Facing the Future

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State Budgets and Examining ’Replacement Rates’ for Social Security

August 17th, 2022

This week on Facing the Future, we take a deep dive into how state budgets are put together, where they get their revenue, and where the money goes. Turns out, states have some of the same long-term debt problems the federal government does. Then we hear from Concord Coalition Chief Economist Steve Robinson on his new issue brief looking at whether the level of working income Social Security replaces for older Americans needs reform.

Reconciliation Bill on Climate and Health Care Passes While Inflation Shows Signs of an Ebb

August 10th, 2022

This week on Facing the Future, we have an in-house panel discussion with congressional and economic experts from the Concord Coalition including policy director Tori Gorman and chief economist Steve Robinson to discuss the Senate passage of the budget reconciliation bill including many of President Biden's domestic agenda priorities on health care and measures to address climate change, plus take a look at fresh new economic data that shows inflation may be starting to ebb while the job market remains strong.

CBO Long-Term Budget Outlook: Rising Deficits, Debt and Economic Challenges

August 3rd, 2022

This week on Facing the Future, we have the privilege of hearing from Dr. Phillip Swagel, Director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The CBO just released its annual long-term budget outlook which shows that after a brief couple of years of shrinking budget deficits, over the long-term the national debt will almost double, leading to restrained economic growth. Concord's chief economist Steve Robinson and policy director Tori Gorman also join the conversation.

The Growing Cost of Russia’s War in Ukraine

July 27th, 2022

This week on Facing the Future, we revisit the war in Ukraine - literally. We get an on-the-ground account from the front lines of Russia's deadly invasion of Ukraine and its devastating human impact from reporter Jason Beaubien, who has been covering the war for NPR. Later on in the program, a big picture strategic assessment of the choices and higher costs facing the US as the war grinds on from national security and foreign policy expert Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution.

Making the ’Case’ in Congress for Fiscal Discipline

July 20th, 2022

This week on Facing the Future, we hear from Hawaii Democratic Congressman Ed Case about the sometimes lonely struggle in Congress to convince his colleagues to pay for the programs they support, and find ways to address the long-term national debt and solvency of Medicare and Social Security. We also get analysis of a new report that shows how Congress routinely gives the Defense Department billions of your money more than the Pentagon asks for. 

Budget Reconciliation Package for Biden Domestic Agenda has a Pulse

July 13th, 2022

This week on Facing the Future, we take a look at legislation that seems to be making its way through Congress that may just salvage a bit of President Biden's domestic agenda. It even includes some deficit reduction elements, new taxes, and prescription drug price reductions for Medicare. Concord Coalition's policy director Tori Gorman and chief economist Steve Robinson join the conversation, as we also look at the latest economic data and a new issue paper on how the national debt burdens future generations.

How Should We Fix Social Security?

June 29th, 2022

This week on Facing the Future, we are joined once again by Marc Goldwein, Senior Vice President and Senior Policy Director with the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, as we look at various options to fix Social Security. A recent report from the trustees of the Social Security trust fund estimates that the trust fund will be insolvent by 2035 if Congress doesn't take major action. Insolvency could lead to major benefit cuts for retirees and the disabled. Concord's policy director Tori Gorman and chief economist Steve Robinson also join the discussion.

The DC Economic Conundrum

June 22nd, 2022

This week on Facing the Future, it looks like the economic party is really over. After nearly 15 years of extremely low interest rates leading to economic stimulus, tax cuts, and spending and borrowing sprees, we now have the highest inflation in 40 years. But as the federal reserve tries to lower inflation by hiking interest rates, many economists and DC politicians are now openly acknowledging that we may be headed for a recession.  So what can Congress and the Biden administration do? Concord Coalition policy director Tori Gorman and chief economist Steve Robinson join me.     

Social Security and Medicare Creep Towards Insolvency

June 15th, 2022

This week on Facing the Future, we once again return to an all-star panel of Concord Coalition experts to examine the latest reports from the Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds.  Those reports show that without major action by Congress, the Medicare Trust Fund will be out of money by 2028, and the Social Security Trust Fund will be depleted by 2035. Concord Communications Director Av Harris sits in as guest host.   

David Gergen: It’s time for Baby Boomers to Pass the Baton

June 8th, 2022

This week on Facing the Future, we hear from Harvard Kennedy School of Government professor of public service David Gergen, who served as a White House Advisor to four US presidents (Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Clinton). Gergen has written a new book called "Hearts Touched with Fire: How Great Leaders are made." His main conclusion: It's time for the Baby Boomer generation to exit stage left and pass the baton of leadership onto Generation X, Millenials, and Gen-Z. 

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