Behind all the urgent headlines from Lebanon and Iraq and the great heat wave of 2006, a deep fuse keeps burning under America's future. It's the federal deficit and American debt. It is huge, and on course to get much, much bigger. So big that it could one day paralyze this country and wreck the lives of our children and grandchildren.
But spending under President Bush has rocketed. Special interests grab subsidies and tax cuts. Politicians shout we're too polarized to act. But are we, really?
A new movement in "deliberative democracy" says that when ordinary Americans sit down and talk, the deficit can be licked. The chasm can be closed.
We talk with citizens who deliberate the deficit challenge.
Heidi Gantwerk, Vice President of Viewpoint Learning, Inc.
Audra Cooper, a citizen-participant from San Diego, CA
Elizabeth Watkins, a citizen-participant from Kansas City
Ralph Wilson, a citizen-participant from Kansas City;
Robert Bixby, Executive Director of the Concord Coalition.
This program aired on August 3, 2006.