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Inhofe: Debt issue offers a chance for leadership

BY U.S. SEN. JIM INHOFE Published: July 22, 2011
Every now and then, a moment emerges in history that is like no other. Moments like these provide the opportunity to do something great that will have a lasting impact. The circumstances that produce these moments don't come often, but one thing is certain: They will come, and history generally judges leaders by the way they respond to them.

The U.S. House showed leadership on Tuesday evening by passing a “cut, cap and balance” measure. Soon, the Senate will have the opportunity to do the same. Unfortunately, big-government liberals stand in the way of cutting current spending now, capping spending in the near term and balancing the budget with a constitutional amendment to address long-term spending.

Our nation is drowning in debt and we're on an unsustainable path. We have already reached our statutory debt limit of $14.3 trillion, and this year's deficit alone is expected to reach $1.65 trillion. That is more than we spent on the entire government in 1995.

Simply put, we are spending too much money.

In the short 2 years since President Obama entered office, total government spending has increased by nearly 30 percent and the national debt has risen by nearly $4 trillion. We are now spending nearly $1 trillion more per year than we did before he came into office.

If this doesn't stop, the liberties we presently enjoy will be in jeopardy.

Our nation was founded on the principles of limited government. But a government that consumes so much of the economy through increased debt is not a limited government at all.

While dire, the present circumstances have emerged to provide the right moment to permanently put to rest the threat of big government against the liberties we enjoy — liberties that are only protected by a limited government.

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