The Budget: More Inside Baseball
by Scott Bittle
This has been a big week for the federal budget – if you can actually follow what they're talking about.
The news has been dominated by the jobs bill, a new twist on the line-item veto that is, not at all helpfully, called "rescission," and a Medicare "doc fix" that infuriates many in the policy world but is sure to fly under the radar for most people. There's an argument to be made that all of these are important, but it's "inside baseball," to say the least. In fact the ultimate in baseball-related confusion is actually easier to follow. And funnier.
Meanwhile, European countries are trying to control the debt crisis that started in Greece by imposing fiscal austerity measures – which at least raise the kind of values questions that people can engage with. Is it more important to stimulate the economy or control national debt? What should the priorities be in government?
That's why the Choosing Our Fiscal Future report focused on four paths to achieve a sustainable budget, ranging from a big-government, high-spending approach to a small-government, low-spending approach. Each path requires different choices and different priorities, and each path could work. Choices also lie at the heart of Students Face Up to the Nation's Finances budget initiative.
Setting priorities and finding common ground will be fundamental to the nonpartisan National Town Meeting planned for June 26.
Find out how you can participate in the town meeting. Public Agenda is a partner in Our Fiscal Future, and you can follow us on Facebook and @Fiscal Future on Twitter.