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National Debt

March 18, 2011 • Volume 21, Issue 11
Are higher taxes needed to reduce the debt?
By Marcia Clemmitt

Introduction

A Tea Party movement supporter (AFP/Getty Images/Mark Ralston)
A Tea Party movement supporter protests high taxes and government spending at a rally in Burbank, Calif., on April 15, 2010. (AFP/Getty Images/Mark Ralston)

Washington is wracked this year by intense budget politics. Spurred by the conservative Tea Party movement, Republican lawmakers point to the federal government's $14 trillion debt as an emergency that demands big cuts in domestic programs, including Social Security, plus tax cuts they say will spur economic growth. But Democrats say government spending is needed to sustain the economy while the private sector struggles back to health. They call for government investment in infrastructure and education, plus tax increases to strengthen programs such as Social Security for future generations. A decade ago the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted that the federal government would run a $796 billion surplus in 2010, but that rosy future never materialized. Over the past 10 years, a severe recession, tax cuts and spending on two wars put the federal government, and also the states, deeply in the red.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Federal Budget and National Debt
Jul. 12, 2013  Government Spending
May 15, 2012  State Capitalism
Mar. 18, 2011  National Debt
Nov. 14, 2008  The National Debt
Dec. 09, 2005  Budget Deficit
Apr. 13, 2001  Budget Surplus
Feb. 01, 1991  Recession's Regional Impact
Jan. 20, 1984  Federal Budget Deficit
Sep. 09, 1977  Federal Reorganization and Budget Reform
Nov. 24, 1972  Limits on Federal Spending
Jan. 08, 1969  Federal Budget Making
Dec. 06, 1967  National Debt Management
Aug. 01, 1962  Fiscal and Budget Policy
Nov. 27, 1957  National Debt Limit
Mar. 20, 1957  Spending Controls
Dec. 24, 1953  Public Debt Limit
Feb. 13, 1952  Tax and Debt Limitation
Nov. 30, 1949  Government Spending
Jan. 06, 1948  Legislative Budget-Making
May 23, 1944  The National Debt
Feb. 01, 1943  The Executive Budget and Appropriations by Congress
Dec. 27, 1939  Revision of the Federal Budget System
Oct. 10, 1938  The Outstanding Government Debt
Nov. 20, 1937  Budget Balancing vs. Pump Priming
May 02, 1936  The Deficit and the Public Debt
Oct. 19, 1934  The Federal Budget and the Public Debt
Feb. 10, 1933  Extraordinary Budgeting of Federal Finances
Dec. 01, 1932  Reduction of Federal Expenditures
Dec. 01, 1930  The National Budget System
Oct. 02, 1930  Federal Revenues and Expenditures
Nov. 02, 1927  The Public Debt and Foreign Loans
Nov. 15, 1926  Rising Cost of Government in the United States
Feb. 05, 1925  Four Years Under the Budget System
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Budget and the Economy
Budget Process
Deficit, Federal Debt, and Balanced Budget
Federal Taxes
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