Archive | March, 2010

Sun-Sentinel runs Executive Director Rick Berman’s op-ed: Health care reform rakes debt ceiling

Posted on 26 March 2010

Democratic leaders in the U.S. House are in a celebratory mood. After a weekend of arm-twisting and deal-making, Nancy Pelosi was able to lock down 219 votes for the health reform bill.

Meanwhile, the rest of us got a close-up look at the ugly reality of modern political discourse: Discussions of the legislation’s merits or flaws were replaced by hyperbolic talking points about its deficit-reducing qualities. But substance is still important. And accounting gimmicks have obscured the fact that new entitlements created by this bill will add to unsustainable budget deficits.


Senate Responds to Record-High February Budget Deficit by Spending $130 Billion More

Posted on 11 March 2010

The “Defeat the Debt” Campaign’s Statement on Deficits Created By Congress’ Irresponsible Spending

Washington, D.C. — Last night, the US Treasury Department announced that the federal government’s budget deficit for the month of February was the highest ever, at $220.9 billion.

In response, Rick Berman, executive director of the Employment Policies Institute, released the following statement:

It’s ironic that this news was released the same day the Senate ignored its own Pay-As-You-Go rule and approved a ”jobs“ bill that will add $130 billion to our soaring deficit.

But in Washington, where budgets with $1.5 trillion deficits are called ”responsible,“ such inconsistencies are maddeningly commonplace.

With Congress preparing to force through a health care bill that will spend more than $2 trillion over ten years, we shouldn’t be shocked if our deficits reach new highs every month hereafter.

If we continue to recklessly spend more money than we have, we’ll have no one but ourselves to blame when the next fiscal crisis arrives.

For more information, visit To arrange an interview, please call Sarah Longwell at 202.463.7650 is a project of the Employment Policies Institute and aims to highlight the threat posed by the unsustainable borrowing and spending of the federal government. To learn more about the debt, visit

The “Defeat the Debt” Campaign Uses the Annual Academy Awards to Quantify the National Debt

Posted on 05 March 2010

Washington, D.C. — released the following statement today, quantifying the size of the national debt and comparing it to the 82nd Annual Academy Awards happening this Sunday night:

Thanks to our government’s lack of fiscal responsibility, we have accumulated more than $12 trillion in national debt. We’re currently paying $600 million a day just to cover the interest payments.

To put  that daily interest  in context, consider what this Sunday’s payment  would purchase at the Oscars:

  • $600 million would finance  production of all 10 of this year’s Best Picture nominees.
  • $600 million would purchase 300,000 Vera Wang evening gowns, at $2,000 a pop. That’s enough to give a dress to each and every Oscar attendee for the next 90 years.
  • $600 million would purchase 1.2 million gold Oscar statuettes, enough for the Academy to have awards on hand for every show for the next 24,000 years.
  • $600 million would cover all 16,500 square feet of the famed red carpet with a stack of dollar bills 18 inches deep.

“Our government has been living a reckless life of fiscal excess,” said Rick Berman, Executive Director of the Employment Policies Institute.

“If we continue to live beyond our means, the tragic bankruptcy that comes at the end of our own ‘True Hollywood Story’ will be a disaster for us all.” is a project of the Employment Policies Institute, and aims to highlight the threat posed by the unsustainable borrowing and spending of the federal government. To learn more about the debt, visit