Understanding America's Long-term Fiscal Picture, Hearing Before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourteenth Congress, First Session, July 9, 2015   [open pdf - 2MB]

This is the July 9, 2015 hearing on "Understanding America's Long-Term Fiscal Picture," held before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. From the opening statement of Ron Johnson: "Today's hearing is the first in a series that will focus on describing and defining America's long-term fiscal situation. Over the past week, the world has watched the inevitable next step unfold as Greece is forced to come to terms with the fact that the government benefits promised to Greek citizens exceed its government's ability to pay. No one can predict the end result, but almost everyone admits that Greece's current welfare model is 'unsustainable.' 'Unsustainable' is a word we have consistently heard from multiple government officials and financial experts in congressional hearings as they describe America's current fiscal path. Few would argue that the current fiscal path is sustainable, and yet very little has been done to address our long-term financial problem. Why? One reason is that basic human nature often leads to procrastination and the avoidance or denial of unpleasant realities. People prefer to be optimistic and tend to convince themselves that somehow they will be able to conjure up some way out of a bad, or even impossible, situation. This kind of 'can do' attitude is admirable when it results in real solutions. It can be disastrous if it prevents us from taking the first step in solving any problem, which is actually admitting we have one." Statements, letters, and other materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Keith Hall.

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