imageBy Congresswoman Michele Bachmann

The American people have given Republicans a second chance. On January 3rd we will take the Majority and face a difficult road ahead. We have many challenges to overcome including defunding and repealing Obamacare, ending the bailouts, and facing a harsh financial reality: our national debt has almost reached the allowable debt ceiling of $14.3 trillion.

A vote on whether or not to raise the debt ceiling will be one of the most significant challenges to the start of the 112th Congress. Congress simply cannot continue to operate under the pretense of “gangster government,” raising the limit upon our whim. We aren’t going to find financial stability by allowing ourselves to fall further down the rabbit hole.

At town halls and rallies across the country we saw men and women willing to put everything on the line for our American principles. They called for a reining in of spending and a decrease in the size of government. They called for strict adherence to the Constitution.

Bickering won’t solve our financial woes. Instead we must pause to consider the gravity of our situation and weigh our options like grown-ups. The American people understand cuts have to be made because a lot is at stake here including our children’s future. Will they have the freedoms we know and enjoy daily? Or will they answer to our foreign debt holders in China?

One option being presented by the Federal Reserve, not Congress, is to fire up the printing presses through quantitative easing. I wrote Chairman Ben Bernanke asking him to reconsider and testify on Capitol Hill before pursuing this dangerous option which will create inflation.

Instead, Members of Congress, elected by the American people, must start working on the difficult cuts that must be made. In the 112th Congress we are ushering in a new era of financial responsibility where bailouts will be history. Fannie and Freddie think they have an unlimited credit card billed to the taxpayer. Earlier this month they even requested another $2.5 billion more. But we need to answer “no”, cut off government subsidies and get them off our balance sheet.

Additionally, any paid-back TARP funds should immediately go to the U.S. Treasury. Also going to the U.S. Treasury should be issued any outstanding “stimulus” funds. As the American people tighten their belts, Congress must tighten the country’s purse strings as we work to put our country back on track.

Now is the time to find fiscal stability. Instead of raising the debt ceiling and giving ourselves an excuse to delay the inevitable, let’s start working on solutions.

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