Facing the Future

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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.

A Grand Strategy of Resolute Restraint

July 7th, 2021

This week on Facing the Future we turn to national security. Our guest is Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution, author of the new book Waging War in a Time of Peace. We'll discuss his concept of "resolute restraint" and why the economy, including the level of debt, is a national security issue.

Navigating Uncharted Waters

July 1st, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, we set sail on uncharted economic waters with Joe Minarik, Senior Vice President and Director of Research at the Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board. Joe was Chief Economist at the Office of Management and Budget for all eight years of the Clinton Administration. We discussed the post-pandemic economic recovery and an idea he has for tackling the pandemic debt. Concord Coalition Policy Director Tori Gorman joined the conversation.

Kerrey and Danforth: Address the Debt and Meet in the Middle

June 23rd, 2021

This week on Facing the Future, Concord Coalition Co-Chairs Bob Kerrey and Jack Danforth discuss their recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, "How Long Can America Keep Borrowing?" They argue that our fiscal challenges are worse than in 1994 when they chaired a bipartisan presidential commission. They also argue that a Senate Centrist Caucus could help forge consensus.

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.

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