The Corner

Romney: ‘A Prairie Fire of Debt Is Sweeping’ U.S.

The Romney campaign is highlighting the national debt this week, and in a speech today in Des Moines, Iowa, Mitt Romney will focus on the excesses of government spending and the long-term problem of the national debt. From the excerpts of the speech released by his campaign:

Today America faces a financial crisis of debt and spending that threatens what it means to be an American. Here in the heartland you know in your hearts that it’s wrong.  We can’t spend another four years talking about solving a problem that we only make worse every day. When the men and women who settled the Iowa prairie saw a fire in the distance, they didn’t look around for someone else to save them or go back to sleep hoping the wind might blow another direction. They knew their fate was in their hands and so it is today. 

A prairie fire of debt is sweeping across Iowa and our nation and every day we fail to act we feed that fire with our own lack of resolve.  This is not a Democratic or Republican problem. That fire could care less if you have a donkey or an elephant in your front lawn, it’s still coming for your house.  There’s plenty of blame to go around for both parties. But in my years leading businesses, an Olympics and a state, I’ve learned one simple principle of leadership that never falters: Leaders lead.  I will lead us out of this debt and spending crisis.

Additional excerpts below the jump.

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“President Obama started his days in office with the trillion-dollar stimulus package – the biggest, most careless one-time expenditure by the federal government in history.  And remember this: the stimulus wasn’t just wasted – it was borrowed and wasted.  We still owe the money, we’re still paying interest on it, and it’ll be that way long after this presidency ends in January.

“Then there was Obamacare.  Even now nobody knows the exact cost of that new program.  And that uncertainty has done great harm to our economy.  Employers aren’t hiring, entrepreneurs are worried, all because of a massive, European-style entitlement that Americans didn’t want and can’t afford.

“Through his own decisions, this President has added more than five trillion dollars to the national debt, which now stands at 15.7 trillion dollars.”

“As president, I will approach debt and spending differently.  My time spent building businesses and leading state government taught me that we need to hold every department and agency to a simple test: If something can be done better and more efficiently outside the federal government, then that’s where it belongs.  Wherever we have the option of returning functions back to the states, to local governments, or, better still, to the private sector, that’s what we will do.  We will make the federal government simpler, smaller, smarter – and, by the way, more in keeping with the vision of the Framers of our Constitution.”

Katrina TrinkoKatrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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