By Matthew Goodman | firstname.lastname@example.org
David Walker, the founder and CEO of the Comeback America Initiative, says its time that the public holds its government accountable. Walker, who spoke at the March 26 Flagler College Forum on Government and Public Policy, emphasized the government’s lack of economic progress over the past 12 years. “We are a leader but not (in) the dominant position we used to have,” he said.
He called for more leadership from Congress and the President, but more importantly, he said it’s time for a more active public to push officials toward reform.
“Spending is a bipartisan problem and it’s been out of control since 2003,” he said. “There’s not a party with fiscal responsibility.”
Walker is a former Comptroller General of the United States, and was appointed as head of the Government Accountability Office by President Clinton in 1998, and served until 2008. At Comeback America, his goal is to promote fiscal responsibility and sustainability by engaging the public and working with policymakers on solutions.
Voting citizens need to push the government to make changes, he said. While Congress’s approval rate lingers below 20 percent, Walker said there are too many politicians trying to “keep their job rather than do their job.”
A contributing factor to this is that “politicians (are) picking their voters rather than voters picking their politicians,” he said.
Walker called for a new system of voting to solve the problem of “career politicians.” The new system would include changes to how we redistrict and would get rid of party primaries.
Walker suggested one main primary to decide on two candidates. He would also like the government to set term limits in Congress.
According to Walker, debt has tripled since 2001. The largest part of that debt belongs to the Federal Reserve. Walker highlighted interest as the fastest growing expense the United States has.
“Washington has become pretty adept at doing nothing,” he said.
Health care is another issue he emphasized. He said the government is promising too much, yet it spends more than other countries.
The United States does not have universal health care, maintains below average life expectancy, and has uncharacteristically high infant mortality rates compared to other westernized countries. Walker was keen to point out our tremendous spending, yet lack of results.