New role for U.S. Chief Auditor

David M. Walker spent his last day Wednesday as comptroller general of the United States. As the head of the Government Accountability Office, the auditing arm of Congress, Walker has been perhaps the most outspoken official in Washington warning of the fiscal train wreck that awaits this country unless it mends its ways.

Even as a nonpartisan employee of Congress, Walker has been blunt enough to say, again and again, that "at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue and on both sides of the political aisle, there are too few leaders who face the facts" about this fiscal mess.

Walker had begun to realize he was pushing the limits on advocacy at the GAO. So he jumped at the opportunity offered him by a Wall Street investment banker [to run its] foundation.

The foundation's main focus will be to spur action to curb the deficits. Walker said he will be able to do things his old job did not allow -- "advocate specific solutions, build coalitions and put grass-roots pressure on Washington."

The last time the broad public grasped the danger of budget deficits was in 1992, when Ross Perot paid for half-hour television infomercials, complete with dramatic charts and graphs. Walker says the foundation will try to emulate Perot, using television, the Internet and all other communication tools. No task is more important to our future.

[Excerpt of an article by David S. Broader, Washington Post]

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