Let’s force GOP to show backbone in debt limit fight

Rep. Ron Paul Former Congressman, Texas
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According to the Obama administration, August 2 is the date we can expect the economic apocalypse.

The only way to avoid it, the administration tells us, is for Congress to go even further into debt, raise taxes and give cutting spending lip service sometime in the future.

Sadly, unless Republican leaders feel the heat from a massive outpouring of opposition by the American people, President Obama could very well get his way — leaving the Tea Party on life support and our country in even worse financial shape.

Will the political games ever stop? Is it any wonder more and more Americans think their elected officials are “out of touch”?

The average American knows that more spending is not the cure for overspending and higher taxes aren’t the cure for a recession. The president admitted that as recently as just two years ago. Since then, our country’s fiscal mess has only worsened, and our fragile economy continues to barely limp along.

Today, our nation is plagued with over $14.3 trillion in national debt. The “official” government-issued unemployment rate is over 9%. Four billion dollars per day are being added to the federal deficit.

It’s exactly this kind of out-of-control irresponsibility that led to the Tea Party revolt in 2010. Unfortunately, while there are occasionally rays of hope, little has changed in Washington, D.C. since.

Now I’m afraid it’s the Tea Party — and all other Americans who are concerned about fiscal irresponsibility — that will get sold down the river should the Republican congressional leadership be foolish enough to strike a “deal” with President Obama.

Such was the case in 1986, when the Democrats in Congress promised a 3-to-1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases. Again in 1990, the Republicans made virtually the same deal. In both cases, the tax increases came without the spending cuts.

Now we see the same tricks being used by President Obama. Should Republicans take the bait, I believe there will be severe political consequences in 2012 at the ballot box.

I think President Obama believes this too, which is why he won’t be backing down any time soon.

Now, it’s the job of the American people to make sure Republicans in Congress do not get fooled again. It’s time to force Republican leaders to show some backbone and stand up and fight.

Instead of raising taxes and raising the debt limit, we need to start rolling back big government in all areas now. So before any agreement on raising the debt limit is even considered, the GOP leadership should demand that “Cut, Cap and Balance” be part of the deal.

The “Cut, Cap and Balance” pledge states that members of Congress will not vote to give even a dollar more to raise the debt ceiling without certain conditions being met. These conditions include one-year cuts in spending totaling at least $500 BILLION, a cap on federal spending AND passage of the Mike Lee/Rand Paul Balanced Budget Amendment.

Implementing these far-reaching changes to how the federal government works would show that our politicians are finally serious about addressing our country’s problems.

Whether or not August 2 will bring the economic apocalypse, as the administration claims, our country faces very dire economic straits.

Pursuing the same failed big-government “solutions” is a sure recipe for disaster. We must change course. Though it may not come next month, an unprecedented crisis is ultimately unavoidable if we don’t reform government immediately.

I am running for president to fundamentally change the way the federal government operates, which is why I was the first presidential candidate to sign the “Cut, Cap and Balance” pledge.

As president, I will fight to restore the principles of limited government, reduce wasteful, reckless government spending and restore the blessings of liberty that come with constitutional government.

But right now, it’s vital that every American contact their representative and senators to demand they reject any “deal” to hike the debt ceiling, because we simply cannot afford to continue this path of out-of-control government spending.

Rep. Ron Paul represents Texas’s 14th Congressional District and is a Republican candidate for president.