A New World Record

And it’s not a record to be proud of.

At $14 trillion, US debt surges to all-time high

The United States just passed a dubious milestone: Government debt surged to an all-time high, topping $14 trillion – $45,300 for each and everyone in the country.

That means Congress soon will have to lift the legal debt limit to give the nearly maxed-out government an even higher credit limit or dramatically cut spending to stay within the current cap. Either way, a fight is ahead on Capitol Hill, inflamed by the passions of tea party activists and deficit hawks.

See also:
At $14 trillion, US govt debt surges to all-time high
National Debt Tops $14 Trillion … Increased 60% Under Speaker Pelosi
Record $14 trillion-plus debt weighs on Congress
US National Debt $14 Trillion And Growing
National debt greater than $14 trillion
Federal Debt Tops $14 Trillion, U.S. Treasury Reports
Record $14 trillion-plus debt weighs on Congress
US National Debt Crosses Alarming Level of $14 Billion
American deficit reaches $14 trillion; Congressional leaders set for fight over raising debt ceiling
Republicans coming to grips with debt ceiling
Some commentators now say everyone should chill about debt ceiling
Who Owns The U.S. National Debt?
How the Debt Ceiling Could Ding You
The US won’t default, even if the debt ceiling stays
The debt ceiling and default
Real Time US National Debt Clock

So, will Congress actually do something meaningful to rectify this bad situation we’re in or will they just kick the can down the road again?

/the longer we wait to make the tough choices that will be required, the more painful those choices will be

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Time To Pay The Piper

Back in February, Obama created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to come up with solutions to our $14 trillion national debt problem, a good chunk of that debt created by Obama himself. Anyway, after ten months of deep thought, the commission has released a report that they don’t even agree on.

Presenting plan to cut deficit, commission members offer surprising compromises

Members of President Obama’s bipartisan deficit commission expressed a surprising willingness Wednesday to compromise on issues that have long divided Republicans and Democrats, including raising taxes and cutting Social Security.

Confronted with a deficit-reduction plan loaded with political dynamite, members from both parties set aside ideological orthodoxy at least briefly, sparking hope that their work could ignite a serious effort to reduce government debt and spare the nation from a European-style fiscal crisis.

While only seven of the 18 members endorsed the package outright, others staked out positions that could change the terms of the well-worn Washington debate over taxes and spending

Read the report:

The Moment of Truth
REPORT OF THE NATIONAL COMMISSION ON FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY AND REFORM

See also:
Map is offered to slash deficit
Deficit Plan Released by Obama Commission, Few Expect Consensus
A time to govern
Deficit Commission Report receives mixed support
The Deficit Commission Report Is Dead Before Arrival
Deficit Panel Ideas to Lack Needed Support: Conrad
Obama Deficit Commission Plan Won’t Win 14 Votes
U.S. Deficit-Cutting Panel’s $3.8 Trillion Plan on Brink of Being Rejected
Deficit commission: four reasons it could fail
Majority on deficit panel expected to back its recommendations
Obama’s fiscal commission to win majority for deficit cuts
Vote set for controversial debt-slashing plan
National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform

Even though no one seems to agree on exactly what to do about the deficits and debt, at least they’re starting to talk about it. That’s a good thing. The longer we wait to make the hard choices that are absolutely necessary for the country’s long term fiscal survival, they harder the choices get, and they’re already hard now. If it was easy to solve this problem, it would have been solved by now.

/according to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen, “The most significant threat to our national security is our debt”