Our government spends more money than it takes in; as a result, the nation's debt is growing rapidly. The economic recession has worsened the current imbalance, but the real challenge is the long-term budget picture. The federal budget is an expression of our priorities and our values as a nation. What are the goals we want the country to meet and the choices we must make? What happens if we do not address our fiscal challenge, and what will it mean for the country and for each of us?
To discuss these issues, the MacArthur Foundation and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago held a free event on July 21, 2010, at the University Club of Chicago.
The event featured the co-chairs of the MacArthur-supported expert committee, Drs. John Palmer and Rudy Penner, in a conversation moderated by Patricia Widder of the Chicago Tribune.
In his opening remarks, MacArthur President Robert Gallucci said the severity of the fiscal crisis "threatens the ability of our government to act creatively, or even responsibly, to deal with problems we now face and those that will emerge in the future." He emphasized that MacArthur is seeking to make the U.S. fiscal challenge more prominent in our national discourse and among policymakers. Additional opening remarks came from Daniel Sullivan, Executive Vice President and Director of Research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
The event follows MacArthur's support for a national town hall meeting and expert committee on the nation's fiscal future.