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Choosing Our Fiscal Future

Choosing the Nation’s Fiscal Future was the culmination of two years of effort by the National Academy of Public Administration and the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences, supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Composed of experts who represented a diversity of disciplines, a wealth of experience, and a wide range of political and policy views, the Committee volunteered its time to produce an extraordinary body of work.

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Key Findings

The report not only lays out the consequences of inaction, but also shows a variety of paths toward a sustainable fiscal future for America. In addition, it provides a set of practical tests that can be applied to assess the fiscal prudence of federal budget proposals.

A supporting website and online community were developed by the National Academy with additional funding from the MacArthur Foundation. The website and social media components are maintained by the National Academy and Public Agenda in a collaborative effort to call attention to the long-term structural issues that will drive the national debt, the variety of solutions available to solve the problem, and the need to act soon to avoid having to take drastic actions in the future.


Topics Addressed:

  • The Long-Term Challenge
  • Framing the Choices
  • Fiscal Prudence
  • Choices for a Sustainable Budget
  • Options for Medicare and Medicaid
  • Options for Social Security
  • Options for Defense and Other Domestic Spending
  • Revenue Options
  • Multiple Paths to Sustainability
  • Fiscal Stewardship: A Budget Process for the Long-Term
  • What Should Be Done Now?

Study Fellows