The Human Side of the Fiscal Crisis

On March 10, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget hosted a terrific event entitled America at a Crossroad: The Human Side of the Fiscal Crisis. The event was made possible by the MacArthur Foundation. The event goes into two reasonably likely but different scenarios. In Scenario One, we risk "Fiscal Gridlock", in which our policymakers do not change our current fiscal path. (Our debt is now projected to rise forever, which experts consider unsustainable).. In Scenario Two, our leaders enact a fiscal recovery package, which would put us back on a sustainable budget track.

There were four different panels: The High Cost of Doing Nothing for Everyday Life and the U.S. Economic Future, The High Cost of Doing Nothing for the Generations and the Vulnerable, what the United States can learn from other countries who have gone or are going through fiscal. The event brought together an all-star cast of experts and key players, who offered valuable perspectives on our fiscal challenges. The event reminded us that there is very powerful motivation to move forward sooner rather than later: most people would be less well off if our leaders failed to put this nation back onto a sustainable fiscal path, and took action only when forced to do so in a crisis. When we fiscal wonks talk about problems related to our unsustainable debt-to-GDP ratio, we are in fact talking about real people and their lives.

You can follow the event on twitter at #fiscalchoices.

 

This event is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Agenda

8:30 am to 9:00 am - Registration

9:00 am to 9:05 am - Welcome

William Frenzel
Co-chair, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

9:05 am to 9:30 am -America’s Fiscal Choices at A Crossroad: The Human Side of the Fiscal Crisis

Paper presentation, announcement of fiscal video contest winners “Voices of America”, and premier of winning videos

Anne Vorce
Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
New America Foundation

9:30 am to 10:30 am - The High Cost of Doing Nothing for Everyday Life and the US Economic Future

Andy Stern (presentation)
Georgetown Public Policy Institute

Lenny Mendonca
McKinsey Global Institute

Derek Thompson
The Atlantic

10:30 am to 11:30 am - The High Cost of Doing Nothing for the Generations and the Vulnerable

John Rother
AARP

Ryan Schoenike (presentation)
Young Americans for Debt Awareness

Deborah Weinstein (presentation)
Coalition for Human Needs

11:30 am to 12:30 pm - International Examples: What to Do and What Not to Do

Martin Baily (presentation)
The Brookings Institution

Carlo Cottarelli
International Monetary Fund

Peter Matheson (presentation)
Embassy of the United Kingdom

12:30 pm to 12:40 pm - Break (Boxed Lunches will be provided)

12:45 pm to 1:45 pm - How We Move Forward and Lessons From the Past

Norman Ornstein
American Enterprise Institute

William Hoagland
CIGNA

Joseph Minarik
Committee for Economic Development

Scott Bittle (presentation)
Public Agenda

Event Time and Location

Thursday, March 10, 2011 - 8:30am - 1:45pm
New America Foundation
1899 L Street NW Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036

Event Photos

Click here to view these photos.
A range of photos from this event are available on Flickr. Click on the icon at left to view or download the photos.

Video Clips

See video
Video of Panel 2
See video
Video of Panel 3
See video
Video of Panel 4