Facing the Future

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Swing Voters and Uncertain Costs

June 17th, 2021

This week on Facing the Future we look at what’s on the minds of swing voters with Rich Thau, President of Engagious, a firm that has been conducting focus groups across the country with people who voted for Trump in 2016 and for Biden in 2020. Then we’ll talk with Concord Coalition Chief Economist Steve Robinson about his new issue brief on the uncertainties of projecting costs for major new programs and why some of the projections in President Biden’s budget might understate the potential costs.

Dead Men Still Ruling: Can We Shift Priorities?

June 9th, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we look at why it has become so difficult to shift budgetary priorities and why that is a problem for the future. Our guest is Eugene Steuerle of the Urban Institute, author of the book Dead Men Ruling. Then, my Concord Coalition colleagues, Tori Gorman and Steve Robinson, join the show to discuss the politics and economics of a big infrastructure spending package.

Biden Presents His Budget

June 3rd, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we look at the polices, numbers and assumptions in President Biden's first budget, which was unveiled last week. My first guest is Marc Goldwein, Senior Vice President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Then, the Concord Coalition's Chief Economist Steve Robinson weighs-in with his first impressions of the budget.

Taxing Choices and Pandemic Progress

May 26th, 2021

On this week's Facing the Future, we look at several ideas for raising revenue to pay for infrastructure with tax policy expert Donald Marron of the Urban Institute. Then we get an update on the fight against COVID-19 with Emory University professor and epidemiologist Dr. Jodie Guest. 

A Blue Dog’s Perspective on Fiscally Responsible Investment

May 19th, 2021

This week's guest on Facing the Future is U.S. Representative Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-7th). In addition to serving on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, she Chairs the Blue Dog Coalition's Task Force on Fiscal Responsibility and Government Reform. We discussed her ideas for needed investments, how they might be responsibly financed and her support for the Trust Act, which aims to prevent several key federal trust funds from reaching insolvency within the next 15 years.

Looking Beyond a Disappointing Jobs Report

May 12th, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, I talked to EcomonistMom.com blogger Diane Lim about the surprisingly weak April jobs report. Then we turned our attention to President Biden's proposals for the "care economy," including their potential to expand the work force and the difficulty of raising revenue to pay for them.

Don’t Keep it in Vegas

May 5th, 2021

This week on Facing the Future we look at President Biden’s ambitious policy agenda with former Ambassador and New Hampshire Congressman Richard Swett. Then we go to Las Vegas with Concord Coalition Field Director Phil Smith and Jayce Farmer, professor of public policy at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, who uses Concord's Principles and Priorities budget exercise with his mid-career graduate students.

UnRepresented and UnSustainable

April 28th, 2021

This week on Facing the Future we go to the movies with a panel discussion on the fiscal policy aspects of an award-winning documentary called UnRepresented. The film deals with forces that amplify the voices of special interests above those of the American voter. Our guests include the film’s executive producer Andrew Rodney, Maya MacGuineas, President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and David Walker, former Comptroller General of the United States. We discussed why deficits should matter to the public, whether to “go” big or “go incremental” on deficit reduction measures, and the pros and cons of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. 

 
 

Nuking the Filibuster: Be Careful What You Wish For

April 21st, 2021

When you're trying to pass legislation in Washington, rules matter. This week on Facing the Future we take a close look at one of the most controversial rules: the Senate filibuster. Our guest is David Schiappa of the Duberstein Group, who spent nearly three decades as a high-ranking Senate staffer providing advice and counsel to Republican leaders. We discuss the background of the filibuster and whether it might be eliminated. Tori Gorman, Concord's policy director leads the conversation. Then, I end the program with a few words about paying the bill for infrastructure.   

The Skinny on Biden’s Budget

April 14th, 2021

New presidents often put out a "skinny budget" early in their administration covering just a portion of federal spending. This week on Facing the Future, we look at President Biden's skinny budget with its $1.5 trillion request for fiscal year 2022 appropriations. Then we delve into a full range of economic and other challenges posed by population aging. Our guest is Richard Jackson, president of the Global Aging Institute.

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