On October 31, the Brookings Institution, together with The Heritage Foundation and the National Press Foundation, hosted a seminar for journalists on the federal budget. The event featured David M. Walker, Comptroller General of the United States, as the keynote speaker. The first panel, with Jack Meyer of Economic and Social Research Institute and Brookings Institution and Robert Moffit of The Heritage Foundation, focused on one of the main reasons for soaring deficits, rising health-care costs. The panel was moderated by Stuart Butler of The Heritage Foundation. The second panel focused on what tools to use to get the budget into balance. Moderated by Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution, panelists included Bill Beach, The Heritage Foundation; Joseph Minarik, Committee for Economic Development; Robert Reischauer, Urban Institute; and Brian Riedl, The Heritage Foundation.
The luncheon discussion featured three journalists on “Is Covering the Budget an Impossible Beat?” Nolan Walters from the National Press Foundation moderated remarks by Susan Milligan of the Boston Globe, Edward Morrissey of Captain’s Quarters Blog, and David Wessel of the Wall Street Journal.
Brookings has released two reports on the federal budget crisis Restoring Fiscal Sanity: How to Balance the Budget, which put forward three plans to reduce federal deficits over the next 10 years; and Restoring Fiscal Sanity 2005: Meeting the Long-Run Challenge, which addressed Social Security, health care, taxes, and politics in the budget process.