Republican Kansas 3rd Congressional District candidates on the issues: The growing federal deficit

Photo credit ctj71081. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Last month, we asked our readers what issues they wanted to hear the candidates running for office address ahead of this summer’s primary elections. Based on the input we received, we developed a five-item questionnaire for Republican candidates running for the Kansas 3rd Congressional District seat.

We’re publishing the candidates’ responses to one item per day each day this week. Today we’ve got the candidates’ responses to item two:

With the tax cuts passed in 2017 and the passage of the relief bill earlier this year, the federal deficit has grown by trillions of dollars. Are you concerned about rising national debt? If so, what steps would you support to reduce it? If you recommend cuts to federal spending, please specify which areas you would cut.

Mike Beehler

Our national debt is out of control. We had a pre-COVID GDP of $22 trillion and a national debt of the same. Now, post-COVID, we have added at least $6.2 trillion in the CARES Act that included a $4 trillion bailout for Wall Street. Nancy Pelosi has written and passed in the House yet another $3 trillion in proposed “pork-laden” expenditures. We are printing money. Printing money is hugely inflationary and will destroy the economy for our children and grandchildren…maybe even us.

I will only support a balanced budget. I will vote NO on more continuing resolutions that extend government operations under the threat of government shut down. I will NOT raise taxes, period. Higher tax revenues come from growth, not from higher taxes. The federal government had record tax collections in 2020 in spite of President Trump’s tax cuts. Higher taxes cost jobs and growth. Lower taxes stimulate jobs and growth — exactly what we need more of now. The problem is too much spending. The COVID relief alone represents nearly two years of tax income. Therefore, specific cuts I would consider would be:

  • End Federal Funding of National Public Radio. It no longer serves the public as originally intended
  • End Federal Funding of Public Television. It no longer serves the public as originally intended
  • End National Endowment for the Arts. Let people fund what inspires them
  • End Ad Council. Horribly ineffective and easily privately funded
  • Combine several of the national energy national labs into one
  • Combine the CDC, NIH and FDA into one smaller agency
  • Convert foreign aid into foreign trade
  • Dramatically reduce long-term military occupation of Middle Eastern countries
  • End all energy production subsidies and tax incentives to level the playing field to encourage the best national energy resources.
  • Cut Department of Education by one third and block grant the savings to state and local school jurisdictions to spend on improving education.
  • Remove barriers to health care competition to lower costs of health care subsidies, Medicare, and Medicaid. Health care costs the federal government over a trillion dollars every year. The healthcare crisis is not one of access, it’s one of cost. If our automotive insurance covered gasoline, gas would cost $20 a gallon and no one would care. They would just ask for more money to pay for it.
  • Return constitutional power and jurisdiction to states for governmental functions appropriated over time by an overreaching federal government and remove the expense at the federal level

Adrienne Vallejo Foster

With our national debt at $26 trillion it is shocking that Rep. Sharice Davids would vote to add more than $5 trillion to our national debt in the last three months. The problem in Washington is they love to spend our money. It seems the only thing that is bi-partisan in Congress is the ability to spend our tax dollars. We need a balanced budget amendment to force the politicians to live within their means. In the meantime, I’ll fight to cut spending responsibly.

 

Sara Hart Weir

The rapid growth of our national debt is a significant economic and national security problem. For far too long, Congress has continued to spend more and more money with little regard for the consequences this will leave for the next generation. At the same time, Congress has failed to make the necessary investments the American people are calling for such as better our public schools, roads, and mental health care systems. There is no question that the next Congress will be forced to make difficult budget decisions. No one sector will be able to have a bottomless bank account; however, it is possible for the federal government to increase revenue without increasing taxes on hard working Americans.

To do this, we must bring back jobs that have left us for foreign borders. Each year, Congress spends billions on federal manufacturing contracts where the supplier’s goods are made in hostile countries like China. If we required those goods to be made in the USA, not only would we see an increase in quality, we would be investing in the betterment of our own community, providing more high paying jobs for American workers, and ensuring the safety of our supply chains that are critical for our national security. It’s imperative for our leaders to make tough decisions. By putting forward fiscal conservatives who understand the importance of American jobs, we can set ourselves up to improve our economic standing and lower our national debt.

Amanda Adkins

I am deeply concerned about the rising national debt. In the first five months of the federal government’s current fiscal year it was reported that the US had already run a budget deficit of $625 billion. The original deficit projection for the year was at $1 trillion. Add to that the $2.5 trillion cumulative impact on the deficit of federal Coronavirus relief measures, and it is clear the nation’s spending is out of control.

While there is a role for the government to play in ensuring our communities and businesses stay afloat despite the pandemic, I also believe it is the responsibility of elected officials to ensure we are not saddling future generations with enormous debt. Congress runs the risk of ruining the wellbeing of future generations by burdening them with debt, ultimately resulting in lower incomes than their parents and less economic opportunity in their lives, including cuts to benefits, higher taxes or both.

I believe the Republican party needs to return to its roots of fiscal conservative policies and lower taxes. When elected, I will work to make permanent the 2017 tax cuts to stimulate the economy and ensure workers and employers keep more of the money they earn. I would also implement a Payroll Tax Holiday, temporarily suspending the FICA tax on workers and employers.

Many families I have spoken with across Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District are frightened by the projection from the Congressional Budget Office that by 2041 entitlement spending — largely driven by rising, unmanaged healthcare costs and our national debt — will consume all federal revenues. The current end of year projected national debt is $27.2 trillion. This is unacceptable for a nation that has always been the land of opportunity. We owe it to future generations to reign in entitlement spending, beginning with issues related to the financing and management of the US healthcare system.

Congress lacks enough leaders with business and healthcare experience, which is part of the reason most attempts at healthcare reform have failed. Elected officials need to better understand the role of healthcare on our federal budget and make decisions accordingly. As the only candidate in this race with healthcare and business experience, I am committed to changing the narrative on healthcare reform and its impact on the national debt.

Tom Love

Did not respond.

Tomorrow we’ll publish the candidates’ responses to item three:

Are you satisfied with the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic? Why or why not?