Editor’s Note: On June 11, 2010, the Embassy of Switzerland held a roundtable on Capitol Hill moderated by William Gale. International experts exchanged their views on the topic of public debt and showed how the U.S. and Switzerland might share their respective experiences with each other.
WILLIAM GALE: “I think the key message from today’s event has to do with what the U.S. can learn from other countries in general but from Switzerland in particular, when it actually implemented this budget rule over the course of the past decade.
“The problems are piling up. The things that used to be long term like the aging of the population and the emphasis that that will create on health spending [and] social security spending — that’s all beginning to happen now. At the same time we had this economic downturn, the financial crisis, which accelerated all of these concerns. Everything is coming to a head much more rapidly than we would have liked, but this is where we are now and so we have to face these issues.”