Real Specifics:  15 Ways to Rethink the Federal Budget—Part II:  Addressing Entitlements, Taxation, and Revenues


When: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 • 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (lunch included)

Where: Capital Hilton Hotel • 1001 16th Street, NW • Washington, DC • spacer Map

Media Inquiries: Lindsey Underwood • 202/797-6082 •

General Inquiries: Laura Howell • 202/797-4360 •


Budget battles continue in Washington even after the White House and Congress cut a last-minute deal to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff.”  With the imminent threat of default removed for now, the next potential challenge to the economy could come from sequestration, set to go into effect on March 1.

The Hamilton Project asked experts from a variety of backgrounds—the policy world, academia, and the private sector—and from both sides of the political aisle, to provide innovative, pragmatic proposals for lowering the deficit by reducing expenditures or raising revenues, and that take into account impacts to the economy at large. 

The resulting 13 proposals range across budget groups, and include options to reduce mandatory and discretionary programs, to improve economic efficiency, and touch on topics as wide ranging as immigration, transportation, healthcare, and mortgage interest.  This diverse group of authors convened in at a forum on February 26th in Washington, DC to discuss their ideas in a series of roundtable discussions.

The first forum in this series was held on February 22nd at the Brookings Institution and focused on opportunities to create greater efficiency in the defense budget.



Robert E. Rubin, Co-Chair, Council on Foreign Relations; Former U.S. Treasury Secretary

The State of the Budget: Prospects, Challenges, and Opportunities

Discussant:  Donald Marron, Director, Tax Policy Center

Discussant: Robert D. Reischauer, Distinguished Institute Fellow and President Emeritus, The Urban Institute

Discussant: Alice M. Rivlin, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

Facilitator: Roger C. Altman, Founder & Chairman, Evercore Partners

Overview of the Budget Book

Michael Greenstone, Senior Fellow and Director, The Hamilton Project, The Brookings Institution

Panel 1: An Enduring Social Safety Net

Author: Michael Chernew, Professor of Health Care Policy in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School

Author: Edward Thomas, President, Natural Hazard Mitigation Association

Author: Jonathan Gruber, Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Author: Jeffrey B. Liebman, Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Discussant: Paul N. Van de Water, Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Moderator: Laura D’Andrea Tyson, S.K. and Angela Chan Professor of Global Management, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

Working Lunch

(Lunch will be provided for registered attendees)

Panel 2: Innovative Approaches to Tax Reform

Author: Joseph E. Aldy, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Author: Karen Dynan, Vice President and Co-Director, Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution

Author: Diane Lim, Chief Economist, Pew Charitable Trusts

Author: Alan Viard, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

Discussant: Adam Looney, Policy Director, The Hamilton Project

Moderator: Robert Greenstein, President, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Panel 3: New Sources of Revenue and Efficiency

Author: Tyler Duvall, Associate Principal, McKinsey & Company

Author: Benjamin H. Harris, Senior Research Associate, The Urban Institute

Author: Adele Morris, Fellow and Policy Director, Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution

Author: Pia Orrenius, Assistant Vice President and Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Author: Phillip Swagel, Professor of International Economics, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland

Moderator: Michael Greenstone, Senior Fellow and Director, The Hamilton Project, The Brookings Institution

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