ABILENE -- Our nation's debt is the topic of discussion at a Kansas Town Hall forum at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum. The public program will be held in the Visitors Center Auditorium on Thursday, August 9th at 7:00 that evening.
"It has become apparent to many Americans that if we do not act decisively on the nation's debt soon, our economy will be seriously hobbled and we will dump an unsustainable burden on our children and grandchildren," said Myles Alexander, Project Coordinator for Kansas State University's Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy (ICDD.)
The forum titled "A Nation in Debt: How Can We Pay the Bills?" will present three possible options for participants to consider as a discussion starter:
1) Agree to Make Sacrifices Now
2) Strengthen Checks and Balances
3) Invest in Growth First
Participants will work in small groups to discuss the approaches and suggest policy alternatives. Each group will be led by trained facilitators and use an issue discussion guide. In closing, the small groups will engage in a larger discussion comparing notes.
Forum participants work through the issue by considering each approach and examining what appeals to them or concerns them. They will also consider what the costs, consequences and trade-offs may be for each approach.
The policy suggestions made by participants in this forum will be forwarded to the Kettering Foundation as part of a national conversation on economic security that is happening in forums like this all across the country. "We are excited to have the voice of Kansans represented in this important project," said ICDD Director David Procter.
Some local and state elected officials and policy makers have been invited to observe the public forum process and reflect how they may use the information and decisions that result from the process. "That makes this forum a unique opportunity to make a difference," adds Procter.
This forum is a partnership of the Kettering Foundation, National Issues Forums Institute and the Presidential Libraries network of the National Archives and Records Administration. The program is free and open to the public.