Albert Gallatin: Our Swiss Founding Father and You

October 12, 2011

Albert Gallatin, born more than two centuries ago in Geneva, Switzerland, but made his historical mark upon the United States, embodied the virtue of fiscal responsibility. The longest serving US Secretary of the Treasury and an advocate of fiscal prudence, Gallatin managed to pay off America’s debt after the Revolutionary War and turned deficits into rather significant budget surpluses.

In honor of Gallatin’s 250th birthday, the Swiss Embassy launched the Gallatin250 Project, which includes a series of discussions addressing the topic of public debt and fiscal responsibility. The “Swiss debt brake” has already enjoyed a certain resonance in the US and has been publicly mentioned by Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, and prominent members of Congress. For all the differences in the legal and societal contexts between the two countries, the Swiss experience could indeed offer insights into America’s own debate over the best way to tackle the debt crisis without jeopardizing a fragile economic recovery.

Click on the link below to listen to Fels Executive Director, David Thornburgh’s thoughts on Albert Gallatin and the Swiss debt brake. David's observations on issues that affect business, government, and nonprofits in the region can be heard each week on KYW 1060 AM throughout the Greater Philadelphia region.