State and local government officials from around the country gathered in Washington, D.C., this week to discuss how we can afford the government we need. The two-day-long forum tackled issues like:

municipal bankruptcy and whether it's a viable tool for struggling cities to dig out from financial suffering; the soaring cost of insuring public employees and how some states and cities have lowered their health-care costs; how to increase infrastructure investments in an era of budget cuts; and the biggest challenges facing state budgets and how to overcome them.