Rad­i­cal debt ceil­ing idea: In­stead of rais­ing, lower it

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

As a wise per­son, would you in­vest in a busi­ness if its ex­penses al­ways ex­ceed its rev­enue? Don’t you think it both fool­ish and dan­ger­ous to be in­volved in a busi­ness that is al­ready op­er­at­ing at a huge deficit but con­tin­ues to as­sume more debt?

Would you op­er­ate your fam­ily fi­nances in such a way? Would you ad­vise your chil­dren that per­pet­ual debt should be their goal in life?

Think about it: The fed­eral gov­ern­ment has been prac­tic­ing a vi­cious cy­cle of tax­ing, spend­ing, debt and deficits for decades. This is fool­ish. It is ir­re­spon­si­ble. It is ut­terly de­struc­tive of our pros­per­ity, our lib­erty and our na­tional se­cu­rity.

You know the end­less exam- ples of failed pro­grams and prom­ises that waste your hard­earned tax dol­lars:

The Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion con­sumes bil­lions of dol­lars, while the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion con­tin­ues demon­stra­ble to de­cline. While fail­ing in its mis­sion, the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion forces states, lo­cal­i­ties and ul­ti­mately, the tax­pay­ers to bear the bur­den of un­funded man­dates.

The Depart­ment of En­ergy has failed abysmally to re­duce our de­pen­dence on for­eign en­ergy sources.

In­stead, Amer­i­can en­ergy sources go un­ex­plored.

Once again, the Amer­i­can peo­ple pay the price at the pump and in their util­ity bills. The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion, through bu­reau­cracy and reg­u­la­tion, de­lib­er­ately pur­sues poli­cies that will soon cause en- ergy prices to soar.

As the fed­eral gov­ern­ment ex­pands and our na­tional debt in­creases, our econ­omy con­tracts, pros­per­ity de­creases and lib­er­ties dis­ap­pear un­der an avalanche of higher taxes, debt and gov­ern­ment in­tru­sion. Ev­ery day, our na­tional debt es­ca­lates by $4 bil­lion.

Not only is this fis­cally un­sus­tain­able, it is morally un­ac­cept­able.

More and more econ­o­mists are warn­ing that the eco­nomic bur­den of debt is no longer be­ing trans­ferred to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, but is be­com­ing an im­me­di­ate, full-on cri­sis that may cre­ate the kind of prob­lems now ex­plod­ing in Greece.

Our debt cri­sis is like a speed­ing lo­co­mo­tive hurtling to­ward the edge of a cliff. The lib­er­als in­sist that the so­lu­tion is to raise the debt ceil­ing by $2.4 tril­lion. That’s just pour­ing on more coal. Many in my party are at­tempt­ing to pull the brakes, but that won’t keep the train from plum­met­ing over the precipice.

We don’t need to sim­ply re­duce the speed of the lo­co­mo­tive; that only de­lays the in­evitable. We need to stop the train. We need to turn it around.

We must change the con­ver­sa­tion and the be­hav­ior in Wash­ing­ton. In­stead of talk­ing about rais­ing the debt ceil­ing, we must be­gin to pay down the debt now. That is why I have in­tro­duced H.R. 2409 to ac­tu­ally re­duce the debt ceil­ing as op­posed to rais­ing it yet again.

Con­sider the idea of gov­ern­ment as a busi­ness.

If any busi­ness had such a cri­sis, how would the board of direc­tors re­spond?

They would re­view ev­ery ex- pen­di­ture and ev­ery em­ployee. Line by line, item by item, they would elim­i­nate waste, in­ef­fi­ciency and re­dun­dancy. Gov­ern­ment must do the same, and elim­i­nate fraud and abuse. This is ex­actly what my bill forces Wash­ing­ton to do be­fore it’s too late.

Amer­ica can no longer sur­vive with Wash­ing­ton con­stantly promis­ing to get its fi­nan­cial house in or­der, yet al­ways fail­ing to do so.

This idea is a way to force ac­tion on our fis­cal fi­asco, fi­nally start­ing to al­le­vi­ate the back­break­ing bur­den of our na­tional debt.

Now, more than ever, it is ab­so­lutely crit­i­cal.

Rep. Paul Broun, M.D., is a Repub­li­can mem­ber of the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Ge­or­gia.

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