Peter G. Peterson Foundation Leaders Testify Before House Committee on Nation's Looming Fiscal Crisis
Peterson, Walker identify the problems, offer common-sense solutions, and
call on the next President to take action
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 tomorrow." 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 Congress. 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 results.
SOURCE Peter G. Peterson Foundation
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