Iowa residents were urged last week to help focus the 2012 election on fixing the federal government’s long-term budget problems. Two prominent experts on the federal budget emphasized that point to college students, business and civic leaders, journalists and others as The Concord Coalition’s “Fiscal Solutions Tour” visited Des Moines and Ames.
David M. Walker, CEO of the Comeback America Initiative, and Robert L. Bixby, Concord’s executive director, both noted the importance of Iowa’s early position in the presidential nomination process in their remarks to hundreds of people. Iowa’s prominence makes it particularly important for its voters to make clear that they want elected leaders who will push for reforms in health care, tax policy, entitlements and spending.
The longer we wait to make these reforms, Bixby warned, the more likely the solutions will be “crisis-driven” and “draconian” rather than gradually put into place in a way that will allow people to adjust and adapt to them.
“Whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican, a liberal or a conservative, current policy is simply unsustainable as a matter of math, and not ideology,” Bixby said. “Everybody can see that there are going to have to be changes.”
Walker warned of a debt crisis by the middle of the decade if corrective steps were not taken. “You have a disproportionate opportunity and a disproportionate obligation,” he told Iowa residents, “to be informed on issues of importance to the country and to press current and prospective elected officials on what they are going to do about it.”
Since it began a year ago, the Fiscal Solutions Tour has visited cities across the country to stimulate public discussion of the options available to put the country on a more responsible course.
Earlier last week, Bixby presented his analysis of the government’s fiscal challenges to an economic conference put on by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. On the program with him was Robert N. Campbell III, vice-chairman with Deloitte LLP. Both Bixby and Campbell served on the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force.