April 2010

Addressing long-term budget problems | Capitol Hill

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Addressing long-term budget problems

Lawmakers need to begin reducing the national debt

by Duane L. Musser
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Congress recently passed legislation to increase the statutory ceiling on the national debt by $1.9 trillion to $14.29 trillion, an amount roughly equal to the entire output of the U.S. economy during 2009. The increase only is expected to last about a year until Congress will have to again increase the treasury's borrowing authority.

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the federal budget is in its worst shape since the end of World War II. President Obama's budget proposal released in February states the total debt held by the public is projected to increase to $17.5 trillion (76 percent of the gross domestic product) in 2019 (it was 41 percent in 2008). Additionally, CBO projects the interest on the national debt will be close to $1 trillion in 2019.

Members of NRCA's Government Relations Committee already have begun factoring budgetary implications into NRCA's policy positions. How Congress addresses the U.S.' budget problems (or fails to do so) will profoundly affect the ability of entrepreneurs, including roofing contractors, to grow or maintain businesses.

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