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The opportunities in Iowa to see presidential candidates while campaigning are unmatched. As a college student during caucus season, I am fortunate to have multiple chances to meet candidates as they stop by my campus and in my area.

Recently, I was able to meet former governor Jeb Bush and talk to him about an issue I care about – the national debt. It pleased me to hear his thoughts about how both reforming entitlements and growing the economy could deal with this long-term problem. I was also happy to see the Sioux City Journal noticed the interaction and reported on it the following day. The national debt is a serious problem for our country, and it’s good to see others taking note.

The federal debt today is over $18 trillion, and by 2025 it’s expected that interest payments on the debt will reach more than $800 billion a year.

Unfortunately, if the nation stays on this unsustainable path, there will! be less to spend on future generations and more spent catching up on past deficits. It’s important that we reform programs like Social Security and strengthen them for future generations. It’s also possible that because of this, my generation will see fewer investments in people, education and research.

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As a volunteer with First Budget, I’m asking candidates I meet to acknowledge this is a serious problem, and to make sure their first budget addresses the burgeoning debt. I hope other Iowans also take this unmatched opportunity and join me. - Hanna Zinn, Storm Lake, Iowa

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