Illegal immigration and health care may be top political topics at the moment but an analyst says another topic deserves attention: our national debt.
"We just hit a very troubling milestone," says David Ditch of The Heritage Foundation. “The Treasury Department reported the total government debt hit $23 trillion, which is about the same amount of money that every single person working in the country for an entire year produces. It takes a whole year to produce $23 trillion in America and right now that's our national debt."
Ditch predicts the debt problem will keep getting worse due in part to entitlement spending such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
Meanwhile, if you're looking to blame one political party and excuse the other, don’t do it.
"The debt was in the trillions of dollars when I was born back in the 1980s," says Ditch. "It increased into the tens of trillions of dollars in the previous decade, and it hit $20 trillion two or three years ago."
Throughout this period, both Democrats and Republicans have controlled the purse strings and, looking ahead, it will be up to members of those parties to find a solution.
Defense spending continues to get “smaller and smaller” and there is “pressure” to increase the social benefits, Ditch advises.
“If it keeps going the way it does, we can't possibly have both a strong national defense, and all these benefit programs, and a tax burden that Americans are willing to stomach," he warns. "Something's got to give."