Expert Views: Inflation, Interest and the National Debt | Peter G. Peterson Foundation


Expert Views

Inflation, Interest and the National Debt

America faces an array of complex fiscal and economic challenges, including high inflation, rising interest costs, unsustainable debt and recession fears. We asked experts with diverse views from across the political spectrum to share their perspectives and insights to help understand the landscape and identify solutions.

The Fiscal and Economic Experts

David Beckworth

Senior Research Fellow

Mercatus Center, George Mason University

Responsible Fiscal Policy in a Low Interest Rate World

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William C. Dudley

10th President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Senior Advisor

Griswold Center for Economic Policy Studies, Princeton University

Five Fundamental Changes for U.S. Fiscal Policy

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Karen Dynan

Professor of the Practice

Harvard University

High Inflation and Fiscal Policy

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Wendy Edelberg

Director of the Hamilton Project

Brookings Institution

Recession Remedies in the Face of High Inflation

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Nela Richardson

Chief Economist


Help Wanted: A Fiscal Policy for the Future

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Brian Riedl

Senior Fellow

Manhattan Institute

Rising Interest Rates Threaten Washington’s Solvency

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Sita Slavov

Professor of Public Policy

Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University

Mad Money: How to Fight the Inflation Tax

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Marc Sumerlin

Managing Partner

Evenflow Macro

Fiscal and Monetary Policy Work Best Together

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Diane Swonk

Chief Economist


A Meteor Shower: Inflation in a Post-Pandemic World

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William G. Gale and Swati Joshi

William G. Gale

Arjay and Frances Fearing Miller Chair in Federal Economic Policy

Brookings Institution

Swati Joshi

Research Assistant

Brookings Institution

Inflation, Interest Rates, and the Budget: New Challenges, Old Solutions

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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


Committee for Economic Development of the Conference Board

Inflation Fighting and Ensuring Fiscal Health Starts Now

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Questions for the Experts

We asked each expert to respond to the same set of specific questions, encouraging them to focus on their areas of expertise, and what they viewed as the most important areas of the policy discussion.

The questions are:

  1. What is the impact of inflation and rising interest rates on our nation’s fiscal outlook?
    • • Where do you see rates heading over the medium term (next ten years), and what are the factors that might drive them higher or lower?
    • • How do these trends impact expectations for the level of federal interest costs in coming years
    • • How does higher inflation impact your assessment of our economic outlook and stability?
  2. How should fiscal policy be used in this period of high inflation?
    • • What factors and data should be considered in determining the right balance of fiscal policy to help limit inflation going forward while trying to prevent a recession?
    • • How do fiscal and monetary policy interact, and how can they be used in a consistent approach to achieve the best overall outcome?

A note from Michael Peterson

Chairman and CEO of the Peterson Foundation

A year ago, we began this initiative to bring together a diverse range of expert voices from around the nation to help guide us through these challenging fiscal and economic times.

Last year’s project, America’s Fiscal and Economic Outlook: Where Do We Go from Here?, took place as our nation continued to grapple with the pandemic, outlining the connection between national preparedness, economic strength, and a sustainable fiscal outlook.

This year, we are once again navigating a range of rapidly evolving, complex and interconnected challenges. As we face the storm of inflation, there are many questions surrounding the optimal set of fiscal, monetary and economic policy to steer us through and give our economy the best chance for a soft landing amidst elevated interest rates and unsustainably high debt and deficits.

With diverse views from across the political spectrum and deep policy expertise, these authors provide valuable analysis and insight on timely topics including the impacts of and outlook for inflation and interest rates; concerns about an economic recession; the unsustainable national debt and growing interest costs; the interplay between fiscal and monetary policy; shortfalls in the social safety net; and the role that labor market productivity plays in our economy.

By sharing the thoughts and perspectives of this distinguished group of experts, we hope to foster conversations and inspire policy solutions that will help move our nation towards a more sustainable future.

Read the essays from past Expert Views