Debts, Deficits and the Economy: How Did We Get Here and Where Are We Going?

A student organization at Maxwell, the Policy Students for Fiscal Sustainability (PSFS) is holding a two-day conference, “Debt, Deficits, and the Economy: How Did We Get Here and Where Are We Going?” What a pertinent time for a this kind of conference and conversation. I can’t wait to attend and check out all the great programing my classmates have lined up. The conference will be April 14 – 16 at the Maxwell School. All programing details can be found below.

Here is some more information about PSFS – please follow them on Twitter (@OurBudgets) and Facebook. Be sure to check out their website as well, great content.

OurBudgets is the social media project of Policy Students for Fiscal Sustainability (PSFS). Our mission is to facilitate informed debate among policy students in order to make the US federal budget, tax policy, and the economic consequences of unsustainable federal deficits more understandable to our generation. Our vision is for policy students and young policy professionals to advance a sustainable federal budget that does not place an unfair burden on future generations.

Things We Value

  • Collaboration. Working together to build a youth-focused frame of reference for understanding the fiscal challenges confronting younger Americans.
  • Independence. Policy Students for Fiscal Sustainability is not beholden to an ideological agenda. We value intelligent disagreement.
  • Accessibility. We share objective information that allows non-economists to distinguish sustainable budget policy from political rhetoric.
  • Owning up. Public Policy (MPP) and Public Administration (MPA) students — as future policymakers — have a responsibility to address the challenges we face.

Here is a quick video about the event, complete programming can be found below.

Debt, Deficits, and the Economy: How Did We Get Here and Where Are We Going?

April 14 – 16, 2011

Free / Register by Monday, April 11 at

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Bruce Bartlett, Columnist for The Fiscal Times and former deputy assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury Department
  • Leonard Burman, Daniel Patrick Moynihan Professor of Public Affairs at the Maxwell School, Former Director of the Tax Policy Center
  • William B. Magnarelli, New York State Assemblymember, 120th District
  • Stephanie Miner, Mayor of the City of Syracuse
  • John Palmer, University Professor and Dean Emeritus of The Maxwell School, former public trustee for Medicare and Social Security
  • Vito Sciscioli, Executive Director, Syracuse 20/20; The Maxwell School
  • Susan Tanaka, Vice President, The Peter G. Peterson Foundation


All events in the Public Events Room, Second Floor, The Maxwell School unless otherwise noted.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

5:30 – 6:45 p.m. (Maxwell Auditorium): Public screenings featuring short documentaries and videos followed by moderated discussion.

Friday, April 15, 2011

8:00 – 9:00 a.m: Continental Breakfast and Registration

9:00 – 10:00 a.m: Plenary Session covering the basics of the debt situation featuring Prof. Leonard Burman, Prof. John Palmer & Susan Tanaka

10:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m: “What Does the Debt Mean to Us?” Moderated by Dave Bullard (WRVO-FM), this panel discussion features Dean Baker, Bruce Bartlett, Prof. Leonard Burman, Prof. John Palmer, and Susan Tanaka. Attendees will have the opportunity to pose questions directly to panelists. Portions of this session will be broadcast as part of the”WRVO Community Forum” series, airing April 29 at 1:00 p.m.

12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m: Lunch

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m: Breakout sessions with featured speakers:

  • Citizen Engagement (Tanaka)
  • Health Care Entitlement Spending (Palmer)
  • Tax Reform (Bartlett and Burman)
  • The Invented Long-Term Deficit Problem (Baker)

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m: Concluding Remarks and Wrap-Up

4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m: Student strategy session

5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m: Reception & Networking

Saturday, April 16, 2011

10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m: Making Hard Decisions: How Are New York State and Local Governments Responding to Fiscal Challenges? Moderated by Prof. Vito Sciscioli, this panel discussion features City of Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and New York State Assemblymember William Magnarelli



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