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New Credit Warning Signals Urgency of Debt Reduction

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Location: Washington, DC

Kingston seeks quick action on plan to balance budget in five years

A leading credit ratings agency has indicated that failure to attach deficit reduction any increase in the nation's debt limit could imperil the credit rating of the United States. In issuing the warning, Moody's Investors Services noted that failure to enact significant reforms at this juncture would imperil the chances to accomplish the task at all.

Moody's is the second rating agency to issue such a warning. In April, Standard and Poor's issued a similar report and echoed the sentiment that a meaningful debt-reduction strategy is urgent to maintaining the United States' economic standing.

"There is a growing chorus that we have got to do something and that this is the time to get our fiscal house in order," said Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA). "We cannot kick the can down the road any longer. That is why I've offered a plan to balance the budget and begin paying down the debt in just five years. My plan starts with serious cuts today and puts us on a path to a sound fiscal footing."

Kingston's plan, introduced last month, would limit spending as a percentage of the economy. Over five years it would reduce total federal outlays to 18% of gross domestic product which represents the 40-year historical average of revenues. If the White House and Congress were unable to control spending below the limit, the government would initiate automatic, across-the-board.

"Spending has been on auto-pilot for long enough," Kingston said. "This would put cutting on auto-pilot if Washington fails to live within its means. It sends a signal to the world that we will not be the next Greece. Rather than piling on mountains of debt on future generations, it provides the fiscal certainty we need."

The proposal is gaining momentum with grassroots organizations across the country. To date, Americans for Prosperity, National Taxpayers Union, Americans for Tax Reform, Citizens United and Americans for Limited Government have endorsed the bill. A recent Reason-Rupe poll found that 74 percent of Americans endorse the concept.

Kingston is hopeful his proposal will be given consideration. He has vowed to vote against any increase in the debt limit which is not accompanied with reforms that, like his plan, would change the nation's fiscal trajectory.


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