Yesterday, day one of the Washington Ideas Festival covered the gamut of big ideas: How to fix higher education, America’s optimal tax rate, the looming fiscal cliff, among other topics. Oddly, what could have been a very depressing day, turned out to be optimistic. Influencers like Bill Gates and Larry Summers remained confident America would solve its largest problems.
Check out the top five most popular programs from day one of the Washington Ideas Forum 2012:
1. We’ve Had Four Good Years of Education Under Obama
Bill Gates praises the K-12 educational priorities of the Obama Administration, but worries that its efforts may be undermined by the fiscal cliff and potential cuts in domestic spending. But sadly, he says, higher education has not fared nearly as well.
2. Raising Taxes on Rich Is a Smart Strategy
Democratic Senator of Minnesota Amy Klobuchar looks at the tax issue in one simple way. “We must bring down the debt,” and raising taxes on the rich generates $700 billion over 10 years.
3. America Must Fix Fiscal Cliff or Cause a Major Recession
The January 1 deadlines looms, and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers talks about the impact on national defense and the economy if the country goes over the fiscal cliff. “This is potentially the ultimate self-inflicted wound,” he says.
4. What Will Romney Do After Losing the Election?
When Kevin Madden, senior advisor to the Romney campaign, asked his boss what he would do if he lost the presidential election, Romney replied, “I’ll be excited to get on with my life.” During the campaign Romney spent hours writing in his journal so a book could be in his future.
5. Obama’s Brain Moves Like a Rubik’s Cube
Journalist and author Jonathan Alter explains how President Obama makes difficult decisions. He’s constantly flipping through his options until he figures out just the right combination.