- Education is key to our children's success and our economic success as a
nation. We need to act to make sure that every child has access to a quality
education that gives them a good start in life. I firmly believe that we must do
more to better educate all of our children. I also believe that there is
much room for improvement in math and science education. The medical, telecom,
computer and other technology that sustains the great American economy draws
much of its success from math and science research. We need more and better
students to maintain that edge. We need the kind of education that will equip
today's students to meet the challenges of the new technological era.
- Americans recognize there is a fundamental problem
with Social Security that needs to be corrected if it's going to serve America's
seniors and future generations. By acting now, we can reduce the costs of
restoring Social Security for our children and grandchildren. By increasing the
return earned on our Social Security surpluses, we can make the transition to a
better system cheaper and easier.
|Budget and Taxes
- For years the big spenders have manipulated
congressional procedure to bust the spending limits set in the budget
resolution. We need to get serious about controlling spending and deciding how much debt we want to leave for our
children and grandchildren. I proposed debt ceiling legislation that would do a better job of assessing
the government's true liabilities. Another important
consideration is where do we go on taxes. As the old saying goes, there's
nothing certain but death and taxes. We can't do anything about death, but we
can and should make taxes as fair and easy as possible.
- The creation of the Department of Homeland Security
was intended to reverse decades of neglect of our homeland security and finally
bring together, under one chain of command and with one common purpose, close to
100 government agencies responsible in some way for homeland security. It
is evident that fighting terrorism requires different tactics than fighting
crime. Creating a new Department of Homeland Security, however, was no
silver bullet. Success cannot be achieved with a new organizational chart; it
depends on the cultivation of a spirit of cooperation and vigilance.
|Science and Technology
- Perhaps the single most important factor
contributing to economic gains has been advances in science and technology.
Growth in industries such as computer networking and information technology,
genomics, telecommunications, and medicine have improved our lives in countless
ways - providing increased wealth, adding years to our lives, and creating an
overall standard of living unimaginable just a few generations ago. While
I am a proud fiscal conservative and advocate for limited government, I strongly
believe that, with proper oversight and guidance, tax-funded basic research is a
very worthwhile investment of federal dollars.
The logic of supplemental payments for disasters and low prices has arguments on both
sides. Government guarantees minimum prices for many commodities and pays about 75
percent of the cost of crop insurance for producers. We've been trying to move in a
direction to better control large fluctuations in government expenditures in low price and
weather disaster years. We have tried develop policy to encourage producers to take steps to
manage their own risks.
Unfortunately, the supplemental disaster payments tend to undercut the effort to get
producers to buy crop insurance. The Senate proposal now pending would pay almost
identical amounts to farmers who took out crop insurance and those who didn't. If the
government is willing to have a disaster bailout for those who don't buy the insurance, it
certainly doesn't encourage future purchases of that insurance.
- I remain very concerned about the U.S. economy.
While no one can predict with certainty what is going to happen to the economy,
it is useful to look at where we are, how we got there, and where we're likely
to be headed. A strong economy is a critical part of national security. A strong
economy exists when people have good education, good research, and appropriate
incentives to produce goods and services, hiring people in the process.
High taxes, excessive or uncertain government regulation, and swings in monetary
policy lead to a weaker economy and rising unemployment.
For more information on my thoughts and opinions, please see my