Wow. Big news. So big we couldn’t wait until our next edition on Tuesday. So put the kids to bed. Here we go… it’s a 5 Min. Forecast OVERTIME briefing:
David Walker Resigns as U.S. Comptroller General
“As comptroller general of the United States,” says David Walker, the federal government’s top accountant, ”there are real limitations on what I can do and say in connection with key public policy issues, especially issues that directly relate to GAO’s client — the Congress.”
You may recall, we’ve been traveling with David for more than a year documenting his efforts to educate the public on the fiscal issues challenging the country. Our film, I.O.U.S.A.,
featuring Mr. Walker among other luminaries, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2008.
Despite the “very difficult” nature of Walker’s decision, he has chosen to leave his post at the GAO to become the president and CEO of the newly founded Peter G. Peterson Foundation. He made the announcement to Congress today.
“While I love both my job as comptroller general and the GAO,” said Walker, “I love my country more. And I believe that leading this foundation represents a unique opportunity and will be good for my country. My new position will provide me with the ability and resources to more aggressively address a range of current and emerging challenges facing our country, including advocating specific policy solutions and courses of action.”
As the head of the Peterson Foundation, Walker will oversee the billion-dollar endowment of Pete Peterson – former Commerce Secretary, the founder of the Blackstone group, The Concord Coalition, and legendary advocate for government fiscal responsibility. Chief among Walker’s duties at the Peterson Foundation will be the funding and advocating of projects that will enhance public awareness of fiscal imbalance, government deficits, and nuclear proliferation.
“We are at a make-or-break point in American history,” Mr. Peterson said of his new foundation. “The entitlement monster is unfunded. We are dangerously dependent on foreign capital, our health care costs per capita are twice the level of the developed world. The goal is to integrate public policy and charitable giving and to answer this question: How do you educate a public that has become largely inert?”
It’s now up to David Walker to answer that question. Walker’s resignation, coupled with the launch of Peterson’s fund, has broad implications for the future of fiscal responsibility in the United States, and more specifically, the development of our documentary, I.O.U.S.A.
“The foundation is also going to end up funding other related efforts,” Walker told the Federal News Network in and interview this morning, “including potentially supporting one or more documentaries designed to get the message to millions of Americas… because they need to know in order to make more informed choices at the ballot box.”
Interesting times. Stay tuned for further updates.
And as always, have a nice weekend,
The 5 Min. Forecast
P.S. Here’s what the Congressional Quarterly said about Walker’s departure. And you can listen to his interview with the Federal News Network here.