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‘It’s my job to ensure that our members get a good bill’
A: I think voters give us credit when we have the courage to do what’s right. They may not like it. But at the end of the day, they give us credit for standing up and dealing with something.
When you start talking about a problem this big I’ve seen the numbers, but people in America don’t see the numbers considerable time is gonna have to be spent laying out the problem. Politicians always start by talking about solution to a problem that most people don’t know is a problem. That’s what got the president in trouble on Social Security. More time should have been spent laying out the problem.
But running a big campaign to make the kind of changes that are necessary to these entitlement programs has to also be looked at over a longer time frame.
This pension bill I’ve worked on for six years. You’ve got to look at solving the problem over a longer time frame.
Q: The pension bill is aimed at fixing a much smaller problem and y’all can’t get that done.
A: We’re going to get it done. It’s very complicated. It’s very difficult. But it’s going to have major impact on American workers for a long period of time. It’s good stuff.
Q: Back to spending in general, the size of the federal government continues to grow.
A: You take out homeland security and you take out defense and the entitlement programs and you’re looking at a flat budget.
We’re going to have an earmark-reform proposal on the floor when we get back after Labor Day. It will be for appropriations bills, authorization bills and tax codes. It’s going to require disclosure of votes in the report and a name attached to them.
Q: What are three things the federal government currently does that you’d like to cut?
A: As a 16-year member of the agriculture committee and one of the authors of Freedom to Farm, what I was trying to do was to get the federal government out of the farm business. There is a role for the government to play but what we’ve done for 70 years has not really helped farmers. I’m a big believer in that. Changing the farm program dramatically would be in the best interest of farmers and taxpayers.
The way we attempt to manipulate the market in terms of setting target prices and loan rates and paying farmers deficiency rates works against the interest of farmers and taxpayers.
What’s the technology program down at the Commerce Department? Clinton put it in? It’s not for us to be picking winners and losers. The market can take care of that much better than we can.
There’s one I’d like to talk about but I don’t think I can: The Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It’s time to wean them away from us. I’m watching TV the other day, PBS station, and I see this ad. It used to be kind of a mention, then it got to be a longer ad well now it’s the whole ad. They have a market for their programming. They have people who are willing to give them money for their programming. They do not need us anymore.
By David A. Clarke Jr.
Blame Washington's intelligence failure, not lack of police
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