Anyone who’s been paying attention is aware that the Federal budget is out of control, unsustainable, and politicians dare not display any consensus on what to do about it. So several wealthy foundations are funding the “America Speaks” project, which seems to have focused on a fleet of 19 “town meetings” (plus a few dozen less-connected gatherings) held today. I attended Chicago’s, at Navy Pier.
The concept is at least a little bit promising. I guess we had about 600 people, assigned to tables of a dozen or so each, and we talked about how the Federal financial situation might be improved. But first we had a very loud presentation from Philadelphia. (Philadelphia is apparently standing in for Washington and New York, so we won’t suspect that political professionals and Wall Street are involved in the effort.) We were told that, yes, the deficit is a big deal(as described in this pdf). And before talking about the options for reform, we were directed to determine our values. The “values” are listed below (and on worksheet #3 of this document), along with the reasons that they make no sense at all. Continue reading