Expert Views: Fiscal Commission | Peter G. Peterson Foundation


Expert Views

Fiscal Commission

As our $33 trillion national debt continues to rise, 9 in 10 Americans support the establishment of a bipartisan fiscal commission to put forth real solutions to our fiscal challenges. We asked respected policy experts from across the ideological spectrum to share their views on why a commission is needed, how it should be structured, and which policies could help stabilize the debt.

The Fiscal and Economic Experts

Heidi Heitkamp

Former U.S. Senator (ND) and Director of Institute of Politics

University of Chicago

To Get Our Fiscal House in Order: Put Politics First

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G. William Hoagland

Senior Vice President

Bipartisan Policy Center

Fiscal Commissions: Promises and Disappointments

Read the essay

Leon E. Panetta

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense and Chair

The Panetta Institute for Public Policy

Our National Debt: The Choice between Leadership or Crisis

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Robert Portman

Former U.S. Senator (OH) and Distinguishing Visiting Fellow in the Practice of Public Policy

American Enterprise Institute

A Bipartisan Tool to Improve America’s Fiscal Future

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Brian Riedl

Senior Fellow

Manhattan Institute

Yes, Fiscal Commissions Can Succeed with a Committed Congress

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Ben Ritz

Director, Center for Funding America’s Future

Progressive Policy Institute

Setting Up a Fiscal Commission for Success

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Sita Slavov

Professor of Public Policy

Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University

Making Tough Fiscal Choices to Protect Future Generations

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Mark Zandi

Chief Economist

Moody’s Analytics

A Way to Brighten America’s Dark Fiscal Outlook

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Dana M. Peterson and Lori Esposito Murray

Dana M. Peterson

Chief Economist & Center Leader of Economy, Strategy & Finance

The Conference Board

Lori Esposito Murray

President of the Committee for Economic Development

The Conference Board

The Debt Crisis Is Here

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Questions Posed to the Experts

  1. What are the benefits of establishing a bipartisan fiscal commission to propose comprehensive reforms to stabilize the debt?
  2. How should a commission be structured to give it the best chance of success?
  3. Propose at least three structural spending or revenue reforms that would decrease deficits over the long term, and could be included as part of a bipartisan package.

A note from Michael Peterson

Chairman and CEO of the Peterson Foundation

Earlier this year, our nation narrowly avoided a debt ceiling default and we are now staring down a deadline for a potential government shutdown. These repeated, self-inflicted crises and budget brinksmanship harm the economy and are not actually addressing the true drivers of our $33 trillion and rising national debt.

What we need is a serious, substantive and comprehensive approach to solving the long-term structural imbalances of our budget. A new bipartisan commission would enable an important national dialogue on this fundamental challenge to our nation’s fiscal and economic future.

We asked a group of respected policy experts to share their views on how a bipartisan fiscal commission could help break this cycle of fiscal governing-by-crisis and enable a more focused and productive discussion of our fiscal challenges. These nine new essays feature a range of insights on the best way to structure a commission for success, as well as recommendations for specific spending and revenue policies that would reduce the deficit and could be included in a bipartisan package.

The concept of a commission is gaining momentum among leaders in Washington, and American voters strongly agree. We hope that the ideas presented here in Expert Views: Fiscal Commission can help provide valuable recommendations toward fiscal solutions that are critical to America’s future.

Read the essays from past Expert Views