One of Iowa’s Congressmen is applauding this week’s passage of legislation designed to pay down the national debt. Republican Tom Latham, of Alexander, says the Debt Relief and Retirement Security plan will lock away 90-percent of the budget surplus to tackle the huge debt.Congressman Latham says the debt is an enormous dark cloud that has to be reckoned with. He says this bill is an attempt to reign in spending and show fiscal responsibility.Latham says in 1998, the federal government paid 364-billion dollars just in interest on the national debt. He says by paying off the debt, it’d be the equivalent of saving 13-hundred-50 dollars for every American.A study finds Iowa’s prison population will grow by 62 percent by 2010. That’s more than 12-thousand inmates and there isn’t currently space for that many. Congressman Latham says law enforcement is doing a tremendous job of enforcing the laws on the books.The study found drug dealers and users being sent to prison are getting longer sentences. There are over 76-hundred inmates in Iowa prisons today. Latham says lock-ups at all levels are feeling the stress.The forecast by the state’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning division finds the number of Iowa prison inmates with drug convictions rose about 150 percent in the past five years.
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