#22 - Brian Riedl, Budget Whisperer & Debt Crusader


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(From Manhattan Institute) - Brian Riedl is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, focusing on budget, tax, and economic policy. Previously, he worked for six years as chief economist to Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and as staff director of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth. He also served as a director of budget and spending policy for Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign and was the lead architect of the ten-year deficit-reduction plan for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

During 2001–11, Riedl served as the Heritage Foundation’s lead research fellow on federal budget and spending policy. In that position, he helped lay the groundwork for Congress to cap soaring federal spending, rein in farm subsidies, and ban pork-barrel earmarks. Riedl’s writing and research have been featured in, among others, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and National Review; he is a frequent guest on NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, and C-SPAN.

Riedl holds a bachelor's degree in economics and political science from the University of Wisconsin and a master's degree in public affairs from Princeton University.


  • 0:45 - Intro to Brian
  • 1:45 - Status of the federal debt and why is it so important
  • 6:45 - The insanity of future budget deficits
  • 9:30 - Will there be a crash or slow decline?
  • 14:30 - When will it happen?
  • 16:15 - Entitlements are THE problem and both parties are big spending parties
  • 20:30 - Who actually holds the debt?
  • 25:45 - Interest rates
  • 32:15 - Is American debt too big to fail?
  • 35:30 - Can all the millionaires and billionaires pay for the debt?
  • 40:45 - How would Brian fix the debt crisis?
  • 44:45 - Low hanging fruit
  • 49:45 - AARP
  • 53:45 - Brian’s closing thoughts


List of Brian's writing

Brian's twitter

Jeff's twitter


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