Maryland congressman visits Northwestern, discusses fiscal problems

U.S.+Rep.+John+Delaney+%28D-Md.%29+speaks+to+Northwestern+students+at+Mccormick+Auditorium.+Delaney+discussed+the+country%27s+fiscal+problems+and+their+effect+on+young+Americans.
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Maryland congressman visits Northwestern, discusses fiscal problems

U.S. Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) speaks to Northwestern students at Mccormick Auditorium. Delaney discussed the country's fiscal problems and their effect on young Americans.

U.S. Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) speaks to Northwestern students at Mccormick Auditorium. Delaney discussed the country's fiscal problems and their effect on young Americans.

Brian Lee/Daily Senior Staffer

U.S. Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) speaks to Northwestern students at Mccormick Auditorium. Delaney discussed the country's fiscal problems and their effect on young Americans.

Brian Lee/Daily Senior Staffer

Brian Lee/Daily Senior Staffer

U.S. Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) speaks to Northwestern students at Mccormick Auditorium. Delaney discussed the country's fiscal problems and their effect on young Americans.

Olivia Exstrum, Reporter

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Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) visited Northwestern on Wednesday night to speak about the national debt and its impact on the younger generation, specifically college students.

The talk was organized by NU’s chapter of Up to Us, a national competition for college students interested in economics and fiscal policy. Delaney, a former businessman, is also an NU parent. His daughter, Summer Delaney, is a Medill junior.

“If we care about the future, if we care about kids, we need to deal with our debt,” he said.

Delaney first identified two dominant trends that are having profound global impact: globalization and technology. Although the world is accelerating because of these patterns, they have also destroyed the workforce, he said.

Delaney stressed he does not believe the United States will collapse as a result of debt. Rather, he said, people should ask whether or not the fiscal situation will be fixed in a smart way.

“If we deal with (the debt) in a dramatic manner, there will be a number of Americans who suffer,” he said. “If we have too much debt, we can’t make decisions.”

Delaney turned discussion to the problem of what happens when the debt needs to be paid back, referring to the budget as a “statement of priorities”: If the U.S. doesn’t deal with its debt, he said, the country will not be able to invest in things such as education, infrastructure and basic medical research. The importance of making investments for the future was a recurring theme throughout the speech.

However, Delaney remained hopeful, saying the country is more than prepared to deal with its financial problems.

“The thing that’s been the most unique and extraordinary about the United States of America is that it’s a country of opportunity, not of birthright,” he said.

He spoke at length about Fortune 500 companies that were founded by immigrants, such as Google and Levi Strauss. He also stated income inequality as a reason for stagnant economic growth. Delaney concluded his speech by giving some background on his career and entrepreneurial experience.

Kelly Carlquist, an Up to Us team leader, said Delaney was chosen not only because of his political experience, but also because of his experience as a businessman.

“He is truly focused on economic issues and the national debt,” the Weinberg senior said. “He’s also been a leading voice in the bipartisan budget agreement.”

Up to Us is a contest in which 24 teams from campuses compete in raising awareness about the nation’s debt through various methods, such as a Facebook quiz. Priya Soni, an Up to Us team member and Weinberg senior, said the group will also be hosting another speaker, a movie screening and other events as part of the competition, which runs from Jan. 21 to Feb. 21. The winning team will win $10,000 and attend a Clinton Global Initiative conference in April, where they will meet former President Bill Clinton.

Email: oliviaexstrum2017@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @oliviaexstrum

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