September 18, 2014

Reaching for Consensus on Reforms

Pointing to warnings from congressional budget experts and the trustees who oversee Medicare and Social Security, The Concord Coalition’s Midwest regional director recently emphasized the importance of simultaneously dealing with immediate economic problems while laying the groundwork for broad fiscal reforms. Sara Imhof made those points at a public deficit-reduction exercise last night in Ann Arbor -- co-hosted by Concord and U.S. Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) -- and in a guest column Friday in the Detroit Free Press

“Short-term support for today’s struggling economy should be accompanied by plans for comprehensive, long-term fiscal reforms that can be phased in as the economy strengthens,” Sara Imhof said in the column. “Otherwise we will leave our children and future generations with enormous debt, lower living standards and a diminished U.S. role in the world.”

Imhof’s column noted that in April the trustees for the country’s two largest entitlement programs issued their annual report, which underscored the fact that both Social Security and Medicare face growing cash deficits and are on unsustainable paths.

Discussing deficit-reduction exercises such as the one in Ann Arbor, Imhof wrote that Concord had found that Americans across the country can “discuss their different views on federal budget priorities and find consensus on ways to slice trillions of dollars from projected deficits.”

Dingell said after the event: “The budget exercise showed us that tough decisions and trade-offs can be done in a responsible, balanced manner. I am going to take these lessons back to Washington with me as Congress continues to debate a plan to deal with our long-term deficits.”

Read more with How Would You Trim the Federal Deficit?