Capitol Hill

A growing concern

The growing federal debt quickly is becoming one of the dominant issues in U.S. politics. A Gallup poll conducted in June indicates 79 percent of the U.S. public views the growing debt as a serious threat to the nation's "future well-being."

This has significant short-term implications heading into November's midterm elections as it may prevent the Democratic majority in Congress from pushing through more spending and tax cuts aimed at decreasing the nearly 10 percent unemployment rate. It also has long-term ramifications for federal tax and spending policies that likely will have serious effects on small businesses.

Short-term implications

Public pressure already was building for lawmakers to address the growing federal deficit when a report released in June by the Department of the Treasury indicated the budget situation is getting worse.