Presentation on the UA Mall talks national debt crisis and the younger generation
Robert Alcaraz / Arizona Daily Wildcat
David Walker, founder and CEO of the Comeback America Initiative, speaks to students about bringing America out of debt on the UA mall on Sept. 26, 2012. Walker is a former US comptroller general.
Ten million dollars a minute.
According to the paint job on a tour bus parked on the UA Mall yesterday afternoon, that’s the rate at which the national debt is continuously increasing. The tour, known as the $10 Million a Minute Tour, is led by the Comeback America Initiative and has been making its way across the U.S. in an effort to spread awareness about what the younger generation can do to bring the nation’s climbing debt to an end.
The Mall presentation featured a speech from David Walker, the organization’s founder and a former U.S. comptroller general under the administrations of former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. In the position, Walker served as the director for the Government Accountability Office, and tracked all activity involving public funds.
Now, as an activist, Walker preaches to the younger crowd regarding the national debt crisis, which he said will greatly impact the country’s future population.
“The overall point is that the country’s finances are a wreck,” Walker said. “That we need to start putting them back in order, and that the consequence of our current path is that we are mortgaging the future of young people at record rates … That’s irresponsible, it’s unethical, it’s immoral and it needs to stop.”
But Walker added that the trend wouldn’t quit without the voice of young people who are currently uninformed about the issue, he said.
A number of students turned out for the event for a variety of reasons, and left with varying opinions.
Chula Robertson, a senior studying Spanish and global studies, said she went to the event for the free pizza, but was glad she stayed for the information.
“I think it’s really interesting, especially if people are taking the time out of their day to come talk to students,” Robertson said.
Computer science sophomore Alec Iverson said he found a flyer for the event and decided to stop by, as politics had been on his mind recently. Iverson added that while he did’t learned anything new from it, Walker’s presentation did affirm a number of thoughts he had regarding government spending.
“The way government is going right now, it’s kind of not working,” Iverson said. “It’s not taking much action on things that need to be addressed. In my opinion, a lot of the current [elected officials] are focused more on getting re-elected than anything else.”
Kate Heydorn, an environmental sciences sophomore, said she stopped by to learn more about the national debt, adding that the media doesn’t provide enough coverage to inform people about the issue.
“I feel that I wanted to get a little more informed especially since the election is coming up,” Heydorn said, adding that she would check out the organization’s website later. “It’s clear that we have a bigger problem than I initially thought.”
On the other hand, some students who showed up — and even asked questions — didn’t take anything away. Kyle Boggs, a graduate student studying rhetoric and composition, asked Walker about the integrity of the country’s electoral process, but admitted that he didn’t get anything out of the answer.
“To be honest, I don’t even know who this guy is,” Boggs said, adding that he came over from the union after noticing the presentation dealt with politics. “I just kind of wanted to see what conversations were taking place. I didn’t learn anything.”
The Wildcat Events Board organized the event after former UA President Robert Shelton reached out and suggested they book the presentation, said Anthony Hermes, a business sophomore and the board’s speakers committee director.
“We just think it’s a good idea to get students more aware of political issues that are going on,” Hermes said.