Political Hay

Getting Back to Basics

A Tennessee Republican congressional candidate calls it as he sees it -- and he doesn't like what he sees in Washington.

By 4.28.10

Earlier this month, the Pew Center released one of those polls with results that you or I could have predicted by just talking to our neighbors: Almost 80 percent of our fellow citizens don't trust the Federal government to do the right thing.

And why should we? The Democrat controlled Congress and the Obama Administration rammed through a health care plan most elected officials on Capitol Hill never bothered to read…and most don't understand. Now we learn that, in fact, the bill will not lower health-care costs, but raise them. Congress and the Administration passed spending bills that have grown the size of government, raised our taxes and shrunk the futures of our children and grandchildren because of the economic mess Washington has made: in March the Congressional Budget Office reported that President Obama's 2011 budget will generate nearly $10 trillion in cumulative budget deficits over the next ten years and raise the federal debt to 90 percent of the nation's economic output by 2020. And never mind the Wall Street bailouts that rewarded the very people who bet against America's economy and future.

Those are all challenges we as a nation must address. But at the same time, we have a federal government that seems bent on putting even more hurdles in front of us. Almost daily we hear about another scheme hatched in Washington to expand the federal government's reach into each of our lives -- from how we get our medical care, to what degrees our kids earn in college, the kinds of cars and trucks we drive, to the amount of salt we put on our food. And of course, there is a new institution to handle each of these, as well as a new tax or fee or budget adjustment taxpayers get hit with to pay for it.

It's all just a bit too much. Which is why so many folks take to the streets to protest, and so many citizens are stepping up to run for office, whether on the local, state or federal level. It's time we citizens cleaned up the messes the professional politicians in Washington created. It's time we citizens took back our government and returned it to "we, the people" and got back to basics.

Right now, Democrats in Congress are desperate to ram as many of their radical ideas through Capitol Hill as possible. There is talk of a value-added tax on top of the income taxes we already pay, weighing our families down with greater and greater levels of payments to Washington. There are threats of more "economic stimulus" bills, where the only thing being stimulated is the growth of government. There are veiled threats of legislation that would limit our citizens' Second Amendment rights. Frankly, I'm a little surprised this crowd in Washington isn't looking for a way to tax our Second Amendment rights; it might be more profitable for them.

It's not a surprise that the feds are looking for more taxes and fees from us; our national debt is at the back-breaking point. The problem is taxes and fees and heaping more financial pressure on taxpayers isn't the way to do it. Our nation has reached a point where with debt eating away at our national productivity and competitiveness, the sustainability of our government will actually be in doubt a decade from now.

Imagine, a federal government unable to pay its bills to defend our country, to provide those basic tasks our citizens expect the federal government to undertake, never mind the tasks we'd prefer bureaucrats not get involved in. This is not the America any of us want to pass to the next generation.

It's up to us, good, commonsense conservatives, to clean up this mess. It's up to us to fight for the policies that shrink the size of government and expand opportunity for our citizens, to lift the burden of taxes from the backs of our fellow citizens and get America back on track.

And if we succeed, my guess is that that Pew study and the 80 percent of us that don't trust the federal government will have shifted a bit. Because there will be far less government for us to worry about… and far more freedom to enjoy. 

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About the Author

Jim Tracy, a Tennessee state senator, is a candidate for Congress in Tennessee's 6th district. He is a small business owner, former teacher and coach, and former TSSAA & NCAA basketball referee. Jim and his wife Trena live in Shelbyville, Tennessee.