By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A bipartisan commission on political reform brought its road show to the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia Wednesday, as it navigates stormy waters in an attempt to bridge the partisan political divide.
A Washington-based think tank launched the commission and stuffed it with an all-star list of Democrats and Republicans – former members of Congress, Governors, and cabinet members – as well as business executives, volunteer and religious leaders, and journalists.
Recently retired Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine, who co-chairs the panel, says they’re trying to get the public more involved in the political process, by improving the political environment and making Congress more functional.
“We’re engaging the public in this discussion about the causes and the consequences of America’s political partisan divide,” Snowe said.
PNC Bank Chairman James Rohr believes current leaders are failing the next generation, by giving them $17-20-trillion worth of debt.
“Right now every child born inherits what is the equivalent of $50,000 of the national debt,” he also says the country is failing to ensure that younger people get a decent education.
“Are these standards OK?” he asks. “25-27% of our students don’t graduate high school.”
Rohr says early childhood education is the best way to “help children rise above their circumstances.”