Aiken County Tea Party Comments

Thank you for the opportunity to speak at this occasion. I regret that I am not able to be present in person as I am with my family on a longstanding out of town trip. Nevertheless, I wanted to express to you my thoughts as to the topics that have caused the gathering to take place this afternoon.

Nearly everywhere that I go, the main topic of discussion is the federal government’s deficit spending. Recently, I read that next year’s federal government deficit will be $1.3 Trillion dollars and that the smallest annual deficit that we can expect for the next ten years at the federal level will be $700 Billion. By 2013, interest alone will make up more than 11% of annual federal spending dollars. The result which is coming on the federal level: Higher taxes on you and me or less spending on critical needs for the nation including infrastructure, education, health care, energy, environment, homeland security, and our national defense. With numbers like these, there should be no surprise that we are fed up with business as usual in the halls of our government.

What can we do to get hold of this mess at the federal level before it is too late? First, demand a balanced budget amendment so that Congress cannot spend more than the federal government takes in. Deficit spending will be the downfall of our nation as interest rates continue to rise and inflation eats away at the value of our paychecks. Second, demand tax reform at the federal level. For too long, our tax system has discouraged working hard and being thrifty. We need a federal tax system that rewards earning and saving and discourages borrowing.

At the state level, I am working hard to cut spending and shrink the size of government. During this year, I have sponsored or cosponsored several bills aimed at making our state government smaller and more efficient. These bills include legislation to have constitutional officers appointed by the governor; legislation to consolidate state agencies and school districts; and legislation to put more state agencies under the control of the state’s chief executive instead of the legislature. Additionally, I have sponsored or cosponsored bills aimed at reducing our taxes and stretching our tax dollars including the Long Term Care Tax Incentives Act; the South Carolina Fiscal Accountability Act implementing zero based budgeting principles for state agencies; and the Tax Realignment Commission for comprehensive tax reform on the state level. Furthermore, because I believe so strongly in the need for a balanced budget amendment at the national level, I am cosponsoring a resolution in the House of Representatives calling upon Congress to pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

One last thing – the money that is being spent at the federal, state, and local level is our money: Yours and mine. If we are writing the check, then we deserve to see where it is being spent. For these reasons, I am working hard with other like minded members of the House of Representatives to demand that there be transparency at the state level for how our tax dollars are being spent.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak today. Thank you for the privilege of representing House District 81 in the South Carolina House of Representatives. Thank you for your interest in these important issues. Working together, we have to demand these changes before it is too late. Our children’s future depends on it.

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