Visit to Morehouse College

February 9, 2010

Last week I had the opportunity to speak at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. David Poyer, an associate professor in the economics department at Morehouse, spent last summer working at CBO, and he asked if I would be interested in coming down to Morehouse sometime. I told him that I would be delighted to come, and I was pleased to receive an official invitation from Morehouse president Robert Franklin.

I spoke to Morehouse students about CBOs recent Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2010 to 2020. My slides highlighted:

  • The slow and protracted recovery that CBO expects for the U.S. economy and labor market, including the likely effects in the next few years of the unusually large jump in the share of unemployed workers whose previous jobs have been permanently lost and the unusually sharp drop in peoples participation in the labor force as workers became discouraged from looking for a job.
  • The notable deficits that CBO projects under current law, the significantly larger deficits that CBO projects under some policy alternatives that have received a good deal of attention (including extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, indexing the alternative minimum tax to inflation, and increasing discretionary spending faster than price increases alone), and the sources of those deficits relative to past budget outcomes.

After my prepared remarks, four students joined me on stage and asked challenging questions about the future of health care reform, how to address the budget deficit, and other current issues. I then had a chance to talk with them and other students informally, wrapping up a very enjoyable visit.