With the November 23 deadline quickly approaching, the U.S. Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction continues to work toward a potential deal to reduce the budget deficit by at least $1.2 trillion. Yet, questions on what to cut and how remain at the center of a contentious political debate. If the committee fails to reach a resolution, as much as $500 billion could be slashed from the defense budget, with other severe consequences to follow. Alongside the challenges of reducing the deficit, making smart investments in infrastructure, education and other catalysts for growth will be critical to national economic rejuvenation.
On November 21, the Brookings Institution hosted a discussion on the budget deficit and the future of the American economy. Panelists included Brookings Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon, author of The Wounded Giant: America’s Armed Forces in an Age of Austerity (Penguin, 2011), Vice President Bruce Katz, director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings and Brookings Senior Fellow Alice Rivlin, co-chair of the Domenici-Rivlin Debt Reduction Task Force.
After the program, the participants took audience questions.