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-- that is gripping Washington right now the size of our national debt as Washington faces potentially devastating year end tax hikes and spending cuts.
Known as the fiscal cliff.
One lawmaker says the real problem is the fiscal avalanche that looms.
If the government fails to deal with our massive national debt it is now over sixteen trillion dollars and counting.
Utah Republican senator Mike Lee wrote that in and -- -- wrote that in a recent opinion -- he is a member.
Of the joint economic committee you -- from you -- a lot of mountains there I'm sure you know what an avalanche looks like and the problem with them is as you point out.
You don't know one they're gonna come.
That's right -- unlike the clip which you can see coming the avalanche is there in the sense that the conditions are present.
Don't know exactly what it's gonna hate you and by the time it hits you it's too late to get out of the way.
That's why we've got to start moving now to change these conditions so that the avalanche doesn't it.
So that our creditors will continue to lend to us and we can continue to fund the basic operations of government so what are the what are the consequences.
If that doesn't happen if we get this if we if we get this fiscal avalanche that your warning about.
If we continue to operate without a budget if we continue to operate in such a way that we have no plans of getting to a balancing our budget in the next five or six years.
At some point we don't know when that's gonna happen our credit misery -- -- -- gonna stop lending to us altogether or they're gonna demand a much higher interest rate at a better yields.
Once that happens it's very difficult to control and once that happens our ability to borrow will be severely impaired and they ought to be massive draconian very painful -- Due to everything from defense to entitlements and everything in between.
Cuts the likes of which we've never seen.
We can avoid this but we have to start making the changes now we have to start passing budgets now budgets that act.
The balance you write that under the most likely policies scenario according to Congressional Budget Office which is a nonpartisan.
In thirty years we could expect to be paying.
Three point eight trillion dollars in debt every year more -- federal government operations are in total this year.
That's right -- -- and it's even worse than it sounds because those are 2011.
Inflation adjusted dollars.
In other words the entire federal expenditures a halt all federal outlays.
Four last year.
Or roughly equivalent to what would be spending then.
Just in our interest that's not sustainable we can't run a government that way.
All right so what do we do about it.
Well we have to start by passing a budget we've we've had only three budgets introduced in the United States senate and one of three senators who have introduced one.
My budget balances in five years senator Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania as introduced one that balances at about eight years.
Rand Paul from Kentucky also has -- that would -- in about five years we've got to get one past.
But as of right now we have no proposal from the Democrats at least no proposal from the Democrats other than the president's budget which received zero votes this year and zero last year.
Well news the president wants to raise taxes on the wealthy for instance is that going to solve the problem get rid of the bush tax cuts.
And that that's not gonna solve the problem because we have to remember first of all.
There's no such thing as a tax increase that affects only the wealthy Ernst and young as predicted that will lose 700000 jobs.
Even if we raise taxes only and that on the top two rate brackets.
700000 jobs know that those are not CEO jobs that are not top 1% of those are people living paycheck to paycheck.
The bottom line is we can't go back to the American people again and again.
And expect the call that a fair deal when we continue to demand more money at them but we're not willing to change the way we spend money in Washington.
Senator Mike Lee is a Republican of Utah some sobering thoughts -- senator thanks for sharing them.
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