Jon Huntsman continues his not-quite-official candidacy with an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today, with an eye toward tackling the $14 trillion national debt. "Unless we make hard decisions now, in less than a decade every dollar of federal revenue will go to covering the costs of Medicare, Social Security, and interest payments on our debt," he writes. He adds that he admires Paul Ryan's "honest attempt" to fix Medicare and says Ryan's opponents "incur a moral responsibility" to offer an alternative rather than just criticism.
Because the US has to make tough choices in times of weak economic growth and high unemployment, "we must also make sweeping reforms of our tax code, regulatory policies, and other government policies to improve our productivity, competitiveness, and job creation," he writes. Huntsman plays up his accomplishments as Utah governor, a likely theme of his campaign. "When the economic crisis struck, we didn't raise taxes or rely on accounting gimmicks to hide obligations," he writes. "We cut spending and made government more efficient." (Click to read one GOP pundit's view that Michele Bachmann would be his ideal running mate.)