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Local congressman: Nation will not default on its debt

Debt showdown

U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., says what's going on in Washington is just political theater, and we won't default. (WRDW-TV / July 22, 2011)

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Thursday, July 21, 2011

AUGUSTA -- Steve Marbert is president of Richard Young Associates, a financial planning and investment firm, so of course he's tuned into the debt debate in Washington.

"It's certainly an issue, and I'm paying a lot of attention to it. It's interesting, you know, my clients are certainly concerned about it," he said.

The phones have been ringing a lot at his Augusta office. His clients are worried about hitting the debt ceiling. Marbert has been calming them down a bit.

"All the talk of defaulting on debt and whether they're going to be about to send out Social Security checks -- you know, I think it's a game of political chicken," he told News 12.

But it's a game that rages on as the Aug. 2 deadline approaches.

What happens if we hit that ceiling?

"If we literally stuck to that debt limit and didn't raise it, then we'd have to literally cut 40 to 44 percent of our spending to get our spending down to 2.2 trillion dollars a year, which is our revenue," he said.

But Marbert is confident the debt limit will be raised.

"It's a question of when and by how much," he told News 12.

Even so, he says the debate politicians are having in Washington right now is important.

"We've entrusted them with our taxes for years and years, and higher tax levels many times, and, you know, the promises of spending cuts never seem to come to fruition," he said.

That's why Marbert hopes they'll work out some meaningful cuts now.

U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., does too.

"We have to look in every nook and cranny of the federal expenditures," he said.

He says what's going on in Washington is just political theater, and we won't default. As far as a package to reduce the deficit is concerned, he has one main criterion.

"We should no raise taxes. We need to raise taxpayers. We need to create a strong economic environment where there are good paying jobs," he told News 12.

Meanwhile, some say if we continue approaching the deadline, the financial system could falter.

Marbert is optimistic, though. He says right now is actually a good time to invest in stocks and bonds and that the last time we faced a shutdown like this in the 90s, the stock market actually went up.

He does expect to see new taxes at some point in the future. He thinks new taxes will be a whole lot more bearable if we see spending cuts from Congress first.

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