Here's another reason to concerned about the growing American debt.
Stock markets were down Wednesday from Asia to Europe. And some U.S. investors are nervous after the Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 200 points on Tuesday.
Investors worldwide are concerned that Greece and Portugal's economic woes are threatening a global recovery.
Both countries saw their bonds downgraded to junk status earlier this week. That's causing fear that their troubles will spread to other European countries.
Meanwhile, politicians on Capitol Hill are working on tackling the soaring deficit. Testifying before the president's commission to reduce debt, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said failing to curb spending could prove toxic to America's financial health.
"Postponing those choices and failing to put the nation's finances on a sustainable long-run trajectory would ultimately do great damage to our economy," Bernanke told lawmakers.
The Fed chairman said the government's out-of-control spending push interest rates higher, affecting American's ability to buy cars and homes - and stunt the country's economic growth.
In addition, the government may increase taxes and make cuts to retirement benefits in an effort to balance the federal budget.