December 22, 2014

Political Rhetoric on Fiscal Solutions Often Misses the Mark

Political candidates talk a lot about cutting waste and questionable spending on programs that make up only a small part of the federal budget.

But Concord Executive Director Robert Bixby points out in a new op-ed article that the growing costs of three popular programs — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — are central to the large deficits projected for the future.

Writing in the Portsmouth Herald in New Hampshire on Sunday, Bixby noted that two main factors drive the projected cost growth: demographics and health care costs. There will be more Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in the future, and they will inevitably consume more health care services – even as health care inflation continues.

“Put simply: It will cost the government a lot more simply to maintain the same level of services it has provided in the past,” Bixby writes. “No amount of political finger-pointing will change that.”

The article appeared in advance of a visit to the Portsmouth area on Thursday by the Fiscal Solutions Tour.