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Solve the Syndrome, Not the Symptoms

In a week marked by politicians in Washington abandoning principle in the name of politics, there’s the notable exception of the South Carolina Legislative Delegation. Every single South Carolina Republican Congressman, as well as both Senators DeMint and Graham, have stood firm in their support of “Cut, Cap and Balance.” Additionally, even as many of their colleagues abandoned their core conservative values to support the Boehner sell-out solution, our GOP Congressmen stood firm for freedom.

Like millions of Americans, I’m deeply concerned about the debt ceiling debate raging in Washington, DC; however, I’m not so ready to be done with the debate that I support dumping conservative principles. America is on an unsustainable economic path. We cannot keep facilitating this phenomenally high Federal spending by repeatedly increasing the limit on the national credit card.

A week ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the well thought-out and fiscally responsible “Cut, Cap and Balance” Act pushed by the SC Legislative Delegation. This detailed plan would have provided the President the borrowing authority necessary to carry the nation through 2012, while implementing a permanent solution to our spending addiction. To ensure that meaningful spending reductions corresponded with massive new borrowing authority, the Act would have required that Federal spending be limited to 22.5% of GDP in 2012, and step down to 19% by 2021 (down from over 36% today). This provision would prevent the United States from being back in this position two years down the road, as it solves the underlying syndrome of which this debt ceiling crisis is a symptom: out-of-control spending. Additionally, the Act would require that a Balanced Budget Amendment be considered by the Congress and referred to the states for their approval. This Amendment to the U.S. Constitution would require that the Federal government no longer run annual deficits, thus precluding the possibility of another round of debt ceiling debates in the future.

To me, the “Cut, Cap & Balance” Act is the only reasonable solution to this Nation’s debt crisis. Anything short of that will translate into immediate borrowing and spending, with the so-called “cuts” not going into effect for over a decade. America can no longer afford (literally) to ignore its spending addiction. Our economy, our very way of life is hanging in the balance.

I strongly urge conservative members of the United States House of Representatives to stand strong against compromise bills that will do nothing to slow our out-of-control spending and addiction to debt. The cries by Administration officials and liberals in the Senate should be interpreted for what they truly are: scare tactics to coerce the American People into again accepting their radical, reckless and out-of-touch ideologically-driven policies.

We’d all do well to remember the words of former White House Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emmanuel that he “doesn’t want to let a good crisis go to waste.” Has anyone stopped to ask if the reason why this Administration has constantly been in crisis mode is that they’re intentionally creating crises?

It’s time for conservatives in Congress to stand-firm and fight for real solutions to the crisis in Washington. That means true spending cuts, real fiscal reform and a balanced budget approach that will solve the problem of exorbitant spending, not merely address the symptom of bumping up against the debt ceiling. The South Carolina delegation is leading the way, now to get the rest of the nation to follow suit.

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