Looking at the U.S. National Debt
As Congress debates how to best handle the horrifyingly obese national debt, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has released its alternative fiscal scenario for the U.S. debt over the next 10 years. The staggering number is $13 trillion. Yes, the CBO predicts the United States to be $13 trillion dollars in debt over the next 10 years.
Additionally, they estimate that we will only be able to cut $2 trillion to $4 trillion over that time span.
Congress is discussing several options for dealing with the growing debt. The national debt ceiling (the amount that Congress has determined the U.S. can legally allow itself to owe) is at $14.3 trillion, a number we are set to blow by very soon. Congress has raised the debt ceiling 10 times in the last decade, and many critics believe the current heated debates are merely an act before Congress chooses to raise the ceiling again.
Proposals on how to cut into the debt have been offered by both sides, but none have managed to placate both parties.
Only complicating the matter, the U.S. economy is still floundering and fragile. Any sudden changes could have disastrous effects or at least stunt recovery.
Former President Bill Clinton believes Congress should wait to execute a debt help plan until the economy shows signs of stability.
Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of six Senators has come up with a plan that they believe can serve as a framework for a plan to reduce some of the deficit. The plan includes over $4 trillion in government spending cuts, including half a trillion from Medicare and another trillion from tighter tax restrictions.
Overall, the plan has more tax increases than Republicans would like, and more spending cuts than Democrats would like but that is the true essence of compromise. With only 13 days left for negotiating, members of both parties and even President Obama have praised this bipartisan plan as a strong starting point for a solution.