The most authoritative speaker was Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a national group focused on fiscal responsibility that was created 20 years ago by former New Hampshire GOP Sen. Warren Rudman.
Bixby called the debt a moral issue, and said it's not a matter of ideology, but economics. The culprits? The aging of America, in part.
"We can't grow our way out of it. That's really the bottom line," he said, stressing that "We have to put everything on the table."