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Linder Statement on President's 2007 State of the Union

Location: Washington, DC


Congressman Linder issued the following statement on the President's State of the Union address:

"I commend the President on his address tonight. He endeavored to address some of the toughest issues facing our nation today. I continue to stand with the President in the War on Terror, and I applaud him for taking a strong stance. It is past time that we increase the total force number of active duty men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. The burden that we place on our National Guard is too great and cannot be sustained. His plan to raise active duty troop levels to 92,000 over the next five years is an ambitious goal and will help tremendously in achieving victory in the War on Terror."

"The President also took a bold stand tonight on making health care more affordable for all Americans. Many companies allow their employees to change their health care plan once a year during open enrollment. This is the wrong approach, and the President believes, as do I, that our health care system should be as responsive to individual needs as other consumer marketplaces. When President Bush and the 108th Congress originally enacted legislation creating the Medicare Part D program in 2003, a key element of the program was its reliance on free market principles in order to provide more choices and lower prices to senior citizens. In 2003, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) projected that the average, nationwide Part D monthly premium in 2006 would be $37. In fact, in 2006 the average Part D premium was 42% lower than originally predicted. These savings were a direct result of the competitive, free market pressures built into the current Part D program, and duplicating this approach will succeed in lowering the cost of health care. The free market will always work, and consumers will always benefit if the government does not interfere. History has proven that to be true time and time again."

"President Bush also acknowledged the need for serious spending reforms. I agree wholeheartedly with him that our current fiscal policy is not sustainable. The GAO has recently released a report stating if we maintain current levels of discretionary spending, and revenues remain constant as a share of GDP, then by the year 2040 the Federal government will be unable to make the interest payment on the debt. We have got to change the way we raise revenue completely. For that reason, I continue to advocate for the passage of the FairTax, H.R. 25, which will abolish all income, capital gains, and payroll taxes, and replace them with a revenue neutral, one time only, national sales tax. Under the FairTax, the number of people paying into Social Security and Medicare more than doubles from 158 million workers to 300 million Americans and 45 million foreign tourists and visitors. This dramatic expansion of the tax base will provide for the long-term solvency of the Social Security and Medicare programs currently facing enormous long-term budgetary shortfalls. Until we change our nation's mechanism of raising revenue, our fiscal future will continue to be at risk."

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