Rob Foregger on Fixing your debt (Opinion)

America’s debt has gone out of control — $16 trillion in public areas debt and counting. That’s $55,000 for each newborn child in the us.

The elephant — or donkey in the area, based on one’s political lens — is our national debt. The election, in lots of ways, is merely the formal warm-up for the post-election main event, a heavyweight fight to choose how exactly we tackle our national debt.

As a fellow entrepreneur, everybody knows that lots of circumstances and market events are beyond our control. A vintage little bit of advice that I give new entrepreneurs is to spotlight controlling the controllable; it is the same advice I’d now like to share with Washington. The tangible economic drag and damaging uncertainty due to our national debt may be the single largest risk to your anemic economy, and will and really should be brought prudently in order now.

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To have a feel for how damaging uncertainty could be, a recently available study by SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Federal Reserve economists Sylvan Luc and Zheng Liu figured the “higher uncertainty level through the Great Recession increased the unemployment rate by one to two 2 percent.” Each percentage point difference means 1.5 million American jobs. That is why we decided inaction isn’t an option. That is also why entrepreneurs and companies should join our cause, and get rid of the largest uncertainty available in the market, and the biggest impediment to growth.

Eight weeks hence, five friends and I launched “The Citizen’s Petition to repair the Debt,” contacting our leaders to forge a thorough and non-partisan solution to lessen the national debt. A lot more than 250,000 concerned citizens have signed the petition. Our aim is to have an incredible number of signatures.

We are accidental activists, pushed into action by America’s looming fiscal crisis that Washington seems unwilling to tackle. Your debt crisis touches everyone, and everything that people value about our nation: a solid social back-up, national security, economic growth, education and pragmatic, common-sense leadership.

Compromise, which reaches the core of our democracy from enough time of our founders, is vital to any solution on your debt. If our elected officials continue steadily to hold compromise hostage and only partisan wrangling it’s the next generation that may bear the brunt. We will all have failed.

Most Americans feel overwhelmed by your debt problem and powerless to accomplish anything about any of it. But optimism is a robust force, and I was fortunate to have five friends from over the political spectrum who felt as strongly as I did so. We knew our small contribution to America’s biggest problem lay in exercising democracy and giving people an accessible, understandable bullhorn to create our voices heard in Washington. We decided enough time to act is currently, not the following month, not following the election.

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We started by sending our Citizen’s Petition to your friends, family and colleagues. With nil to lose, we also contacted former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, whose Simpson-Bowles intend to forge a meaningful non-partisan solution to your debt with former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson had inspired us. Not merely did Mr. Bowles become among our first signatories, he and Mr. Simpson formally endorsed The Campaign to repair your debt, a non-partisan effort launched in July.

Mr. Bowles and Mr. Simpson been employed by tirelessly to teach America on the results of inaction on your debt. Just as importantly, they have help with a plan that’s fair, thorough and protects America’s most vulnerable. To quote Mr. Bowles: "Your debt crisis may be the most predictable and avoidable financial meltdown in the annals of america."

The growing debt will exhaust our finite resources in both public and private sectors, portending a bleak future because of this nation. Held hostage by debt, America will decline economically and see vastly diminished government and private investment over the board, from education to analyze, to health services and social programs. America, as we realize it, will be unrecognizable. America’s dynamic entrepreneurs and job creators will be rendered inoperable.

Washington’s dysfunction has only deepened our resolve. In a brief period of time, folks from across ideological and geographic spectrums have signed the Citizen’s Petition. We’re asking our elected leaders to forge a meaningful, long-term solution, which include cutting spending, streamlining government, simplifying the tax code and eliminating tax loopholes.

Our principles are the following:

  • American’s debt is unsustainable.
  • Any solution must address all elements of the budget.
  • Any solution must protect America’s core values.
  • Finding common ground is vital.
  • The national interest is more important than any special interest.

Optimism, as the saying goes, may be the fuel of heroes, the enemy of despair and the architect into the future. When there is any force left in the united states that may still move mountains, it’s the people’s resolve. We hope an incredible number of others will join us to sign the Citizen’s Petition to repair your debt at www.FixTheDebt.org and demand action at this time. Together we can change lives. If our leaders won’t lead, then your people must. J

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