"Overdraft" University Symposia Series
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
October 10, 2013
On October 10, 2013, the University of Michigan’s College Democrats, College Republicans and Common Sense Action teamed up with The Can Kicks Back and the Travelers Institute for an educational look at the national debt. Students gathered for a roundtable discussion about their generation’s role in pulling the nation back from its more than $17 trillion in debt obligations. Before the group discussion, participants watched the award-winning, nonpartisan debt documentary, “Overdraft,” presented by the Travelers Institute. The film, made for public television and broadcast on local stations across the country, provided a foundation for understanding the facts behind the national debt and the types of federal spending that comprise the nation’s annual budgets.
Following the film, students and community members pulled on experiences for a cross-generational discussion about what the debt has meant for them and what it will mean in the future. Speaking during the 2013 government shutdown, a first-year graduate student from the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work described how she and several of her classmates had been unable to submit their applications to the U.S. Peace Corp due to the shutdown. Concerned about missing the deadline, she had been unable to speak to anyone about her application and country placement. Another community member expressed concern over how his generation, the baby boomers, may be reaping today’s benefits at the expense of future generations. Attendees agreed that public awareness was a vital step toward a more sustainable future.
- Nick Troiano, Co-Founder & Communications Director, The Can Kicks Back
- Jessica Legnos, Executive Director, Travelers Institute, The Travelers Companies, Inc.