WASHINGTON, April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Concord Coalition said today that President Obama's proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2014 provides a credible framework for the bipartisan negotiations that are needed to curb the growth of the federal debt over the next decade and beyond. Congress should consider the President's proposals through a House-Senate conference committee as it works on a joint budget resolution.
"While elected officials have made some progress on deficit reduction in the last two years, much remains to be done to rein in the federal debt and ensure that the country is on a sustainable long-term path," said Robert L. Bixby, Concord's executive director. "The President deserves credit for political courage in proposing meaningful savings from entitlement programs, including Medicare, and new revenues from curbing government subsidies in the tax code."
The Concord Coalition has long argued that a combination of entitlement and tax reform will be needed in any plan big enough to stabilize and gradually reduce the nation's debt-to-GDP ratio. The President's budget does a better job than either the House Republicans' blueprint or the Senate Democrats' plan in recognizing this political reality. The fact that the budget is already drawing criticism from both sides is an indication of its strength rather than weakness. If there is no package of mutual compromises, there can be no deal.
Despite this, however, the President's budget would leave the debt-to-GDP ratio higher than either the House or Senate budget committee plans at the end of 10 years. A more ambitious target should be achievable through additional bipartisan negotiations.Many members of Congress have expressed theoretical support for the types of entitlement and tax reforms in the administration's budget -- thus its release will test the level of support in practice.