Please review your general ideas about the economy and contrast these
with those of your opponent(s).
America has had so much freedom and so much opportunity, that
ordinary people, like you and me, can achieve extraordinary things.
We can achieve the American Dream.
Freedom and small government have made America the world's
leader. The 20th Century has been an American century. But civilizations
come and go. The 21st Century is not ours as a matter of right. We're
going to have to earn it. That means adopting policies that foster
The four issues central to building a stronger economic climate
for America are: balancing the budget; cutting taxes; maintaining free
trade; and replacing welfare with workfare.
Balance the Budget:
We are not asking the government to do anything that every family
and every business hasn't done -- often more than once. That is to make
sure that we pay our bills. There has to be something left for our
children and grandchildren. We cannot continue to use their
credit cards to finance our consumption.
We simply must balance the federal budget, and there's only one way
to do it: by controlling the growth of spending in all budget areas, and
by doing it forthrightly, rather than scheduling spending cuts to fall
at the end of some unrealistic, seven-year budget cycle.
And we need a Balanced Budget Amendment, which in my experience
can be the only real discipline that Congress will follow. The Balanced
Budget Amendment failed by one vote last year - Senator Wellstone's
vote. I voted for the Balanced Budget Amendment when I was in the
Senate, and when I return, I'll vote for it again.
We need a tax system for the 21st century, not one for the Dark
Ages. By this I mean one that encourages growth and savings.
I would cut the capital gains tax, and scrap the present income
tax system in favor of a simpler, fairer and flatter tax. The simple,
uncomplicated, truth, is that if people keep more of what they produce,
they'll produce more. So low tax rates are really essential.
I will vote to reduce taxes. And I will support major efforts to
revamp the entire tax code, to overhaul it, and eventually to repeal it
entirely. It is a labyrinth of arcane rules that makes liars out of
the American people, costs our economy hundreds of billions annually, and
adds no value to the economy.
Maintain Free Trade
In the shrinking world of the 21st Century, we know that
international trade will prove the lifeblood of our economy.
I've always supported open world markets, and I will continue to
do so. Free trade is one of the few win-win situations around. Those
who advocate protectionism and those who wish to restrain open
markets are simply wrong; history has proven them wrong over and over
again. Protectionism drives a dagger into the heart of the free
enterprise system, and I will have no part of that.
Replace welfare with workfare
America must remain the land of opportunity for all of its people,
not just for some of us. There is no ladder of opportunity out of the
so-called "safety-net." It's not a net, it's a dependency trap. The
welfare system penalizes work, discourages marriage and family formation,
disallows property ownership, and forbids savings. In short, it makes
achieving the American Dream virtually impossible.
Senator Wellstone measures compassion by the number of people we
put on welfare; I measure compassion by the number of people we get off
welfare and back into the productive mainstream of our society.
The welfare bill that President Clinton signed was a great first
step toward breaking the cycle of poverty and dependency. Everyone
except Paul Wellstone recognizes that the current system has failed.
He wants to go back to the old failed liberal welfare system of the
1960s. I will help move us forward into the 21st Century.
In summary, I will continue to campaign on balancing the
budget, cutting taxes, maintaining free trade, and replacing welfare
with workfare. These four principles are the building blocks for a
strong America now and into the 21st Century. The greatness of America
is founded on a society in which ordinary people, when freed from
government intrusion and given enough opportunities, can truly achieve
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