America continues to borrow large sums of money from foreign countries, leaving a legacy of debt to the next generation. With the 2008 primary season on the horizon and congressional Democrats and President Bush finally talking about fiscal responsibility, finding common ground between Republicans and Democrats on budget issues could not be more important.
On February 7, Brookings hosted a discussion with a distinguished panel of experts who offered their bipartisan plan of spending cuts and revenue enhancements to balance the budget in the next five years, and set the nation on a sustainable fiscal course for the long run. Participants included G. William Hoagland, former director of budget and appropriations for former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.); Charles Stenholm, former Member of Congress from Texas; and Isabel Sawhill, a Brookings senior fellow. David Wessel, deputy bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal, moderated the panel discussion.
The bipartisan plan was written by Hoagland, Stenholm, Sawhill, and William Frenzel, Brookings guest scholar and a former member of Congress from Minnesota. Through the Institution's Budgeting for National Priorities Project, Sawhill has led several experts in exploring the question of why budget deficits matter and offering solutions for how elected officials can close the gap.