College students around Wisconsin heard different perspectives on the federal budget this month at a forum that featured two members of President Obama’s fiscal commission: U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, and Andy Stern, former president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
The President appointed the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform early this year and asked it to make recommendations by Dec. 1 on how to rein in federal deficits.
The panel of speakers in Wisconsin also included Joshua Gordon, The Concord Coalition’s policy director, and Luke Repici, chair of Concord’s Youth Advisory Board. Panel members spoke at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee on Oct. 12, with the program broadcast live to university branches at Oshkosh, La Crosse, Green Bay and Wausau. The program was co-sponsored by Concord and the Wisconsin Fiscal Advisory Council.
In a blog post today, Repici says he was “encouraged to hear Congressman Ryan and Mr. Stern acknowledge not only the gravity of the situation we face, but also the critical need for an ‘adult’ conversation about our policy options going forward.” He also says he would like to see the fiscal commission use the release of its report in December as “a teaching moment -- an opportunity to shine a light on our nation’s unsustainable fiscal path.”