Since the onset of the Great Recession, public discussion has centered on whether spending or austerity is the best path to economic recovery. As evidenced by the sequestration, recurring debt ceiling fights and the ongoing euro crisis, clear policy prescriptions to kickstart anemic economies remain elusive. Often lost in the public discussion surrounding government budgets, though, is consideration of austerity’s implications for national politics and how policy is enacted and implemented. How has the debate surrounding spending versus budget-cutting shaped the political conversation in the United States? What has been austerity’s impact on the policymaking process?
On May 22, the Governance Studies program at Brookings will host a half-day forum centered on the changed political and policy conversations in the austerity age. The fourth annual A. Alfred Taubman Forum on Public Policy will convene leaders from academia, the media, government, and business to explore the far-reaching implications of austerity reform and philosophy on the American political landscape and today’s most pressing policy challenges, specifically in the areas of higher education and health care.
After each panel, participants will take audience questions.