Moving Forward Post-Super Committee: Remarks by Senator Rob Portman
Video
About This Event

Post-Event Summary
The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (the “super committee”) recently announced its decision to not make any recommendations concerning the current deficit, failing to lead the U.S. economy to a sustainable path to recovery. On Monday, committee member Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) joined the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) to discuss the implications of the super committee’s decision and the next steps in policy reform. He stressed the dual challenges of the current fiscal crisis and economic slump that are creating short-term and generational pressure on the economy. Portman also recognized the need for structural reforms in corporate income taxation, advocating a deficit-neutral tax reform conceptually outlined by the super committee, as well as the modernization of entitlement programs. Following Portman’s remarks, Kevin Hassett, Norm Ornstein and Andrew Biggs of AEI and William Gale of the Brookings Institution took part in a panel discussion about the senator’s remarks and the super committee’s failure. Ornstein discussed the difficulty of creating legislative bills from proposed ideas and guidelines, citing this problem as what ultimately inhibited a recommendation from the super committee. Biggs emphasized the structural hindrance of incentives in politics. As the political system exploits the ability to borrow to smooth over ideological differences, reform outcomes remain inefficient and uniquely dysfunctional. Gale questioned the ultimate decision of the super committee to provide no recommendation but also stated that the committee’s announcement does not change the economy; the country was already drifting in a dangerous economic direction.
---ALLISON STOLTE

Event Description
What did the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction’s announcement on November 23 contain: a successful bipartisan strategy for reducing the deficit or a disheartening lack of consensus? On the heels of the announcement, Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), one of the 12 members of the committee, speaks at the American Enterprise Institute to discuss the details and implications of the super committee’s decisions. Following the senator’s remarks, a panel of experts offers their analyses of the committee’s conclusions and their significance for the political and economic future of the country.


Agenda

1:30 PM
Registration

2:00 PM
Introduction:
ALEX BRILL, AEI

Remarks:
ROB PORTMAN (R-OH), U.S. Senate

2:30 PM
Question and Answer Session

2:45 PM
Panel Discussion

Panelists:
KEVIN A. HASSETT, AEI
ANDREW G. BIGGS, AEI
NORMAN J. ORNSTEIN, AEI
WILLIAM G. GALE, Brookings Institution

4:00 PM
Adjournment

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Veronika Polakova at veronika.polakova@aei.org, 202.862.4880.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact Véronique Rodman at vrodman@aei.org, 202.862.4871.

Speaker Biographies

Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) was born and raised in Cincinnati, where he lives today with his family. Growing up, he and his brother and sister worked at Portman Equipment Company, which his father had started and grown into a company with 300 employees. He went into private practice as a lawyer, and in 1993 was elected to the House of Representatives, where he served the Second District of Ohio for 12 years. In the House, he was known for finding bipartisan agreement on initiatives to increase retirement savings, reform the IRS and add over 50 new taxpayer rights, curb unfunded mandates, reduce taxes, and expand drug prevention and land conservation efforts. In 2005, he was chosen to be the United States trade representative, the Cabinet-level official responsible for implementing and enforcing U.S. trade policy, and he then served as the director of the Office of Management and Budget. He began his Senate term on January 5, 2011, and was one of the three Senate Republicans appointed to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, referred to as the “super committee.”

Andrew G. Biggs is a resident scholar at AEI. Mr. Biggs was the principal deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration, where he oversaw the agency’s policy research efforts and led its participation in the Social Security Trustees working group. He worked on Social Security reform at the National Economic Council in 2005 and was on the staff of the President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security in 2001.

William G. Gale holds the Arjay and Frances Fearing Miller Chair in Federal Economic Policy in the economic studies program at the Brookings Institution and is the co-director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. His areas of expertise include taxation, budget and fiscal policy, private saving behavior, pensions and intergenerational transfers of wealth. Mr. Gale is a former senior staff economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and a former assistant professor of economics at the University of California at Los Angeles. He is the author or co-author of numerous academic and popular books, including “Economic Effects of Fundamental Tax Reform” (Brookings Institution, 1996), “Rethinking Estate and Gift Taxation” (Brookings Institution, 2001), “Private Pensions and Public Policies” (Brookings Institution, 2004), “The Evolving Pension System: Trends, Effects, and Proposals for Reform” (Brookings Institution, 2005), “Aging Gracefully: Ideas to Improve Retirement Security in America” (Century Foundation, 2006) and “Automatic: Changing the Way America Saves” (Brookings Institution, 2009).

Kevin A. Hassett is the director of economic policy studies and a senior fellow at AEI. Before joining AEI, he was a senior economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and an associate professor of economics and finance at the Graduate School of Business of Columbia University, as well as a policy consultant to the Treasury Department during the George H. W. Bush and Clinton administrations. He served as an economic adviser to the George W. Bush 2004 presidential campaign, chief economic adviser to Senator John McCain during the 2000 presidential primaries, and senior economic adviser to the McCain 2008 presidential campaign. Mr. Hassett also writes a column for National Review.

Norman J. Ornstein is a longtime observer of Congress and politics. He writes a weekly column for Roll Call and is an election analyst for CBS News. He also serves as co-director of the AEI-Brookings Project on Redistricting and as a senior counselor to the Continuity of Government Commission. Mr. Ornstein led a working group of scholars and practitioners that helped shape the law known as McCain-Feingold, which reformed the campaign-financing system. He was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004. His many books include “The Permanent Campaign and Its Future” (AEI Press, 2000), “The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track” (Oxford University Press, 2006, with Thomas E. Mann), and, most recently, “Vital Statistics on Congress, 2008” (Brookings Institution Press, 2008, with Mr. Mann and Michael Malbin).

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine

What's new on AEI

image Getting it right: US national security policy and al Qaeda since 2011
image Net neutrality rundown: What the NPRM means for you
image The Schuette decision
image Snatching failure from victory in Afghanistan
AEI Participants

 

Andrew G.
Biggs
  • Andrew G. Biggs is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies Social Security reform, state and local government pensions, and public sector pay and benefits.

    Before joining AEI, Biggs was the principal deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA), where he oversaw SSA’s policy research efforts. In 2005, as an associate director of the White House National Economic Council, he worked on Social Security reform. In 2001, he joined the staff of the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security. Biggs has been interviewed on radio and television as an expert on retirement issues and on public vs. private sector compensation. He has published widely in academic publications as well as in daily newspapers such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. He has also testified before Congress on numerous occasions. In 2013, the Society of Actuaries appointed Biggs co-vice chair of a blue ribbon panel tasked with analyzing the causes of underfunding in public pension plans and how governments can securely fund plans in the future.

    Biggs holds a bachelor’s degree from Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland, master’s degrees from Cambridge University and the University of London, and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.

  • Phone: 202-862-5841
    Email: andrew.biggs@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Kelly Funderburk
    Phone: 202-862-5920
    Email: kelly.funderburk@aei.org

 

Alex
Brill
  • Alex Brill is a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies the impact of tax policy on the US economy as well as the fiscal, economic, and political consequences of tax, budget, health care, retirement security, and trade policies. He also works on health care reform, pharmaceutical spending and drug innovation, and unemployment insurance reform. Brill is the author of a pro-growth proposal to reduce the corporate tax rate to 25 percent, and “The Real Tax Burden: More than Dollars and Cents” (2011), coauthored with Alan D. Viard. He has testified numerous times before Congress on tax policy, labor markets and unemployment insurance, Social Security reform, fiscal stimulus, the manufacturing sector, and biologic drug competition.

    Before joining AEI, Brill served as the policy director and chief economist of the House Ways and Means Committee. Previously, he served on the staff of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. He has also served on the staff of the President's Fiscal Commission (Simpson-Bowles) and the Republican Platform Committee (2008).

    Brill has an M.A. in mathematical finance from Boston University and a B.A. in economics from Tufts University.

  • Phone: 202-862-5931
    Email: alex.brill@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Brittany Pineros
    Phone: 202-862-5926
    Email: brittany.pineros@aei.org

 

Kevin A.
Hassett
  • Kevin A. Hassett is the State Farm James Q. Wilson Chair in American Politics and Culture at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He is also a resident scholar and AEI's director of economic policy studies.



    Before joining AEI, Hassett was a senior economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and an associate professor of economics and finance at Columbia (University) Business School. He served as a policy consultant to the US Department of the Treasury during the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations.

    Hassett has also been an economic adviser to presidential candidates since 2000, when he became the chief economic adviser to Senator John McCain during that year's presidential primaries. He served as an economic adviser to the George W. Bush 2004 presidential campaign, a senior economic adviser to the McCain 2008 presidential campaign, and an economic adviser to the Mitt Romney 2012 presidential campaign.

    Hassett is the author or editor of many books, among them "Rethinking Competitiveness" (2012), "Toward Fundamental Tax Reform" (2005), "Bubbleology: The New Science of Stock Market Winners and Losers" (2002), and "Inequality and Tax Policy" (2001). He is also a columnist for National Review and has written for Bloomberg.

    Hassett frequently appears on Bloomberg radio and TV, CNBC, CNN, Fox News Channel, NPR, and "PBS NewsHour," among others. He is also often quoted by, and his opinion pieces have been published in, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.

    Hassett has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in economics from Swarthmore College.

  • Phone: 202-862-7157
    Email: khassett@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Emma Bennett
    Phone: 202-862-5862
    Email: emma.bennett@aei.org

 

Norman J.
Ornstein
  • Norman Ornstein is a long-time observer of Congress and politics. He is a contributing editor and columnist for National Journal and The Atlantic and is an election eve analyst for BBC News. He served as codirector of the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project and participates in AEI's Election Watch series. He also served as a senior counselor to the Continuity of Government Commission. Mr. Ornstein led a working group of scholars and practitioners that helped shape the law, known as McCain-Feingold, that reformed the campaign financing system. He was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004. His many books include The Permanent Campaign and Its Future (AEI Press, 2000); The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track, with Thomas E. Mann (Oxford University Press, 2006, named by the Washington Post one of the best books of 2006 and called by The Economist "a classic"); and, most recently, the New York Times bestseller, It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism, also with Tom Mann, published in May 2012 by Basic Books. It was named as one of 2012's best books on pollitics by The New Yorker and one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post.
  • Phone: 202-862-5893
    Email: nornstein@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Jennifer Marsico
    Phone: 202-862-5899
    Email: jennifer.marsico@aei.org
AEI on Facebook