Brookings Mountain West presents “Can America Govern Itself?: Deficits, Debt, and Delay,” a talk by Ron Haskins, co-director, Center on Children and Families, Budgeting for National Priorities and senior fellow, Economic Studies.
America has now been in the throes of a deficit and debt crisis for nearly a decade. Over the last three years, the federal government has tied itself in knots trying to reach a long-term solution. Any effective solution will involve tax increases and entitlement cuts. But both parties have been unwilling to openly bargain about either the tax increases or spending cuts they are willing to consider as part of a grand bargain. Why are both parties being so intransigent? What are the prospects for a grand bargain and what might it look like? What are the consequences if Congress and the president fail to significantly reduce the deficit and contain the growth of the federal debt? These and similar questions about the growing U.S. debt burden will be addressed in this public lecture.