America’s Fiscal Constitution tells the remarkable story of fiscal heroes who imposed clear limits on the use of federal debt. Those national leaders relied on well-defined budget practices to balance federal spending and revenues. That traditional fiscal constitution collapsed in 2001. For the first time in history, federal elected officials cut taxes during war, funded permanent new programs entirely with debt, grew dependent on foreign creditors, and claimed that the economy could not thrive without routine federal borrowing.
Once, virtually all mainstream politicians recognized that excessive debt could jeopardize private investment and national independence. Today no one in congressional leadership offers a concrete plan to balance the budget during their term in office.
With original scholarship and the benefit of experience in finance and public service, Bill White dispels common budget myths and distills practical lessons from the nation’s five previous spikes in debt. America’s Fiscal Constitution offers an objective and hopeful guide for people trying to make sense of the nation’s current, most severe debt crisis and its impact on their lives and our future.
More About the Speakers
Mayor Bill White
Senior Advisor, Lazard Frères, and former Mayor of Houston, Texas
Distinguished Visiting Fellow