National debt-deal group launches NC lobbying effort

Posted November 27, 2012

— Two former governors, other North Carolina politicians and business leaders on Tuesday joined a nationwide effort to cut America's $16 trillion national debt.

"We need reform," former GlaxoSmithKline Chief Executive Bob Ingram, who is co-chairman of Fix the Debt North Carolina, said during a news conference. "If we don't address the debt, our country will suffer dramatic repercussions."

The group also includes former Democratic Gov. Jim Hunt and former Republican Gov. Jim Holshouser, as well as Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane and Durham Mayor Bill Bell.

The North Carolina effort is part of the national Campaign to Fix the Debt backed by more than 300,000 business and political leaders. It was founded by former Republican Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles of Charlotte, the former president of the University of North Carolina. They were the co-chairmen of a national commission that assembled a debt-cutting blueprint.

The so-called fiscal cliff that the U.S. faces at the end of the year, with mandatory across-the-board federal budget cuts and the expiration of various tax cuts does "too much too soon and focuses on the wrong parts of the budget," Ingram said.

Instead, he and others called for a bipartisan agreement that would avoid the cliff and address the nation's long-term debt problem.

"Everyone gives up something for the country we love," he said.

Fix the Debt North Carolina sign NC political, business leaders call for compromise on deficit

Almost 300,000 people have signed online petitions calling for a debt deal. Ingram said building such grassroots support through the Fix the Debt effort will show President Barack Obama and members of Congress that good policy would also be safe politically.

Holshouser said the process would be painful, but it's necessary to avoid the drastic austerity measures and threat of default that Greece, Spain and other countries have gone through in recent years.

Hunt said the plan needs to balance cuts with new revenue, which can be achieved only through compromise.

"What I think we must do is to go big," Hunt said. "We can't just temporize with this thing – little bitty steps. We need a big step now. We've got to bring the country back."


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  • junkmail5 Nov 28, 2012

    Raising taxes will not solve our problems.- aspenstreet1717

    Nobody said they would though.

    They will HELP though.

    Spending cuts alone won't solve the problem either.

    We need both.

    Refusing to do one thing because it only fixes SOME of the problem is pretty silly.

    It'd be like saying you have an unreliable car, so you won't fix the brakes because the radiator would still leak.

    You need to do more than one thing to fix the problem. One of those things is raising taxes.

    Another is cutting spending.

    neither alone fixes it. Together, along with growth, they can.

  • SouthernPackerFan Nov 28, 2012

    Hey Nighttrain, Reagan didn't cut tax's?????Pfft
    President Reagan lifted remaining domestic petroleum price and allocation controls on January 28, 1981,[6] and lowered the oil windfall profits tax in August 1981. He ended the oil windfall profits tax. Reagan followed his 1981 tax cuts with the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which sought to eliminate deductions, lower marginal rates for the wealthy, and significantly raise taxes on those earning less than $50,000[7][8] In 1982 Reagan agreed to a rollback of corporate tax cuts and a smaller rollback of individual income tax cuts. The 1982 tax increase undid a third of the initial tax cut. In 1983 Reagan instituted a payroll tax on Social Security and Medicare hospital insurance

  • aspenstreet1717 Nov 28, 2012

    Raising taxes will not solve our problems. It sounds good but it won't work.

  • Rebelyell55 Nov 28, 2012

    They'll do something, but it'll most likey not be what's good for the average citizens. Also, the cuts that will happen will put more burden on the states and local goverment, who'll in turn raise your taxes one method or another. This is what'll hurt the middle class and lower.

  • Screw WrAl Nov 28, 2012

    these out of touch old guys need to go back to the rest home because nothing they say is going to motivate anyone to do a thing. the best thing that can happen to this country is to go crashing right over the cliff. after we all pay a few thousand more in taxes and see what Obamacare is going to do for our doctor trips maybe then we'll wake the spit up.

  • junkmail5 Nov 28, 2012

    Literally- as the top tax rate has dropped, more and more of the total wealth accumulates in the hands of the ultra wealthy.

    Envy gets you nothing- mep

    Again, you seem to be confusing envy with...ya know... math.

    Every nation that has seen its wealth accumulate in a very tiny fraction of the population has come to ruin, over thousands of years of history. It's a very bad thing to let happen.

    This is something the founding fathers understood, and you clearly do not.

    "As riches increase and accumulate in few hands, as luxury prevails in society, virtue will be in a greater degree considered as only a graceful appendage of wealth, and the tendency of things will be to depart from the republican standard. This is the real disposition of human nature; it is what neither the honorable member nor myself can correct. It is a common misfortunate that awaits our State constitution, as well as all others."
    — Alexander Hamilton

  • junkmail5 Nov 28, 2012

    Sadly, you have no facts to back this up.- mep

    well, except actual facts, which back it up... unlike all of your posts I actually support the things I say.


    "By the best available measures the rate in 1935 was, as she stated, more than 50 percent."

    Further, before medicare, over half of seniors were uninsured... here's proof of that too-


    So why do you want grandma to be poor and without medical care?

  • Plenty Coups Nov 28, 2012

    "Sadly, you have no facts to back this up.... poverty was not defined nationally."

    Are you kidding? Data clearly shows that social security currently keeps about half or nearly half of elderly Americans out of poverty. And while we don't have a definite number from back then as there was no official poverty threshold, it is easily estimated that about half of all elderly citizens would have been in poverty. The great depression wiped out life savings and millions of people wrote to the government asking for help.




    Half of elderly NC would be in poverty using census records.:


  • Pseudonym Nov 28, 2012

    Ain't gonna work. Obviously the voters of this country don't see anything wrong with the status quo, since they put the same "more rons" (sic, thanks GOLO) back in office. The only thing that will fix it is when we do go off the fiscal cliff and the world does indeed collapse. Of course, by then it will be too late.

  • mep Nov 28, 2012

    Prior to social security about HALF of all elderly lived in poverty. That's what you want to return to apparently.

    Sadly, you have no facts to back this up.... poverty was not defined nationally. Americans had a far better standard of living that a vast majority of others in the world... and still do. Americans are the only ones where those in poverty also suffer from obesity. LOL.