Aside from the prospect of terrorists acquiring and deploying a nuclear, chemical or biological weapon inside the United States, I firmly believe that the single greatest threat facing our nation is runaway federal spending and our ever-increasing national debt.
Government spending and deficits are surging at a pace not seen since World War II. All parts of government are growing. Today, the federal government is running banks, insurance companies, automobile companies, student loans, and is now engaged in an effort to takeover our entire health care system--a full one-sixth of the American economy.
A decade ago, U.S. government spending was 34 percent of GDP. Only one year into Barack Obama's administration, U.S. spending will reach 40 percent of GDP, compared with 47 percent in Europe.
On inauguration day last year, the national debt was $10.6 trillion. Today, it is over $12.3 trillion--an increase of 16 percent since this President took office! As a result, we are now spending over $100 million a day in interest on the national debt alone. And these interest payments will only get worse.
Last year's federal budget deficit was a shocking $1.4 trillion. This year, the President's budget is projected to result in an even worse $1.6 trillion deficit! It will add more debt to the U.S. economy over the next decade than the total accumulated by the 43 presidents that preceded him. The Congressional Budget Office projects that under the President's budget, publicly held debt will reach 82 percent of GDP in ten years.
As if this wasn't bad enough, Congress recently voted to increase the debt ceiling by another $1.9 trillion. Although 37 Democrats joined all of the Republicans in the House of Representatives to vote against this credit extension for the federal government, Ben Chandler once again sided with Nancy Pelosi to approve almost $2 trillion in new spending for the federal government. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Ben Chandler could have used his influence to reign in runaway spending. Instead, he once again gave Nancy Pelosi the slim majority she needed for reckless policy, just as he did on the cap and trade energy tax last summer.
As a result of the irresponsible and wasteful spending in Washington, the United States has become the debtor to hostile foreign governments. We are leaving mountains of debt to our children and grandchildren--money that our government is borrowing from places like China and the Middle East. This not only undermines our economic stability, it threatens our national security.
The spending policies of President Obama and Nancy Pelosi -- enacted by an unquestioning Ben Chandler -- have brought us to a point where every American citizen will be saddled with an additional $6,000 of debt over the next year, bringing our total national debt to a level in excess of $14 trillion.
Clearly, we cannot continue this reckless approach. We must take stock of what our true priorities are, limit this rapid expansion of government and ease the burden on our families.
So I will support an agenda that will cut government spending, balance the federal budget and reduce the national debt:
* I will stop spending money we don't have, on government programs we don't need.
* I will support returning unused or recovered TARP money to pay down the deficit.
* I will oppose any effort to spend unused or recovered TARP funds on new government programs.
* At a time of trillion dollars deficits, I will support legislation to direct all unspent stimulus funds to pay down our debts right now, rather than have money spent out on questionable projects.
* I will oppose plans to increase the debt ceiling.
* I will sponsor legislation requiring the federal government to divest itself from any ownership interest in GM, Chrysler, and AIG.
* I will sponsor transparency legislation to require the entire text of non-emergency legislation to be posted on the Internet for at least 72 hours so that members of Congress can actually read the bills before they vote on them.
* I will fight for earmark reform and oppose pork barrel projects.
* I will expose questionable junkets, funded by the taxpayers, for members of Congress.
* I will support legislation to end the practice of using the Social Security surplus to mask the true size of the deficit and fund the Social Security trust fund with real dollars.
* I will support a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
* I will support a Line Item Veto Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
* I will support congressional term limits and proposals to limit the terms of committee chairmen to eliminate incentives to dole out projects as a means of accumulating power.