Principles are the most important thing to me. One of the things my dad taught me is that there are people who accept the world they live in and there are people who change the world they live in.
I am in this race because I want to change what is happening to our country. The mishandling of taxpayers’ money by those we elected to represent us in Washington is criminal. With our country raking up debt by the hour, $13.5 trillion as of this writing, we can’t afford more of the same runaway spending.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, “the nation’s debt was $6.3 trillion when Barack Obama became president — $56,000 per household — and is headed toward $20.3 trillion (more than $170,000 per household) in 2020.” (Washington Times, Feb. 25, 2010)
Colorado residents have suffered wage cuts and job losses that we haven’t seen since the Great Depression. The Denver Post is reporting that a record number of Coloradans are returning to school because they are out of work and need to obtain more skills to compete in the work force. “Median income, median property values and work hours all declined nationwide.” (The Denver Post, Sept. 29, 2010)
As our educational establishments are seeing a spike in enrollment, Coloradans are seeing a decline in job opportunities. The job market will not sustain government takeovers. Our government shouldn’t be involved in owning banks and giant automotive companies or setting executive salaries. We need to let Americans do what they do best — create jobs and innovate.
My grandparents came to America from Norway when they were teenagers with not a dime to their name. They wanted to make a better life for themselves. Can we tell our children that we have done everything we could possibly do, or have we squandered our opportunity?
It is small-business owners and entrepreneurs who create jobs and wealth, not big government takeovers that only saddle our children and grandchildren with debt. Unlike Colorado’s currently appointed senator, I will not rubber-stamp every bill that comes out of Washington.
We need a constitutional amendment process that requires a balanced budget with a two-thirds majority needed for any tax hike. Taxpayers deserve no less. A constitutional requirement for a balanced federal budget was a hot issue in the 2008 presidential campaigns. We need to implement fiscal restraints in order to maintain a more balanced budget in the future. Imposing a statutory cap limiting the annual growth in total federal spending to the sum of the inflation rate plus the percentage of population growth is a good way to rein in the nation’s debt.
This is an exceptional country — the land of opportunity.
Hardworking folks such as my grandparents are what built this country, not government bureaucrats who just want to keep spending our money without anything to show for it. I will be a voice for all of Coloradans and fight for the values we hold dear here in the West.
Ken Buck is a Republican running for one of Colorado’s U.S. Senate seats.