The national debt has reemerged as a paramount economic issue for the first time in nearly a decade, raising alarms from Congress to Wall Street.
But even with all the outward drama, there’s little evidence that Washington is ready to stem the tide of red ink.
In interviews with a dozen members of both parties on Capitol Hill, even GOP lawmakers acknowledged an inability to reach consensus within their own ranks on the path forward. Democrats want to focus on raising taxes, not spending reductions — and some don’t agree that deficits are an urgent issue at all. Both President Joe Biden and Donald Trump have refused to entertain cuts to Social Security and Medicare — taking two of the biggest drivers of the debt off the table.