Democrat Hastings' Bill Uses Gimmick to Cut Debt by $5 Trillion

Image: Democrat Hastings' Bill Uses Gimmick to Cut Debt by $5 Trillion

Wednesday, 16 Oct 2013 04:38 PM

By Dan Weil

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U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings proposed a bill Tuesday that would instantly slice almost $5 trillion from the government's debt through an accounting gimmick.

His bill wouldn't count as debt what one branch of the government owes to another. Rather, it would count only debt owed by the public.

"No longer will debt owed from one branch of our government to another be considered the same as debt held by foreign governments, banks, pension funds, and other entities," he said, The Hill reports. "They are accounting techniques, not debts."

About $11.9 trillion of debt is held by the public and $4.8 trillion by government accounts, according to the Congressional Budget Office, said Hastings, D-FL.

Hastings' bill also would authorize the president to raise the debt ceiling without approval from Congress. That's an idea raised two years ago by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, The Hill reports.

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