Dec 16

Past Event

Should the Disadvantaged be Spared from the Budget Axe? A Look at the President’s Budget Commission Findings and How They Could Impact the Poor



  • Reasonable Reform to Social Security

    Isabel Sawhill: I hear complaints about cuts to Social Security. But the reforms are reasonable. I’ll get more than one million dollars in payments, do I need it? You decide. Do I want it? You betcha!

    Isabel V. Sawhill

  • Poor Should Not Bear Brunt of Irresponsibiilty

    Luis Ubinas, President, Ford Foundation: American values are important. So, we have to ensure that future generations and the nation’s poor don’t bear the brunt of our fiscal irresponsibility.

  • Willingness to Act

    Patrick McCarthy, President, Annie E. Casey Fdn: if we’re going address the deficit and protect the neediest among us, we have to have “skin in this game,” we have to be willing to do what it takes.

  • Expanding Opportunity for All

    Bruce Reed, Nat’l Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform: The essence of this debate goes far beyond the deficit; it’s about expanding opportunity for everyone.

  • Full Event Video: Should the Disadvantaged Be Spared From the Budget Axe?

    Two panels of experts examined the recommendations of the President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform from the perspective of the disadvantaged.


The poor, the near-poor, and their children who rely on government benefits to get ahead have more to lose than most if the federal budget implodes. On December 16 the Center on Children and Families and Budgeting for National Priorities Project at Brookings, in cooperation with Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity and the Hudson Institute, convened two panels of experts to examine the recommendations of the President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform from the perspective of the disadvantaged.

The first panel examined the commission’s recommendations, focusing on how adequate they are for reducing the deficit, whether additional actions will be necessary to bring the deficit down to an acceptable level, and whether the recommendations will make headway in Congress. The second panel provided ideas on how, despite the need to cut spending, the nation can maintain an adequate safety net and robust programs to expand opportunity in America.

After the presentations, speakers and panelists took questions from the audience.

Event Agenda

  • Welcome and Introduction

  • Overview of President’s Commission

    • Bruce Reed

      Executive Director

      National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform

  • Panel 1

  • Panel 2

    • Moderator: William Schambra

      Senior Fellow and Director, Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal, Hudson Institute

    • Stuart Butler

      Distinguished Fellow and Director, Center for Policy Innovation, The Heritage Foundation

    • Robert Greenstein

      Founder and Executive Director, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

    • Robert Reischauer

      President, Urban Institute


December 16, 2010

9:00 AM - 11:30 AM EST

The Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105