Students Focus on US Debt
Published: Friday, October 25, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 25, 2013 02:10
The Georgetown University College Republicans and College Democrats have put aside their differences to bring The Can Kicks Back, a campaign focused on solving the national debt crisis, to Georgetown on Tuesday.
“Our generation is really beyond the ideological battles that prior generations are waging. We care more about results than rhetoric,” TCKB Co-founder and Communications Director Nick Troiano (COL ’11, GRD ’13) said.
Based on this non-partisan outlook, GUCD and GUCR are coming together to co-sponsor the event.
“It’s clear that there is a big political gap, and instead of dealing with the issues and trying to bridge the partisan divide, our political leaders are more interested in pushing those bigger decisions off to our generation,” GUCD President Trevor Tezel (SFS ’15) said. “The problem with that is that these are issues that are really going to come to a head by the time that we are in the same seats that they are making some of these big decisions.”
Troiano founded TCKB with four friends in 2012 as a result of the government’s failure to address the growing national debt, even as crises like the debt ceiling limit and the fiscal cliff dominated political discourse.
“We got sick of watching that can get kicked down the road, and we realized that our generation is the can and we need to do something,” Troiano said.
A goal of the tour is to harbor support for the INFORM Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation that encourages fiscally sustainable solutions to the debt crisis by increasing transparency in the federal budget. The act has bipartisan supporters in both houses of Congress and is endorsed by more than 900 top economists and 14 Nobel laureates.
While it is notable that the GUCR and GUCD are coming together to sponsor the campaign, it is not out of the ordinary.
“We already cooperate quite a bit,” GUCR Chair Alex Cave (COL ’15) said. “Obviously there’s differences between us and there’s differences between our members … but we’ve always had a good sense of cooperation. We do debates together; we do voter registration together.”
Representatives from TCKB will have a booth with information about the debt issue and possible solutions in Red Square on Tuesday afternoon. Speakers scheduled for that night include Stanley Druckenmiller, a philanthropist and former chairman of Duquesne Capital; former AARP CEO Bill Novelli; former Comptroller General David Walker; and Stephanie Ruhle of Bloomberg News.
“The event has panelist speakers from across the spectrum,” Cave said.
Throughout the tour, which stopped at 25 colleges in 20 states, TCKB collected tin cans on which students wrote messages urging Congress to stop “kicking the can down the road” and to deal with the debt issue.
“I think the most popular message is ‘Grow up,’” Troiano said. “Young people are wondering why we’re the only adults in the room having this conversation about our future.”
The tin cans from the 25 colleges will be delivered to congressmen after a rally on Capitol Hill Thursday morning.
“We need to show our leaders that we care,” Troiano said. “We’re actually willing to show up and say, ‘Enough is enough. The can stops here.’”