As it is, their voices may actually be better heard in Capitol Hill as regular citizens.
The two Georgia congressional candidates who lost in their recent respective Republican primaries — Allen in the 12th District, Zoller in the 9th — have teamed up to join the national Fix the Debt campaign.
The bipartisan campaign is one of the most hopeful signs we’ve seen that this country may yet address the catastrophic levels of debt that multiple presidents and congresses from both parties have dumped on America.
It’s a debt that is depressing economic activity, threatening collapse of the dollar, and burdening future generations with an immoral $16 trillion bill they had nothing to do with running up.
“The most significant threat to our national security is our debt,” Admiral Michael Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said.
Think about that: One of the great military minds of our era says the greatest threat to national security is our spending.
“A nation with our current levels of unsustainable debt,” Mullen said, “cannot hope to sustain for very long its superiority from a military perspective, or its influence in world affairs.”
In addition, as noted by CNNMoney.com, “other countries own close to half of all outstanding U.S. public debt” — including China.
Writes CNNMoney.com: “‘You can’t be strong around the world unless you’re strong at home,’ said Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who served as assistant secretary of defense under President Reagan.”
Fix the Debt is a creation of Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson — the former chairs of President Obama’s “Simpson-Bowles” National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which recommended solutions to the debt crisis and was unceremoniously ignored by official Washington. Also involved is the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a bipartisan non-profit.
Other respected bipartisan organizations such as the Concord Coalition are also involved in Fix the Debt. And some 100 CEOs have signed on to help.
National co-chairs of Fix the Debt are former Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania.
And now, Rick Allen and Martha Zoller have signed on as Georgia co-chairs for Fix the Debt.
This election is the most important in our lifetimes — but it will come and go. What will remain, like a giant hurricane on the horizon, is the legacy of debt that we are still adding to, at the rate of about $1 trillion a year. We’ll be awash in it long after Hurricane Sandy has died out and its floodwaters fully receded.
It’s past time to plan for a better future for our children. But better late than never.
We wish the Fix the Debt campaign Godspeed, and we should all stand ready to do whatever it takes to help the campaign succeed. And that includes some forms of financial sacrifice.
Ask the remaining heroes of the World War II generation if self-sacrifice works.
And ask yourself if you’re up to the challenge.