The House Financial Services Committee held a hearing asking “Why debt matters?”
Here are the top six takeaways from Tuesday’s meeting about how the nation’s over $17 trillion debt impacts the average American.
1. It means lower growth, fewer Jobs, and lower salaries.
It hurts everyone, especially future generations as they face years of stifled growth and must take on extra tax burdens to pay off the debt and support unsustainable entitlement programs.
2. It threatens our national security.
As former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said, “At some point, financial insolvency at home will turn into strategic insolvency abroad.”
And Mike Mullen, a retired admiral who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned that “the single biggest threat to our national security is our debt.”
3. It makes us more vulnerable to the next economic crisis.
Douglas W. Elmendorf, the director of the Congressional Budget Office, recently said in a congressional hearing, “Such large and growing federal debt could have serious consequences. Including, restraining economic growth in the long term, giving policy makers less flexibility to respond to unexpected challenges, and eventually increasing the risk of a fiscal crisis.”
4. We do not want to end up like Greece…
The bankrupt European country has a 57 percent youth (15-24) unemployment rate.