This lecture explains the dimensions of the US public debt and the possible consequences of fiscal unsustainability if the federal government fails to control its annual deficit within the next two decades. It assesses the relative significance of automatic spending (social entitlements and interest repayments), discretionary spending (annual congressional appropriations for defence and domestic programmes) and tax revenues in the make-up of the federal deficit. It finally considers the prospects for debt reduction to argue that the solution lies partly in restoring economic growth but primarily in finding bipartisan political solutions to structural fiscal problems that will oblige the Republicans to accept higher taxes and the Democrats to accept entitlement reform.
Speaker: Professor Iwan Morgan, University College London
Comments: Dr. Mika Aaltola, Programme Director, Finnish Institute of International Affairs
Chair: Charly Salonius-Pasternak, Researcher, Finnish Institute of International Affairs
For further information please contact Ms. Annina Aalto, firstname.lastname@example.org ; +358 9 4327710