DOVER, Del. - The U.S. national debt keeps going up. It is inching closer and closer to $17 trillion. Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware said there needs to be compromise within Congress to avoid a pending fiscal cliff.
"We still need to change the culture in government from one of spend thrift to one of thrift and look at every nook and cranny in the federal government, whether it's defense spending, agriculture, education, housing, transportation and ask yourself this question, 'How do we get a better result for less money?' Carper, a Democrat, said Monday.
Dan Curry with the Lake Forest School District in Kent County said that money is needed.
Curry said his school district is facing a 10 percent cut to its funding, or about $250,000. He said that means larger class sizes, less funding for special education and more.
"Those children's needs aren't going to be reduced by 10 percent at the same time our federal support is, so we'll have to find some other way- maybe dig into local funds in order to make sure they continue to get the services they need," said Curry.
Curry said that since 2008, the school district has lost about $2 million in state funds.
"We made cuts, but in order to sustain some of the basic services we dipped into our savings account, and we shouldn't have to do that," said Curry.
John Sigler, chairman of the Delaware Republican Party, said Democrats aren't willing to compromise.
"They want more spending for their political cronies and until we get past that there can't be a real discussion," Sigler said. "It's time that we need to start acting like adults instead of acting like children who want everything and can't afford anything."
Carper said Democrats have a plan.
"The people who are going to be asked to pay a little more are the people who make over a million dollars. I think that's a fair thing to do," Carper said.
Sigler sees it differently.
"Until the American people understand that what they're talking about - they're not talking about multi-millionaires," Sigler said. "They're talking about businesses. A $250,000 profit on a business isn't much of a profit, but it's going to be taxed at the same level as a personal income tax."
The so-called fiscal cliff goes into effect Jan. 1, unless Congress comes to a compromise.
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