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Ozarks Residents Split Over Debt Ceiling, But United in Disgust Toward Washington

Congress has a few days to reach a decision on whether to raise the country’s debt ceiling.  That’s because the US has borrowed as much money as it’s legally allowed to…in a sense, it’s maxed out its credit, and it has to find a way to pay for its upcoming bills.

President Obama says if the country doesn’t raise the debt ceiling, the US will default on its loans, causing investors to lose confidence and interest rates to rise. Republicans, however, say Washington is on a spending binge, and that if the US keeps borrowing more money, eventually markets will lose faith in the government’s ability to pay all that money back.

KSMU’s Jennifer Moore took a microphone to the Brentwood Library Branch Tuesday to ask locals what they think Washington should do about the national debt.

Robert Morehead, Springfield:  “I believe we should not raise the debt limit. I believe we should stop spending and roll up our sleeves and do what we have to do.”

Carol Murphy, Springfield:   “I think that, first of all, the debt ceiling should be raised. They should tax the rich as well as the middle class. I have no problem with that—letting the Bush tax breaks for the rich expire. If they would think more about jobs, the debt would take care of itself. And we need for our legislators to stop acting like eight-year-olds.”

Sylvia Smith, Springfield:  “I don’t know what they should do about the debt, but I am disappointed with many of our Congressmen and Congresswomen, because I think they are more concerned about getting re-elected than they are for the good of the country.”

 Gary, Springfield:  “I’m pretty upset and violent toward all these liberals who want to give, give, give, tax, tax, tax, and then give more. They said we need $3.7 trillion to run the government, we get in $2.2…Maybe we’re spending too much. Duh!”

Bill Moore, Fordland:  “First I think they should come together.  That seems to be a consensus of most Americans.  They need to work together to solve this problem. It’s slowly becoming an embarrassment to a lot of us who think our government should be working for us, and not for themselves.  And I think they need to support the President and his plan, and get this thing settled.”

Lula Branton, Springfield:  “I just think that if we all controlled our finances like the government does, and spent foolishly, we would be going bankrupt.  There’s just too much, ‘I’m a Democrat, I’m a Republican’ type of thing.  And they need to get together and do it for the good of the people rather than the party.”

David Jones, Springfield:  “Balance the budget, then I think we need to cut spending.  That’s gonna have to be done in an unpopular way, probably from tackling Medicare and Social Security. And I’m on Medicare and I’m on Social Security, [so] I realize I’m talking about cutting my own checks. But it has to be done to save the country, I think.”

Geraldine Wagoner, Fair Grove:  “It seems logical that they would do anything that any household does when they are spending more money than they are bringing in. They have to back up. They have to be more cautious in what they spend.   One item that bothers me is, they keep talking about cutting Social Security. And Social Security is not exactly an entitlement, because we all pay into it. And so, of course we expect to get our money back when we get to be of the right age.”

Randy, Springfield:  “The national debt, surprisingly, is imaginary. The United States and every country has a right to print its own money without interest. But six times in the history of the United States, the central bankers, or the Federal Reserve, or whoever they’ve been in different instances, have paid off enough people in Congress to vote themselves back in and print money and loan it to us, instead of us paying our own money with no interest.  We all need to wake up as a nation and force them to remove the Federal Reserve from power and print our own dollars again.  Politicians are scared to do it, because when [John F.] Kennedy mentioned when he might try to get rid of the Federal Reserve, they killed him two weeks later.”