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

Jun 24, 2008, 01:00 ET from Peter G. Peterson Foundation

    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, 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