$16.4 trillion in debt: What can Congress do?
Next big economic fight looms
- Duration 5:15
- Date Jan 4, 2013
Next big economic fight looms
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So it is the next big fight after the fiscal cliff and as America crosses its debt limit of sixteen point four trillion dollar dollars.
Some lawmakers see the oncoming battle over our nation's spending as a chance to stop a growing problem that they say threatens to bleed our economy -- Four straight years.
But trillion dollar deaths each and projected spending that no realistic amount of tax revenue could cover.
Have put us at a crossroads.
-- we tackle our nation spending problem.
Or it's gonna -- off.
-- that -- Well senator Jerry Moran is a Republican out of Kansas and a member of the senate Appropriations Committee thank you for joining us senator.
As we stated the debt now over sixteen trillion crippling is the interest alone.
All interest payments the debt service is a third it is the third largest component of our federal spending.
And we're fortunate at the moment that interest rates are as low as they are if we were paying what we historically would expect to pay.
As that interest on the national debt we couldn't afford it today and so if interest rates rise.
This crisis hits us immediately.
But there is no question that this is the issue of my lifetime.
It's the issue that determines whether or not America has a bright future and our kids and grandkids can live the American dream.
Yet you did vote no two years ago against raising our borrowing limit you know pundits keep saying you know it's they used to be routine to raise the debt ceiling when we hit it.
Until recently but you know there is a reason.
That that ceiling is put in place there is a tipping point where it becomes unsustainable have we reached it.
We're we're there there's no question about it.
And I've Indy indicated two years ago indicated again now that and lest we substantially change the way we do business and significantly reduce our spending.
There is no way that we can vote to raise the debt ceiling and there are those who will say -- bats that's irresponsible.
Kind of newspaper editorialists the Wall Street crowd.
Will say that we're being irresponsible I would say that it's more irresponsible.
To raise the debt ceiling when we have the debt that we have today.
Why have a debt ceiling if every time you meet the debt ceiling.
You're simply going to vote to raise the debt -- it means nothing.
It's bear to create that bill will the -- necessity to have the discipline to quit spending money we don't have.
Right now that we have them now that we have -- the tax issue behind us we can focus a 100% up on the spending issue.
Why that is what some conservatives are saying there are complaining some of them that Republicans caved in the fiscal cliff negotiations and they say.
They're hoping that other Republicans are saving despite.
For the debt ceiling battle is that where Republicans are planning to draw a line in the sand.
You know there's a split as to what that the quote conservative vote would be when you can now block in permanently.
99% of the -- bush tax cuts.
I would say that's a pretty conservative victory but I understand there's disagreement out there.
A one of the things our country needs is some certainty as to what the tax code is going to be and the president has used by increasing taxes on who he -- wealthy.
As a scapegoat for why we have this tremendous debt.
So now the president has.
No longer the standing to argue about the need to increase taxes.
And it it it takes that off the table the president.
The president's proposal and he talked about this during the campaign and it seemed to me that it worked well for him politically.
His tax increase would fund about sixteen days of the federal government spending it would not solve that the deficit that we have now.
We can focus exclusively on what the real problem is which is.
How much money we borrow each year how much money we spend each year that we don't have.
Revenues to pay for.
-- -- although the Democrats are for their part are claiming a mandate after the last election.
Saying that president Obama's victory.
Demonstrates that it's that philosophy that the country should be following what do you say -- mandate.
I think it's mistake for the Obama administration -- for Democrats to claim a mandate.
The house members who got reelected -- all of them were up for election many Republicans reelected -- majority.
They can claim a mandate as well so I I think that's a mistake politically.
The goal here is not necessarily about what the political mandate is anyway it's about doing what's right for the future of our country.
And in my view my generation different than them that my parents' generation.
Is passing on to our kids and grandkids a country totally different and totally handicapped.
By the amount of debt.
So regardless of the political mandate in the political rhetoric that is out there.
The reality is that no one has -- the it will be irresponsible for anyone.
Democrat or Republican to just continue down the path that we're going.
And it would be irresponsible not only the future generation.
But we need to fix social security and Medicare for the current generation so that it doesn't go broke -- our affiliate there this is an economic necessity.
All right senator Jerry Moran thank you so much for joining us to be a big deal let.