Here’s the announcement:
Himes to Host Interactive Workshop on Deficit Reduction
FAIRFIELD, CT—Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) will host an interactive workshop this Saturday in Fairfield at 12:30 p.m. for people to share ideas about how to cut the national deficit. Experts from the Concord Coalition will be on hand to lead an exercise where participants will decide what to cut and what to protect as they create their own version of the federal budget.
WHAT: Interactive workshop on cutting the federal deficit
WHEN: Saturday, May 5 from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.
WHERE: Osborn Hill Elementary, All Purpose Room, 760 Stillson Road, Fairfield
The Concord Coalition said today that the new annual report from the Social Security and Medicare Trustees underscores the unsustainable nature of both programs in their current forms and further demonstrates the need for bipartisan cooperation on a comprehensive fiscal reform plan.
Concord has long warned that the public and elected officials should focus on the cash flows in the programs rather than the trust-fund balances that are frequently cited as reassuring. Today’s report notes, for example, that Social Security’s negative cash flows add to the federal deficit despite the positive trust fund balance. Furthermore, Social Security and Medicare had a total cash deficit of $403 billion in 2011, yet from a trust fund perspective they had a surplus of $36 billion.
Health care costs are also expected to grow more rapidly than the economy (GDP) even under the most optimistic assumptions about the success of health care reform. Thus, the combination of health care cost inflation and aging will put increasing strain on the budget in the years ahead. Yet, Washington has repeatedly tried to meet the challenge with rhetoric rather than action.
Some combination of spending reductions and revenue increases from projected levels is needed to prevent the increasing cost of Social Security and Medicare from swamping the rest of the budget.
Ji Himes has some explaining to do.