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Your Guide to National Debt

Lock with dollar bill on it- the national debt

Should federal spending be locked down? Can it be? — Blend Images/Getty Images


Behind the rhetoric over the federal deficit is the reality of a problem that must be dealt with, and questions abound: Will Washington avoid an economic train wreck? Will Social Security and Medicare take big hits? This page breaks down the issues with proposals, tools and viewpoints.

the plans

Obama's newest plan would spare Social Security and raise taxes on millionaires. Read

“I will not allow Medicare to become a voucher program," Obama says.

This bipartisan Senate plan targets Social Security and Medicare.

House GOP plan targets Medicare, Medicaid, and health care reform law. Read

Obama pushes 'grand bargain' that would cut $4 trillion from the budget over 10 years. Read

Commission offers plan that would raise Medicare premiums and retirement age. Read

where aarp stands

Reject Proposals to Cut Medicare Benefits

"Washington needs to stop viewing Medicare and Social Security simply as line items in the federal budget." Read


Ryan Plan Would Shift Costs to Older People

"We urge that we not upend crucial programs that will come at the cost of seniors’ health and financial security." Read

Panel Proposes Multiple Hits on Retirees

"AARP remains deeply concerned that the recommendations from the commission would take our nation in the wrong direction." Read


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