Pat Toomey on Budget & Economy
Republican Jr Senator; previously Representative (PA-15)
We need a balanced budget amendment. We need statutory spending caps written into law. We need to obey the Constitution again and get back to the spirit of our Founders: that of a free people who remain free due to a government that largely stays out of the way. Our government was supposed to be one that is severely limited--not one that diminishes citizens' prospects and darkens our children's future through unlimited spending and growth.
Toomey said that growing government was not the key to economic recovery, and that both federal and state government should be pushing policies that will encourage job growth in the private sector. He advocated making the 2003 tax cuts permanent and reining in spending. "This isn't rocket science," said Toomey. "If we clear away the threats coming out of Washington--the excessive regulation, the government takeover--then I am convinced that the 21st century will be another great American century. We've got a great opportunity to take back our country and get it on the right track."
Sestak said he had to clean up the mess left behind by irresponsible spending and tax-cutting under President George W. Bush. "We'd been torpedoed and had to caulk the holes," he said.
The two actually agreed that the tone of their race had grown negative, but neither accepted blame for it. Both defended their ads as issues-based and accurate.
Toomey said he admired Sestak's creative mind, but said his opponent did not understand the financial system. The real threat to the economy, he said, is in the billions of dollars spent on bailouts for banks and the auto industry, along with the economic stimulus and now a health-care regime that he said were all pushing the deficit to stratospheric levels. "Some people believe if you are productive and successful you should get soaked and get soaked hard. I just don't believe in that," Toomey said. He said productive companies and entrepreneurs create jobs. "We need to prevent this radical Democratic agenda, get spending under control, and cut taxes where we can, and we'll see the economy come roaring back," he said.
The two candidates found some common ground on questions geared toward the economy. Both said federal spending needs to be reduced.
"When I was (in Congress) I was fighting against the spending that was going on," said Toomey.
Sestak said he would like to see the government extend help to the group he says drives the economy--"The working family, not Wall Street"--by getting tax cuts to that group.
Sestak said he does not support the flat tax as he said Toomey does, and the government should look to guarantee community bank loans to entice borrowers.
Toomey said he believes in strengthening the economy through lower taxes, less spending and increasing domestic energy production.
OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: Amends the Internal Revenue Code to permit an individual to designate three dollars on his or her income tax return (six dollars on a joint return) to be used to reduce the public debt of the United States.
SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT: Pres. Eisenhower apparently once said that he believed that there could be no surplus as long as our Nation was in debt. I come from that school of thought, and yet that is not exactly where we are right now in Washington.
Where we are right now is debating whether or not 90 percent or 50 percent, or some number in between, of these projected future surpluses should be allocated to the debt. What struck me is the fact that really more than just the Congress should be involved in that debate. It is for that reason that I introduce today the Taxpayers' Choice Debt Reduction Act.
What this bill would do would be to simply take the 1040, the tax return as we now know it. And right now, we can send $3 to the presidential campaign. This would create another box wherein we could send 3 bucks to debt reduction. That is not enough money to change our national debt, but it is enough money to make a small step in an important debate that we all ought to be a part of.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means; never called for a House vote.
[The Cut-Cap-and-Balance Pledge is sponsored by a coalition of several hundred Tea Party, limited-government, and conservative organizations].
Despite our nation's staggering $14.4 trillion debt, there are many Members of the U.S. House and Senate who want to raise our nation's debt limit without making permanent reforms in our fiscal policies. We believe that this is a fiscally irresponsible position that would place America on the Road to Ruin. At the same time, we believe that the current debate over raising the debt limit provides a historic opportunity to focus public attention, and then public policy, on a path to a balanced budget and paying down our debt.
We believe that the "Cut, Cap, Balance" plan for substantial spending cuts in FY 2012, a statutory spending cap, and Congressional passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution is the minimum necessary precondition to raising the debt limit. The ultimate goal is to get us back to a point where increases in the debt limit are no longer necessary. If you agree, take the Cut, Cap, Balance Pledge!
I pledge to urge my Senators and Member of the House of Representatives to oppose any debt limit increase unless all three of the following conditions have been met:
- Cut: Substantial cuts in spending that will reduce the deficit next year and thereafter.
- Cap: Enforceable spending caps that will put federal spending on a path to a balanced budget.
- Balance: Congressional passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution -- but only if it includes both a spending limitation and a super-majority for raising taxes, in addition to balancing revenues and expenses.
The Federal Reserve Transparency Act directs:
The Christian Coalition Voter Guide inferred whether candidates agree or disagree with the statement, 'Passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution' The Christian Coalition notes, "You can help make sure that voters have the facts BEFORE they cast their votes. We have surveyed candidates in the most competitive congressional races on the issues that are important to conservatives."
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AK: Sullivan(R,incumbent) vs.Gross(I)
AL: Jones(D,incumbent) vs.Sessions(R) vs.Moore(R) vs.Mooney(R) vs.
AR: Cotton(R,incumbent) vs.
AZ: McSally(R,incumbent) vs.Kelly(D)
CO: Gardner(R,incumbent) vs.Hickenlooper(D) vs.
DE: Coons(D,incumbent) vs.Scarane(D)
GA-2: Isakson(R,resigned) Loeffler(R,appointed) vs.Lieberman(D) vs.Collins(R) vs.Carter(D)
GA-6: Perdue(R,incumbent) vs.Tomlinson(D) vs.Ossoff(D) vs.Terry(D)
IA: Ernst(R,incumbent) vs.Graham(D) vs.Mauro(D) vs.Greenfield(D)
ID: Risch(R,incumbent) vs.Harris(D) vs.Jordan(D)
IL: Durbin(D,incumbent) vs.Curran(R) vs.
KS: Roberts(R,retiring) vs.
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