Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX), Vice Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, and ranking Senate Republican Jim DeMint (R-SC) today announced that the JEC will hold a hearing to examine the effects the mounting federal debt may have on the U.S. economy. The hearing will convene on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 210 Cannon House Office Building (The House Budget Committee hearing room).
“Like a family or a business loaded down with heavy debt, nations suffer from high levels of debt as well,” said Brady. “Prominent economists such as Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff have warned Americans that gross government debt in excess of 90% of GDP slows economic growth and job creation. We know that high levels of government debt relative to GDP have triggered the debt crisis plaguing Greece that threatens to engulf other euro zone countries as well. It’s important that policymakers in Congress hear from a team of expert witnesses what these impacts are, how we might best avert their most dire effects and shrink the debt to the point that we can return to a path of renewed economic growth.”
“Everyone acknowledges that America’s national debt is unsustainable, but when do we hit a tipping point and what happens when we reach it?” said Senator DeMint. “A future of inflation, spiking interest rates slower growth, and narrower horizons would fundamentally change our economy and our society—hurting our biggest corporations and smallest businesses,” he continued. “The debt limit deal aside, America is fast approaching our real debt limit. This hearing will help identify the core problems and solutions to America’s debt crisis,” the Senator stated.
Brady and DeMint announced that the following witnesses will appear at the hearing to offer testimony and answer members’ questions.
Dr. Allan H. Meltzer, The Allan H. Meltzer Professor of Political Economy, Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh PA).
Mr. Chris Edwards, Director of Tax Policy Studies, The Cato Institute (Washington, DC).
Dr. Laurence Bell, Professor of Economics, Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore MD).