Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

Columbia chosen for National budget discussion



David Broder, writer for

the Washington Post, reported

May 2 in The State newspaper on an April 28 gathering in the Ronald Reagan office building near the White House. The crowd came to hear Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming and former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles of North Carolina speak on President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility. Simpson argued for measures likely to antagonize both Republicans and Democrats — a “suicide mission,” he called it.

The mission is to take the current national debt of almost $13 trillion, about 90 percent of the gross domestic product, and control or even reduce it with combinations of entitlement cuts and tax increases, maybe even a European–style value–added tax, aka VAT.

Meanwhile, former Commerce Secretary Peter G. Peterson and his eponymous charitable foundation, plus the MacArthur Founda- tion and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, all who prodded the gathering in Washington on April 28, will be the hosts for their national

discussion titled Our Budget,

Our Economy in 20 town meeting cities across the USA on Saturday, June 26. This unique national discussion, these 20 town meetings, will be organized by America Speaks, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization funded by the three foundations.

All of the town meeting cities in the national discussion will be linked together by live satellite, webcast, and interactive technology.

Like Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility, the goal of the nonpartisan discussion is to find common ground about the choices necessary to address the nation’s growing deficit and national debt.

Among the 20 selected America Speaks 21st Century Town Meeting sites, Columbia is included as a “Large–scale site” with Albuquerque NM, Chicago IL, Dallas TX, Philadelphia PA, and Portland OR.

Columbia’s June 26 town meeting is scheduled for 11:30 a.m.–6 p.m. at the convention center on Lincoln Street.

For registration to participate for free, go to or call toll–free 866-755- 6263. Seating the 400 or so participants wil be determined by a first–registered basis and also by a demographics consideration, ensuring a cross–section of the voting population at– large.

The local contact for the Columbia participation in the June 26 national discussion is public relations professional Keely Saye, who can be reached at 803-446-3824 and Keely

Additional information

about the America Speaks:

Our Budget, Our Economy

national discussion is available at www.USABudget-

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