House Republicans line up opposition to raising the debt ceiling

"Just counting existing Medicare and Social Security, the federal government has a commitment over the next 75 years of an unfunded liability of somewhere between $75 to $100 trillion, that's with a 'T'," Ebeling said. 

Camp, who is from Midland, was quoted saying "our debt is so great. Our debt equals our entire economy."

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has stretched out the timeline for hitting the ceiling, giving Congress until Aug. 2 to raise the debt limit to keep the government operational.

"There are a number of countries that are ahead of us, but unfortunately in terms of being the most formidable economy in the world, the rest of the world is worried what's going on in the United States," said another Northwood University professor of economics, Tim Nash about the raising debt limit.

The White House is seeking between $2 trillion and $3 trillion increase but lawmakers aren't putting down any markers. Senate and House Republicans and some Democrats are seeking a hard-line plan to cut the deficit, including a spending cap, to go along with an agreement to raise the debt ceiling. 

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), chairman the subpanel holding the hearing, said “on top of trillions of dollars in bailouts, the American people will not stand for this continuing fiscal profligacy."

"This is why it is so important to understand the relationship between monetary policy and the national debt," he said in a statement.  

"If the federal government cannot cut spending and bring the budget back into balance, the Fed undoubtedly will be forced to simply monetize trillions of dollars in Treasury debt, which is nothing more than a stealth form of default."