Facing the Future

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As 2021 Comes to a Close, Unfinished Business Dominates 2022 Congressional Agenda

December 29th, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we’ll have an all-star panel from the Concord Coalition join us to look back on the budget and economic developments of 2021 and what they all mean for the policy debates of 2022. We'll discuss the biggest surprises, what gives us the most concern for the new year and what gives us some hope.

The Vital Role of Immigration

December 22nd, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we talk with Richard Jackson, president of the Global Aging Institute, about his new paper, “The Vital Role of Immigration in an Aging America.” The paper explains that even as immigration to the United States has been declining, its importance to the nation’s demographic and economic growth has been increasing.
Then we have a follow-up conversation with two immigration activists who come at it from different perspectives.

Political dysfunction confronts inflation and debt

December 16th, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we discuss congressional dysfunction; whether it has grown in recent years and why it matters. Our guests are former Congressman, Paul Hodes, Democrat of New Hampshire and political analyst Matt Robison who co-host WKXL's "Beyond Politics" Then, Concord Coalition Policy Director Tori Gorman and Chief Economist Steve Robsinson join me for a roundup of recent developments on the Build Back Better Act, the debt limit, and inflation. 

Keeping an Eye on COVID and the Debt Limit

December 8th, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we discuss the outlook for the COVID-19 pandemic with Dr. Jodie Guest, an epidemiologist and professor at the Rollins School of Public Health and School of Medicine at Emory University in Atlanta Georgia. Then, we turn our attention to another problem we can’t seem to get rid of - the statutory debt limit. Our guest for this segment is Rachel Snyderman, an associate director with the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Economic Policy Project.

New Health Benefits, But For How Long?

December 1st, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we turn our attention to the health care provisions in the House-passed version of the Build Back Better Act. Those include expanded premium subsidies for health insurance plans purchased under the Affordable Care Act, a new Medicare hearing benefit and price negotiation for Medicare pharmaceuticals. Will they get through the Senate?  We discuss this with Josh Gordon, Director of Health Policy for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

If Your Taxes Go Up, Will You Know It?

November 24th, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, Concord Coalition Policy Director Tori Gorman and Chief Economist Steve Robinson joined me for a look at the challenges ahead for the Build Back Better Act, which has now passed the House and moved on to the Senate. Then, Concord’s Communications Director Av Harris joined me and Steve for a discussion of Steve’s latest issue brief, “Will President Biden Raise Your Taxes and How Will You Know?”

Can the Democrats Message ”Yes”

November 16th, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we looked at some of the hurdles for the Build Back Better Act as it moves to the Senate. Democrats still have some internal disagreements on substance while the administration looks for the right messaging strategy. We also took a virtual trip to West Virginia for a conversation with Professor Karen Kunz and two of her graduate students in public administration at West Virginia University.

Building Back Better Bang for the Buck

November 10th, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we explore the potential economic effects of the Build Back Better Act and the cost of making its temporary provisions permanent. A vote on the House version of the bill is expected next week. Then we’ll consider the economic feedback of federal spending on infrastructure, a subject that is front and center with final passage last week of the bipartisan infrastructure bill.   Helping us sort through these issues is Kent Smetters, Faculty Director of The Penn Wharton Budget Model.

Democratic Supply-side Economics

November 3rd, 2021

Democrats in Congress are pushing to finalize a broad social spending and climate change plan that would cost about $1.8 trillion over 10 years and be paid for with a number of new tax provisions targeted at large corporations and households earning more than $400,000 a years. This week on Facing the Future, we discuss the economic strengths and weaknesses of this plan (i.e., the Build Back Better Act). Our guest is Bill Gale a senior fellow in the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution. Concord Coalition Policy Director Tori Gorman joins the conversation.

A Wealth of Tax Problems

October 27th, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we look at various proposals on paying for the roughly $2 trillion social spending bill that Democrats hope to pass soon. These include familiar ideas like raising rates on corporations and upper-income households, to new ideas like implementing some form of a "wealth tax."  We'll also look at the potential for raising revenue through better enforcement of existing laws and the amount we lose through ill-targeted "tax expenditures." Tax policy expert, and former top congressional staffer,  Pete Davis is our guest.

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