Does The National Debt Really Matter?

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The Treasury Building in Washington. (Patrick Semansky, File/AP Photo)
The Treasury Building in Washington. (Patrick Semansky, File/AP Photo)

This month, Senate Democrats passed a $3.5 trillion budget plan for child care, education and health care.

And with that $3.5 trillion plan, an age old debate came roaring back — about the national debt.

Today, On Point: the U.S. debt is enormous. And some day, it might come due. But has debt hawkishness led to political paralysis when it comes to solving the nation's toughest problems?


Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. (@MayaMacGuineas)

Christian Weller, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. Professor of public policy and public affairs at the University of Massachusetts Boston. (@Prof_CEW)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst. (@JackBeattyNPR)

This program aired on August 19, 2021.


Headshot of Annie Sinsabaugh

Annie Sinsabaugh Freelance Producer, On Point
Annie Sinsabaugh was a freelance producer for On Point.


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Meghna Chakrabarti Host, On Point
Meghna Chakrabarti is the host of On Point.



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