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Hillary Clinton on the National Debt

It seems the last time she was willing to tackle the issue directly was back in 2000 when we had a budget surplus. Here's what happened then:
http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/hillary_rodham_clinton/index.html?query=NATIONAL%20DEBT%20(US)&field=des&match=exact
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Government action to tackle recession, not tax cuts. (Feb 2008)
The economy is not working for middle class families. (Jan 2008)
We need immediate relief for home heating & housing crisis. (Jan 2008)
Voted to limit credit card interest to 30%. (Jan 2008)
FactCheck: Consistently against making bankruptcy stricter. (Jan 2008)
2005 bankruptcy bill was by big credit cards & lenders. (Jan 2008)
No evidence as to how Obama would pay for new programs. (Jan 2008)
Foreclosure moratorium mitigates agony; doesn't prolong it. (Jan 2008)
90-day moratorium on foreclosures; freeze interest rates. (Jan 2008)
Call for a moratorium on housing foreclosures for 90 days. (Jan 2008)
Freeze mortgage interest rates for five years. (Jan 2008)
Look back to 1990s to see how I'd be fiscally responsible. (Dec 2007)
Help people facing foreclosure; don't just bail-out banks. (Aug 2007)
Balanced budget replaced with rising costs & falling wages. (Jun 2007)
Last six years were challenging; let's try a new direction. (Oct 2006)
Co-sponsored bills totaling $502B in spending thru 2005. (Oct 2006)
Use tax dollars to upgrade infrastructure, not for stadium. (Oct 2000)
Pay down debt & cut taxes within balanced budget. (Sep 2000)
Stimulate upstate economy by more local decision-making. (Sep 2000)
Supports Niagara casino, but prefers job creation strategy. (Sep 2000)
Protect next generation by paying off national debt. (Aug 2000)
We have outlived the usefulness of Bretton Woods. (Jun 1999)
The economy creates consumers but cannot create citizens. (Jun 1999)
Invest in people instead of “smokestack chasing”. (Feb 1997)
Voted NO on paying down federal debt by rating programs' effectiveness. (Mar 2007)
Voted NO on $40B in reduced federal overall spending. (Dec 2005)
Require full disclosure about subprime mortgages. (Dec 2007)
SOURCE: http://www.ontheissues.org/hillary_clinton.htm
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Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton, who wants to be president, told CNBC last week (in March 08) that recent volatility in the U.S. stock market, which began with a sell-off of Chinese stocks, "should be a real wake-up call for our country." "Obviously, the level of our debt that is now held by central banks and foreign governments is a problem," she said. "And I don't want the administration to ignore this wake-up call and just hit the snooze button again." Critics say Clinton is exaggerating the problem, particularly the danger of so much debt being held by overseas creditors.
(Whatever. THIS critic says she's not offering any solutions, and that's what we need.)
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In her address to the 2000 Democratic National Convention on August 14, 2000, Hillary Clinton stressed her support for the social programs, Social Security and Medicare, that were established during the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt. "We’ll never accomplish what we need to do for our children if we burden them with a debt they didn’t create. Franklin Roosevelt said that Americans of his generation had a rendezvous with destiny. It’s time to protect the next generation by using our budget surplus to pay down the national debt, save Social Security, modernize Medicare with a prescription drug benefit, and provide targeted tax cuts to the families who need them most."
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Q: How will you pay for all the new programs you’ve proposed?
A: We have a surplus after 7 years of good economic leadership in our country. We should pay down the national debt, secure Social Security, add a prescription drug benefit to Medicare, and provide affordable tax cuts. I have been very careful to cost out my plan because I believe in a balanced budget. That’s why I reject the large tax cut that independent experts have said is more than a trillion dollars that my opponent has proposed.
Source: Clinton-Lazio debate, Buffalo NY Sep 13, 2000
SOURCE: http://www.ontheissues.org/2008/Hillary_Clinton_Budget_+_Economy.htm
NOTE: most of her references to the national debt that I found online are from 2000 or older....
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SOME DEBT FACTOIDS FROM LAZARUS
Lazarus at Large
National debt load is a fiscal time bomb
David Lazarus
Sunday, March 11, 2007
--Roughly $240 billion will be spent this year paying interest on the half of our national debt that's held by public creditors (of which Japan and China are the largest). That translates to about 11 percent of projected tax revenue.
--we're spending more on interest for our national credit card bill than was spent last year in discretionary funds for the Education, Veterans Affairs and Justice departments combined.
--at the rate we're borrowing, the amount of annual interest payments could double within 10 years.
--"By 2045, if we stay on our current path, all federal revenue will be used to pay interest on the debt," Josh Gordon, senior policy analyst at the Concord Coalition, nonpartisan budget watchdog group
--Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said during a TV interview that he's "feeling good about the U.S. economy" and isn't particularly worried about the growing amount of IOUs in the hands of other countries.
--Japan, with $644 billion in American IOUs, is our biggest foreign creditor. China ($350 billion) is second, followed by Britain ($239 billion) and oil-exporting countries ($100 billion).
--The national debt now represents about 66 percent of nearly $14 trillion in gross domestic product. It's been worse -- more than 100 percent of GDP during World War II.
--"By 2040, we could be looking at debt held by the public being 300 percent of GDP," said Gordon at the Concord Coalition. "We won't be much of a superpower if that happens."

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