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Jun 6, 2011 11:26 PM by Shawn Kline

Boustany calls federal debt, priority one

With the national debt capped at just over $14-trillion, House republicans are moving toward spending reductions.
But how will the national debt affect us? We brought that question to Congressman Charles Boustany.

"The debt that we have today, this $14.3-trillion- it equates to $45,000 for every man, woman and child," Boustany said.

That's a lot of taxes but that's just what we haven't paid yet. It's like a credit card racking up interest.

"What we paid in interest in 2010 was over $200-billion," Boustany said.

What is $200-billion or $14.3-trillion or even the operating budget at $3.5-trillion?
Putting this into a smaller number may be easier to understand how it all works. Let's say the operating budget is 25-cents. The problem: for decades, congress has borrowed to make a 30-cent budget instead.
Now, we owe a dollar- four times the amount of the operating budget. It's this over-spending that House republicans say needs to stop before the "dollar-debt" becomes a "two-dollar-debt."

"We have to grow this economy and we have to have a credible plan to deal with this debt problem." Boustany says, "before we even consider raising the debt ceiling."

The debt ceiling maxed-out last month and now, the clock is ticking- congress has just eight more weeks to save the nation from slipping into default.
If that were to happen, Boustany says the dollar would weaken even more and interest rates would sky-rocket for every American; the cost for a house, up. The cost of a car, up.
That's why he says congress needs a plan now.

"We don't have that plan yet." Boustany says, "that's what we're focused on right now- that's the serious problem congress has to tackle today."

House leaders have until August 2nd to debate where to cut back. KATC reached out to Louisiana's only Democratic Congressman, Cecil Richmond, but he was unavailable for comment.



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