The Campaign to Fix the Debt – a national nonpartisan coalition of business leaders, elected officials, community leaders, academics and individual citizens – officially launched its state chapter in Wisconsin in October to bring concerned individuals together and call lawmakers to address the ballooning national debt.
Highlights from the Badger State …
Campaign to Fix the Debt Wisconsin co-chairs including former Congressman Scott Klug (R-WI) and former Governor Tony Earl (D-WI) participated in the launch, which was held via a media conference call today. Rep. Klug and Gov. Earl called on lawmakers in Washington to put aside political differences to find practical solutions to the debt and encouraged Wisconsin citizens to ask their leaders to take action.
“No other issue is as urgent or important to the welfare of our country as addressing both the immediate and long-term debt problems the U.S. currently faces,” former Congressman Scott Klug said. “When I served in Congress I always tried to keep my three boys in mind and the future their kids will face one day. Inaction on the debt crisis will mean that this debt will continue to grow, exceeding 200 percent of our economy within another generation. Interest payments alone will crush future economic growth. We have a moral obligation to immediately attack this issue.”
Klug discussed the campaign and its launch on Wisconsin Radio Network. Klug noted that both Republicans and Democrats agree that something has to be done to get the national debt under control.
In addition to Congressman Klug and Governor Earl, other members of the Wisconsin Fix the Debt Steering Committee include:
- Former Lieutenant Governor Margaret Farrow
- Bill Johnson, president of the Johnson Timber Corporation and Finance Chair Republican Party of Wisconsin
- Phil Prange, president of the Wisconsin Business Council
- Jim Klauser, former Department of Administration Secretary, former senior vice president of the Wisconsin Energy Corporation, former chairman of Bush-Cheney 2004-Wisconsin
- Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele
- Former Public Service Commissioner and former state legislator Mark Meyer
- State Representative Jason Fields
- Racine Mayor John Dickert
WisPolitics and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel covered the campaign launch in the media (in screenshot above), with the MJS stressing that as politicians in Washington continue to bicker about solutions to the debt, the Fix the Debt-Wisconsin steering committee includes “a bipartisan group of prominent state leaders [who have pledged] to work together to force action on the issue.”
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abel issued a press release regarding his role on the state steering committee. Abel highlighted his own work controlling spending in Milwaukee, before referring to this “bipartisan movement that is looking to do the same on a national level.”
Abel also held a call with grassroots supporters to discuss ways in which they could become engaged in the Fix the Debt campaign in Wisconsin.
In addition the long-term challenges associated with our debt, lawmakers will also need to confront the rapidly approaching “fiscal cliff” – over $600 billion of spending cuts and tax hikes next year alone that analysts unanimously agree would push the country back into a recession.
“As a business owner, I know government-debt will crowd-out productive investments in education or infrastructure—leading to both slower economic growth and lower wages. Eventually, our nation could face an economic crisis similar to what we’ve seen in Italy and Greece,” said Bill Johnson, president of the Johnson Timber Corporation based in Hayward. “While the debt is impacting every part of our economy, small businesses like mine, and others throughout Wisconsin, are actually hit the hardest by the negative ramifications associated with inaction on the debt crisis.”
The Campaign to Fix the Debt is committed to advocating for our elected leaders to avert the cliff while gradually putting our debt on a sustainable course by generating more tax revenues and making smart spending cuts to programs that aren’t working or aren’t necessary.
“We are thrilled that the Campaign to Fix the Debt is involving so many Wisconsians at the grassroots level,” said Maya MacGuineas, President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, who is spearheading the Campaign. “In order to put our debt on a sustainable path, elected officials are going to have to make tough choices. These choices will be made easier if they know that the people they represent do indeed value cooperation and demand a long-term, comprehensive agreement over our debt.”
Through grassroots organizing, earned media activities and high-profile outreach, the Campaign to Fix the Debt is urging lawmakers to set aside political differences to formulate practical solutions to our nation’s debt problems.