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Curb U.S. government, Senate candidate tells USU audience

September 12th, 2010 Posted in Opinion

By Alex Thatcher
Photos by Mark Vuong

LOGAN—Conservative Republican Mike Lee told some 60 potential voters Wednesday that the federal government is out of control and needs to be reined in.

“I decided to run for the U.S. Senate because the government is too big and powerful and spending too much money,” said Salt Lake attorney Lee, son of a former Reagan Administration official. “The founding fathers wrote in the constitution that the government is there for national defense, and immigration control but outside of this their power should be very small.”

Pointing at the record U.S. government debt, now approaching $15 trillion, Lee said Democrats are no more to blame than Republicans.

“Republicans might be more to blame,” said Lee. “Deficit spending didn’t stop even when Republicans had both houses of Congress. If we don’t do something to stop the spending we will head down the same path as Greece.”

Greece’s economy plunged during the recent global recession, and Lee said the Greek national debt reached 100 percent of its annual gross national product, requiring massive bailouts from the International Monetary Fund and other European countries. The current U.S. debt amounts to 90 percent of its GDP, Lee said.

“I have a plan,” he said. “I will work to pass a balanced budget amendment, which will limit the amount of money Congress spends to no more than two-thirds of GDP.”

Lee stated that the U.S. national debt will fall on the shoulders of future generations. “This isn’t a conservative or liberal issue,” he said. “It’s an American issue that if we continue down this road our children will have enormous debts to pay off.”

Along with the balanced budget amendment, Lee also supports term-limit laws.

“The runaway growth of the federal government will continue as long as we retain a system that assures the existence of lifetime politicians,” he said. “A career member of Congress inevitably will come to believe that that body has the answer to all social problems.”

Jeena C. Nilson came from Providence to hear Lee speak. She said she thinks Lee means what he says, but doesn’t agree with everything he says.

“He’s personable, approachable and sincere,” she said, “but his term-limit idea is a problem. People go to sleep when they know their time is about up, and why would you rule someone out who’s doing a great job.”

Ben Nilson of Logan, who supports Lee’s opponent for Senate, Scott Bradley, worries that Lee might not do what he promises. “I agree with what he says about returning to the constitution, but I’m concerned it might just be rhetoric,” he said.

But others in the small audience liked what they heard.

“I like that he said the national debt and economic crisis isn’t just the Democrats’ fault,” said Blake Bullock of Logan. “I also liked his amendment to reduce government spending.”

Lee concluded by encouraging everyone to take responsibility and vote for their candidate of choice. “This is a pivotal moment in history,” he said.


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