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David Wessel On The National Debt

With Wade Goodwyn in for Tom Ashbrook.

The Wall Street Journal’s David Wessel on how to tackle America’s ballooning federal debt crisis.

The shadow of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, is seen on a representation of the National Debt Clock as he speaks at a town hall meeting in Kalamazoo, Mich., Friday, Feb. 24, 2012. (AP)

The shadow of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, is seen on a representation of the National Debt Clock as he speaks at a town hall meeting in Kalamazoo, Mich., Friday, Feb. 24, 2012. (AP)

The debate over the national debt seems to rear its ugly head periodically and then go back into its cave. Just how much of a threat to the American economy is the debt?

Are we truly headed off a financial cliff or should we concentrate on fixing the economy first? Should we cut taxes and cut spending, how about raise taxes and cut spending?

This hour, On Point: the debate over debt. Can we get anything done in our partisan riven Congress?

-Wade Goodwyn

Guests

Ed O’Keefe, congressional reporter at the Washington Post.

David Wessel, economics editor for the Wall Street Journal and writes the Capital column, a weekly look at the economy. His latest book is Red Ink: Inside the High Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget.

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic Policy Research. He’s the author of The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive.

Mo Brooks, congressman from Alabama’s 5th District. He’s a member of the Republican Study Committee, which works to advance a conservative social and economic agenda in the U.S. House.

From The Reading List

Chicago Tribune “Congress should stop fretting over the mechanics of implementing a huge, indiscriminate budget cut early next year and instead try to figure out how to avoid it by passing a more reasonable deal to reduce deficits, administration officials told lawmakers on Wednesday.”

Reuters “The White House said on Tuesday it was starting to get ready for potentially painful year-end spending cuts, and was committed to shielding U.S. military pay from any government budget crunch.”

 

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