Facing the Future

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The Concord Coalition Turns 30!

September 21st, 2022

This week on Facing the Future, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Concord Coalition by hearing from both national co-chairs of the organization, Democrat and former Nebraska Senator and Governor Bob Kerrey and Republican former Missouri Senator Jack Danforth, about current and future fiscal challenges facing the United States. We are also joined by Rich Ashooh, the coalition's very first New Hampshire state director, who later served as Assistant US Secretary of Commerce.

Declining US Fertility Rates amid Stubbornly High Inflation

September 14th, 2022

This week on Facing the Future, we talk to University of New Hampshire demographer Ken Johnson about the historically low growth in US population, thanks to a 14-year trend of declining fertility rates. It has major implications for future economic growth and the federal budget. Plus, we'll look at the latest inflation numbers, which went slightly higher in August after a decline the previous month. 

Will the Inflation Reduction Act Lower Federal Health Care Spending?

September 7th, 2022

This week on Facing the Future, we closely examine the health care provisions contained in the recently passed "Inflation Reduction Act" with Josh Gordon, Director of Health Policy for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Gordon walks us through the provisions meant to cut prescription drug prices for Medicare recipients and evaluates if these measures and others will reduce overall federal spending on health care. Plus, he has a few reform ideas of his own.

Cancelling College Debt as Another Potential Government Shutdown Looms

August 31st, 2022

This week on Facing the Future, we will look at the fiscal and policy impact of President Biden's controversial decision to forgive up to $20,000 in debt for many Americans who owe money on loans to pay for college. It could cost taxpayers another half a trillion dollars. And we'll also take a look at what might be holding Congress up as they face a deadline of exactly one month to pass a stop-gap budget measure to keep the government funded and avoid another costly federal shutdown.

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.

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