Talking to the LowCountry 9.12 group last week, U.S. Rep. Tim Scott, R-Charleston, equated raising the debt ceiling to transferring credit card debt without changing spending habits, just minutes prior to saying
The freshman congressman also fired at his own party, saying his fight wasn't lay with those across the aisle since "Democrats are going to what Democrats do."
"We need to be saved," Scott said as he addressed the crowd at Knightsville United Methodist Church. "People ask me, 'Saved from what?' I say, 'Look around.'"
Scott was elected office in 2010, as the Tea Party and groups including LowCountry 9.12 began heating up national politics. His district, District 1, includes Dorchester, Berkeley and Charleston counties.
Continuing with his credit card analogy, he said the debt ceiling is like transferring debt to different credit cards keep a zero-percent interest.
"Have you noticed that your balance keeps going up but your spending habit never goes down?" Scott said. "We buy into this illusion that somehow, some way, some day there will be the inevitable truth of something for nothing."
Scott, laying on the sarcasm, called the debt ceiling an "amazing opportunity."
The congressman has proposed a bill called Rising Tide Act — a tip-of-the-hat to President Ronald Reagan, he said — which would simply cut taxes to improve the economy.
As for the debt ceiling, he wants to cut, cap and balance.
"That's what we feel is the path toward a real conversation around increasing the debt ceiling," Scott said. "Cut means taking a $2.4 trillion increase in the debt ceiling and decreasing our spending by more or at least the same $2.4 trillion … The cap part of it is capping our — elected officials — ability to increase spending beyond a certain GDP, gross domestic product. Our suggestion is around 18 percent."
For balance, Scott said that if you are doing it right, no taxes are increased.
On his colleagues, Scott reported to the crowd a divide among the right.
"When I go into my Republican Congress, it is really hard to discern a conservative versus a Republican," Scott said. "This is the time and we are in the place where we need to have conservatives, not just members of parties … We've got a little work on our side."
Scott urged the crowd to call or email their representatives, because, he said, the power lies with their constituency and that they will act in accordance to conservative values if voters contact them.
"The only reason why we're having a conversation in Washington, D.C., today about cuts is the Tea Party — 9-12 groups," Scott said. "I would not be in congress today if it was not for the grass-roots efforts."
But don't let July 5's discussion on the national debt fool you: Scott wants to talk jobs this month. According to his website, July is jobs month.
"We need to get this whole debt ceiling behind us and start talking job creation," he said, adding that he doesn't mean government-created jobs, but decreasing taxes to provide business incentives.
"The fastest way to get more money to the treasury is to cut taxes … There is not a revenue problem in America. here is a priority problem."