Fiscal Cliff Debate: Entitlement Reform Must Be Included

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Debt limit votes are typically painful for lawmakers. They usually do nothing to turn the tide of deficit spending. They are more like paying the piper for past deficit spending. The debt limit debate in 2011 was contentious precisely because we needed a major course correction. The debt limit vote focuses attention squarely on whether the budget is affordable and sustainable.

Such debates are necessary. Yet, the president's plan proposed to permanently eliminate the debt limit and allow unfettered deficit spending forever. Perhaps this is understandable given the $7 trillion of new debt in his last budget. But it is unacceptable.

A major course correction is still needed. That means solid entitlement reforms and plenty of checks and balances.

This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

Alison Acosta Fraser, as Director of the Thomas Roe Institute Economic Policy Studies, oversees Heritage Foundation research on a wide range of domestic economic issues including federal spending, taxes, energy, environment, financial markets, regulation and retirement savings. Fraser is a co-author of Saving the American Dream, the Heritage Plan to Cut Spending, Fix the Debt and Restore Prosperity.

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