Defusing the Debt Bomb: Economic and Fiscal Reform

With U.S. government debt at record levels, leaders of both political parties have begun to focus on spending reform and fundamental reform of our nation"s corporate and personal income tax system. This focus reflects several factors, including the large long-run fiscal imbalances in Social Security and Medicare, as well as widespread recognition that the U.S. income tax is a complex, highly inefficient and costly way of raising revenues to finance government expenditures. Moreover, additional tax revenues also will likely play some role in solving our nation"s looming fiscal problems -- even if this role is secondary to spending reductions and cost-saving reforms of the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs. The Baker Institute conference "Defusing the Debt Bomb: Economic and Fiscal Reform" will explore in depth the potential for spending and tax reform in resolving the nation"s debt crisis.

Additional funding for this program was generously provided by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and Ernst & Young LLP.


Conference Agenda

Wednesday, Oct. 5

3:00 pm Opening Remarks

3:05 pm Health Care Reform and the U.S. Budget
Mark V. Pauly, Ph.D., The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

4:00 pm Budget Reform in the United States
Shanna Rose, Ph.D., and Daniel Smith, Ph.D., Wagner School of Public Service, New York University

5:00 pm Reception

6:00 pm Evening Speaker: The Autumn of Our Discontent
Joel Prakken, Ph.D., Macroeconomic Advisers, LLC

Thursday, Oct. 6

8:00 am Breakfast

8:30 am Keynote Address
Opening Comments: The Honorable Edward P. Djerejian, Baker Institute, Rice University
Speaker: The Honorable Alan Simpson, National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform

9:30 am Coffee Break

9:45 am Expenditure Reform in Industrialized Countries
Sebastian Hauptmeier, Ph.D., European Central Bank
A. Jesús Sánchez Fuentes, Ph.D., Complutense University of Madrid
Ludger Schuknecht, Ph.D., European Central Bank

10:45 am Social Security Reform and the U.S. Budget
Jagadeesh Gokhale, Ph.D., Cato Institute

11:45 am Lunch

12:45 pm Can the World Finance the United States' Debt?
John Kitchen, Ph.D., U.S. Department of the Treasury

1:45 pm Tax Expenditure Reform
Joseph Rosenberg, Tax Policy Center

2:45 pm Coffee Break

3:00 pm Corporate Tax Reform
Jane Gravelle, Ph.D., U.S. Congress, Congressional Research Service

4:00 pm Tax Reform
John Diamond , Ph.D., Baker Institute, Rice University, and George Zodrow, Ph.D., Rice University

4:55 pm Closing Remarks

Watch the entire conference:

Wednesday, Oct. 5

Thursday, Oct. 6

Speaker John Diamond

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Wed, Oct. 5 - Thu, Oct. 6, 2011
3 p.m. - 5 p.m.
(GMT-0500) America/Chicago