Limit debt before raising debt limit

Rep. Bob Gibbs Congressman, Ohio 7th District
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Over the past two years, President Obama and Congressional Democrats have overseen the largest budget deficits in the history of the U.S. They have allowed our national debt to explode to more than $14.2 trillion, equal to $45,500 per American and $127,500 per taxpayer.

Now that they have maxed out our nation’s credit cards, they are asking us to increase their credit limit without making any commitment to stop this dangerous level of spending.

But if the president wants our help to pay the bills, he will have to cut up his credit cards. That is why on Tuesday night I voted against a bill that would increase the debt ceiling without any additional changes to limit federal spending.

To create jobs and save our country from national bankruptcy, we must stop spending money we don’t have.

As a junior senator in 2006, President Obama understood this. Explaining his vote against raising the debt limit, then-Senator Obama stated the increase was “a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies.” He complained that “increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally” and that “Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren.”

But now, the White House and Democrats on the Hill are trying their best to convince the American people that a failure to raise the debt ceiling would spell disaster. The real danger lies in allowing our massive debt to continue to grow unchecked, which is already having an alarming effect on our ability to compete in this global economy and create much-needed jobs.

Since I came to Congress, I have worked to get spending under control. I voted for the largest reduction in discretionary spending in the history of our nation, a bill that eliminates over $100 billion in federal spending for the remainder of FY2011. I voted to repeal Obamacare and reduce new spending by $2.6 trillion over ten years, and I voted to reduce the deficit by $700 billion. I also supported the Ryan budget, which cuts $6.2 trillion in government spending over the next decade compared to the president’s budget and $5.8 trillion relative to the current-policy baseline. I slashed Congress’s operating budget by 5%, saving $35 million annually. And I banned all earmarks, taking a big step towards ending the “business-as-usual” spending culture of Washington.

It is time to cut up the credit cards and get this nation back on a sustainable financial path.

Rep. Bob Gibbs represents Ohio’s 18th Congressional District.