Debt leaders paint gloomy picture for governors

July 12, 2010 6:37:30 AM PDT
The heads of President Barack Obama's national debt commission are painting a gloomy picture as the nation struggles to get its spending under control.

Republican Alan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles told a meeting of the National Governors Association on Sunday that everything needs to be considered - including curtailing such popular tax breaks as the home mortgage deduction.

They say that without radical changes, debt will destroy the country like a cancer.

The 18-member commission Simpson and Bowles head is charged with coming up with a plan by Dec. 1 to reduce the government's annual deficits to 3 percent of the national economy by 2015.

The nation's total federal debt next year is expected to exceed $14 trillion - about $47,000 for every U.S. resident.