Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 11:30am - 1:30pm
A panel of experts on fiscal issues discussed solutions to the growing federal debt at a lunch program at the Economic Forum of Palm Beach County on Thursday, June 13.
The speakers were Paul Stebbins, executive chairman of the Board of World Fuel Services Corp.; Julio Fuentes, president and CEO of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Robert L. Bixby, executive director of The Concord Coalition. The moderator was Phil Smith, director of government relations for Concord.
The Economic Forum of Palm Beach County hosted the program, “Fix the Debt and Why It Matters.” Its co-sponsors were the Campaign to Fix the Debt and Concord, two non-partisan organizations that work in Washington and around the country to help elected officials and the public better understand the need to put the government on a more responsible path. Stebbins and Fuentes are members of the Florida steering committee for Fix the Debt.
The discussion included the need for reforms in the federal entitlement programs, cuts in other spending programs, improvements in the health care system and changes in the tax code. As the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and other bipartisan organizations have shown, such a broad approach could eventually stabilize the federal debt.
The speakers also discussed the importance of bipartisan cooperation and the need to simultaneously address short-term economic concerns and longer-term fiscal challenges. For more background on these challenges, see fixthedebt.org and concordcoalition.org.
WHAT: “Fix the Debt and Why It Matters” forum
WHEN: 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Thursday, June 13
WHERE: Kravis Center, Cohen Pavilion, 701 Okeechobee Bvld., West Palm Beach, Fla.
Paul Stebbins is executive chairman of the board of World Fuel Services Corp.and has been an executive and director of the company since 1995. He was a co-founder of Trans-Tec Services, Inc., a global marine fuel services company acquired by World Fuel in 1995. Stebbins is also a director of First Solar, Inc.and a member of the Florida steering committee for Fix the Debt.
Julio Fuentes is the president and CEO of the Florida State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. After working on Wall Street for several years as an investment banker, he joined the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce as a membership specialist. Ranked as one of Florida’s 100 Most Influential Leaders by Florida Trend Magazine, Fuentes is also a member of the state steering committee for Fix the Debt.
Robert L. Bixby is executive director of The Concord Coalition and speaks around the country on the nation’s fiscal challenges and possible solutions to them. He has also served on the Bipartisan Policy Committee’s Debt Reduction Task Force. He has testified at congressional hearings and been interviewed by news organizations around the country on federal budget issues..
The Concord Coalition has partnered with the Campaign to Fix the Debt to host a series of public engagement events across the country. Each program will include speakers of diverse ideological perspectives and suggest options to achieve a comprehensive plan to fix our long term debt and deficits. For more background on these challenges and to learn about future events go to fixthedebt.org and concordcoalition.org/fixthedebt.