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Ex-U.S. comptroller general urges college students to speak out on fiscal issues


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - College students who face record-high student debt and uncertain job prospects need the federal government to get their fiscal house in order.

And a former U.S. comptroller general says those young people need to band together and get their voices heard.

David Walker spoke at a forum at UW-Madison Thursday night about the nation’s debt crisis.

Walker, who served under three presidents, is now the head of the Comeback America Initiative which tries to find fiscal solutions. He said social media only goes so far in influencing public policy. And Walker told the audience, “My generation actually used to show up and march … Your generation needs to do that more.”

He said they need to “disproportionately engaged” to make a difference.

U.S. Senate Republican Ron Johnson and Madison House Democrat Mark Pocan also spoke at the forum.

Pocan said the tax code needs to be fairer. He said 18,000 U.S. companies have post office boxes in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying taxes, while virtually all small businesses in south central Wisconsin pay their fair share.

Johnson said he’d scrap the entire tax code, and build a new one that raises revenues without social engineering or economic harm.

Organizers urged UW students to sign an online petition to call for economic reforms. That site is at TheCanKicksBack.Org.