July 31, 2014

“Budget hawks” say public’s willing to balance the budget, politicians need to lead

Two men who’ve been traveling the country for years warning about the federal government’s finances say it will require presidential leadership to fix the problem because congress is “too dysfunctional.” David Walker, a certified public accountant, served 11 years as U.S. Comptroller General and he’s now leader of the “Comeback America Initiative.”

“The congress is dysfunctional this year. News flash: it’s going to be dysfunction next year. There’s nobody in charge of the congress,” Walker says. “…Therefore there’s a disproportionate opportunity and obligation on the president — whoever that person is — to lead.”

Concord Coalition executive director Robert Bixby has been on the road for the past 20 years, talking about the country’s finances.

“They’re going to have to deal with this simple because if they don’t, there’ll be a crisis,” Bixby says. “…If congress just simply kicks the can down the road again with no framework in place, no nothing in place, I think there’ll be a very, very negative market reaction.”

According to Walker, Americans are “way ahead of the politicians” when it comes to recognizing the problem, and the solutions that are necessary.

“They can handle the truth,” Walker says. “They’re willing to accept tough choices and they’re willing to allow for more taxes, changes in social insurance programs and reduced spending if they’re part of a comprehensive plan that they deem to be fair.”

Bixby agrees.

“The public is willing,” Bixby says. “What is difficult to get through is the political chaff, the political fire that tends to polarize rather than bring people to consensus.”

Bixby and Walker made their comments this afternoon during taping of the Iowa Public Television program, “Iowa Press” which will be broadcast Friday night. The two are also to be part of a panel discussion at Drake University late this afternoon.