David M. Walker has been touring America talking about the need to face facts about our federal debt. Walker, who was U.S. comptroller general under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, came to Atlanta with former Clinton staffer Alice Rivlin and other members of the bipartisan Fiscal Solutions Tour last March: Here’s what I wrote about it at the time (quoting Rivlin but not Walker). He has even been mentioned as a possible independent presidential candidate in the near future; the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman actually wrote a column suggesting that Walker run this year.
So when Walker says he’s endorsing one of the two men who are major-party candidates for president this year, it’s worth listening. Here’s what he wrote in an op-ed in Sunday’s Washington Times:
From a fiscal perspective, I am convinced that both major presidential candidates want to achieve a “grand bargain,” although they clearly differ on how to get there. Unfortunately, while I would prefer to make a decision based on a candidate’s reform plans, neither of the major presidential candidates has outlined a comprehensive and specific fiscal reform plan that meets the six reform criteria that I have advocated. This plan must be pro-growth, socially equitable, culturally acceptable, mathematically accurate, politically feasible, and have meaningful bipartisan support. Therefore, I am basing my decision on who to support as president and other federal offices on the following criteria:
* The person’s breadth and depth of experience.
* The person’s demonstrated leadership ability.
* The person’s commitment to fiscal responsibility and real transformation of government.
* The person’s commitment to working on a bipartisan basis to achieve real results.
Applying these criteria has led me to decide to vote for both Republicans and Democrats in the upcoming federal election races in my home state of Connecticut. Clearly the most important decision is my vote for president, our nation’s CEO.
Based on the above principles, I believe that Gov. Mitt Romney is the clear choice for president.
He has more to say about Romney at the link. But, given the pressing issue of the federal deficits and debt, and the way the Obama campaign has assailed Romney’s tax-reform plan, Walker’s endorsement of Romney instead of Obama is interesting and should carry a lot of weight with his fellow independents.
– By Kyle Wingfield