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Opinion: This is the Big National Debt Problem Congress Won't Talk About

Market Watch

Federal deficit hawks in Congress, driven by ideology and the campaign donations of, for lack of a better term, millionaires and billionaires, held yet another hearing last week about the national debt — but U.S. lawmakers continue to ignore the debt that is causing real trouble for the nation.

The debt danger Americans should really worry about comes from credit cards and student loans.[...]

This new debt isn’t due to a rash of irresponsible splurging, but is rather a symptom of the growing gap between living costs and income as people make up the difference with their credit cards, the progressive website AlterNet noted in reporting the study.

This was the finding of a 2014 study by Demos, a New York-based think tank, after it surveyed two groups of low and middle-income families — one group carrying credit card debt and the other with credit cards but no debt.

“Contrary to popular belief, we find little evidence that households with credit card debt are less responsible in their spending habits than households that do not have accumulated debt,” study author Amy Traub wrote.[...]