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|Congressmen Wonder About National Debt
|With Greece about to default on its national debt unless it gets a bailout by May 19, two Illinois congressmen are warning about the debt level in the U.S.
American fiscal policymakers should heed what's happening in Europe, says U.S. Rep. Mark S. Kirk (R-Highland Park), who's running for U.S. Senate.
"In the long term, this is a warning for our own country and its economy and the debt of the United States ," Kirk says. "That's why Congress should hold hearings on this to expose both the short- and long-term danger."
Kirk wants hearings on how European defaults will affect the U.S. economy, whether the U.S. will have to bail out the International Monetary Fund, and on the importance of reining in U.S. debt.
The U.S. spends 7 percent of its revenue on interest. Rating agencies get concerned if that figure reaches 10 percent.
U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Wheaton) says of 35 nations that have defaulted, 25 had debt-to-gross domestic product ratios less than the U.S., which is currently 82 percent.
The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee notes that Kirk has voted against a number of fiscal restraints as a member of Congress, including pay-as-you-go requirements under which any increase in government spending must be offset by an identifiable tax increase or spending cut.
University of Chicago economist Randall S. Kroszner, a former Federal Reserve governor, says the United States is not like Greece yet, but the U.S. should not wait until there is a crisis to address the growing problem.
(Illinois Radio Network)
|05 04 10 by Newsroom
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