Issue Position: Budget/Taxes/Economy
Throughout my years of service, I have been a fiscal conservative. I have supported a balanced budget since I was first elected to Congress and was an original co-sponsor of the Balanced Budget Amendment that passed the House in 1995.
Reducing government spending is only part of the solution. It is imperative that we reform our tax code. It is unfair, overly burdensome, and discourages savings and investment. It is for these reasons that I am a strong supporter of a Fair Tax which would replace the income, employment, estate and gift tax with a consumption tax. It is the role of government to enable economic growth, not prohibit it through complex tax codes.
I am a strong supporter of tax relief for hard-working Americans. The tax cuts that the Republicans passed and the President signed have kept our economy strong despite the costs of the War on Terror and the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. We put over $1 trillion back in the pockets of the American people and have created more than 7 million new jobs - in less than four years.
Congress made great strides in 2006 when we passed the Deficit Reduction Act. This law eliminated wasteful spending and programs, ultimately saving $40 billion over five years. This was just the first step of many. I support efforts to eliminate wasteful spending and slow the rate of growth in government, and I am an original co-sponsor of legislation that would require a super-majority vote on any bill that would increase taxes - rather than a required vote of a simple majority.
Another key component of reducing government spending is to give the President the authority to eliminate wasteful spending while preserving Congress's power to appropriate funds. It is for this reason that I am once again a cosponsor of the Legislative Line Item Veto Act.
Overall, I will continue to work to create an environment that encourages growth, fosters innovation and eliminates bureaucracy.