What should we do about national debt, and when?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
By Paul Martin

By Kevin G. Hall and Robert A. Rankin

WASHINGTON — The national debt is rising to levels that have never been seen in the United States during peacetime. Everyone agrees that it must come down. The question is how fast. Too fast could weaken the already weak economy. Too slow could do the same thing.

When the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office updates its 2010 Budget and Economic Outlook on Thursday, it’ll renew debate over the debt.

Deficit hawks argue that radical steps must be taken now to reverse the soaring debt. This year’s federal budget deficit alone is expected to close the fiscal year Sept. 30 in a range between a staggering $1.3 trillion and $1.42 trillion. That’s about six times President Ronald Reagan’s biggest deficit, and he was blasted as a dangerous budget-buster.

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