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Former Comptroller: Voters Ready for Deficit Medicine

Former Comptroller General David Walker today officially launches his new organization to promote fiscal responsibility and debt reduction called the Comeback America Initiative.

Walker has become something of a crusader for addressing the nation’s long-term fiscal problems, including the growth of entitlement spending and the burgeoning debt. Walker said the new group will continue trying to raise awareness about the tough choices the government needs to make, as well as developing a kind of emergency preparedness guide for what happens if the nation runs into an actual debt crisis — like if the Treasury fails to find buyers for its bonds.

Walker says the fundamental problem is that at this point, “there is no way we can grow our way out of our debt problem,” but lawmakers continue to resist deep spending cuts or structural changes in government programs that would address the long-term problem.

Walker has been speaking around the country and joining town halls with Members of Congress and said he believes voters “are ahead of their elected officials” on these issues. “They are starved for leadership, but they can handle tough choices.”

Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said Walker joined his telephone town hall in December and “I was amazed at the level of interest.” Welsh’s office said more than 11,000 Vermonters joined the call, and more than 1,200 stayed on the call for more than 20 minutes. Walker was able to explain arcane topics in an engaging and understandable way, Welch said, and has a high degree of nonpartisan credibility with voters.

In an effort to reach the masses with the complexities of debt and government expenditure, the Comeback America Initiative website also includes budget-based video games. In one game, visitors can play Uncle Sam choosing to raise or lower taxes or boost spending on job training as debt coins rain down. In another, a pig on a Jet Ski scoots around collecting income icons and consumer goods but has to pay off necessary expenses to advance to the next level.

The group is funded by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

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