Hot Topics: August 25, 2011

August 25, 2011

Public Notice Hot Topics
Not Left, Not Right, Just Concerned

MEDIA INFORMATION:
Kate Pomeroy
press@thepublicnotice.org | (703) 927-7111

Topics for Thursday, August 25, 2011

In today’s issue:

- Debt Skyrockets While Officials In Nation’s Capitol Twiddle Their Fingers?
- Reality Check: How Does Government Spend Your Tax Dollars?
- Will K Street Lobbyists Impact Super-Committee’s Findings?
- The GOP’s History Of Overspending

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Expert: Gretchen Hamel, executive director of Public Notice
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Debt Skyrockets While Officials In Nation’s Capitol Twiddle Their Fingers?

News from CBS that has the Treasury Department stating the national debt has now increased to more than $14.5 trillion should be a wake-up call. The only problem is that elected officials are more concerned with short-term politics than long-term solutions. As the debt super-committee meets, this massive liability hangs over its proceedings.

To put the lunacy of the size of the debt and its rapid growth into perspective, the LA Times reports that it is growing $2.95 million a minute.  Here are some additional facts that should make anyone shudder:

- How much is a billion?  One billion seconds ago Bill Clinton was nearing the end of his two terms and George W. Bush’s baseball collection was still on shelves in the Austin governor’s office.

- How much is a trillion?  One trillion seconds ago much of North America was still covered by ice sheets hundreds of feet thick.

When Congress returns from their August recess, political gamesmanship and business as usual must be set aside.  For the sake of our nation, Washington must find ways to cut spending and live within its means.

Reality Check: How Does Government Spend Your Tax Dollars?

How long does it take to rack up a trillion dollars in government debt? What kind of critical scientific questions are federal research dollars being used to explore? Should you consider quitting your job and getting certified as a lifeguard?  These are among the pressing questions posed in the second installment of Bankrupting America’s popular web video series, “Real or Fake.” In this episode, our host hits the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to conduct on-the-spot interviews with Americans to determine how much they know about federal spending and debt.

With recent events in Washington, like the debate over raising the debt ceiling and the S&P downgrade of U.S. government bonds, Americans are taking an increasingly critical look at exactly what they’re getting for their tax dollars. And they don’t like what they see.

Will K Street Lobbyists Impact Super-Committee’s Findings?

The debt ceiling deal finalized almost three weeks ago raised the debt limit, cut spending, and created a twelve-member debt super-committee tasked with finding ways to cut the long-term deficit by at least $1.2 trillion. The super-committee members – three from both parties and from both Houses of Congress – were picked by Congressional leaders.

Not surprisingly, it didn’t take long for the massive Washington lobbying machine to turn its sights to the super-committee members.  Will members put aside concerns of reelection or attempts to appease special interest groups to focus on solving the nation’s severe fiscal imbalance or do business as usual?

Public Notice, an independent, nonpartisan, non-profit dedicated to providing facts and insight on the economy and how government policy affects Americans’ financial well being.

To schedule an interview with Gretchen Hamel, executive director of Public Notice, please contact Kate Pomeroy Media Relations at press@thepublicnotice.org.

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