Deficit Debate Ignores the Big Issues, Experts Say



  • Rising health care costs and entitlement programs play a large role in the deficits looming ahead
  • By the year 2030, there could be as few as two people paying into Social Security for every one person drawing benefits

The budget plan delivered in February by the Obama administration and pressure to increase the federal debt limit in coming weeks have raised the volume of Washington discussions about the troubled state of the government's finances.

But a recent forum at the University of Texas brought a sobering reminder that, at least in the minds of some well-respected experts on federal debt, misconceptions cloud much of the debate.

The Fiscal Solutions Tour, which visited Austin this month as part of a special presentation hosted by the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, has been traveling the country in an effort to shift the nation's focus toward tangible solutions to what some are calling a looming debt crisis.

Panelists included David Walker, former Comptroller General of the United States; Alice Rivlin, co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center's Debt Reduction Task Force; and Robert Bixby, Executive Director of the Concord Coalition and member of the Bipartisan Policy Center Debt Reduction Task Force.

Kerri Battles, a public affairs specialist at LBJ, contributed an article about the forum to The Austin American-Statesman. Read more here.


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