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Make Dollar-For-Dollar Permanent

By Sen. Rob Portman, Wall St. Journal - August 4, 2011

Congress and the president have finally agreed to raise the nation's $14.3 trillion debt limit, along with spending cuts of an equal or greater amount. There are many points of view about the final agreement, but here's a positive aspect of the underlying principle: If we pledge to hold all future debt-limit increases to the same "dollar-for-dollar" standard, we can balance the budget within a decade.

Increases in the debt limit used to be routine. In fact, for many years the House of Representatives did not even take a stand-alone vote to raise the debt limit, but rather employed the so-called Gephardt Rule to "deem" the necessary increase every time they passed a budget expanding the debt. As a result, the past decade saw the national debt soar to $14.3 trillion from $5.6 trillion with no significant deficit-reduction bills attached to any of its 10 debt-limit increases.

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