U.S. Senator John Thune addresses impact of mounting national de - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

U.S. Senator John Thune addresses impact of mounting national debt

Senator John Thune addresses problem of national debt Yankton town hall meeting. Senator John Thune addresses problem of national debt Yankton town hall meeting.

Congress may have avoided falling off the fiscal cliff, but one South Dakota Senator is still worried about the mounting national debt.

Thursday, John Thune spoke about solutions to the debt crisis, in Yankton, South Dakota.

South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune says each person in the U.S. is going $50,000 more into debt each year, more fuel to the fire for an already enormous debt.

"We have a 16-trillion dollar debt," said Senator John Thune, (R) South Dakota.

It's a problem Thune has seen in a European country. He says it could be where we're going.

"Everybody talks about Greece and all the fiscal problems that they've had, and that's where we're headed unless we can get this thing turned around," said Senator Thune.

At Thursday's town hall, in Yankton, area residents agreed with Thune that something has to be done. One businessman says it all starts with cooperation among political leaders.

"They've gotta quit saying, I'm a Democrat or Republican and say I am an American.  If they would get to that point, they can come back and address the issues," said Steve Koenig, Crop Insurance Salesman.

According to the Senator it's, one, about "fiscal discipline."

"I think if we were to do away with a lot of the loopholes, special interest provisions that riddle the tax code today, broaden the tax base, lower the rates, we'd become more competitive in the world and I think it would unleash a period of economic growth unlike anything that we've seen in a long time," said Thune.

And, two, about creating "economic growth".

"Creating an environment where the regulations and so forth that come out of Washington aren't making it more expensive and more difficult to create jobs for our job creators and our small businesses," said Thune.

Possible remedies that only come through sacrifice.

"I think that those of us who can afford not to take as much of the entitlements should be willing to sacrifice that for the future generations," said Susan Paul, Retired Farm Wife.

So how much exactly is 16-trillion dollars of debt?

According to Thune, if you use 100-dollars bills, the stack would rise more than 600 miles high.

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