National Debt: What does it mean for you?

By Laura Ann Sills - bioemail

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It is a number most of us ca not even imagine, 15 trillion.  But, that is the United States Government's debt balance.

Congress is in the process of trying to decide if it should raise that debt balance or cap it off and default on the loan.

Debt simply comes from spending more than you make. The government makes money through taxes and spends it on infrastructure, the military, and other citizen services. Over time, the U.S. has borrowed money from the public and other countries to pay for extra expenditures.

Legally, the United States can borrow $14.29 trillion.

Now, will Congress raise the debt limit?

[Web Extra! U.S. Debt Clock]

Yes, predicts Columbus State University economics Professor, Andres Jauregui.  He says it is a cycle that will bring more debt on the country.

Jauregui explained, "the real problem is that the debt itself is accumulating and eventually in future generations we will have to make a huge sacrifice."

That sacrifice, he says, could mean cuts in military funding and infrastructure like highways and libraries, impacting all Americans.

He says U.S. bonds have traditionally been a safe and secure investment, but if Congress decides not to raise the debt ceiling, they will start defaulting on those loans. "They are going to have to start targeting and saying who is going to be paid first, who is going to be paid later on."

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