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May 14. 2012 7:41PM

Reince Priebus: President Obama’s massive debt threatens our freedom

“I don’t want to wake up four years from now and find out that our children’s future was mortgaged by another mountain of debt.”

That was then-candidate Obama in 2008. But four years later, a “mountain of debt” is exactly what we’re waking up to — all thanks to President Obama.

We all know the national debt poses a grave threat to our economy, our national security, and ultimately our freedom. But President Obama ignored that reality and made matters worse. He broke his promises to control government spending and added more to the debt than any President in history. And his term is not even over.

Under President Obama’s watch, the national debt has increased $5 trillion. Today, the debt stands at a mind-numbing $15.6 trillion, or $50,767 per American. In fewer than 10 years, the debt is projected to reach $25.9 trillion due to President Obama’s policies.

We cannot afford four more years of this President, because our children cannot afford to spend their lives paying off his debts.

Instead of controlling spending, President Obama dramatically increased it. He wasted $831 billion on his stimulus bill, promising it would save our economy and reduce the unemployment rate to less than 6 percent by now.

But look around. Our economy is far from fixed. The national unemployment rate has been above 8 percent for 39 months, the longest period since the Great Depression. The job market is so weak, many Americans have lost hope and stopped looking for work altogether.

Democrats promised the stimulus would create “millions” of “shovel-ready jobs.” Since President Obama took office, America has lost 1 million construction jobs.

Of course, the stimulus was really just a grab bag of Democrats’ political favors. For example, Obama officials sent half a billion dollars to the now-bankrupt solar energy company Solyndra. After Solyndra went under, we learned top Obama campaign fundraisers had heavily invested in it.

Then came Obamacare. Once fully implemented, it will cost $2.6 trillion. What did we get in return? Health care costs continue to skyrocket. An unelected board of bureaucrats will be given the power to deny seniors care. And government will interfere in the doctor-patient relationship.

President Obama has spurned every opportunity to seriously tackle the deficit. He rejected plans from House Republicans that would have reformed government spending and put America on a path toward fiscal sanity. He even ignored the recommendations of the deficit reduction commission he organized.

And now, we are paying the price for his broken promises and lack of leadership.

Amid all the numbers — the “trillions,” “billions,” and endless zeros — it is easy to overlook the serious impact of this recklessness.

First, massive debt destabilizes the economy. Look no further than the nightmare playing out in Greece. When a country can no longer afford to pay its bills, everything crumbles. Joblessness skyrockets, the government ceases to function, and people’s lives are thrown into turmoil. Now, I’m half-Greek and I love my Greek heritage. But I have no desire to see a Greek tragedy play out here in America.

Second, the debt undermines national security. We have to borrow trillions from foreign governments to fund our own government. If our national interests come into conflict, we are beholden to their whims, lest they cut off the money supply or come to collect.

Ultimately, debt is a threat to our freedom. It leaves us unable to enjoy full economic freedom at home and powerless to defend freedom abroad. We must change course before it is too late and before our children’s future is mortgaged through no fault of their own.

In November, a vote for President Obama is a vote for more spending and more debt, less prosperity and limited opportunity. A vote for Gov. Mitt Romney is a vote for spending reforms and efficient government — and thus, for protecting our freedom.

Here in New Hampshire, that should make the decision on Election Day in November quite clear. After all, they don’t call it the “Live Free or Die State” for nothing.

Reince Priebus is chairman of the Republican National Committee.


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