- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

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 examples of failed programs and promises that waste your hard-earned tax dollars:

c 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.

c 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 energy 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 expenditure 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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