Smith stated that the purpose of his program was
to encourage us to realize the fiscal trends that
were occurring related to revenues and expenses at
the federal government level. Mr.
Smith pointed out that 2010 expenditures currently
exceed revenues by $1.29 trillion and that the
cumulative deficit was $14trillion.
federal spending can be split into two categories
- programs and activities that are considered
"Mandatory" (61% of all expenditures) and programs
and activities that are considered "Discretionary"
(39% of all expenditures).
Part of the
mandatory expenditures is interest on the public
debt which has steadily increased and is projected
to skyrocket as a percentage of US gross domestic
product (GDP). Mr. Smith added that in
addition to concerns over the size of the public
debt, we should also be concerned over the public
policy implications of over 50% of the US debt
being held by foreign investors.
addition to the increasing expenditures for public
debt, mandatory spending includes payments for
social security as well as Medicare and
Medicaid. Mr. Smith indicated that this is a
concern because America's population is aging and
living longer which means there will be more
retired people receiving social security and
Medicare benefits for a longer period of
time. This will increase costs for these
programs as health care costs grow and longevity
Mr. Smith stated that unless
fiscal policies change, expenditures for Social
Security, Medicare, Medicaid and interest on the
public debt will encompass all federal revenues in
Mr. Smith stated that the
Concord Coalition would like to change that
outcome by supporting fiscal policy that addresses
these issues and to that end they are sponsoring a
"Fiscal Solutions" program on March 2, 2011 at the
Commerce Club in Atlanta.
concluded with the following points:
- Current federal fiscal policy is
- There are no easy solutions
- Growth alone cannot solve the problem
- Bi-partisan support will be required
- Public engagement and understanding of the
issues and results is necessary
- It is not just about numbers, it is also a