November 1, 2014

Civility, Public Engagement Are Needed

  • The national debt has grown significantly in recent years due to rising annual deficits. A deficit occurs in any year the government spends more...

Because sweeping government reforms will be politically difficult, the active involvement of the American public is essential. We need a national dialogue about the country’s huge fiscal challenges, the possible options, and the trade-offs among those options.

In a guest column Friday in Politico, David M. Walker, CEO of the Comeback America Initiative, and Robert L. Bixby, executive director of The Concord Coalition, called on President Obama to lead public engagement efforts along the lines of the one mounted by the Clinton administration, Concord and other organizations on Social Security.

Walker and Bixby urged both Obama and congressional Republicans to strive for more than just trying to score points in a partisan debate. Neither party is blameless for our current situation, they note, and neither of them has a monopoly on virtue.

"The issues at stake -- from social insurance reforms to national security funding to domestic investments and comprehensive tax reform -- have profound consequences for the nation’s future . . ." they write. "Civility and compromise are going to be necessary, and the American people must be brought into that process."