Sen. Alexander warns on debt

Tennessee's able and responsible U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander has given the American people a timely warning that the next big issue for the people -- and Congress -- will be what to do about the national debt.

The way that presidents and Congress have irresponsibly dodged the soaring national debt has put us all into deep trouble.

The federal government -- meaning all of us -- owes a staggering $12.7 trillion!

That's just part of the problem. Paying interest on the debt takes close to $500 billion a year of the American taxpayers' money.

"We should stop passing laws that add to the debt," Sen. Alexander said in a meeting this week with reporters and editors of the Times Free Press. We should not be passing our irresponsibility on to our grandchildren, the senator said.

Sen. Alexander pointed to the recent passage of the health care bill. It threatens to spend us more than a trillion dollars deeper in the red. He insists, correctly, that we need to reduce debt, not increase its growth.

Sen. Alexander said the problem in Congress is that Democrats want to expand government while Republicans want to reduce government -- and unfortunately, those for expanding spending and expanding government currently have the majority.

Sen. Alexander said the American people will immediately begin to see added costs from the recently enacted medical care bill, beginning with prescriptions -- with other higher medical costs following.

Sen. Alexander, who is chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus, said it is imperative for Congress not to continue growing the debt.

The irresponsible federal spending is adversely affecting us not only on a national level, he said, but is also burdening Tennesseans on the state level.

He said Tennesseans will have to absorb an additional $1.1 billion to pay costs added to TennCare. "Another unfunded mandate," Sen. Alexander said, "will force a tax increase, cuts in education or both."

About the ObamaCare medical bill, Sen. Alexander said the American people will get a great shock when they eventually "find out what's in it."

Tremendous costs are being added, while we are in economic recession. Sen. Alexander said more jobs are needed, as national unemployment is nearly 10 percent. "Government should do no harm," he said, and should not be adding costs.

"The health care bill is obviously going to be changed as people find out what's in it," Sen. Alexander said. Unfortunately, that will not occur until much economic and other damage will have been done.

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