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There's a shortage of some qualities in our national character.

Grace. Patience. Leadership.

What we have an abundance of is real-life, big-deal problems, starting with the country's racial wounds that haven't healed.

Then there is coronavirus. For those who believe the media have become merchants of the macabre, well, the stocks are full.

So, if you were among smart, young professionals looking to make a bold statement about a problem that threatens this country as much as our fractured race relations and every bit as serious as COVID-19, you may not think today is the ideal time to introduce another battle front.

Well, Weston Wamp, the leader of a national organization called the Millennial Debt Commission, believes today is the perfect time.

"Without a doubt, amid all the things that are happening around us — and these are real-world, life-and-death issues that require extra spending and true fiscal relief — now is the perfect time," Wamp said Monday on the eve of the first meeting of his commission. "From a PR standpoint it might not be ideal in terms of national spotlight by comparison.

"But the timing is perfect to re-energize this subject, because you absolutely could not have a better teachable moment that you can't borrow a trillion dollars a year when the economy is good because you never know when the world will change."

Wamp enlisted some power players from around the country to start this debt-fighting incubator more than a year ago. He started with his political mentor Dr. Tom Coburn, the respected longtime U.S. representative and senator from Oklahoma who died earlier this spring. That first step became a full-blown sprint as he recruited insightful, experienced business and political leaders, including Todd Womack and Micah Johnson, who previously worked for former U.S. Sen. Bob Corker.

Heavy hitters including Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw have joined Wamp and his commission, a nonprofit organization that Wamp hopes will effect change on both sides of the political aisle.

The goal of limiting spending and cutting into the back-breaking borrowing is simple; the path, however, will be arduous.

"The most intellectually honest way I know to describe it is that for the last 20 years in America we have been in an unprecedented experiment in deficit spending," Wamp said Monday, a few hours before the committee's first meeting in a national conference call because of the coronavirus. "And there is no debate that the people who have run this experiment will not be around when the bill comes due.

"Because if you look around at the best countries in the world, the countries we compare ourselves and our way of life to, they have prospered with a way different approach to fiscal stewardship."

Since unsuccessfully running twice for Congress in the last decade, Wamp has accepted tasks in a variety of fields. This commission, though, and its goal of securing a better financial future for all Americans, regardless of race, age, sex or any other box you can check, merges his leadership strengths with what he believes to be the biggest issue facing our great nation.

It also allowed him one final chance to work with Coburn, who hand-picked some of the early members, and to carry the baton of one of the most underrated political figures of this century into a fight for kids' kids' future.

So, with the rest of the world crumbling and coughing around them, starting today, Wamp and his millennial fiscal freedom fighters will try to redirect the biggest government problem of our lifetime. And repave a path for the future on solid financial ground.

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com.

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Jay Greeson
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