Summary of Running on Empty

How the Democratic and Republican Parties are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It

FSG, more...

Buy the book

Running on Empty book summary
Unlimited spending and big tax cuts promise a crushing deficit future generations will blame on both political parties.


9 Overall

8 Applicability

9 Innovation

9 Style


Few authors have former U.S. Treasury official Peter G. Peterson’s credibility, so few others can demand the attention this book deserves and is receiving. Released in an election year, this vitally important, clearly presented treatise commands bipartisan action. Peterson demands explanations from the professional politicians who are largely responsible for jeopardizing America’s future growth and standard of living. With a firm grasp of complex economic, political and demographic relationships, buttressed by facts from political and economic think tanks, Peterson, an experienced official in former Republican administrations, lambastes both parties. He explains how they have neglected their fiscal stewardship in order to pacify special interest groups and constituencies at the expense of the entire nation. Both parties are guilty, Peterson charges, of violating the public trust. thinks this excellent example of political economic writing should be essential reading for anyone interested in America’s future.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How structural deficits arising from unchecked U.S. entitlement programs are creating a devastating financial burden for future generations;
  • How Democrats and Republicans have failed to address this problem; and
  • What bitter medicine U.S. taxpayers must take to avoid a fiscal crisis.


Shifting to the Supply Side
The Republican Party, long considered the best representative of individual rights and self-determination, has pushed for fiscal responsibility and financial stewardship since its origins in the 1850s. However, as America matured and became more internationalist...
Get the key points from this book in less than 10 minutes. Learn more about our products or log in

About the Author

Peter G. Peterson is the chairman of the Blackstone Group, chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, and former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He is founding president of the Concord Coalition. He has written four other books, including Gray Dawn: How the Coming Age Will Transform America - and the World.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category