SCPC held its Forum on the National Debt last night. We were thrilled to welcome 21 participants and two observers, a reporter for The Daily Gamecock (see his piece on the evening here) and a staff member of the SC Senate Judiciary Committee. Our director, Herb, ably moderated the discussion, with Dorothy showing off her skills as note-taker for the group (on big tear-off pads of paper).
Our group included community members, active members of the League of Women Voters and USC staff and students. We hope to include more students at our two forums in the spring (on Money & Politics and Immigration). All the participants talked, with only a handful seeming reticent to participate. Getting everyone around the table to participate is an aim of the forum!
While time did not allow a full discussion of the issues, there was a clear consensus that some combination of elements of all three options will be required if the country is to successfully address the debt. All seemed willing to pay more in taxes and receive fewer services, but again, time did not allow us to reach consensus on what taxes should rise and what services might be eliminated. It was agreed that people should pay their “fair share” and means testing should apply to things like Social Security, Medicare, etc. They agreed that the deduction for home mortgages should be capped, but time did not allow a discussion of the amount. To read about these options yourself, you may purchase the booklet from the National Issues Forum or stop by SCPC. I’m sure we’ll have a few still sitting around!
In general, it was a stimulating evening and most of our group seemed excited about the upcoming January forum on money in politics. Of course, we’ll be announcing that forum and more here, on Facebook, and in many other places. Stay tuned!