Keynote speaker Dr. Andrew Biggs addressed business professionals, and community leaders, from Hampton Roads at the 5th Annual Hampton Roads Business Brief on January 9, at the Founders Inn and Spa.
The event, produced by the Chamber, is one of the area's leading local programs on economic issues and is a key forum for these issues. Dr. Andrew Biggs, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, presented his findings on the Fiscal Cliff and its impact on the port, our military, and our nation’s economic health.
“The defense sequestration affects not only direct military capabilities, but follow-on economic effects through suppliers, maintenance—it just goes down the line,” Dr. Biggs said. “There are a lot of moving parts to this. I don’t think the military sequestration will take place; they will find something smaller.”
Dr. Biggs also discussed the budgetary effects of the agreement, saying, “This is a temporary fix by any measure. We are not where we need to be. It is simply unsustainable. With the current agreement, taxes will rise in 2013 by 200-billion dollars.”
During the Q & A session, Dr. Biggs was asked whether the budget would be lower if Medicare wasn’t raised and early retirement to match it. “Not by much,” said Biggs. “For each year it is cut, the benefit is reduced by 7%. The only way to fix Medicare is to structurally change it.”
Dr. Biggs believes that the U.S. will face the “Fiscal Cliff” in the near future, and that the military may come out on the short end of it. “My gut tells me we are headed for the Cliff. It’s like playing with fire. It can go along fine, but no one knows exactly what will happen.”
Thank you to sponsors: Bank of America (Presenting), Regent University (Speaker), Virginia Beach Convention Center-Exclusive On-Site Catering Provided by Distinctive Gourmet (Silver), Old Point National Bank (Table), Marsh and McLennan Agency - Rutherfoord Division (Table), and Phoenix Group of Virginia, Inc. (Program).