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America today is not an ailing company that needs a turnaround artist. It is the beacon of freedom to the world, and her flame is on the verge of flickering out. What we need is a debilitating default to cut us off from all this fantasy loan money that drives us deeper and deeper into cancerous debt every day. What we really need is a shock to the system that forces politicians in Washington to seriously set our priorities and drastically cuts spending.

That is just the sort of ugly scenario Mitt Romney would be very good at avoiding. But we need someone to drive us straight into it.

Charles Hurt’s column appears Wednesdays. He may be reached at