By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – If you are worried about the economy and what it means to you and your family, you won’t want to miss the address “Generational Justice: The Debt and Deficit, the Future of Social Security, Medicare and the Savings Challenge in America” Tuesday, Sept. 30 at Campbellsville University.
Phil Smith, national political director of The Concord Coalition, will be the guest speaker for the Kentucky Heartland Institute on Public Policy’s forum at 6:30 p.m. in the Little Auditorium of the Student Union Building on campus.
“Now, more than ever, it is vital that Americans fully understand the giant challenges facing the federal budget and how it relates to them,” said Smith.
“Experts of diverse ideological perspectives agree that current policy is simply unsustainable. The retirement of 77 million baby boomers, who have not saved enough, coupled with increased health care costs, necessitate big reforms for Social Security and Medicare.
“In the meantime, skyrocketing annual deficits are fueling a mammoth national debt approaching $10 trillion. The long-term forecasts only gets worse without action,” he said.
For more than two years, Smith has been traveling the country with former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker serving as a modern day Paul Revere and ringing the alarm of fiscal responsibility.
Aided by the Heritage Foundation and the Brookings Institution, “The Fiscal Wake Up Tour” has visited more than 40 cities, been the focus of a “60 Minutes” program and most recently been the subject of a documentary movie titled “I.O.U.S.A.”
John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president of Campbellsville University, said Smith’s visit is “very timely given the economic and market turmoil we’re experiencing.”
Chowning said the Concord Coalition’s Web site at www.concordcoalition.org has “very detailed policy papers and commentaries made on these very issues.”
He said, “Certainly, this KHIPP forum is coming at a very momentous time on those issues that are the core of the Coalition’s mission.”
“I hope everyone will join us that evening to learn more about the economic challenges facing America at this time,” he said.
The Concord Coalition is a nationwide, non-partisan, grassroots organization advocating generationally responsible fiscal policy. The Concord Coalition was founded in 1992 by the late former Sen. Paul Tsongas (D-Mass.), former Sen. Warren Rudman (R-N.H.) and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Peter Peterson.
The Concord Coalition is dedicated to educating the public about the causes and consequences of federal budget deficits, the long-term challenges facing America’s unsustainable entitlement programs and how to build a sound economy for future generations. The Coalition is dedicated to fiscal responsibility within the federal budget while ensuring that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are secure for all generations.
Smith has worked on behalf of the Coalition since 1995, helping to conduct seminars, congressional and presidential town hall meetings, as well as various other public policy initiatives related to budgetary issues such as the “Fiscal Wake-Up Tour.”
On Capitol Hill and across the nation, Smith often delivers speeches to a range of political and civic organizations, colleges, universities and financial planning groups. He works extensively with the media having appeared on most major television and radio networks including CNN, CNNfn, PBS, NPR, CNBC, C-span, the BBC and CTV (Canadian Television).
Before working for the Concord Coalition, Smith served on the Washington staff of former U.S. Rep. Doug Barnard (D – Ga.) and the Georgia capitol staff of several state representatives and senators.
He was primarily raised in Athens, Ga., home of the University of Georgia where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science (UGA class of 1990). Smith also studied Mexican politics and Spanish at the University of the Americas near Puebla, Mexico and was awarded a visiting fellowship to Ming Chaun University in Taipei, Taiwan.
In 2004, the governor of Georgia appointed Smith to serve on the board of directors of the Children and Youth Coordinating Council, a state agency that administers grants and oversees numerous youth projects in conjunction with the state department of Juvenile Justice.
Smith was chosen as one of the “Top 40 Under 40” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2005 and is a graduate of the 2006 class of Leadership Georgia.
He is the president-elect of the Atlanta Kiwanis Club.
Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,601 students who represent 93 Kentucky counties, 27 states and 31 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2009 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 22nd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South for the second consecutive year. CU has been ranked 16 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges®. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his tenth year as president.