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2011 Year in Review

Michael Stubel contributed to this post.

In the last 12 months, BPC has launched programs to address housing and nutrition and physical activity issues, renewed our commitment to energy and health policy, and carried on a budding tradition with the Third Annual Political Summit in New Orleans.

BPC’s Debt Reduction Task Force, which garnered widespread attention for its 2010 report, Restoring America’s Future, was a leading voice for an “everything must be on the table” approach to the nation’s long-term fiscal problems. The Economic Policy Project’s Debt Limit Analysis proved to be an influential tool in educating the public on the consequences of a delay in raising the debt ceiling. In the midst of the Arab Spring, the National Security Project released timely reports on stabilizing fragile states, including Egypt and Yemen. The National Security Preparedness Group (NSPG) published a widely referenced report card on the status of the 9/11 Commission recommendations. You get the idea?it was a busy year! Here are our top 11 highlights for 2011:

1. BPC in the Big Easy

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On November 15-16, we returned to Tulane University in New Orleans for our Third Annual Political Summit, “Taking the Poison out of Partisanship.” Co-hosts James Carville and Mary Matalin (above) highlighted a cast of current and former elected officials, national political strategists and prominent journalists. Panel discussions on the summit’s second day explored how Democrats and Republicans can come together even as partisanship ramps up ahead of the 2012 elections. View photos and video from the summit here.

Relevant Reading

Fantasies of a Debt Deal From a Convivial Congress, The New York Times

2. Harnessing Energy

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In April, we launched our new Energy Project. Former Senators Trent Lott and Byron Dorgan, General Jim Jones (ret.) and Oil Spill Commission Co-Chair William K. Reilly are leading the project, which focuses on key national energy policy issues, including energy security, supply, reliability, cost, and sustainability. In September, the American Energy and Innovation Council (AEIC), a group of America’s top business leaders, released its second report, Catalyzing American Ingenuity. The report highlights the need for an active government role in energy innovation. AEIC members include Bill Gates, Norm Augustine, Ursula Burns (above, with Gates), John Doerr, Chad Holliday, Jeff Immelt and Tim Solso.

Relevant Reading

Bill Gates on the importance of energy research for the future, Marketplace

Break Energy Deadlock, Bipartisan Group Urges U.S., The New York Times

3. BPC Goes All In On ?Go Big’

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Photo credit: Melina Mara, The Washington Post Months before super committee frenzy overtook Washington, BPC’s Debt Reduction Task Force, led by Senator Pete Domenici and Dr. Alice Rivlin (the pair are shown above testifying before the super committee), urged Congress and the president to put forth a package to spur economic growth, stabilize the debt, protect and restructure major entitlement programs and implement pro-growth tax reform. Despite our disappointment in the super committee’s failure to reach a bipartisan agreement that addresses the largest drivers of our debt, BPC’s task force will continue to advocate for a grand bargain to reassure the American public, the markets and the world that our political process can still function when we need it most.

Relevant Reading

BPC Health Spending Graphic Among Top Charts of 2011 The grand bargain, The Hill

Peterson Fiscal Summit: Steve Bell Presents BPC’s Debt Reduction Plan

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer Calls for Balanced Approach to Deficit Reduction Let’s Go Caps!, The New York Times

4. Texas-Sized Innovation