ABA President/CEO Frank Keating warned Congress about the dangers of not raising the debt limit but urged lawmakers to address entitlement spending, a major driver of the nation’s long-term debt.

“According to the Congressional Budget Office, by the year 2043 entitlement programs and debt service payments alone are projected to outstrip revenues. This means that there will be no funds at all for any discretionary spending. It is impossible to address the long-term sustainability of our debt without addressing the growing costs associated with our entitlement programs,” Keating said in testimony at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Thursday.

“The CBO predicts that in the next 25 years our debt will surpass 100% of our GDP. This would put us in the same league as the fiscally unstable countries that led Europe into crisis. Already, the U.S. debt amounts to nearly $54,000 per person, and $148,000 per taxpayer. The interest payments alone on our debt will cost over $8,000 per U.S. citizen in 2013,” Keating added.

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