The federal government has grown too big and interferes too much in too many areas of American society right now. The federal government has a duty under the Constitution to provide basic services and protections to Americans, among them are a national defense, the general welfare, and to ensure that justice is served and that our rights under the Constitution are protected. However, we have seen increasing levels of government services, entitlements, grants, and foreign aid go unchecked for many decades resulting in an annual federal budget of nearly $3 trillion a year that all of us as taxpayers end up paying for. What we don't pay for now, we put on the government credit card and on the backs of our children and grandchildren to pay for later. This is wrong!
I came to Congress with a pledge that I will never vote to raise taxes. I never have and I never will. Period. Our federal government currently collects more than enough revenue in taxes from hard working Americans to more than pay for the programs and services that directly impact them and their family. In fact, there are many instances where certain taxes like the death tax, taxes on teacher retirement programs such as the windfall tax and government pension offset, or taxes on telephone services that were set up to pay for the Spanish American War over 100 years ago should be abolished and certain levels of taxation should be lowered. I believe we do the best for this nation through a free enterprise system where all individuals are entitled to equal rights, justice, and opportunities to assume their responsibilities as citizens in a free society. We need to get back to these basic principles and keep them in mind when we develop a federal budget. Since coming to Congress, I joined the Republican Study Committee, a unique group of likeminded Members of Congress who specifically advocate for lower taxes and reduced federal spending. I agree with many of their principles. This organization meets regularly and provides a forum for me to hear and act upon many of the issues affecting how your tax dollars are spent.
The tax code also is too complex and filled with too many special loopholes. I am not opposed to scrapping it all and starting over with a new system such as the FAIR tax proposal, outlined in H.R. 25, which replaces the standard income tax with a national sales tax based on consumption.
In my view, spending is not only too high, but it is also being misapplied in many instances. I'm a strong believer that charity begins at home and we must provide for Americans first and foremost. I have long felt that our foreign aid programs, or what I refer to as our foreign "giveaway" programs, now totaling around $40 billion a year need to be reevaluated and scaled back. As a Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I strongly believe America has a role to help spread democracy, the rule of law, and to help open societies across the globe. I do not believe we should be sending your hard earned money to countries that hate or criticize America, to corrupt foreign governments with little or no accounting of where the money is spent, or on unproven gimmick programs. We do this at the expense of many critical domestic priorities where that money could be better spent, such as on ensuring our immigration laws are enforced and our borders are secured; that services are readily available to victims who fall prey to crime; or on improving our transportation networks that drive our economy.
I will continue to work to return more of your tax dollars back to you and your family and ensure that the tax dollars you send to Washington are spent wisely and carefully. I will also continue to vote against any further government bailouts.