Vice President Joe Biden joined former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin, former Deputy Secretary Roger C. Altman and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) in a Hamilton Project forum to kick off the project’s 2010 policy agenda. The vice president presented the administration’s view of the economic challenges faced by America’s families, with an emphasis on the middle class. He also discussed the range of Obama administration initiatives to meet these challenges.
Hamilton Project Director and Brookings Senior Fellow Michael Greenstone gave a brief overview of a new strategy paper that outlines the near-term investments necessary to ensure broad-based growth, prosperity and opportunity for future generations of Americans. The event also featured two roundtable discussions to highlight innovative policy ideas and the broader challenges facing the U.S. economy.
In its new strategy paper, The Hamilton Project argues that the American tradition of expanding opportunity from one generation to the next is at risk because we are failing to make the necessary investments in human, physical, and environmental capital. In the wake of the Great Recession, policy focus has correctly been on the immediate economic challenges facing the nation. However, the country’s continued prosperity rests on beginning to confront a series of long-run challenges including reforming the educational system, increasing research and development to speed innovation, reducing the budget deficit, and limiting emissions of greenhouse gases.
The first panel, moderated by Brookings Vice President and Economic Studies Co-director Karen Dynan, featured presentations on a number of innovative ideas in the Hamilton tradition, including health and long term well-being, improving K-12 education, and reforming energy and climate policy. Rubin moderated the second panel on challenges and opportunities facing the U.S. economy featuring Senator Brown and former Federal Reserve Vice Chairs Alan Blinder and Alice Rivlin, a Brookings senior fellow.