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KCBS In Depth: The National Debt

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(AP)

(AP)

KCBS In Depth
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The national debt currently sits at $14 trillion, but is seemingly ever-growing with each passing day.

With the rising debt, President Barack Obama has created the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to look at plausible solutions.

KCBS In Depth With Former Senator Alan Simpson:

Former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson co-chairs the committee with Erskine Bowles, who served as Chief of Staff to President Clinton.

Simpson said that there is really no way around the mounting problem without drastic cuts.

“The issue is not going away. The next time you have any politician get up and say, we can solve this without touching Medicare, Medicaid or the solvency of Social Security or defense, just give them the old donkey laugh and get out of the room,” he said. “Because there is no way that you’re going to do this.”

Simpson said the national debt will likely catch up with us in a year or less. “Unless you get a handle on the stuff that’s on automatic pilot, like Medicare and Medicaid, than it will squeeze out everything you love within the next few years,” said Simpson.

Even if the national debt seems like a daunting task, Simpson said he and the rest of the commission remain optimistic that something can be done in the next year or two.

He said the key remains bipartisanship as the topic of debt limit extension comes up at the beginning of May.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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