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“Our fiscal commitments are unsustainable over the long run, but we cannot put our long-run fiscal challenges above all others,” Geithner told the Economic Club of Chicago on Wednesday. “We have to be willing to do things, not just cut things.”

Geithner has called the U.S. debt burden “unsustainable” many times before, warning that, as federal debt grows exponentially, the burden of sustaining that debt will cause federal spending to skyrocket.

In his speech, Geithner said that the government must take a balanced approach of raising taxes and cutting spending in order to preserve the president’s spending priorities.

“The president has a different strategy for economic growth. He believes that while our long-term fiscal problems are formidable, we can address them over time with a balanced package of reforms that preserve room for investments that will help us grow,” he said.

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