As your next Congressman, I will support common sense tax policies and fiscal conservatism. I will fight against the overwhelming waste of corporate welfare and corruption.
We must end Republican "fat cat" tax cuts--tax cuts Tim Johnson has consistently supported--and close corporate tax loopholes that led to a deficit growing by $1.7 billion each and every day in recent years. Median income in Illinois dropped during the past decade, in part because of outrageous Republican tax cut schemes to benefit the ultra-rich at the expense of average citizens. In the interest of sound economic policy and basic fairness, we must reverse tax breaks for corporations that ship American jobs overseas.
The Republicans lowered government revenue while they launched an unfunded and unnecessary war in Iraq, adding $120 billion in annual spending. The results of this disastrous fiscal policy played no small part in weakening our economy and precipitating the current recession. Foreign governments financed much of the debt, thereby jeopardizing our national security at the same time. Common sense dictates that we begin to resolve these issues now.
This year's stimulus package (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act), opposed by Tim Johnson, is working, providing an economic cushion for many sectors of the hard-hit economy, including the 15th District. Economists have had 70 years of experience in measuring the effect of increased government spending during a downturn. It is now well-established practice to boost economic activity in such times. The negative impact on the deficit is temporary, as stimulus funding prevents a steeper decline and sets the stage for an earlier recovery. Infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, and broadband to rural areas) and investments in education, alternative energy, and public transportation strengthen long-term prospects for us all.
As the country moves beyond the current recession, we will be obliged to face increasingly difficult choices about reducing government spending to sustainable levels. I will work hard to identify and cancel wasteful programs that can be slashed without endangering national security or vital social services.
I support strengthened whistle-blower provisions in the budgeting process designed to protect federal employees who discover waste, fraud, and abuse. The Bush administration and the Republican Congress gutted many of these protections. President Obama rightly expanded capabilities of a system allowing the public to report suspected fraudulent activity. Rooting out wasteful and fraudulent spending lowers the cost of government while maintaining essential services such as homeland security, active military and veteran support, Medicare, Head Start, student loans, highways, public transportation, scientific research, and environmental clean-up.
We owe our children and grandchildren a fiscally responsible future in which these services are reliable and affordable.