Facing the Future

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Cutting it Close on Shutdown and Default

September 29th, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we’ get a bipartisan view of a big week in Washington from two veteran Capitol Hill staffers, Bill Hoagland Senior Vice President of the Bipartisan Policy Center and Joe Minarik Senior Vice President and Director of Research at the Committee for Economic Development. Concord Coalition Policy Director Tori Gorman, herself a veteran of many legislative battles, joins the conversation. We' discuss a potential government shutdown, a debt limit stand-off, and a Democratic "reconciliation" bill that would greatly expand social spending and raise taxes to pay for it. This isn’t quite the budgetary Super Bowl, but we’re certainly in the playoffs.

The Arrhythmia of Federal Finances

September 21st, 2021

This week on Facing the Future we’ll get a status report on the economy, the long-term fiscal outlook, the debt limit, and the challenges of monetary policy in the post-pandemic environment. Our guest is Peter Fisher, Senior Fellow at the Center for Business, Government & Society at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, where he also serves as a Clinical Professor. With Congress facing deadlines crucial deadlines and the Federal Reserve pondering policy changes in the face of rising inflation, there is a lot to discuss. 

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.

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