George Will, columnist and TV commentator, gave a public talk about serious issues the country faces, followed by a question-and-answer session with former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux on April 16th, 2014.
Among the topics Will took on was the national debt in his presentation, “The State of our Federal Government and the Prospects for Thoughtful Policy Solutions to Domestic and Foreign Challenges and Opportunities”. “The problem, ladies and gentlemen, is that the political class has a permanent incentive for deficit spending,” he said. “I think the political class in Washington is more united by class interest than it is divided by ideology.” Moving to the topic of “entitlements,” Will asked the audience if any of them are driving a 1935 car or use a personal computer or cell phone for 1965. Then he said, “The two programs that are driving our budget are Social Security (established in 1935) and Medicare (established in 1965). The world has changed. The programs haven’t.” He also sounded a note of optimism regarding Washington gridlock, saying that “the government is supposed to be difficult… it’s supposed to be hard.” Americans have the power to choose better policymakers, he said. “It’s in our hands.”