Decoding the Social Security Trustees Report


With the release of the Social Security Trustees Report, CRFB held an event explaining the report on Tuesday July 29 at the Hyatt Regency in Washington, DC.

The event included a heavy-hitting lineup, with remarks by Social Security Chief Actuary Stephen Goss and Reps. Tom Cole (R-OK) and John Delaney (D-MD). In addition, there was a panel with experts from a wide variety of perspectives, including Goss, the American Enterprise Institute's Andrew Biggs, the Mercatus Center's Jason Fichtner, Third Way's Jim Kessler, and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities's Paul Van de Water. The panel was moderated by Damien Paletta of The Wall Street Journal.

The event was a highly informative discussion of the latest snapshot of Social Security's finances and what policymakers should do to reform the program. 



The Moral Case for Addressing America's Fiscal Crises


On January 16, CRFB held a panel discussion, "The Moral Case for Addressing America's Fiscal Crises," that took a look at the moral dimensions to America's fiscal situation. Panelists discussed how our current fiscal path might affect the very poor and future generations, and what responsibility lawmakers have to both groups. The panelists also considered what role the faith community should provide, as a non-partisan voice that could elevate the debate to a higher purpose. The discussion was moderated by Rev. Dr. David Gray, a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, and featured the following panelists:

  • Marc Goldwein, Committee for a Federal Responsible Budget   
  • Josh Good, Values and Capitalism Project, American Enterprise Institute
  • Rev. John Allen Newman, Senior Pastor, The Sanctuary at Mt. Calvary Church
  • Dr. Jay Richards, Distinguished Fellow, Institute for Faith, Work and Economics
  • Mark Tooley, President, Institute for Religion and Democracy

Click here to read a recap of the event.


Defining Moments in Debt


On September 18, CRFB hosted "Defining Moments in Debt," a panel discussion at the Capitol Visitor Center about the many impending "fiscal speed bumps," approaching this fall. There was widespread agreement about the severity of the upcoming debt limit and potential shutdown, as well as the unsustainablity of the budget in the long term. The panel was moderated by CNNMoney writer Jeanne Sahadi, and featured:

  • Jared Bernstein from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Diana Furchtgott-Roth from the Manhattan Institute
  • Jim Kessler from Third Way
  • Maya MacGuineas from CRFB
  • Derrick Morgan from the Heritage Foundation 


Click here to read a recap of the event.

Click here to read our report on what we expect for the government funding negotiations.


On June 4, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the Mercatus Center, and Third Way held an event entitled "Challenges Facing Social Security," discussing the future of the program given the latest Trustees' report. The event featured Social Security Trustee Charles Blahous and a panel discussion moderated by CNNMoney writer Jeanne Sahadi.

To read a recap of the event, click here.

To view CRFB's Social Security Trustees' report paper, click here.

To play "The Reformer: An Interactive Tool to Fix Social Security," click here.

To view Charles Blahous's PowerPoint presentation from the event, click here.

To read Third Way's paper "It’s Time for a National Commission on Social Security," click here.

To read Virginia Reno's paper, click here.



The Campaign to Fix the Debt Launch


On Tuesday, July 17, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget unveiled The Campaign to Fix the Debt. This unprecedented coalition -- comprised of business leaders, former Members of Congress and budget experts from across the country -- is committed to galvanizing the support of the American people behinds meaningful fiscal reform.

The event included remarks on the urgency of the issue and planned campaign activities from CRFB president Maya MacGuineas; The Campaign to Fix the Debt co-chairs Senator Judd Gregg and Governor Ed Rendell; Erskine Bowles; David Cote (Honeywell); Larry Fink (BlackRock); Steve Rattner (Willett Advisors); Alice Rivlin (former OMB and CBO director); Paul Stebbins (World Fuel Services) and Ambassador Bob Zoellick.

Click here to read a recap of the event.



National Debt Tour: Ferrum College


The next stop on the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget's "National Debt Tour" will be at Ferrum College on April 18. Join Senator Mark Warner, Representatives Bob Goodlatte and Robert Hurt, Committee for Economic Development Dr. Joe Minarik, Dr. Paul Posner and former Deputy Assistant Director to the Congressional Budget Office Marvin Phaup  for discussion of our fiscal challenges.

Click here for more event details and if you are interested in attending click here.


National Debt Tour: New York City


The next stop on the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget's "National Debt Tour" was in New York City on March 29. National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform Co-Chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson and New York City Michael Bloomberg participated in a panel discussion as part of The Wall Street Journal’s Viewpoints Executive Breakfast Series. The breakfast panel was moderated by WSJ Deputy Managing Editor Alan Murray.


Click here for more event details.


U.S. Budget Watch


On Thursday, February 23, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget unveiled a comprehensive analysis of the budget impact of campaign proposals made by the Republican presidential candidates.

The report is a detailed assessment of how the platforms of Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum would affect the federal debt. A video of the event is posted below.



National Debt Tour: Boston


On February 21, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget kicked off a national tour as part of a campaign to push for a major deficit reduction plan in 2012. The first event was held at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University on February 21, 2012 from 6-7:30 pm. The start of this national debt tour featured U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), an organizer of the Senate's "Gang of Six" deficit reduction initiative; Dave Cote, former member, National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and Chairman and CEO of Honeywell International; former Rep. Vin Weber (R-MN); and Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

A video of the event is posted below.

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After the Super Committee: Is Budget Process Reform Part of the Answer?


On December 13, the Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform hosted a policy briefing to discuss four new papers on budget process reform. The briefing was held in the House of Representatives Budget Committee Hearing Room. Both House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and ranking member Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) made opening remarks.

The event then opended up to a panel discussion with former OMB director Jim Nussle, former Congressman Tim Penny (D-MN), University of Maryland's Phil Joyce, George Washington University's Marvin Phaup, George Mason University's Paul Posner and Peterson-Pew Commission Project Director Steve Redburn.

Click here to read the event as it was broadcast on C-SPAN.


Urging the Super Committee to "Go Big"


The "Super Committee" has been charged with making recommendations that would reduce deficits by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. Unfortunately, more is needed to fix the budget and put the debt on a sustainable path. In order to meaningfully address our nation's fiscal challenges, the Super Committee should go much further.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget along with the New America Foundation, the Concord Coalition, and the Bipartisan Policy Center hosteda  forum on Wednesday, September 21st that brought together leaders from across the spectrum to discuss the path ahead for the Super Committee and the reasons it should "Go Big."

Click here to read the full recap and see all event videos.


"Go Big" Press Conference at National Press Club


On September 12, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget held a press conference to urge the Super Committtee to "Go Big" and exceed its current mandate in order to put debt on a downward path as a share of the economy. The press conference featured remarks from co-chairs Alan Simpson and Erkine Bowles of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and from CRFB president Maya MacGuineas.

At the event, a letter co-signed by over business leaders and policy experts was released, urging the Super Committee to take bold action.

Click here to watch a video of the press conference.

Click here to read the full transcript of the press conference.


2011 CRFB Annual Conference and Dinner


On June 14, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget held its 2011 Annual Conference and Dinner on Capitol Hill. This year’s roundtable conference, entitled The Debt Ceiling, Fiscal Plans, and Market Jitters: Where Do We Go from Here? featured a keynote address from chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, and a roundtable with 40 of the nation’s leading fiscal and economic experts. The evening reception and dinner featured keynotes from Office of Management and Budget director Jacob Lew and Fiscal Commission co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Sen. Alan Simpson. The events combined for a day and evening of interesting yet sobering discussion and debate on the nation’s fiscal challenges.



Tax Reform Now: Cutting Rates and Deficits


On Tuesday, April 12, 2011 the Moment of Truth project and the Progressive Policy Institute hosted an event focused on the urgent need for comprehensive reform of the U.S. tax code. The event featured several prominent speakers as well as two expert panels. One discussed the “Modified Zero Plan” approach to tax reform, and a second panel discussed possible fail-safes and triggers designed to cut tax expenditures across the board in order to force action on reform.

For the full event summary click here.


Moment of Truth Project Launch


On March 8th, the Moment of Truth Project - an effort co-chaired by Erskine Bowles and Senator Alan Simpson which seeks to build on the momentum and prospect for bipartisan compromise created by their work as co-chairs of the President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform - was officially launched at an event on Capitol Hill. The event featured a series of prominent guest speakers, including several Members of Congress, former Fiscal Commission members, and thought and policy leaders from across the political spectrum. There was also a very interesting panel discussion - moderated by David Wessel of The Wall Street Journal - that focused on fiscal issues, including details of the Fiscal Commission plan, obstacles to enacting fiscal reform, and the prospects of a bipartisan agreement on needed comprehensive fiscal reforms.

For the full event summary click here.



The Human Side of the Fiscal Crisis


On March 10, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget hosted a terrific event entitled America's Fiscal Choices at a Crossroad: The Human Side of the Fiscal Crisis. The event was made possible by the MacArthur Foundation. The purpose was to bring together the major stakeholders and experts on the issues of fiscal reforms, to discuss the benefits of early action to avert a fiscal crisis (whether sudden or gradual) and the calamitous effects a crisis would have on everyday Americans.

The event was moderated by Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post. CRFB’s own Anne Vorce, who was the project's director, also presented her paper at the event that served as the framework for the day’s discussions. She argues that there are two reasonably likely but different scenarios: "Fiscal Gridlock" in which our policymakers do not change our current fiscal path, or "Fiscal Recovery Plan" in which our leaders enact a fiscal recovery package which would put us back on a sustainable budget track.

For the full event summary, click here.



Getting Specific: How to Fix the Budget


While the threats from budget deficits as far as the eye can see and a ballooning national debt are on the public's mind, there is still too little discussion about how to actually fix the problems. In fact, when it comes to specifics, most politicians are more likely to embrace changes that would make the deficit situation worse, not better.

At this policy forum, notable members of Congress and expert panelists discussed a number of specific solutions to help fix the problem. Topics included defense cuts, Social Security, healthcare, and tax policy.

For the full event summary, click here.



What a Fiscal Crisis Would Look Like in the U.S.


In this half-day conference, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget convened an all-star group to discuss what a tipping point might be, how a crisis might unfold, and what policies would be best to avoid a crisis. There was a clear consensus among participants that unless the country changes course, a crisis in inevitable. Today’s market rollercoaster shows the U.S. is extremely vulnerable to debt jitters—even those that originate across the globe.

For a full event summary, click here.



Avoiding a Government Debt Crisis


In this half-day policy forum the Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform brought together the nation's leading experts to discuss the fiscal problems facing the country, the international and financial market issues involved, and whether the political system is equipped to tackle the challenges. Special keynoters included David Walker, former Comptroller General of the U.S., and Thomas Hoenig President, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

For a full event summary and video clips of the event, click here.

Read the speakers' bios here.



Will Health Care Reform Heal the Federal Budget?


Rising health care costs are one of the leading drivers of the nation's budgetary problems. Done wisely, health care reform could dramatically improve the long-term fiscal situation; done wrong, it could blow an even larger hole in the budget. As various health care reform proposals are debated in Congress, there are questions about whether the plans will be fully paid for; whether gimmicks are being used to mask the true costs; and how successful any plan will ultimately be in "bending the health care cost curve." A panel of the nation's leading health care experts discussed these and other related questions at this health care reform forum.

For a complete summary of the event, click here.



Beyond PAYGO


On September 16, 2009 the Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform hosted its first public event--Beyond PAYGO. Five panelists discussed recent proposals to gain control over mandatory spending and put the budget on a sustainable path. The Commission also issued its first policy paper at the event, A Closer Look at the President's FY 2010 Budget Process Reform Proposals. The paper examines in detail how the administration's first budget takes a few initial steps toward establishing a more fiscally responsible and credible budget process.

For a complete summary, and to see the webcast of the event, click here.



Toward Bipartisan Tax Policy


Four politically diverse tax experts will release their new paper, "Towards Bipartisan Tax Policy" at a forum hosted by the New America Foundation, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, American University's Center for Public Finance Research, the Concord Coaltion, and the Tax Foundation, on Thursday, February 12, 2009.

For a complete summary, and to see the webcast of the event, click here.



Tough Budget Process Changes Needed in the Stimulus Bill


There is a growing concern that in addition to short-term policies, the stimulus bill will make new permanent commitments that worsen the already huge long-term fiscal problems facing America. President-Elect Obama has raised the need to reform the budget process to prevent this from happening. Congress should address this need by including serious budget process changes as part of the stimulus bill and in the federal budget, to protect future generations.

For a complete summary of the event, click here.



Social Policy After the Economic Crisis


On December 5, 2008, the New America Foundation’s Next Social Contract Initiative hosted a three panel discussion about the future of social policy after the economic downturn. Maya MacGuineas, Director of the Fiscal Policy Program at the New America Foundation and President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, argued that the economic crisis is revealing the deep cracks in our existing social insurance system.

For a complete summary, and to see the webcast of the event, click here.