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Robert L. Bixby is the Executive Director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan grassroots organization that educates the public about fiscal responsibility. The Coalition was founded in 1992, and Bixby was named the Executive Director in 1999. Bixby had previously served as the Coalition's Policy Director, National Field Director, and a variety of other roles since 1992.
Bixby was born on August 4, 1955 in Framingham, Massachusetts.
Bixby received his bachelor's degree in political science from American University, a J.D. from George Mason University School of Law, and a master's degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Before coming to the Concord Coalition, Bixby served as the Chief Staff Attorney at the Court of Appeals of Virginia.
In 1992, Bixby worked on the presidential campaign of the late U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas (D-Massachusetts) and became the first Virginia State Director of the Coalition. (Tsongas co-founded the Concord Coalition.) In 1995, Bixby became National Field Director at the Coalition, then Policy Director in 1997, before being named Executive Director in 1999.
Bixby regularly testifies before the U.S. Congress regarding the nation's fiscal policies, national budget plans, and budget deficits and government waste. He was a key member of the Coalition's Fiscal Wake-Up Tour, which began in 2006. The tour runs in conjunction with the Peter G. Peterson Foundation in cities around the country to educate Americans about the growing national debt.
In a PBS News Hour program in November 2008, Bixby was introduced along with former Congressional Budget Office director Robert Reischauer as "two people who have long followed the [federal] budget, the lobbying, and the fights surrounding it, and all the fine print in between." During the segment, Bixby identified programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as spending areas that should be reassessed because they "run on autopilot." Bixby also noted that "a lot of waste...is in the eye of the beholder...What is somebody's waste is somebody else's lifeline from the federal government."
Bixby is frequently cited by the media, speaking on behalf of the Concord Coalition, on issues like the federal deficit and federal budget. He has been quoted by newspapers like the Washington Post on the fiscal impact of the 2010 federal health care reform bill, and the New York Times on how to address the national debt. At the start of 2009, he warned that the federal deficit would have serious long-term consequences and that certain policies like permanent tax cuts and expanding entitlement programs to deal with the recession would only drive the deficit up further. In January 2013, he was cited by the Chicago Tribune for his criticism of Congress' dealing with the fiscal cliff crisis, stating that the congressional deal "solves no difficult problems."