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Mayor Landrieu joins bi-partisan effort to reign in national debt

28th January 2013   ·   0 Comments

By Philip Stelly
Contributing Writer

The battle to cut the massive federal debt has been joined in Louisiana now that New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has agreed to lead a statewide steering committee of the Campaign to Fix the Debt, a bi-partisan coalition of politicians and business leaders calling for a solution to the nation’s $16 trillion debt.

On Jan. 18, Mayor Landrieu signed on as co-chair of Campaign to Fix the Debt-Louisiana steering committee, which also includes a bipartisan group of Louisiana’s political, civic, and business leaders?

In the coming months, the Louisiana chapter hopes to make its voice hear throughout the state and in Washington, D.C. about the national debt, which is the total amount of money owed by the government. The federal budget deficit is the yearly amount by which spending exceeds revenue.

“We have an opportunity to forge bipartisan reform that will address America’s long-term debt while lifting the American economy for decades to come,” Mayor Landrieu said. “We need a balanced approach. Working with local small businesses, elected officials, advocates and private citizens, Fix the Debt–Louisiana will continue to urge lawmakers to take the path of bipartisanship and balance to create a serious and sustainable debt reduction plan.”

Mayor Landrieu is joined in this effort by the mayors of Baton Rouge and Lake Charles as well as New Orleans City Council Vice President Jackie Clarkson and other Louisiana politicians and business leaders.

Mayor Landrieu is not the only big-city mayor involved in the campaign. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a national co-chair of the Campaign to Fix the Debt and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa serves on the campaign’s national steering committee.

The Campaign to Fix the Debt was founded by former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson, and former Clinton Admini­stration official Erskine Bowles who headed the Simpson/Bowles Commission, formally known as the National Commission of Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

Recently, Simpson and Bowles enlisted the active leadership of former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat, and former New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg, a Republican. They now serve as co-chair of the Campaign to Fix the Debt.

The campaign’s goal is to put pressure on elected officials in Washington to pursue common-sense solutions to the national debt because the cost of inaction is too great, they say. Some of that pressure, they say, must come from outside of Washing­ton, which is why the Campaign to Fix the Debt has been quietly building support throughout the country.

The Campaign to Fix the Debt was generally supportive of last week’s vote in the House of Representative to suspend the statutory debt ceiling through May 18. However, the group says the debt still needs to be addressed. “The action by the House “shines a light for a productive path forward towards action to address the country’s long-term fiscal health,” the group said.

Besides lobbying for more Congressional action, The Campaign to Fix the Debt is calling on citizens to get involved. “We will only achieve success by showing Congress and the President that there is broad-based support for a comprehensive debt deal,” the group said in a press release announcing Mayor Landrieu’s appointment.

The Campaign to Fix the Debt is circulating a petition about the national debt and is urging citizens to join state chapters such as the one headed by Mayor Landrieu. The campaign is especially interested in hearing from parents, small business owners as well as active and inactive military personnel and their families. Citizens can indicate their support by providing information about themselves at http://act.­fixthedebt.­org/­page/s/TellUsMore .

This article was originally published in the January 28, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper

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