Speaker to address national debt crisis at JU

Debt crisis lecture open to the public, begins at 7 p.m.

By Crystal Moyer - Traffic/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - In October, the U.S. debt reached an all-time record jumping to $328 billion in one day, surpassing the previous high of 238-billion set two years ago.

According to the U.S. Treasury Department, the debt now equals $17 trillion.

It's an issue one expert traveled all the way to Jacksonville just to speak about Thursday night.

Dr. Michael Pries is scheduled to speak at Jacksonville University about the debt crisis we face as a country. He's an economist who got his PhD at Stanford and teaches economics at Notre Dame. Organizers said this timely lecture will interest anyone interested in the future of the United States.

The federal government's recent deficits have reached levels not seen since World War II, and the debt grows by an average of more than $3 billion per day. It's forecasted to reach only unprecedented levels in the coming decades.

That's why organizers said, a speaking engagement at Jacksonville University Thursday night is so relevant and so timely.

"Its open to the public... it's for that purpose. We want the public to be engaged but I think anybody who is concerned about public policy that's going on with the local, state and federal level. How we're spending our tax dollars, what we're doing exactly for the future of our country, this is a conversation and a lecture that's important for the future of our country really," said Director of Jacksonville University's Public Policy Institute, Rick Mullaney.

Pries's lecture will examine several aspects of the debt and fiscal forecasts, including things like how social security, medicare and medicaid contribute to future deficits and if the projected debt levels are spot-on, how our standard of living and our services will be impacted.

"The goal is to inform and educate. We believe that public policy issues particularly the debt crisis is important to the future of our country and we believe that an informed educated citizenry is important to the future and so in this collaboration between notre dame and the JU public policy institute we hope to bring to Jacksonville this Annual Hesburgh Lecture Series for the benefit of the people of Jacksonville," said Mullaney.

The event begins with a free reception in the Davis College of Business at JU that starts at 6 p.m. with food and refreshments and then the lecture begins at 7 p.m.

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