WASHINGTON, June 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Peter G.
Peterson, chairman of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, and David M.
Walker, its President and CEO, testified before the House Budget Committee
about the nation's deteriorating fiscal health and urged that corrective
measures be taken sooner rather than later. As a first step, the Foundation
issued a publication entitled "The State of the Union's Finances," that
provides a clear and compelling assessment of our nation's true financial
condition and long-range fiscal outlook.
"I would ask that if you leave here remembering only one number, let it
be this one: $53 trillion," Peterson told the Committee. "Fifty-three
trillion in today's dollars is what this country owes between our national
debt, future liabilities, and our huge unfunded promises for programs like
Social Security and Medicare," he said, calling that number "unacceptable"
and "un-American." "I'm here today because I'm committed to action, to
seeing real, meaningful results in my lifetime. This isn't my personal
issue; this isn't a Democrat or Republican issue; it's an American issue.
Through the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, we encourage Americans to make
the responsible choices necessary today, to ensure lasting opportunity for
While Mr. Peterson addressed his long-standing concerns about the
nation's current fiscal path, Mr. Walker, the government's former
Comptroller General, offered a number of concrete proposals lawmakers can
use to start finding our way out of our current fiscal hole. They include
increased transparency in connection with the government's accounting and
budget systems, and the need for a capable, credible and bipartisan
commission to make recommendations on a range of key policy issues. He also
urged the 2008 Presidential candidates to commit to making fiscal
responsibility and intergenerational equity a priority, and to have the
courage to make the politically difficult but vital choices to help ensure
that our collective future is better than our past.
"The State of The Union's Finances" is available at www.pgpf.org, the
foundation's new website. Copies are being delivered this week to every
Member of Congress, the Cabinet, the Vice President and the President.
Mr. Walker also announced the Foundation's support for the distribution
of a feature documentary entitled "I.O.U.S.A." The film, which has received
acclaim at Sundance and other film festivals, addresses four key deficits
facing America -- our budget, savings, balance of payments/trade, and
leadership deficits. "I.O.U.S.A" will be released in August in selected
cities around the country. A private showing for Members of Congress and
other invitees will take place on Wednesday, July 9 at the Library of
About the Peter G. Peterson Foundation
Founded by the senior chairman of The Blackstone Group with a $1
billion commitment, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation is dedicated to
increasing public awareness of the nature and urgency of several key
challenges threatening America's future, and to accelerating action on
them. To address these challenges successfully, the Foundation will work to
bring Americans together to find sensible, long-term solutions that
transcend age, party lines and ideological divides in order to achieve real
SOURCE Peter G. Peterson Foundation