The federal debt limit should not be raised unless the move includes substantial cuts in spending, enforceable spending caps to move the country toward a balanced budget, and congressional passage of a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution, Govs. Rick Perry of Texas and Nikki Haley of South Carolina insist in an Op-Ed in The Washington Post
The three conditions are part of the “Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge” that Perry and Haley have signed.
“At heart, the pledge represents the reality that yet another temporary fix to our nation’s budgetary woes is no fix at all,” they wrote. “The time has come for all of us to begin holding the federal government to the same common-sense standards in place in most states, including South Carolina and Texas.”
Perry and Haley note that states have a “limited amount of money on hand with which to build their balanced budgets, and when times are hard states have to prioritize, make sacrifices and figure out how to best provide essential services to residents.” However, the federal government is able to avoid tough budget choices by simply borrowing more money.
“The more money Washington prints and borrows to pay for pet projects and wasteful programs, the further our federal government gets from fulfilling its core missions: the missions that keep Americans safe, productive and employed,” they write.
“Meanwhile, the more Washington spends money it doesn’t have, the more it attaches strings to that money, dictating to states and communities exactly how they should be run. It’s an endless cycle: Washington borrows on the good name of the taxpayer, then ‘gives’ some of that money back with mandates on how it should be spent.”
The only way to end the cycle of spending and borrowing is “to draw a line and finally hold Washington accountable. The pledge we’ve signed represents an important step in this process.”
“Americans must continue to stand up for the principles that served as the foundation for our nation’s unparalleled successes. The principles of a limited federal government and responsible fiscal leadership have sustained us during tough times, and they can lead us out of this period of sluggish economic growth,” they conclude.
“As governors, we have to ensure the voices of all Americans — not just those in Washington who largely got us into this mess — are heard in this debate, and that we don’t miss the opportunity to repair a part of our economy, and our political culture, that’s been broken for far too long.”
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