urban institute nonprofit social and economic policy research

Event: Trillions of Reasons to Get Serious about Our Fiscal Future

Thursday, February 25, 2010
Noon–1:30 p.m. ET

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Audio Recording

It’s not exactly news -- to Congress, the White House, and now many outside of elite circles -- that the federal budget is out of control. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid make up more than 40 percent of spending other than interest during a normal year and all are growing faster than the economy and tax revenues. Yet, Congress has kept the overall tax burden remarkably constant as a share of gross domestic product for most of the past 50 years. Together, these factors lead to sky-high deficits, an exploding national debt, and the specter of economic collapse.

But now what? With major studies -- such as “Choosing the Nation’s Fiscal Future,” released last month by the National Research Council and National Academy of Public Administration, and the Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform’s “Red Ink Rising” -- showing how desperate our fiscal straits are, what will it take for the public and politicians to move beyond overheated rhetoric and threats of political reprisals? 


Richard Keil
Richard Keil, director of media relations, Public Strategies, Inc.; former chief White House correspondent, Bloomberg News

Maya MacGuineas
Maya MacGuineas, president, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Rudolph Penner
Rudolph Penner, Institute fellow, Urban Institute; former director, Congressional Budget Office

Margaret Simms
Margaret Simms, Institute fellow and director of the Low-Income Working Families project, Urban Institute

Eugene Steuerle
Eugene Steuerle, Institute fellow, Urban Institute (moderator)

Ruth Wooden
Ruth Wooden, president, Public Agenda; former president, Advertising Council

- Bios (pdf)
- Wooden: Summing Up Public Opinion on Federal Debt and Deficits (pdf)

At the Urban Institute
2100 M Street N.W., 5th Floor, Washington, D.C.
Lunch will be provided at 11:30 a.m. The forum begins promptly at noon.

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