September 2, 2014

CONCORD COALITION RELEASES REPORT ON FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY: "DEFICITS, DECEPTION AND DENIAL RATE A FAILING GRADE"

WASHINGTON -- The Concord Coalition today released a new Report on Fiscal Responsibility entitled Deficits, Deception and Denial Rate a Failing Grade. This report grades Congress and the Administration on the choices that they make – or fail to make - in promoting fiscal responsibility and paving a long-term sustainable path for entitlement spending.

“The first six months of the 108th Congress were the most fiscally irresponsible in recent memory. The crux of the problem was a schizophrenic pursuit of small government tax policies and big government spending initiatives,” said The Concord Coalition.

“If fiscal discipline bent too far in the 107th Congress, it finally snapped in the 108th. Policymakers need to stop the hemorrhage of red ink, face up to the necessary trade-offs and negotiate a new balanced budget plan. Without restoring such a firm goal, fiscal policy will continue its downward spiral.”

The following is a summary of Concord's Report on Fiscal Responsibility:

 

CATEGORY

GRADE

COMMENTS

Overall: 

F

Current “fiscal policy” is characterized by deficits, deception and denial.  Three strikes and you're out.  It earns a failing grade. 

Short-Term: Enacting measures that maintain fiscal responsibility over the next 1-2 years

D

Fiscal year 2003 is expected to end with a record deficit of more than $400 billion -- roughly $600 billion excluding Social Security.  More alarming than the growing short-term deficit is policymakers' growing willingness to justify deficits of this size as “moderate and manageable.”  Complacency with a deficit at 4 percent of GDP is an open invitation to even higher deficits.

Medium-Term: Enacting measures that are fiscally responsible over the next 10 years

F

Coming on top of an already problematic 10-year outlook, actions taken so far this year -- principally a major new tax cut and work on a Medicare prescription drug benefit -- make a period of prolonged deficits almost certain. This goes a step beyond deficits caused by understandable temporary factors. It is a deliberate decision to risk deficits throughout the coming decade. And it comes despite the fact that the only plan for dealing with the fiscal pressure of the boomers' retirement in the following decade is to run even bigger deficits.

Long-Term:  Enacting measures that deal with the entitlement financing gap and ensure fiscal sustainability

F

Medicare and Social Security already promise far more in future benefits than they can afford to deliver.  Washington's apparent remedy for the long-term fiscal challenge is to add trillions more for a Medicare prescription drug benefit, rally around the “Do Nothing” plan for Social Security and pile even more fiscal burdens on the backs of future taxpayers by running up the national debt.

For the full text of The Concord Coalition's Report on Fiscal Responsibility, follow this link:
/fedbudget/old-doc/030714fiscalresponsibilityrpt.pdf
(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

The Concord Coalition is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to balanced federal budgets and generationally responsible fiscal policy.  Concord's co-chairs are former Senators Warren B. Rudman (R-N.H.) and Bob Kerrey (D- Ne.).  Former Commerce Secretary Peter G. Peterson serves as President of The Concord Coalition.

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