Nikki Haley on Budget & Economy
Miss Joyce laughed. "Her? Raj, you can't be serious. She's 12!"
"If you teach her, she can do it," my mom replied.
So Miss Joyce trained me. Mom would do the bankbooks, and I did the taxes and everything else. Mom paid me, of course, but she kept every other paycheck because I was earning my "keep". I was writing checks for the business and keeping the general ledger when I was 13 years old. I told my friends I worked in the store after school, but we never discussed exactly what I did. It wasn't until I went to Clemson and studied accounting that I realized that all 12 & 13 year olds aren't versed in the business tax code.
Everyone on stage claimed to be against the stimulus, but they had all agreed that, once it passed, South Carolina should go ahead and take the money. I was the only one who had argued, along with Governor Sanford, that we shouldn't accept it. There were too many strings attached, I had said. South Carolina needed a different approach from bailouts that were hurting private-sector job growth, weakening the dollar, and increasing the debt for our children.
I knew that the politically correct answer was to take the money and run. one politician's pork is another politician's desperately needed "investment," right?
It wasn't Mrs. Thatcher's most poetic quote, but I liked it because it expressed so well what I wanted for South Carolina. I wanted the people to be awakened to a new role for their government. I wanted them to understand that their money is theirs--government has no prior claim to it. I wanted them to understand that their freedom is theirs, that it's not the gift of their government but of their creator.
I spoke of vision for South Carolina that draws its energy and inspiration not from the statehouse that stood behind me but from the people who stood before me.
We didn't get "cut, cap and balance." So what DID we get? A whole lot of talk, some good intentions, but no resolution to our debt crisis.
To permanently control spending, our government can and must function within a spending cap. Any General Fund dollars above and beyond that cap must go towards tax relief, debt relief, or reserve funds. We cannot continue to spend every dollar we have. It has to end.
[The Cut-Cap-and-Balance Pledge is sponsored by a coalition of several hundred Tea Party, limited-government, and conservative organizations].
Despite our nation's staggering $14.4 trillion debt, there are many Members of the U.S. House and Senate who want to raise our nation's debt limit without making permanent reforms in our fiscal policies. We believe that this is a fiscally irresponsible position that would place America on the Road to Ruin. At the same time, we believe that the current debate over raising the debt limit provides a historic opportunity to focus public attention, and then public policy, on a path to a balanced budget and paying down our debt.
We believe that the "Cut, Cap, Balance" plan for substantial spending cuts in FY 2012, a statutory spending cap, and Congressional passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution is the minimum necessary precondition to raising the debt limit. The ultimate goal is to get us back to a point where increases in the debt limit are no longer necessary. If you agree, take the Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge!
I pledge to urge my Senators and Member of the House of Representatives to oppose any debt limit increase unless all three of the following conditions have been met:
- Cut: Substantial cuts in spending that will reduce the deficit next year and thereafter.
- Cap: Enforceable spending caps that will put federal spending on a path to a balanced budget.
- Balance: Congressional passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution -- but only if it includes both a spending limitation and a super-majority for raising taxes, in addition to balancing revenues and expenses.
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