A new effort is underway in Wisconsin and a dozen other states to bring attention to the nation's $16 trillion debt at a time when politicians are focused on the November elections.
At the end of the year, if there's no national debt resolution, there will be automatic spending cuts to programs across the board. Despite the threat of this so-called "fiscal cliff"---and lingering long-term debt-- former Republican Congressman Scott Klug says bipartisan bickering is preventing any action on this matter, "I talked to folks on both the House side and the Senate side, Republicans and Democrats. And the sad story is: none of them are talking to one another right now."
Nevertheless, Klug is optimistic that no matter who wins the presidential election, economic matters will be addressed, "At the current spending levels in Washington last year for every $7 we took in we spent $11. It's just not sustainable."
Former Democratic Gov. Tony Earl is another chair of the bipartisan state steering committee for the national Fix The Debt campaign. It suggests using recommendations from the Simpson/Bowles debt commission as a starting point for a workable solution. That commission suggested both spending cuts and tax increases, "The issue is far too serious for petty partisan politics And although I don't know if any of us think Simpson/Bowles is perfect I'm sure we're all in strong agreement it's better than doing nothing."
Earl says citizens should contact candidates and incumbents about the national debt. There is also an online petition at fixthedebt.org