Plenty Of Debate (Although Not Yet A Trending Topic)

February 26, 2010 at 8:14am

It's not every day the nation's finances move to center stage, but Thursday was definitely one of those days, as President Obama and lawmakers of various stripes gathered at Blair House for the historic summit on health care reform, an event whose impact is yet to be known, although there is plenty of Friday morning quarterbacking attempting to assess the results. (To see just how much talk there was on the subject, check out the deficit, health care, and health care reform summit hashtags on Twitter.)

The Our Fiscal Future team was also on the case Thursday, as the Urban Institute held a panel discussion in Washington, "Trillions Of Reasons To Get Serious About Our Fiscal Future," on the federal budget deficit, national debt, potential solutions to this crisis, and what it will take for the public to become truly engaged on this issue. We've posted the recorded webcast online, for those of you who missed it, to give you an opportunity to listen to this discussion.

The panelists included Rudolph Penner of the Urban Institute, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office who chaired the Committee on the Fiscal Future of the United States; Public Agenda president Ruth Wooden, who was a member of the Committee; Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget president Maya MacGuineas, who is a member of the Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform; the Urban Institute's Margaret Simms, director of its Low-Income Working Families project; and Richard Keil of Public Strategies, Inc., a former White House correspondent.

So what are your thoughts? This is a problem that can't be solved without the full involvement of the public, as we're all going to have to make choices on how best to bring the nation's books back into balance. Post your comments here, at, and on the @FiscalFuture Twitter feed.