On Wednesday, Oct. 5, Joel Prakken, Ph.D., senior managing director and co-founder of Macroeconomic Advisers, LLC, will deliver an address on "The Autumn of Our Fiscal Discontent" as part of the Baker Institute conference "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. "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.