U.S. National Debt:
Debt Per Citizen:
The national debt is higher now than ever before and wasteful government spending is to blame. Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other welfare programs are the main drivers of our debt as these entitlement programs make up almost 70% of federal spending. Unless we get our government spending under control, we will unfairly burden the next generation with massive amounts of debt. We need to reform these programs to solve the problem.
Limiting the size of the government will ultimately help control the size of the national debt. To prevent government overreach, we must clearly define the role of government. When we rein in the Federal Government, we protect the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution.
As Vice Chairman of the House Budget Committee, I helped lead the passage of the first bicameral balanced budget resolution since 2001. This budget balances in ten years and saves more than $5 trillion in spending without raising taxes. It offers reform solutions for Medicare and Medicaid, like the four budgets before it that I have helped author. It also repeals Obamacare and creates an environment that could add up to 1.2 million jobs over the next ten years. I remain committed to holding the Federal Government accountable and to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of government.
Our children deserve the absolute best education this country can provide. With a strong educational system, we can prepare our children for the future while building a stronger America. As Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education, I believe Washington has no business in our children’s classrooms and I have worked diligently and successfully to give the power of educating our children back to those who know best, our parents and teachers. In December 2015, and over the four years prior, I led the effort to reform the federal government’s involvement in our educational system. It started in my Subcommittee and went all the way to the President’s desk. The law is the largest transfer of authority from the federal government to the states in over twenty five years. Specifically, it allows states and local educators to set the success criteria for schools, teachers, and students. But criteria are required indeed, because accountability is a good thing.
When parents have a choice over their children’s educations, kids have an increased chance of success. Our children should be able to attend a school that best fits their educational needs. Right now in most cases, kids go to a school simply based on geography, i.e. a school district political boundary. I envision a system, utilized by both public and private schools where the schools compete for the attendance of students—and the taxpayer funding that follows the student. Increasing opportunities for school choice will help create more personalized educational environments allowing more students to thrive and succeed.
I have visited many schools all over the State of Indiana and have seen first-hand how the implementation of federal requirements have affected our schools. For example, we are using more technology in our schools and should be aware of how this affects student privacy. We need to make sure their personal information is being kept safe and secure. I have worked on legislation that provides the reforms necessary to protect students’ privacy and holds schools, states, and independent entities accountable when they use a student’s personal information.
I am also working on legislation to improve our school lunch programs. Neither the First Lady nor anyone else in the federal government should be dictating what our kids eat. In all the schools I have so far visited, I have not seen school cafeteria personnel or administrators neglect students’ nutritional needs. The federal government should have as little involvement as possible.
Indiana is home to fourteen highway systems, the largest air cargo transportation system in the United States, and one of the top rail yards in the Midwest. Clearly, transportation is an important issue for Indiana. Fighting for long term solutions to road and infrastructure funding is how we will ensure our roads are safe and transporting goods is economical. As a member of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I recently helped write the first multi-year highway bill this country has seen in well-over 10 years. This fully paid-for bill will offer Indiana elected officials and road planners certainty so that projects can be started and funded more economically and with more confidence. This will help Indiana to continue as The Crossroads of America.
The Constitution of the United States of America and its original ten amendments is one of the most unique and exceptional documents ever known to man. The cornerstone of this document is the 2nd Amendment. The Founding Fathers understood that Americans should be able to defend themselves, their families, and their homes from others and ultimately from their government. The 2nd Amendment gives Americans the right to bear arms, and this is a right we should fight to protect. When governments take away their citizens’ right to bear arms, it takes away their ability to protect against those who would harm them. We have a God-given right to our lives.
Gun control does not make Americans safer, it makes them defenseless. Increased regulations will not stop criminals, but it will hinder law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves. I will fight to protect the Second Amendment and continue working to stop unnecessary federal overreach.
More and more law breakers are crossing the border and affecting the lives of Americans and legal immigrants. There are also cases in which people who come here on work visas are staying here longer than their visas allow. We need to strengthen our border security to ensure immigrants are going through the proper channels when they come to live in this country. We also need to reform the visa program to help productive guests live and work here lawfully. Today, technology exists so that we can effectively and economically enforce our immigration laws and protect out border.
America needs to have a strong national defense that supports the needs of the American people first and foremost. Indeed, one of the few enumerated powers our Constitution gives the federal government is the duty of providing for our defense. Our soldiers need to be well-prepared to face all enemies, foreign and domestic. However, we should be as selective as possible before engaging on foreign ground knowing that when we do we will not be leaving for a very long time if history is any guide. At the same time, we need to make sure that American tax dollars are not being wasted, abused, or used fraudulently. Like other government agencies, the Department of Defense is not immune to these problems. In fact, it is among the worst. So, in providing for the common defense, part of Congress’s job should be better oversight and auditing procedures to ensure funds are used efficiently to aid our men and women in uniform, not the bureaucracy.
The growth of our economy is necessary in order for the United States and its citizens to prosper. In order for our economy to grow, we need to have an environment where Hoosier businesses can create jobs for Hoosier workers. With the highest corporate income tax rate in the world, America is at a disadvantage. That is why I have sponsored legislation to lower the corporate income tax rate and level the playing field to make America more competitive in the global marketplace.
I have also sponsored legislation to reduce rates and simplify our tax code. Reform is necessary to ensure American workers can keep more of their hard earned money in their pockets. Instead of penalizing businesses and individuals with higher taxes, we should promote policies that encourage investment and growth in our economy. The tax code should not be a vehicle for federal bureaucrats to pick the winners and losers. By simplifying the process, we can eliminate unfair loopholes and make it possible for the average American to file his or her own taxes.
The regulatory burden Americans and American businesses face is daunting and unneeded. It is the result of an out-of-control bureaucracy that has gotten too big to control in a lot of respects. I have fought to pass legislation that will shrink the oversized federal government, generate economic growth, and create more jobs in Indiana. I have also initiated a program with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce that gives Hoosier businesses another tool in their toolbox to combat government overregulation. This program, called Red Tape Rollback, identifies and combats unnecessary federal regulations that kill jobs and prevent economic growth.
I have co-sponsored and consistently voted for legislation that offers a comprehensive, energy-abundant policy that encourages innovative energy production. In today's world, both energy independence and energy abundance are critically important to increasing the standard of living for all Americans. I believe in an all-of-the-above policy that utilizes all available resources and technologies, so long as such resources and technologies are supported by the free market.
I strongly oppose Obamacare and believe it is a gross overreach by the Federal Government. This law is one of the biggest lies ever told to the American people, and therefore, one of our nation’s most insidious laws. It took the control of our healthcare system away from states and individuals and put more of it into the hands of the Federal Government. Obamacare costs over $2 trillion, increases taxes, and increases the cost of private insurance, leaving many Americans still uninsured. Obamacare needs to be repealed and replaced with a market-based solution that allows for competition and innovation within the healthcare system. I have co-sponsored and passed through the House multiple pieces of legislation that would repeal Obamacare, increase access to affordable healthcare, improve access to medical insurance, and encourage a more competitive healthcare market.
Obamacare has also dramatically expanded Medicaid and has created problems for low-income Hoosier families. Without reform, it will continue to bankrupt states and force doctors out of Medicaid services completely. This is why I wrote legislation that reforms Medicaid and restores control and flexibility to the states.
I also helped write a bill that completely replaces Obamacare with free-market, consumer-driven reforms. It has been endorsed by the Indiana State Medical Association.
Every life is a precious gift from God that begins from the moment of conception. I believe this fact without exception. It is never okay to intentionally kill innocent human life.
Our veterans fought to preserve the Republic, and I am committed to ensuring they receive the value of the promises that were made to them. We do that by reforming the VA bureaucracy and Veterans programs. The VA needs to be held accountable in order to provide better service for our veterans. I am hesitant to make any additional promises to our veterans. See my comments under “Spending Reform and Debt” as well as “Defense and National Security” for more information on this point.