Guest Editorial


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Americans losing the self-responsibility that built the world's greatest nation

Restoring principled leadership for the United States of America

jason chaffetzThe American Dream is powerful.  It has motivated generations of Americans to contribute to our unparalleled prosperity and quality of life.  The American recipe for greatness has always rested on the values of hard work, thrift, perseverance, ingenuity, industry, self-discipline, self-reliance, and dedication.

We did not become the greatest country on Earth by entitlement.  We worked for it.  But when our public policies foster dependence, punish industry, redistribute wealth and limit freedom, we risk compromising the very thing that made us great.

Now more than ever, our future depends on our collective ability to restore the American Dream.  The American dream wasn't built on higher taxes, Czars, "Cash for Clunkers," or corporate bailouts.  And it wasn't built on a limitless government credit card.

The American Dream was built on the sweat and blood of Americans who took pride and ownership in the United States of America.  It wasn't the promise of something for nothing, but the promise of earned rewards that motivated so many to do so much.

When times were tough, generations before us didn't ask for a government bailout or a government stimulus, they rolled up their sleeves.  They worked hard and took personal responsibility for their success or their failure.

As Representatives of the People we must stand tall for restoring the American Dream.  To do so, we must recommit ourselves to the principles that made this country great and never be persuaded to sway from those principles for political convenience.

For the United States to continue to be the world's economic and military superpower, we must also change the way we do business in Washington, D.C.  That does not mean more government and more redistribution of wealth.  Rather, the best hope for the United States of America is to return to the core principles of fiscal discipline, limited government, accountability, and a strong national defense. Adherence to these core principles will result in more jobs, more opportunity, more freedom, and consequently a better quality of life now and for future generations.  It is every citizen's responsibility to leave this world better than we found it.  These principles comprise our country's pathway to achieving that goal.

Elected by the People of our states to the United States House of Representatives, it is our commitment to do what is right for our country.  We are guided by the Constitution, dedicated to integrity and personal responsibility, loyal both to our home states and collectively to the United States of America. Therefore, we set forth to enacting the following Congressional

Action Plan (CAP) in the 112th Congress:
Situation:  Our national debt exceeds $12 trillion, with our annual deficit in excess of $1.4 trillion.  Federal spending as a percentage of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is roughly 25%, when historically it has been roughly 19-20%.  We pay approximately $600 million per day in
interest payments.  In short, the current government spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much of the people's money.  It is unacceptable and unsustainable.  No longer can we run this government on a credit card.  We are not going to borrow and spend our way out of these challenges.

Imagine a federal government that treats the national treasury with respect and responsibility by living within its means – where every American pays a fair share.

Situation:  The government is omnipresent in our lives, restricting our basic liberties.  The proper role of government is a strictly limited one.  We recognize that the States created the federal government.  The federal government did not create the States.  Further, it is not the
government that will create jobs, wealth, or propel the United States of America to reach its fullest potential.  It is the American people who will drive America forward.

Imagine a federal government that recognized it could not solve every problem.  Imagine a government focused instead on the most important federal roles, such as national defense.  Individuals should have the freedom to succeed or fail in this country.  It is not the government's role to stand in the way of either outcome or to choose winners and losers.

Situation:  Americans have lost confidence in their elected leaders and the direction of the country as a whole.  We are being governed by a "nanny state" mentality that is blanketing the country with the misconception that the government can and should solve all problems. Imagine an atmosphere of personal responsibility where individuals took control of their future and worked hard to improve their lives.

Situation:  The men and women serving in our armed forces are the best in the world.  They can accomplish anything they are asked to do, if they are given the proper resources and clear rules of engagement.

Imagine the best equipped strategic strike forces rapidly deployed at a moment's notice to respond to the national security interests of the United States of America.  Also, imagine a well compensated military that cares for the military families, now, in the future, and especially when wounded.

The United States of America is the greatest country on Earth, but we must now fight to preserve our liberties, our freedom, and our Constitution.