Kennesaw State students get lesson about national debt’s impact on youth

  National youth-led “generational equity” campaign makes a stop on campus More…

Georgia (Oct 17, 2013) —  

Concord Coalition's Phil Smith leads Kennesaw State students in 'Debt-Buster' exercise

National youth-led “generational equity” campaign makes a stop on campus

More than 200 Kennesaw State students, working in about 20 small groups as mock members of the U.S. Congress, shaved an average of more than $3 trillion off the national debt during a local visit of “The Can Kicks Back” (TCKB) tour on campus Oct. 16.

Their solutions — arrived at by weighing various options, each carrying a different amount of budget savings or costs — ran the gamut, from cutting military spending to health care to foreign aid to Medicare and Social Security.

The "debt busters" exercise was part of TCKB’s fall 2013 national tour,designed to engage young Americans in taking action against the nation’s growing debt. As part of the tour, the “AmeriVan” arrived at Kennesaw State’s Campus Green, bringing youthful volunteers to educate and recruit student supporters to join with other millennials across the nation in sending Washington a message to “stop kicking the debt can down the road.”

An evening program included a showing of the PBS documentary "Overdraft,"which presents an explanation of America's federal debt and the choices Americans must make to fix it. The participatory debt-buster exercise was led by Phil Smith, director of government relations and Southern regional director for the Concord Coalition, which describes itself as a non-partisan political advocacy group. 

“Our actual members of Congress could take a lesson [from students],” said Kerwin Swint, interim chair of the Department of Political Science, which along with Student Life and Student Success Services, helped promote the TCKB stop at Kennesaw State. “The tour organizers gushed about KSU. They said it was one of the best stops on their national tour.”

For more on the TCKB tour and its stop at Kennesaw State, click on

Photo: Concord Coalition's Phil Smith leads Kennesaw State in "debt-busters" exercise.

The Can Kicks Back Tour


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit