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A radical idea for GOP victory, liberty, prosperity

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The Republican debate last week was encouraging.


It was more issue-oriented.


There was less personal sniping.


And, perhaps best of all, there seems to be agreement among the two leading candidates that government needs to be reined in, cut back in size and scope, with the objective of returning Washington to its constitutional mandate of strictly limited power and responsibility.


The quickest way to move in that direction, as I have pointed out repeatedly for the last five years since the GOP took control of the House, is to stop borrowing. But the will to do so has been lacking. Perhaps 2016 could be the year America elects a president who understands it’s the most important step Washington needs to take to return to constitutional government and the liberty and prosperity it protects.


Think about it.


The debt is approaching $19 trillion – greater than America’s gross national product.


There are grave consequences for continuing to rely on borrowed money to run government programs, agencies and departments that are unconstitutional, abrogate powers that rightfully belong to the states, are counterproductive to individual liberty and immorally burden future generations, yet unborn, with overwhelming financial obligations for which they had no representation, no input, no say.


There is only one responsible way to deal with the debt – one first step. That is to stop borrowing, forcing government to live within its more-than-ample means.


It’s against the nature of government to live within its means or to be satisfied performing its prescribed duties and nothing more. That’s why government tends to keep growing. When it can no longer collect revenues commensurate with its desire to take on more and more responsibility and power, it borrows.


Everyone knows endless borrowing is unsustainable, but few are courageous enough to buck the tide. It would spell the end of their own pet projects. It might make re-election a tough prospect. For some, it would mean their own constituents would lose out on “benefits” – rewards for their political support.


Could this be the year a Republican presidential candidate uses the staggering $19 trillion debt as an opportunity to shrink the size and scope of Washington as a vital tool to return government to its proper role?


The president’s power, too, is limited, but not when it comes to borrowing money. The president must actually approve raising the debt limit. So must each house of Congress.


Lately, the two top GOP candidates – Donald Trump and Ted Cruz – have both asserted they want to cut the government in significant ways. It won’t be politically easy selling Congress on eliminating the Department of Education, as both have suggested. It’s a good idea. Like some other departments and agencies, it has no justification in the Constitution. It is counterproductive to the goal of community-based education. It didn’t exist before 1980. And it has contributed nothing positive to the education of any children. It’s just a command-and-control bureaucracy supported by resources sucked out of each of the 50 states while mandating more and more rules and top-down regulations on them.


So how do you start cutting government?


By freezing all borrowing at the federal level, forcing Congress to pass budgets that live within their means without raising taxes.


Obviously no Democratic president is going to do this.


But it’s entirely possible we could elect a Republican president this year who will use his power to do just that.


In fact, it may be the most important thing the next president can do to save Washington from itself.


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If the president refuses to raise the debt limit, Congress will have no power to do so. The decision of the president cannot even be overridden by an irresponsible Congress.


Of course, there will be doomsayers who claim freezing the debt will inevitably result in default on the debt. But that is absurd. The president also has the power to instruct his treasury secretary to continue servicing the debt before any other obligations are paid.


The effect of such an action would be the boldest move in the history of the United States to return the government to constitutionally limited government.


If Donald Trump and Ted Cruz want to get Americans excited about their campaigns this primary season, they should start talking about a debt freeze right now.


Polls show 80 percent of Republican voters want to see it happen, while 60 percent of Democrat voters do.


It’s a win-win – for a Republican presidential victory in 2016. It’s a win-win for freedom. It’s a win-win for the Constitution. It’s a win-win for returning American to solvency, prosperity and morality.


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