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Issue Position: Government Spending

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"It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes."
Thomas Jefferson

"Giving money and power to Government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys."
P.J. O'Rourke

We want limited but effective government that gives us value for our tax dollars. We want government to protect our lives, not run our lives. Washington is spending $10.4 billion per day -- three times more than in 2007. Forty-two cents of every one of those dollars is borrowed. We now have a $1.5 trillion deficit, a $14.3 trillion debt, and $100 trillion in unfunded Social Security and Medicare obligations.

Taxation is not the answer. Only 3 percent of personal tax returns report over $250,000. If we take the tax rates back to 90 percent, it would only increase the revenues by $350 billion. That pays for one month's federal spending. Then what? A simplified tax code with the elimination of loopholes would more effectively increase revenues.

The ultimate cure is to stop the out-of-control spending and stop the waste and duplication of agencies and services, particularly the programs that have been shown to have no positive impact on the populations they are intended to help. Washington wastes $200 billion per year on overlapping agencies and programs. For example, there are 56 programs from 20 agencies deal with financial literacy. There are 15 agencies that oversee food safety laws. The Department of Education spent $59 billion last year. What do we have to show for it? Ten agencies track "teacher quality" with 82 programs. That should be the concern of the school district, not the federal government.

Washington can easily consolidate, reorganize, and eliminate agencies, boards, and commissions. We have to design policies that have local decision-making and address local circumstances.

The Medicare and Social Security programs take up 20 percent of Washington's budget. We all want the peace of mind of these programs to which we have contributed over the years. But they have to be reformed to stay solvent, keeping in mind that we live 20 years longer than the average American did when the Social Security program was started.

We have to stop the bail-outs. Having the Federal Reserve step in too quickly to stop so-called "bear" markets is a problem. James Grant of the New York Times said it best: "capitalism without financial failure is not capitalism at all, but a kind of socialism for the rich."


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