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Top Budget Experts Discuss Importance of Taking the Long View

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Washington, D.C. – Deep concern that federal budget decisions reflect only short-run considerations and fail to address looming fiscal threats drew top budget experts together to examine how the government should take a longer term approach to addressing budget challenges.

Fixing Fiscal Myopia: Why and How We Should Emphasize the Long Term in Federal Budgeting states in the final chapter:

“Focusing the budget process on only one or two years invites short-sighted decisions, as well as budgetary games that shift costs to points that are beyond the normal ten-year budget window. If the budget process is to focus more effectively on the long term, a fiscal goal should be agreed to by the president and Congress.”

The five chapters were authored by top budget experts including David Wessel, C. Eugene Steuerle along with Caleb Quakenbush, Rudolph G. Penner, Barry Anderson, and Philip Joyce along with G. William Hoagland. The lead authors will discuss the publication at an event at the Bipartisan Policy Center today at 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. which will also be webcast.

The report carries with it a “Statement of Support” with 22 signatures, including from high-level advisors to the project such as former Congressional Budget Office Directors Alice Rivlin and Robert D. Reischauer, and former Senator Pete V. Domenici.

“Changes suggested in this publication can make a difference in providing appropriate information on the long-term effects of policies, as well as making budgetary costs more accurate and transparent and creating incentives for policymakers to act in the long-term interest of the country,” said G. William Hoagland, senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center and one of the co-authors of the new report