Former U.S. Comptroller General of the United States David Walker (pictured) just finished another tour across the country promoting “fiscal reform and responsibility,” according to Forrest Jones, writer for MoneyNews.com. And what he learned is that most people are frightened at the immensity of the fiscal and financial challenges facing the country, but almost no one has any confidence that things can be fixed.
As the current CEO of the Comeback American Initiative, named for his 2010 book, Comeback America, he called it the “$10 Million a Minute Tour,” which he estimates is how fast unfunded liabilities of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are increasing. After touring 16 states and the District of Columbia, Walker said:
We found out [that] 97 percent of the people we interacted [with] believe our fiscal challenge is a major challenge and should be a top priority for the presidential candidates as well as other candidates for office, yet only 8 percent have confidence in their ability to work together to get something done in 2013....
Eighty-five percent believe that it’s going to take a combination of spending reductions and additional revenues to get the job done. We talked about reforms in eight different areas, including social insurance programs, taxes, defense, budget controls, political reforms — the minimum support we got for the reforms was 77 percent....
[Unless something is done the country faces] not just the fiscal cliff, [but] the fiscal abyss.
This is called “controlling the conversation,” a tactic employed for years and continually being refined by the establishment as the country races toward the fiscal cliff on January 1.
Walker is the perfect man to do it, too. A man of boundless energy along with extensive establishment connections, he has taken on the task of directing the conversation into “reforms” and “controls” and “revenues” in order to solve the nation’s economic crisis.
Walker has the requisite background and experience. Holding a Government Certificate from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, he served as secretary of commerce under President Richard Nixon. Following that he served as a partner and global managing director of Arthur Andersen LLP and five years as a Public Trustee for Social Security and Medicare. Then he served in the Reagan administration as assistant secretary of labor for Pension and Welfare Benefit Programs. From 1998 to 2008 he served as the U.S. Comptroller General.
In 2008, he caught the attention of Peter G. Peterson, and was invited by Peterson to head up his foundation, which Peterson funded with $1 billion of his own money. Walker served as CEO until October 2010 to start his own venture, the Comeback America Initiative.
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Photo of David Walker: AP Images