Friday, January 09, 2009

CNN to Broadcast I.O.U.S.A.

The public has spoken, and we've listened. In response to demand for information about our country's financial challenges, CNN/U.S. will air the broadcast premiere of the acclaimed documentary I.O.U.S.A. on on Saturday, January 10 at 2:00 p.m. EST and on Sunday, January 11 at 3:00 p.m. EST. Accompanying the documentary will be an unscripted panel discussion with policy leaders about various economic solutions currently under consideration.

This exclusive televised event will air only on CNN, and will be hosted by Ali Velshi and Christine Romans, co-anchors of CNN's Your $$$$$, the network's weekend business roundtable program.

Throughout I.O.U.S.A.'s broadcast premiere, Velshi and Romans will engage a distinguished group of panelists, including Pete Peterson, Chairman of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and former U.S. Commerce Secretary; Dave Walker, President and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and former U.S. Comptroller General; Alice Rivlin, noted economist and former Director of the Office of Management and Budget; and Bill Bradley, a Managing Director of Allen & Company and former U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate, in discussions about issues raised in the film and their ties to current economic events.

Learn more about the film at And be sure to spread the word about the U.S. broadcast premiere!

Obama Foresees Trillion-Dollar Deficits reported on Tuesday that when President-elect Barack Obama takes office on January 20, he'll inherit an economy deeper in debt than ever.

Obama commented on the unprecedented deficit, saying, "At the current course and speed, a trillion-dollar deficit will be here before we even start the next budget." In reference to his planned economic recovery plan with an $800 billion price tag, Obama added, "And potentially we've got trillion-dollar deficits for years to come, even with the economic recovery that we are working on at this point."

Even with Obama's promised budget reform, our economy will still remain in the red — at least for the next few years. However, incurring a trillion-dollar deficit in the short-term in order to stimulate the economy is, according to organizations like the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, essential in order to prevent "a deep and prolonged recession."

Dave Walker, president and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, was also asked to comment on the deficit and Obama's proposed stimulus. A "timely, targeted and temporary" stimulus is, according to Dave, the best way to shore up the economy while our deficit continues to deepen.

To read the original article, visit

A Bipartisan Plea for Fiscal Responsibility

On Monday, January 5, the two most prominent members of the Senate Budget Committee – Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) spoke out about the need for fiscal responsibility, oney.comespecially in the face of our current economic crisis.

In an impassioned editorial for the Washington Post, Conrad and Gregg called for Democrats and Republicans to unite in support for an economic recovery package, even with the short-term addition it will make to our larger deficit. The senators also called for a "bipartisan fiscal task force" to help create concrete solutions for America's long-term fiscal woes.

To read the full text of the editorial, visit the Washington Post.

The Government We Deserve by Gene Steuerle

"Investment" and Obama's First Budget

President-elect Obama's chief in-house economic advisor Larry Summers suggests in a recent Washington Post piece that the new Administration will put a lot of effort into addressing long-term growth challenges, not just short-term policies that generate consumer spending. How? Through "investments." To make sure we get the point, Summers uses that word or some variation 12 times.

But the first Obama budget will not be oriented toward investment. Just as with recent administrations, the words will stress "investment" but the numbers will emphasize "consumption" - not only in the short-term but, more dangerously, in the long-term. In fairness, this is the budget the new administration inherits. They gain control of the wheel of a battleship sailing full-steam ahead toward the icebergs. But by using terms like "down payment" to describe new proposals, Summers hints that no major course correction will be sought.

Gene Steuerle writes The Government We Deserve column regularly, and serves as the Vice President of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. You can read Gene's bio here.

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