Peter G. Peterson Foundation Announces Grants to Six Institutions to Develop Solutions to America's Fiscal Challenges

Program will provide policymakers a range of options for addressing long-term national debt

Jan 21, 2011, 11:45 ET from Peter G. Peterson Foundation

NEW YORK, Jan. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The following release was originally issued by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation on January 20, 2011:

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation today announced a $1.2 million grant program that convenes six organizations across ideological and generational perspectives to develop solutions to the nation's projected long-term debt and deficits. The program is part of the Foundation's Solutions Initiative.

The American Enterprise Institute, Bipartisan Policy Center, Center for American Progress, Economic Policy Institute, Heritage Foundation and Roosevelt Institute Campus Network have each received grants of $200,000 to develop comprehensive plans for long-term fiscal sustainability. Grantees have complete discretion and independence to develop their own fiscal goals or targets and propose recommended packages of solutions and timeframes for achieving them.

"The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and other organizations have proven that the era of denial of our fiscal challenges is over," said Foundation Chairman Peter G. Peterson. "There is no longer any doubt that America's long-term debt outlook is unsustainable and a transcendent threat to our economy. These grants to some of the best minds from a variety of perspectives will give the country a number of options to help put our federal government and economy on a sustainable long-term path. As a nation, we can stimulate our economy and create jobs in the short term, while putting a long-term plan in place for after the economy recovers to reduce our projected debt and provide resources for critically needed investments."

The solutions developed by the grantees will be presented as part of the second annual Fiscal Summit to be convened by the Foundation later this year. Each of the plans will be compared to the baseline that the Congressional Budget Office will release this month. The Bipartisan Policy Center's plan, which received funding through the Foundation's Solutions initiative, has already been developed and released.

"Absent reform, our long-term fiscal outlook is unthinkable," said Foundation Vice Chairman Michael A. Peterson. "Interest costs are projected to become the single largest line item in the federal budget by 2027 and literally take up all federal revenues by 2055, leaving nothing for government services and critically needed investments in education, research and infrastructure. The only thing we must take off the table is inaction. This initiative will help provide citizens and our leaders with a variety of possible reforms so we can begin to implement sensible solutions before a major financial crisis forces us to make much more painful choices."

Comments from Organizations At Work on America's Long-Term Fiscal Challenges:

Arthur Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute:

"AEI is grateful for the Peter G. Peterson Foundation's leadership on tackling the nation's long-term fiscal challenges, and is delighted for the opportunity to work alongside the Foundation and other project participants in developing comprehensive solutions. This project lies at the core of AEI's mission to pass on prosperity to future generations."

Jason Grumet, President of the Bipartisan Policy Center:

"The Bipartisan Policy Center has demonstrated that an ideologically diverse group of experts and political leaders can come together to develop a sustainable fiscal policy for the nation. The consensus plan generated by the BPC's Debt Reduction Task Force addresses our nation's long-term fiscal challenges while providing near-term stimulus to create jobs.  We thank the Peter G. Peterson Foundation for its generous support of this project.  We hope that our plan and other efforts will encourage political leaders from across the philosophical spectrum to take up the challenge of serious fiscal reform."

John Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress:

"We are pleased to continue our work in this important area of public policy. Our goal is to provide a detailed deficit reduction plan that promotes the right investments and a strong economy, while allowing the government to meet the needs of its people."

Lawrence Mishel, President of the Economic Policy Institute:

"Participating in the Solutions Initiative will give the Economic Policy Institute and its partners, Demos and The Century Foundation, another opportunity to share our policy ideas on how to promote strong economic and job growth and strengthen the middle class while reaching fiscally sustainable budgets."

Stuart Butler, Director of The Heritage Foundation's Center for Policy Innovation:

"Federal spending has metastasized to the point that it threatens our nation's fiscal stability. Having created a long-term structural problem, Washington must now fix it.  Success will require great boldness, inventiveness and discipline. The Heritage Foundation is proud to be a part of this initiative and eager to offer the American people a workable solution that will allow freedom, opportunity and prosperity to flourish in America for generations to come."

Hilary Doe, National Director of the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network:

"This is a remarkable opportunity for young people nationwide to share their visions for the future in a concrete way. We're excited to present the Millennial Generation's perspective at the Fiscal Solutions summit, and look forward to participation from young people online and on college campuses across the country."

About the Peter G. Peterson Foundation

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan organization established by Pete Peterson – businessman, philanthropist, and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce.  The Foundation is dedicated to increasing public awareness of the nature and urgency of key long-term fiscal challenges threatening America's future and to accelerating action on them. To address these challenges successfully, we work to bring Americans together to find and implement sensible, long-term solutions that transcend age, party lines and ideological divides in order to achieve real results. To learn more, please visit

SOURCE Peter G. Peterson Foundation