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21 July 2011

SG president speaks out about national debt crisis

Senior Brandon Mitchell, UM’s Student Government (SG) president, was part of a group of 120 student body presidents from across the country that released a letter today calling on President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders to reach a deal to raise the federal debt ceiling and reduce long-term budget deficits.

“While you may disagree over which party shoulders more blame for our current situation, one thing is certain – young people will shoulder the consequences of gridlock during a time that requires bold action,” the letter read.

Mitchell is part of the student-led initiative “Do We Have a Deal Yet?” which began on Georgetown University’s campus last week.

“It comes down to what we’re elected to do,” Mitchell said. “Every student at the University of Miami is going to be affected by the conversation in Congress right now. We’re all going to be homeowners and senior citizens some day … we are the next generation.”

After 72 hours after its inception, “Do We Have a Deal Yet?” received more than 70 signatures from student body presidents across the country. As of Thursday, the letter had a total of 120 signatures, representing almost 2 million students nationwide.

“We are not here to tell our leaders what to do,” said Mike Meaney, Georgetown’s student body president and a co-founder of the initiative, at a press conference Thursday. “We are simply here to tell them to lead.”

Meaney was joined by seven other campus leaders at the Thursday event in D.C., including Mitchell. The student body presidents wrote that they support the efforts of the “Gang of Six” in the Senate as a “realistic framework from which to work.”

“Are we going to get a real deal? Or are we going to a get a raw deal?” Mitchell said at the conference. “A real deal … is one that is bold, balanced and bipartisan – such as the one offered by the ‘Gang of Six’ in the Senate, which reduces deficits by $3.7 trillion over 10 years, by cutting spending and closing tax loopholes. We may each stand to lose something important to us individually, but we all stand to gain a more secure, prosperous economic future.”

Come August 2 – if federal leaders do not agree on a deal to cut the nation’s budget deficit and extend its borrowing power – the government will default on payments, possibly resulting in another nationwide recession, the stoppage of Social Security checks, higher interest rates and the erosion of the United States’ creditworthiness.

The students are sending copies of their letter to members of Congress and are encouraging the public to join a conversation about the issue on Twitter using the hashtag #dowehaveadealyet. Read more about the initiative at dowehaveadealyet.com.

5 thoughts on “SG president speaks out about national debt crisis

  1. Defaulting on the debt will cause a global economic panic that will make the latest recession look timid. It’s not an option to even consider right now, despite the rhetoric of the Tea Party. The Obama Administration has already given into demands for new revenue and is now looking at strictly spending cuts. If we want this to work, we need to cut the fat but also loopholes, corporate welfare, and tax cuts for the rich. The debt ceiling is an obstacle, but we cannot go into default. Just a dumb, dumb, (dumb) idea. Email me at jordred46@bellsouth.net if you want to discuss debt options.

  2. It’s important that they do pass the Correct laws to fix this. You don’t want a “band aid” type solution here, you want a fiscally responsible plan that will actually help us for the future. Simply preventing us from defaulting won’t stop the bleeding, in the long run it will actually make it worse.

  3. While the possibility and consequences of a default are looming and heavy (respectively), the question I wish to pose is: Why NOT allow a default? The government cannot continue to try and prop up financial bubble after financial bubble, it will only sink the country further into debt and lead to hyperinflation. I would rather let the bomb drop NOW while there is still a chance for recovery – this method would require the U.S. government to shrink in size drastically – rather than continue to buoy a sinking ship with children’s swimming wings.

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