Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, this week the national debt reached an unprecedented record of over $16.85 trillion. Such a figure is so mind-boggling that I will make this simple. This means that every person in the United States now owes $53,329 to pay down the debt, and every U.S. taxpayer's debt share is now $148,186.
With a debt at such high levels, it is not surprising that we are still experiencing an anemic 2 percent growth rate, which has produced the lowest job participation rate in 30 years. The ever-rising public debt threatens to drive up interest rates, crowd out private investment, and increase inflation. The implications will be severe and pronounced for all Americans, but most especially for the poor, the elderly, and the middle class.
Mr. Speaker, if we don't deal with the debt now, the debt will deal with us.