If so, what do you intend to do about it?
2. Social Security has been running annual cash shortfalls since 2010 and the program’s trustees have projected that the trust fund will run out of money by 2034. Do you see this as a problem? If so, what do you intend to do about it?
3. Medicare’s trustees have projected that the program’s Hospital Insurance trust fund (Part A) will run out of money by 2028. Meanwhile, the trustees warn that the growing cost of Medicare’s Supplemental Insurance trust funds (Parts B and Part D) will put increasing pressure on the rest of the budget. Do you see this as a problem? If so, what do you intend to do about it?
We hope that by addressing these questions, you will help provide voters with a more complete picture of how you plan to deal with our nation’s fundamental fiscal challenges if you become the next president. We believe that is essential information for American voters to have by the time they cast their ballots in November.
Thank you for your willingness to serve in a time of such great challenges and opportunities.
The Concord Coalition