The Concord Coalition plans to hold forums this fall in Iowa to focus on the federal budget deficit. Corey Davison of the Concord Coalition is in Iowa this past week laying the groundwork and walking a tightrope — trying not to criticize House Budget Committee chairman Jim Nussle of Iowa who has helped craft the federal budget.”We do not have an opinion on Congressman Nussle,” Davison says. “As a non-profit organization, we do not support, endorse or oppose candidates for office and when you’re talking about Congressman Nussle and his chairmanship of the Budget Committee, it really gets too political for the Concord Coalition to weigh in.” Nussle, as you may know, is running for governor and Davison admits Nussle’s work in Washington is part of that campaign debate. “The budget deficit is down slightly from last year. Last year’s budget deficit was $412 billion; this year (it) will be around $330 billion, so on the positive side it looks like the deficit may be down this year, however, at the Concord Coalition we are deeply concerned that we’ve built in a structural deficit for the next many years,” Davison says. “Some of that is certainly due to the actions taken by the House of Representatives and the Budget Committee.” Davison says he and other Concord Coalition members have met frequently with Nussle to talk about budget concerns. “He has expressed concern, especially on the spending side of the ledger, that Washington is spending a little too much money,” Davison says. “It’s been difficult for (Nussle) to try to reign that in even with his budget chairmanship capacity.” Nussle has repeatedly said federal budget deficits were the unavoidable consequence of a recession, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the subsequent war effort. While recent reports indicate the federal deficit should be lower this year, a Concord Coalition analysis concludes that if current taxing and spending policies continue, the deficit could total five-point-seven trillion dollars over the next 10 years. The coalition’s executive director says there are “deficits as far as the eye can see.” The Concord Coalition’s web address is www.concordcoalition.org.
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