PRCC students participate in national debt awareness event

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The wall of debt: PRCC students raise awareness of the nation's debt.  Photo by Cassandra Favre

The wall of debt: PRCC students raise awareness of the nation’s debt.
Photo by Cassandra Favre

The United States’ national debt is more than $19 trillion and it’s growing every day.
Tuesday, this fact was visually displayed by members of Pearl River Community College’s Young Americans for Liberty Group in Crosby Hall. A row of 14 large-scale numbers represented the exact monetary amount.
YAL is a nationwide group of student activists interested in the libertarian movement, PRCC YAL president Dalton Traylor said. There are about 204,000 students involved YAL.
Tavish Kelly, YAL Mississippi State Chair, said the group is designed to identify, educate and train student activists to win politically on principle while retaining passion for small government and personal liberties.
“We want members to become better at articulating ideas and not necessarily to create just politicians, but also business and community leaders who can apply these same principles in the marketplace to change their community for the good over time,” Kelly said. “We want to affect the political conversations of this country.”
PRCC’s YAL conducted a survey and asked students what national issues were of most importance, Traylor said.
“The national debt won,” he said. “Our nation is $19 trillion in debt, that’s about $60,000 per person. We want to show people how much money our government spends each year. We got to this point because they keep raising the debt ceiling and the amount of spending on government funded programs goes past our budget about a trillion dollars every year.”
Traylor said the government can lower the national debt by cutting funding to programs such as the Transportation Security Administration, since they have stopped zero attacks, he added. He also mentioned the Environmental Protection Agency, because there have been several instances where the EPA has caused pollution, Traylor said.
“$600 billion a year is spent on the military,” Traylor said. “It’s important, but it’s not America’s responsibility to police the world so we don’t have to keep growing it.”
PRCC student Keeli Clark said she was aware of the nation’s debt problem before the event.
“It’s ridiculous,” she said. “They need to reverse what they are doing and turn it around.”
Joel Thompson said seeing the numbers spread out had a bigger impact than just hearing the numbers.
“When you think about all the wealthy celebrities who say they want to see a better world but don’t want to do anything about it,” he said. “They keep raising taxes for the medium income and not the rich. It’s just keeping the rich rich and the poor poor.”
This was the PRCC group’s first large activist event, Traylor said and they plan to have more events where people can exercise their right to free speech.
The group is open to students from ages 15 to 40. For more information visit the Facebook page at Young Americans for Liberty: PRCC and

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