UnRepresented and UnSustainable

Blog Post
Wednesday, April 28, 2021

This week on Facing the Future Tori Gorman and I went to the movies, an appropriate thing to do following the Oscars. We looked at some fiscal policy aspects of an award winning  documentary called UnRepresented, which deals with the influence of money in politics. At the conclusion, I had some observations about the new 2020 U.S. Census data and its implications for future economic growth. It’s not good news.

Our guests for the UnRepresented discussion were Andrew Rodney, the film’s executive producer, Maya MacGuineas, President of the CFRB, who appears in the film, and David Walker, former Comptroller General of the United States. We all took part in a panel discussion moderated by Gorman on April 22 and the podcast is based on key insights from that event. 

Topics included such things as why deficits should matter to the public, whether to go big or go incremental on deficit reduction measures, the need to pay for new initiatives and the pros and cons of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

“I made the film in large part to bring attention to the deficit and debt spending in general because I feel that it’s too often lost in discussions today and the role that it plays in helping to fund the corruption cycle that is preventing our government from hearing the voices of ordinary Americans and being accountable to them,” Rodney said.

“We now have a Republic that is not representative of nor responsive to the general public,” Walker said. It’s not just a matter of partisanship. It’s a matter of the great ideological divide….We need a lot more leadership. We need a lot more integrity and we need a lot more stewardship with regard to our government.”

MacGuineas observed that, “We just borrowed trillions of dollars, rightly because of an emergency, on top of trillions of dollars that we borrowed wrongly during the economic expansion and guess what’s going on in Congress with regard to the budget process? Nothing.”

Our kids, she said, will be entering a very different world than the one we inherited “with both hands tied behind their back with regard to fiscal policy.”