National leaders formed panel to discuss U.S. fiscal issues.
More than 240 attendees packed the Idaho State Capitol Auditorium on Feb. 19 to hear U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo and U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, both of Idaho; U.S. Sen. Mark Warner; former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming; and Maya MacGuineas, president of the non-profit Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget share their thoughts on the fate of the economy during the McClure Symposium’s panel discussion on federal fiscal issues.
Panelists discussed the state of the nation’s fiscal environment and offered possible solutions for overcoming the nation’s financial challenges.
Budget sequestration, tax reform policy, as well as tax code reform and health care costs in relation to tax reform topped discussion by the panelists.
“Only 20 percent of the American people use 80 percent of the stuff in the tax code,” Alan Simpson said, referring to those who itemize deductions on their tax returns.
Tax codes cost the country about $1 trillion per year in lost revenue, added MacGuineas.
“What is driving the debt, more than anything else, is the spending we are making on Medicare and Medicaid,” said Mike Simpson, adding that any policy that would change eligibility of these programs should also address those who are currently receiving these benefits.
The McClure Center for Public Policy Research aims to examine and promote research on public policy and public affairs issues that impact the state, the region and the nation. Foundational to the Center’s work is the promotion of broader public knowledge and understanding ofpolitical and policy making processes, along with the promotion of civic engagement and civil discourse.
“Congress is engaged in a critical discussion about our budget and our nation’s future and I am thrilled we were able to bring that discussion into Idaho living rooms,” Mike Simpson said.
“The University of Idaho’s McClure Center and Idaho Public Television did a tremendous job putting this symposium together and I hope every interested Idahoan tuned in. The budget deficit and national debt are the defining issues of our times and it is important the people of Idaho have a voice in how these issues are addressed.”