As our nation understandably focuses on the devastating unemployment rate, too little attention is being paid to our accelerating national debt. It is now around $14.7 trillion.
That comes to more than $47,000 per citizen and $131,000 per taxpayer.
The trouble is, there's little indication Congress is vigorously seeking to reduce the debt, and the hundreds of billions of dollars in interest we must unproductively pay on it year after year.
A bipartisan committee in Congress is looking at ways to shave $1.5 trillion off annual deficits over the next 10 years. But the size of the cumulative national debt will still grow by trillions of dollars in that period. The committee, at best, would only reduce the rate of growth of the debt.
The nation is to receive the committee's recommendations before Thanksgiving, then Congress will vote on them -- with some cuts, many in vital defense spending, kicking in automatically if the recommendations aren't endorsed.
But again, the cuts won't get at the root of the problem of spending beyond what our tax rates bring in. We simply are not yet facing that painful reality.