Bernanke: U.S. needs 'credible plan' on debt

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the country must confront mounting debt concerns to ensure long-term economic strength.

In a speech in Dallas, Bernanke said the economy will continue to face large budget deficits if the government does not act on tax and spending obligations.

Bernanke said that a "sharp near-term" reduction in the deficit and debt is, "probably neither practical nor advisable." But he said the country should begin to act on the fiscal situation.

"Nothing prevents us from beginning now to develop a credible plan for meeting our long-run fiscal challenges," Bernanke said.

"Unless we as a nation demonstrate a strong commitment to fiscal responsibility, in the longer run we will have neither financial stability nor healthy economic growth," he said.