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Former U.S. Senator and Former White House Chief of Staff to Visit Texas A&M to Discuss Debt Crisis

By: Texas A&M University
By: Texas A&M University

COLLEGE STATION − Alan K. Simpson, former U.S. senator from Wyoming, and Erskine B. Bowles, White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, will address the nation’s debt crisis at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University on Jan. 29.

The event is part of the ConocoPhillips White House Lecture Series presented by the Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy. It will be held at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center at 5:30 p.m.

Simpson and Bowles co-chaired the 2010 National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform — an innovative, bipartisan effort to solve the national debt problem. Andrew Card, George W. Bush’s White House chief of staff, will moderate a discussion about why Washington failed to adopt their solution and what can be done now to fix this ever-increasing and critical national problem.

“Senator Simpson and Mr. Bowles were charged with identifying policies to improve the fiscal situation in the medium term and to achieve fiscal sustainability over the long run,” says Lori Taylor, director of the Mosbacher Institute. “Their nonpartisan commission relied on some of the brightest policy thinking to develop a framework for budgetary reform that made the hard choices needed to set our fiscal house aright. Balancing the federal budget and reducing the national debt aren’t popular because they can’t be accomplished without sacrifice. Bowles and Simpson led the charge for reform based on sound economic principles rather than partisan political rhetoric.”

Taylor says Simpson and Bowles’ informed input is much needed at this time, as the U.S. Congress is again facing a fight over raising the debt ceiling. “In October, Congress passed the Continuing Appropriations Act to suspend the statutory debt limit through Feb. 7,” she explains. “When that suspension period ends, the United States will reach the debt limit again and Congressional action to increase the debt ceiling will only kick the can a little further down the road. We need substantial budgetary reform if we want to have any hope of actually resolving this issue. The framework set forth by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform provides a good, nonpartisan starting point for the necessary policy debate.”
During the event, Simpson and Bowles will receive the Good Governance Award, presented by the Mosbacher Institute. “The Good Governance Award recognizes exemplary achievements in channeling high-quality policy analysis into good governance and public service,” Taylor notes. “I am particularly pleased to be recognizing the service of Senator Simpson and Mr. Bowles because their work on the commission exemplifies the spirit of public service. During a time of fiercely partisan politics, they contributed fresh thinking and independent, nonpartisan analysis to the policy debate regarding the national debt. We are honoring their service and efforts to provide nonpartisan solutions to the nation’s fiscal imbalances.”
Simpson served as senator from Wyoming from 1979-1997. Known as a conservative and an opponent of government regulation, Simpson is also recognized as an outspoken advocate of equal rights for all citizens. Bowles is a businessman and political figure from North Carolina. He served as White House chief of staff from 1997-1998, and from 2005-2010, as president of the University of North Carolina System. Bowles and Simpson now co-lead the Fix the Debt Coalition, a grassroots campaign which mobilizes key communities to address the nation’s fiscal challenges.

The Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy at the Bush School of Government and Public Service was founded in 2009 to produce policy-oriented research in trade, energy and good governance.

The lecture is open to the public and reservations are required by Jan. 27. For reservations and more information, contact the Bush School at 979-845-1927 or bushschoolmosbacher@tamu.edu.

Visit the event page here.


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