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Deficits and Spending

The organization AmericaSpeaks in June hosted 19 simultaneous meetings in cities across the country asking people to come up with proposals for dealing with the country's projected long-term budget deficits.

CEPR's analyses of the discussion materials for the meetings show that they were aimed at persuading participants to opt for big cuts to Social Security and Medicare:

* AmericaSpeaks' Misguided Federal Budget 101
* AmericaSpeaks: What Is Not on the Program

America Speaks Back: The Effort to Gut Social Security and Medicare Takes a Hit
But it seems that events didn't quite go as planned. The participants rose up in revolt. They demanded the option to vote on a single-payer type health care system and also voted overwhelmingly for defense cuts and progressive tax options.

The CEPR Deficit Calculator
This interactive calculator allows users to pick various items, including many of the progressive options not offered at the AmericaSpeaks meetings, and see how they'll shrink (or grow) the national debt in 2020.

America Speaks Without Knowing
A CEPR poll conducted after the 6.5-hour discussion found that while participants were well-informed on the problem of health care, they didn't fare so well on topics such as Social Security or the budget deficit.

AmericaSpeaks' town meetings' were largely funded by the billionaire Pete Peterson, who also supported the film IOUSA:

* IOUSA Not OK: An Analysis of the Deficit Disaster Story in the Film IOUSA The movie IOUSA portrays a picture of the United States as a country hopelessly addicted to debt, which is one-sided and misleading. This analysis features a minute-by-minute viewer's guide of inaccurate or misleading statements in the film.

* IOUSA Budget Deficit Calculator The film IOUSA fails to explain that deficits are driven almost entirely by projections of exploding private sector health care costs. This interactive calculator allows users to see what the U.S. budget deficit would be if the U.S. had the same per person health care costs as various other countries.

* Discussion of the Film: A video of Dean Baker's discussion with Diane Rogers, Chief Economist of the Concord Coalition, after a screening at Bus Boys & Poets in D.C. on November 23, 2008.

Reports

Stimulus and Fiscal Consolidation: The Evidence and Implications

July 2014, Dean Baker and David Rosnick

Debt, Deficits, and Demographics: Why We Can Afford the Social Contract

November 2012, Dean Baker

Plan for a New Future: The Impact of Social Security Reform on People of Color

October 2011, Commission to Modernize Social Security (Maya M. Rockeymoore, Meizhu Lui, Nicole Woo, et. al.)

Do Tax Cuts Boost the Economy?

September 2011, David Rosnick and Dean Baker

7 Things You Need to Know About the National Debt, Deficits, and the Dollar
June 2011, Dean Baker and David Rosnick

More >

Blogs

Austerity and the Employment Rate

What Did CBO Really Say about the Minimum Wage?

Have Economists Underestimated the Impact of Fiscal Stimulus?

Mindless Budget Reporting: Fooling Some of the People All of the Time

CEPR News June 2013

More >

Op-Eds & Columns

Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, Yet Again: Review of Dead Men Ruling

Dean Baker
The Huffington Post, July 22, 2014

Full Employment and the Path to Shared Prosperity

Dean Baker and Jared Bernstein
Dissent, Summer 2014

Will India be the Uber of the Pharmaceutical Industry?

Dean Baker
Truthout, June 30 2014

Fighting Climate Change with Taxpayer Dollars isn't a Fight against Freedom – it's a Fight against the End of the Planet

Dean Baker
The Guardian, June 9, 2014

A Better Way to Fix the Problem of Offshore Profits

Eileen Appelbaum
The Hill, May 29, 2014

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Events

NC Policy Watch Crucial Conversation luncheon

Getting Back to Full Employment and Reducing Inequality

The Safety Net, Sequestration and Austerity Politics

Cost-of-Living Adjustments and Federal Benefits: Understanding the Full Implications of Change

The Future of Social Security with Dean Baker

The Fiscal Cliff: New Heights of Sensationalism

Threats to Medicare: The Election and the Lame Duck Congress

Tax Equity: Paying Fair

Need or Greed: Who's Responsible for the Global Economic Collapse?

Rebuilding the Middle Class

More >

Testimony

No Need to Talk About Taking an Ax to Safety Net for the Poor
December 16, 2010, Dean Baker's Comments at Brookings Institution Forum

Other Resources

Recession 2.0?
CNN, June 12, 2010

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