With Republican presidential candidates campaigning hard in the South, experts on the federal budget told two public forums in Charleston, South Carolina, Thursday that the United States could not afford further delays in dealing with its fiscal and demographic challenges.
“This stuff could bring down our nation,” said Mark Sanford, a former South Carolina governor and a former member of Congress. He said “there has been no nation that achieved national security supremacy without economic supremacy.”
David M. Walker, CEO of the Comeback America Initiative and a former comptroller general of the United States, noted that only during the World War II era did the United States have a larger federal debt compared to the size of the economy than it does now. “No wonder newborn babies cry," he added.
Robert L. Bixby, executive director of The Concord Coalition, lamented the country’s failure to enact fiscal reforms when it had the chance to do so in better economic times. He said balanced recommendations such as those from the President’s fiscal commission and the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force offered the best path forward.
“Past generations have taken care of the future,” Bixby said, “and we're not doing that now. “
Former congressman Alex McMillan (R-N.C.), a Concord board member, introduced the panel of speakers at both events.
The forums were hosted by Concord, the Comeback America Initiative, the School of Business Administration at The Citadel and the Department of Political Science at the College of Charleston.