By Carolyn Lukensmeyer, AmericaSpeaks
Cross-posted from the AmericaSpeaks Blog
AmericaSpeaks’ most important work this year was “Our Budget, Our Economy,” the national discussion on the country’s fiscal future held on June 26th.
Once again the most important learning from the deliberations of 3,500 people reflecting our nation’s population was that when Americans are given a target on a problem they want to solve, in this case cutting the deficit by $1.2 trillion dollars by 2025, they are quite capable of doing it.
And even more important, when the whole range of differences: age, income, gender, race/ethnicity, and ideology that IS this country, is part of the discussion they make compromises and trade-offs to solve the problem.
When people are polled individually what they want to do about the problem, they do make choices reflecting their ideological views. So, the aggregate of individual views results in different outcomes than the collective views of Americans after deliberation.
This has been demonstrated time and time again by our work and by the work of so many other organizations in the field of deliberative democracy: National Issues Forum, Everyday Democracy, Public Agenda, Center for Deliberative Democracy.
The Co-Chairs of President Obama’s fiscal commission have published their draft proposal (the full Commission’s recommendations will be out next week) and the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force has announced their recommendations. To look at their ideas, click here.
Both documents reflect tough choices: cutting spending AND raising revenues. The Americans participating in “Our Budget, Our Economy” sent the same message to Congress and the White House on June 26th. The next step will require political courage of all of our elected officials.
On another note, Thanksgiving has always been my favorite Holiday. A time not only to enjoy all the traditions of your family’s Thanksgiving Dinner, but a time to reflect and be grateful for all the many blessings in our lives.
This Thanksgiving is a very special one for me. My 86 year old mother and I are traveling to Granada, Spain to visit Abby, her granddaughter/my niece, who is studying there. So much to be grateful for – three generations of Lukensmeyer women able to share a special time together.
Happy Thanksgiving!blog comments powered by Disqus