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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Publication Date: 2015
Philanthropist, businessman, and former secretary of commerce Peter G. Peterson argues that we can no longer ignore the long-term debt challenges facing our country, because our economic future depends on it. The gross federal debt now exceeds $17 trillion and it is expected to rise rapidly in the decades to come. If the growing gap between projected spending and revenues continues to widen, our federal debt is projected to soar to the highest levels in our nation’s history—more than four times its average over the past forty years. This growing debt and the associated interest costs divert resources away from important public and private investments that are critical to our global competitiveness, threatening our future economy.
Peterson has made it his life’s work to bring awareness to America’s key economic and fiscal challenges. He makes clear that if we continue to ignore America’s long-term debt, we will diminish economic opportunities for future generations, weaken our ability to protect the most vulnerable, and undermine the competitive strength of our businesses globally.
The drama-filled, economically damaging budget battles of the last few years have focused almost entirely on the short term—putting aside the more difficult, but much more important, long-term issues. Peterson offers nonpartisan analysis of our economic challenges and a robust set of options for solving our long-term debt problems. He looks at the impact of aging baby boomers, growing healthcare costs, outdated military spending, a flawed tax code, and our divided political system. And he offers hopeful, durable, and achievable solutions for improving our fiscal outlook through a mix of progrowth reform options that would reduce government spending and increase revenue, and could be phased in gradually in the years to come.
There’s still time to restore the United States as a land of opportunity. Peterson’s diagnosis and recommendations can help us confront our fiscal reality, address our long-term debt, and steer the country safely toward a more secure and dynamic economic future.
—PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON
“In a society where success is too often measured quarter by quarter or election by election, Pete, just as he has throughout his career, takes the long view. We can all benefit from the richness and thoughtfulness of his perspective in this book as we take on one of the toughest challenges of our generation: securing America’s economic future.”
—JEFFREY R. IMMELT, chairman and CEO, GE
“This timely and essential book presents a frank assessment of our country’s long-term fiscal picture, why it matters, and what we can do to put our nation on a path toward a brighter economic future. Peterson is a visionary who has seen these challenges coming for decades. Steering Clear should be required reading for anyone who is concerned about the fiscal legacy and economic opportunities we will bequeath to future generations.”
—ALAN GREENSPAN, former chairman, Federal Reserve Board
“Pete Peterson’s latest book reminds us that in order to restore the United States as a ‘land of opportunity,’ America’s fiscal crisis must be dealt with head on. He sets out a clear list of options for solving our long-term debt problem, which is critical to our children’s future.”
—BILL BRADLEY, former U.S. senator
“Pete Peterson has laid out clear, nonpartisan solutions to our nation’s economic challenges. The commonsense reforms he puts forth in Steering Clear aim to attack our growing debt, solve our long-term fiscal problems, expand economic opportunity, and put America back on the road to prosperity.”
—MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG, former mayor, New York City
“Pete Peterson has long been a deeply respected voice and champion for a responsible fiscal future for America. As we have now entered uncharted waters with regard to our unsustainable long-term debt, his compelling message for the imperative of charting a new, bipartisan course is more urgent than ever—and paramount for America’s prosperity in the decades to come.”
—OLYMPIA SNOWE, former U.S. senator; senior fellow, Bipartisan Policy Center
“Pete has made it his life’s work to ‘bail us out’ of our precipitous fiscal decline due to our still mounting debt. His superb book is the proverbial canary in the coal mine for all of America. His clarity and insight amid fiscal complexities and chaos, along with his recommended solutions, will provide for a better America.”
—ADMIRAL MIKE MULLEN, former chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff