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Discussing The Deficit, National Debt, Health Care, Social Security, Taxes & Government Accountability
Public Agenda's Andrew L. Yarrow talks to college students from around the country, gathered in Washington, D.C., where they are serving in internships to learn more about our government and the way it works.
Fifty students from the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Fellowships discussed fiscal responsibility, and more specifically, reforming health care, Social Security, tax policy, and the ways by which government is held accountable, following presentations by Andrew Yarrow of Public Agenda, Diane Rogers of the Concord Coalition, and Nicola Moore of the Heritage Foundation on November 9, 2009.
After the speakers discussed the gravity of America’s fiscal imbalances, the potential consequences of rapidly rising federal debt, and some of the policy trade-offs to be considered to achieve greater fiscal responsibility, students broke up into four discussion groups using Public Agenda's Students Face Up to the Nation’s Finances Choicework discussion guides.
Social Security Reform
Health Care Reform
Not surprisingly, the group called health care “a mess” and differed considerably on reform options. The group leaned toward including a public option, or at least a trigger to create a public option in the future. Students also preferred incremental, rather than radical, reform. Most agreed that the system should be reformed to incentivize reduced consumer demand and provision of health care (the opposite of present circumstances) to rein in costs.
Students at The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Fellowships brainstorm on potential solutions to the nation's looming fiscal crisis.
Making Government More Accountable
The discussion at The Washington Center was part of Public Agenda's Students Face Up to the Nation's Finances program empowering students and other concerned citizens to learn more about the federal budget deficit and national debt, brainstorm on solutions, and begin taking action to create a better future. Learning materials for Students Face Up to the Nation's Finances are nonpartisan and available online without charge, courtesy of a grant from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. For more on Students Face Up to the Nation's Finances, check out our web site devoted to this issue, FacingUp.org.
»A new report finds the main problem in getting the public to deal with our fiscal problems isn't opposition to tax increases or spending cuts -- it's their lack of trust in the government to spend their money wisely.