TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - The United States debt can seem foreign at times. After all there's no one beating down our doors to collect it. But, the fact is that what is our nation's debt is actually our debt, and the upcoming presidential election may decide how it affects you.
While the presidential campaign pressed on this week with the Democratic convention, a growing section of the American economy pressed on as well: the national debt.
This week the nation's debt topped 16 trillion dollars. To put it into perspective for you, if every American was responsible for an equal amount it would be more than 50,000 dollars per person. If applied to just tax payers, it would be over 140,000 dollars and even as you read this story, it's rising.
"What it means is that our politicians need to do something about the diverging lines between expenditures and revenue," Kevin Christ of Rose Hulman said.
So how did we get to this point?
Christ said that while government spending does add to the debt, the reason for the spike in recent years has to do with something else.
"Revenues have fallen, which they always do during a recession and they have fallen quite significantly," Christ said.
What Christ is saying is this: the government is taking in less revenue from taxes and fees, but continuing the spending on the same course. That's why this election is so significant to you because each political view's dealing with the debt in a different way.
"One is that we need to do some combination of new revenue you know some tax increases and combine that with some cuts," Christ said. "And you have another view that says ‘no you have to get there with cuts alone."
Those cuts will be to programs you use, but those taxes would be taxes you would pay. That could make Election Day effectively: Debt Decision day.
To see the debt clock click here
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