Facing the Future

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Don‘t Forget Social Security and Medicare Challenges

September 15th, 2021

This week on Facing the Future we got a thorough briefing on the latest Social Security and Medicare Trustees’ Report from Dr. Charles Blahous, a former Public Trustee of the two programs and now Senior Research Strategist at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Concord Coalition Chief Economist Steve Robinson joined the conversation.With Congress considering major new spending plans, and trying to figure out how to pay for it all, the annual report of Social Security and Medicare trustees was released on August 31. It was a timely reminder that Congress still hasn't figured out how to pay for some of the big programs we already have.

Negotiating Infrastructure as Concord Hits the Road

September 8th, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we discuss a number of important topics. First, we’ll talk with Representative Carolyn Bordeaux (GA 7th) who helped negotiate an agreement with Speaker Nancy Pelsoi for a firm date (September 27) to vote on the Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure bill. Then we’ll hear from Concord Coalition National Field Director Phil Smith and Colorado Fiscal Lookout Brian Carter about a series of events they conducted in Colorado last week. Finally, we’ll turn back to Washington where the Social Security and Medicare Trustees issued their 2021 report last week. Concord Coalition Policy Director Tori Gorman and Chief Economist Steve Robinson join me to assess the report.

Big Budget Choices Loom in September

September 1st, 2021

This week on Facing the Future we talk with Austin Smythe, a former top congressional staffer and executive branch official, about the potential costs and legislative prospects for a major spending and tax bill this fall implementing President Bidne's agenda. We also consider the process and politics of raising the nation's debt limit. Concord Coalition policy director Tori Gorman joins the conversation.

States Have Budgets Too

August 26th, 2021

This week on Facing the Future we compare the problems of the federal budget with the problems of a state budget, specifically New Hampshire’s budget. Points of comparison include, how the budget is put together, what the money is spent on, how the money is raised and whether there are structural issues that affect future policy options? Our guest is Phil Sletten, Senior Policy Analyst at the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute, an independent, non-profit policy research organization in Concord NH, where Phil has worked since 2016. 

Alzheimer’s Drug Has BIg Costs and Many Questions

August 17th, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we turn to health care and the brewing controversy over Aduhelm, a new drug for treating Alzheimer's Disease that was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Is it effective, will it be covered by Medicare and how much will it cost? We’ll ask Josh Gordon, Director of Health Policy at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Then we'll look at where things stand in Washington as the two parties move from a bipartisan infrastructure bill to a one-party budget resolution. Concord Coalition Policy Director Tori Gorman and Steve Robinson join the conversation.

Bipartisan Race to the Bottom

August 11th, 2021

This week on Facing the Future we talked with Tom Kahn, a veteran Democrat congressional staffer who is concerned that both parties have abandoned fiscal responsibility. Tom gave us his take on the latest budget battles in Washington. Concord’s National Field Director Phil Smith joined the conversation.

Pay-for Potholes and Budget Clues

August 5th, 2021

This week on Facing the Future we sort through several fast-breaking budget developments in Washington, including the Senate's bipartisan infrastructure plan and the upcoming budget resolution. Capitol Hill veterans Tori Gorman and Steve Robinson help me examine whether the infrastructure bill is paid for and what clues the budget resolution will give us about the even bigger "reconciliation" bill expected this fall.

Why the National Debt Still Matters

July 28th, 2021

This week on Facing the Future we talk with Richard Jackson, President and Founder of the Global Aging Institute, and the author of a timely new paper titled, Why the National Debt Still Matters. The paper explains why it is wishful thinking to believe that America can continue to run up the national debt without placing its future at risk and why current budget projections may greatly understate the future debt burden.

What’s Up With Inflation?

July 22nd, 2021

This week on Facing the Future we jump into the inflation debate. Are recent price increases something to be concerned about and how does inflation affect the economic outlook? Our guest is Robert Carroll, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Analysis of the US Treasury Department and currently Co-leader of the Ernst & Young Quantitative Economics and Statistics (QUEST) group. Concord Policy Director Tori Gorman joins the conversation.

Why the Debt Limit Doesn’t Control the Debt

July 15th, 2021

This week on Facing the Future we’ll look at the nation’s statutory debt limit. What is it? Why doesn’t it work to control the growing debt and are there viable alternatives? To get answers and perspectives, we’ll talk to Susan Irving, of the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  Sue is Senior Advisor to the Comptroller General of the United States and she specializies in federal debt and fiscal issues. Concord Coalition Policy Director Tori Gorman joins me for the conversation.

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