Senior Fellow Alice Rivlin is a veteran of a successful effort to balance the federal budget at the end of the 1990s. She explains how this bipartisan effort started with the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990, passed by a Democratic Congress and signed by Republican President George H.W. Bush. Rivlin also reviews her role as budget director under President Clinton, when she worked with both Democratic and Republican Congresses to turn the budget deficit into a surplus.
Recognizing that balancing the budget is harder now due to the retirement of the Baby Boom generation and rising medical spending, among other factors, Rivlin believes that it can be done if Congress can act in a responsible way.