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Nikki Haley is the leader we need to fix our debt crisis

May 25, 2023
| Washington Examiner by Rep. Ralph Norman

Our country has a spending problem — a bipartisan one. For decades, Democrats and Republicans have run up the national tab without a care for who they might hurt. And as a result, American families are paying the price in the form of crippling inflation, and our children and grandchildren will have to pay it all back for decades to come.

Instead of getting their spending problem under control, our leaders are asking the bank for a larger limit. In a few weeks, Washington, D.C., will reach a once-unthinkable milestone, hitting the $31.4 trillion limit on the national debt. It’s astounding that we’ve already spent more than $31 trillion. It’s unbelievable that our leaders want to spend even more.

I believe that leader is Nikki Haley.

I served with Haley in the state legislature when we were both up-start state representatives. I saw firsthand her commitment to conservative principles, her fiscal responsibility, and, yes, her moxie. She took on both parties — including her own Republican leadership — and she never backed down. She correctly believed that taxpayers, not party politics, come first.

I saw her leadership time and time again. When Haley found out that South Carolina legislators almost never cast spending votes on the record, she immediately got to work. After all, off-the-record voting made it impossible for taxpayers to hold their politicians accountable.

Haley fought to change that. It didn’t matter that she was a fairly new legislator low down on the totem pole. It didn’t matter that Republican leadership punished her for standing her ground. All that mattered to her was doing the right thing.

She kept at it. Haley didn’t make backroom deals. She didn’t get bought off with the promise of more spending for her district and pet projects. Instead, she took her case to the people of South Carolina — and it worked. In one of her first moves as governor, Haley proudly signed legislation to put all spending votes on the record.

That’s the difference between a leader and a politician. Leaders get things done. They solve problems. And more importantly, they tackle those problems — problems such as the debt ceiling — with the best interests of the American public at heart.

Haley showed the same principled leadership as ambassador to the United Nations.

Getting anything done at the U.N. was nearly impossible because it required Russia and China to sign on. For example, when Haley wanted to sanction North Korea, one of the world’s most brutal regimes, people said it couldn’t be done. Haley did it anyway. And when China tried to stonewall negotiations, she called Beijing’s bluff. The U.N. ultimately passed the strongest set of sanctions against North Korea ever.

It only happened because of Nikki Haley.

If Haley could take on the South Carolina establishment, then she can take on Washington’s entrenched elite as well. If Haley can get China and Russia to agree to hold North Korea accountable, then she can hold both parties’ feet to the fire when it comes to the national debt.

We don’t need a president who talks a big game about fiscal responsibility only to back down and give up when it really matters. We need a leader who stands up for taxpayers and stands up to Republicans and Democrats alike.

Nikki Haley is the leader I know who fits the bill.

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