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Saturday, January 15, 2011

71 percent of Americans opposed to raising debt ceiling, but imperious Washington does what it wants

Polls Show Grave Concern About Federal Debt

(The New American) -- by Bruce Walker --

The American people, according to a January 11 Reuters poll, strongly oppose raising the debt ceiling of the federal government. The poll shows that 71 percent of respondents are against raising the limit on federal borrowing authority, while only 18 percent support such a move. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has expressed his support for raising the debt limit, noting that not raising it would reflect a sort of political immaturity, with the proviso that the raise must be coupled with serious spending cuts. Treasury Secretary Geithner has warned that a failure to raise the ceiling would lead to "catastrophic economic consequences."
House Speaker John Boehner was more direct:

The American people will not stand for such an increase unless it is accompanied by meaningful action by the president and Congress to cut spending and end the job-killing spending binge in Washington. While America cannot default on its debt, we also cannot continue to borrow recklessly, dig ourselves deeper into the hole, and mortgage the future of our children and grandchildren.

The borrowing limit of the federal government is currently set at $14.29 trillion, and Secretary Geithner believes that this limit will be reached sometime between March 31 and May 16. The national debt is about $126,000 per taxpayer, and growing constantly. Over one-third of the federal national debt is owed to foreign countries. What we do will directly affect the economies of other nations, especially China.

The sheer size of the national debt is almost impossible to fully grasp. Beyond that size is the fact that the debt is growing more quickly than is the Gross Domestic Product of the United States, which stands at about $14.68 trillion. Given current rates of growth, sometime this year the national debt will become larger than the entire GDP of the United States. Although that does not mean anything special economically, the symbolism could be stark. Confidence is key to borrowing power, to business climate, and to consumer confidence — and symbolic benchmarks come right after confidence...MORE...LINK

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