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US debt: We can run, but we can't hide (Obama tax deal or not)

Tackling the $13.8 trillion federal debt isn't a partisan issue. It's a matter of America's future prosperity. Extending Bush-era tax cuts may make economic sense now, but President Obama and Congress must come together and make tough decisions to cut spending and raise revenue.

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Every business person, and anyone who has ever managed a checkbook, knows you can’t survive by borrowing 40 cents of every dollar you spend. Yet this is what our federal government is doing – with no real improvement projected even after the economy recovers.

Tax cuts, trillion-dollar wars, deep recession, and the spending binge of the past 10 years have boosted our national debt to $13.8 trillion, over 90 percent of our total national output (GDP). This is two and a half times what it was 10 short years ago. Underfunded Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement benefits add another staggering $50 trillion to what the nation is obligated to borrow. That equates to about $200,000 in debt for every man, woman, and child in our country.

The country is broke and our lenders are about to run out of patience. As it has already done with Greece and Ireland, the international financial community can at any time begin “voting with its feet,” abandoning our debt for safer investments like commodities, land, or foreign securities. Doing so would cause the dollar to collapse and interest rates to surge. This would trigger renewed recession and a sharp decline in living standards since there is virtually nothing we Americans drive, wear, or work with that doesn’t have substantial foreign labor or material content.

Bush tax cuts 101: Who will get what if Obama deal passes?

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