Would a Deficit Task Force Fix the Budget or Punish Taxpayers?

Capitol Hill Briefing
December 15, 2009 12:00PM
B-339 Rayburn House Office Building
Featuring Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Ranking Member, House Committee on the Budget; Douglas J. Holtz-Eakin, President, DHE Consulting LLC and former director, Congressional Budget Office; Chris Edwards, Director of Tax Policy Studies, Cato Institute, and manager of www.downsizinggovernment.org; and Dan Mitchell, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute.

The federal spending avalanche just pushed the government’s debt over $12 trillion and Congress will soon vote to further raise the legal debt limit. The massive flow of red ink is prompting many legislators to support creation of a bipartisan deficit-reduction task force, which would submit a plan to Congress for a swift up-or-down vote. Senators Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Judd Gregg (R-NH) are leading the charge in the Senate and more than 100 members have signed onto the idea in the House.

What is the best cure for the government’s escalating debt? Would a task force result in permanent tax increases but only temporary spending restraint? Our distinguished panel will look at those questions and provide general views on the alarming federal budget outlook.