With a recent spike in the federal budget deficit and national debt well on its way to levels never seen before, policymakers and the media are finally talking about the problem. At this critical moment, we are crisscrossing the country, talking to Americans and providing them with an opportunity to show their leaders how to fix the debt. Below are some recent highlights:
Our nationwide roadshow has featured distinguished speakers from former Members of Congress to business leaders who discuss the deteriorating budget situation and how it is symbolic of a broken political system.
A Threat to National Security. A bipartisan duo of former Members of Congress, Chris Gibson (R-NY) and Jim Slattery (D-KS) [pictured, left], addressed a conference in Albany hosted by The Business Council of New York State. Regarding the critical nature of the issue, Slattery told the media, "I believe that the deficit and the debt issue, $21 trillion worth of debt, is the most serious threat to our national security out there." Afterwards, they appeared together on a local news show.
From Washington to the West Coast. We are speaking to a wide variety of community groups and students about the challenges posed by rising deficits and debt, and what can be done about it. Recent stops included former Congressman Tim Penny (D-MN) addressing a group in Edina, Minnesota; former Congressman Jim McCrery (R-LA) speaking to the Rotary Club of Shreveport in Louisiana; former Congressman Vic Fazio (D-CA) meeting with American University students in Washington, DC; former World Fuel Services Corp. Chairman and CEO Paul Stebbins headlining an economic summit near Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Maya MacGuineas, head of Fix the Debt, addressing the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in California [pictured, right]. We also addressed the Colorado Business Roundtable in Denver, Colorado; the Newark Rotary Club in Delaware; the World Affairs Club of Charlotte in North Carolina; and the Metropolitan Breakfast Club in Austin, Texas, among other groups.
Want us to visit with your organization? You can request a speaker for your group here.
Furman University students use the Debt Fixer at a budget exercise.
Americans Across the Country Are Fixing the Debt with the recently-updated Debt Fixer federal budget tool. This online, interactive resource is also being used in classrooms and with groups across the country in engaging budget exercises that facilitate informed discussion about addressing rising debt.
We recently conducted exercises at locales such as Furman University in South Carolina; the University of Delaware; University of Wisconsin-Madison; the ERISA Industry Committee conference in Washington, DC; and the University of Denver in Colorado. A recent exercise at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith [pictured, left] involved over 200 students and received extensive local media coverage.
We can help you organize a group exercise for your community organization or school by providing a dedicated link for using the tool together and possibly providing a facilitator. With interest rates rising and permanent trillion-dollar deficits right around the corner, these exercises are more important than ever.
Time to Step Up. Former Congressman James Jones (D-OK) spoke to the Tulsa World editorial board on behalf of Fix the Debt, stressing the need for leadership: “Until we get people who really want to step out and use their brains ... we’re just going to be sliding down.” To that end, we are providing candidates for Congress with a guidebook on how to discuss the debt constructively in this campaign.
In the latest sign that the national debt is rising on a truly unsustainable course, new projections from our partners at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget show the debt will reach over 350 percent of the U.S. economy in 75 years under current law, and debt will go just beyond 600 percent if current policies like recent tax cuts and spending hikes are extended. By contrast, the debt was 35 percent of the economy as recently as 2007 and is currently 78 percent.
Momentum is building to fix the debt. With your continued support, we will grow our collective voice and achieve solutions for a brighter, more fiscally responsible future.
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