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Can Lame Duck Congress Solve Fiscal Cliff Hanger?

WHO: American University Defense, Government, Tax and Budget Experts

WHAT: Fiscal cliff experts available for interviews.

WHEN: November 29 - ongoing

WHERE: American University, in-studio, via telephone or Skype

American University experts are available to analyze and discuss budget agreement proposals and a wide range of fiscal cliff issues and their respective impact should Congress and President Obama fail to come to terms. In particular, AU experts can address defense budget issues/sequestration, tax/revenue increases, entitlement reform, other budget issues, political maneuvering including President Obama’s and House Republican public relations efforts, and the path to achieving bipartisan agreement.

Defense Budget and Fiscal Issues
Gordon Adams, professor of U.S. Foreign Policy, is a defense budget expert who believes the defense build down is inevitable, regardless of the “fiscal cliff,” and could easily achieve a savings of $1 trillion. Adams oversaw all U.S. foreign affairs and national security budgeting at the Office of Management and Budget under the Clinton Administration during the last ‘defense build down’ resulting from the end of the Cold War. Adams is the co-author of Buying National Security: How America Plans and Pays for Its Global Role and Safety at Home (Routledge 2010). He is also a regular columnist at Foreign Policy

Daniel Mullins, associate professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy, focuses his research on fiscal reform and decentralization, intergovernmental fiscal systems, the effects of tax and expenditure limitations on state and local fiscal structure, the implications of demographic changes for state and local revenues and expenditures, municipal budgeting practices, and economic development strategies. Mullins served as the managing editor for the academic journal Public Budgeting & Finance for nearly 12 years . He can speak about expenditures, financing government services, tax policy, and other areas surrounding public finance.

Evan Kraft, economist in residence in the Department of Economics, can discuss how serious the need for cutting the fiscal deficit really is from a macroeconomic standpoint and some of the possible solutions. Kraft's research has focused on macroeconomic stabilization, monetary policy, dollarization, banking and financial stability. He teaches the courses Money, Banking and Finance; Intermediate Macroeconomics; and Comparative Economic Systems.

Ambassador Connie Morella served as a member of Congress from 1987-2003 before serving as the U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Ambassador Morella, a moderate Republican member of the House of Representatives representing Montgomery County in Maryland, ably served constituents and reached across the aisle during her tenure to achieve bipartisan successes on issues ranging from healthcare, programs for the elderly, and environmental issues. She is available to discuss what both parties must do to avert the fiscal cliff and the responsibilities each member of Congress has to his/her constituents during times of bitter partisanship.

James Thurber, university professor of government and director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, is an expert on presidential-congressional relations. Thurber worked on four congressional reorganization efforts since 1976. He was legislative assistant to U.S. Senators Hubert H. Humphrey, William Brock, Adlai Stevenson III, and U.S. Representative David Obey. He is also the author of Obama in Office (2011). He can address the political maneuvering of House Republicans, Democrats in the Senate, and President Obama’s political capital and mandate after the election.

Patrick Griffin is the associate director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies and served as legislative affairs director in the Clinton administration. Griffin also has served in various roles in the U.S. Senate as an elected official of the Senate and senior advisor to majority or Democratic leaders including as a staff member on the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and the Senate Budget Committee. Griffin can speak to tactics and proposals coming from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue in addition to gambits being played by Republicans and Democrats.

Dave Kautter, is the Managing Director of the Kogod Tax Center and executive in residence in the Department of Accounting and Taxation. Kautter served as Ernst & Young's Director of National Tax, the chief operating executive for the firm's national tax practices. He is available to discuss the tax implications under various proposals being offered as well as if Congress fails to act and the United States falls over the fiscal cliff.

Don Williamson is the director of the Masters of Science in Taxation degree program, and serves as executive director of the Kogod Tax Center. He is available to discuss the tax implications under various proposals being offered as well as if Congress fails to act and the United States falls over the fiscal cliff.

Personal Finance
Mark Waldman, executive in residence in personal finance has taught at American University for several years. He runs Waldman Financial Advisers LLC, an SEC-registered investment advisory firm. Waldman leads financial training at a variety of public and private organizations, is the author of a book on money and spirituality, and has appeared on a wide variety of media outlets.

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.