Tallahassee, FL – Florida lawmakers have spent the past two months struggling to cut about four billion dollars from the next state budget. Wednesday an expert on balancing even bigger budgets was in Tallahassee. Tom Flanigan reports former U-S Comptroller General David Walker was preaching the gospel of fiscal restraint to a receptive audience.
David Walker spent a whole decade as federal comptroller from 1998 to 2008, bridging the administrations of both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. During the first four years of Walker's tenure, the United States budget was not in deficit. But deficit spending returned in 2002 and federal outgo was outpacing federal income by four-hundred-fifty-five billion dollars by the last year Walker was comptroller. Walker says this prompted him to start something called "Comeback America".
"The Comeback America initiative promotes fiscal responsibility and sustainability at the federal, state and local level. It's all about solutions. Everybody knows we have a problem. The question is what do we need to do to put our finances in order and help make sure that our future is better than our past."
Since founding Comeback America, Walker has been tirelessly touring the country and availing himself of every media outlet in sight. He's appeared on C-B-S's "Sixty Minutes", is a regular fixture on C-N-B-C and M-S-N-B-C and has churned out op-ed pieces for newspapers nationwide. Many politicians are now wringing their hands about the national debt and are calling for federal government spending cuts. But Walker says the situation is far more dire than even most of them realize.
"Well there are no simple solutions. The truth is, the country is in about a sixty-trillion dollar plus hole. That's not only its current liabilities, but its unfunded promises for Medicare, Social Security and a variety of other commitments and contingencies."
While in Tallahassee on Wednesday, Walker talked about the "everything on the table" plan espoused by his COMEBACK AMERICA INITIATIVE. He spoke first before members of Florida TaxWatch, North Florida Financial Corporation, Associated Industries of Florida, the Florida Press Association and the National Federation of Independent Business. Then he moved his message to the meeting room next door where the local Rotary Club was gathering for lunch.