Professors speak on national debt level

Haley Russo, Freelance Writer

Up to Us, a nationwide organization of student activists which raises awareness of the national debt, shared the realities of the debt the country faces by hosting an event Tuesday.


Associate professor of political science Scott Waller and associate professor of finance Shane Enete explained how the American economy has over $20 trillion in debt according to World Debt Clock. Waller emphasized Americans often have difficulty understanding the national debt, but it remains important to keep in mind. In personal terms, each individual taxpayer possesses $170,000 worth of debt, according to World Debt Clock.

Waller questioned the place of elected officials to increase the debt level though they might not have the ability to pay it off.

“Is it fair we are running up a dinner tab for you to pay?” Waller said to the audience.

Enete touched on three specific points on the possibilities of why debt has reached such an overwhelming amount. He stated his belief that the American government spends too much and needs to manage its debt. America’s economy also overly relies on the Federal Reserve, which controls the supply of American dollars, according to Enete. The state of the American economy remains important because other countries look to its dollar when their currency may fall short.

“The U.S. is not doing anything to deserve it, and are doing many things wrong, but our country is the best of the bad apples,” Enete said to the audience.

The federal government needs a long-term strategy to become fiscally responsible, according to Waller.

“We need to cut the growth on some of these programs or allow the programs to grow at a smaller rate,” Waller said to the audience. “If we can strategically plan how much money is circulating through our government, it is likely that we can lessen the rising rate of debt.”


A variety of students attended the informing event. Derek Uejo,  president of Biola’s Chapter of the American Enterprise Institute and junior political science major, attended and expanded on how AEI will also host several events similar to this next semester. Junior business major Kelly Campbell explained that while she did not have personal involvement in the Up to Us organization she discovered the event through her family friends.

“I am good friend of the Wallers, and I heard about the event through them. It sounded like an interesting topic,” Campbell said.

As the event came to a close, both speakers illustrated their hope in reaching students on the concerning national debt. Enete and Waller not only wanted to inform students, but also grab their attention to become active participants in reducing the national debt.

“It is important to provide a hook for students. There are so many aspects of importance in understanding national debt,” Waller said.

Enete hopes to see more students become educated about the rise in national debt to promote truth in an uncommon conversation.

“I hope this talk allowed students to feel more connected with the economy, we need Christians to become involved and heal our culture,” Enete said.

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