Segments in this Video

"That's Debatable" Housekeeping (02:26)


Moderator John Donvan provides the framework for the debate on national deficits, reveals pre-debate voting results, and introduces panelists.

Opening Statements For: James Galbraith (01:56)

Professor of Public Affairs & Former Congressional Joint Economic Committee Executive Director Galbraith states that large national deficits do not increase interest rates in countries that pay debts in their own currency. The dollar may decline but it will not collapse.

Opening Statements Against: Otmar Issing (01:12)

Former European Central Bank Chief Economist Issing states that despite national deficits coming closer to the levels after WWII, the greater part of the public debt is not visible. High debt implies limits on future expenditures.

Opening Statements For: Stephanie Kelton (02:34)

Economist & Author Kelton states that the federal government is not like a household and its budget should not be managed as such. Every deficit is good for someone; they can become too big or too small.

Opening Statements Against: Todd Buchholz (03:03)

Former White House Director of Economic Policy & Author Buchholz states that the dollar should not be the mascot of modern monetary theory. He provides examples of negative outcomes related to national debt. Donvan introduces round two.

Fear of Government Over Spending (04:43)

Congress already has economic power and can appropriate funding and evidence suggests they will control spending. Buchholz believes that is a dangerous doctrine and cites Turkey as an example. See an upcoming segment preview.

Key Points and Arguments (02:49)

Artificial Intelligence provides a narrative of the most prevalent points of the debate as identified by the global audience.

Social Impact of National Deficits (06:17)

Issing states that international relations need stability. Kelton discusses the process of government spending. Buchholz counters that MMT diminishes the Central Bank's authority; deficit disregard will depreciate currency. Galbraith reflects on improving quality of life. See an upcoming segment preview.

Rising Debt and the Future (05:26)

Buchholz believes we should spend money during a pandemic but cautions against relinquishing fiscal discipline when an economy is doing well. Panelists discuss stopping deficit spending and unemployment. See an upcoming segment preview.

Debt and Generational Impact (04:33)

Kelton discusses differences in public, personal, and corporate debt. Buchholz makes a comparison between government and personal debt. Panelists disagree about the impact of bonds and debt on future generations.

Surplus Distribution (03:19)

Buchholz argues that increasing national deficits puts a strain on the economy and families. Galbraith states that Social Security is valuable but it has nothing to do with the government deficit as a whole. See an upcoming segment preview.

Closing Statements For: Kelton (02:51)

The words government deficit present as a problem; a deficit means a surplus for someone. The CARES Act is a positive example of debt usage.

Closing Statements Against: Buchholz (02:05)

Modern Monetary Theory can be damaging. There is no evidence that MMT would raise the standard of living. Deficits put the standard of living for future generations at risk.

Closing Statements For: Galbraith (02:01)

To worry unnecessarily is neurotic. Experience indicates that we can address important problems if we have organization, capacity, and determination.

Closing Statements Against: (01:36)

Constraints prevent public spending from getting out of control. Ignoring public deficits and debt is populism and the surest way to destroy currency values.

Voting Results (01:17)

Donvan reveals audience votes, declares the winner, thanks the panelists, and highlights an upcoming debate.

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Stop Worrying About National Deficits: A Debate

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
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3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Governments around the world have spent unprecedented sums—trillions of dollars—to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In the United States alone, the national deficit surpassed $3 trillion in 2020—three times more than that of 2019 and $2 trillion more than the government had projected earlier in the year. But just what does rising government debt mean for the nation's future? A new crop of economists—adherents to Modern Monetary Theory—have set forth a bold proposition: Don't worry about it. In a modern economy, they argue, deficits do not pose a major threat, and they certainly should not prevent the government from spending on such vital initiatives as education, health care, and infrastructure. But others disagree. If the government doesn't balance its books, they warn, soaring federal debt will undermine the nation's economic future, weaken essential institutions, and compromise national security. Should Americans stop worrying about national deficits?

Length: 49 minutes

Item#: BVL237644

ISBN: 978-1-63722-246-1

Copyright date: ©2020

Closed Captioned

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