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Steve King says time to stop spending

Monday, February 8, 2010

U.S. Rep. Steve King thinks the biggest problem in government right now is overspending.

He also doesn't believe President Barack Obama's $787 billion stimulus plan is working as it was set out to do.

Neither does he favor a government-run national health care program.

King, who serves Iowa's 5th District, shared his thoughts with the Daily Sentinel Saturday during a visit to Le Mars.

King said he also plans to seek another term in 2010, his fifth.

"I love the challenge," King said. "This last year has been 'charge the windmill' every day. Now it's more rewarding. Not that I ever got discouraged, but now we're on the offense and that's a new feeling."

Government spending

Congress recently passed legislation allowing the U.S. government to go $1.9 trillion deeper into debt, boosting the overall debt limit to $14.3 trillion, according to the Associated Press.

That decision does include a "pay as you go" mechanism meaning any increases in spending must be offset with cuts elsewhere in federal outlays, according to the Associated Press.

King said he voted no on the measure because it would increase the national debt to $28 trillion in 10 years.

That means a national-born American baby's share of that debt would be $88,000, King said.

"And there seems to be on the part of the speaker and the president no consideration whatsoever about spending too much money," King said. "During the Obama presidency so far they've increased discretionary spending 67 percent."

Discretionary spending refers to spending set by annual appropriation levels made by Congress' decisions. This spending is optional, unlike entitlement programs for which funding is mandatory, according to the C-Span Congressional Glossary website.

"We are seeing huge increases in discretionary spending," King said. "With the mandatory spending, there's no way to get to a balanced budget. There's not a solution to deal with huge deficits, with trade deficits."

King said he totally rejects what he thinks President Obama believes is the answer to the nation's current economic crisis.

"Obama simply believes that you can borrow money in an unlimited fashion and spend it paying off your political supporters and somehow you put that in the economy and everything will be all right," King said. "It's completely wrong. It runs up a lot of debt."

That action requires borrowing from China and Saudi Arabia, which will in turn downgrade America's Triple A rating, and in the future those countries aren't going to want to loan any more money, King said.

"We cannot borrow prosperity," he said. "It doesn't work for a family. It doesn't work for a country."

Stimulus plan

"Nobody I know thinks the $787 billion stimulus plan worked," King said.

It started under former President George W. Bush in the fall of 2008 with the request of $700 billion, King said.

"I voted against it," he said. "They ended up with $350 billion for that fall and then the other $350 billion was approved by the Obama presidency."

Then the plan continued with the nationalization of the three large investment banks, AIG, Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac and the car dealerships General Motors and Chrysler, King said.

King said people may not have understood nationalizing the three banks, but when it came to closing some 3,400 car dealerships in America they started questioning the government's decisions.

"If you want to sell a product, don't you want more dealers instead of less especially if they don't cost you anything," King said. "We fix an economy by increasing our productivity and our competitiveness, not by borrowing money and creating government jobs or propping up a sector of the economy that can't sustain itself."

When the stimulus plan first came out it was going to save or create 3.5 million jobs, but so far has saved or created 2 million jobs, according to whitehouse.gov.

"Save or create when I heard that phrase, there is a legal term one can hide behind," King said. "If everybody else lost their jobs but 3.5 million you could always point to them and say those are the jobs we saved."

King said of the 2 million he would like to know which ones were "saved" and which ones were "created."

Instead of saving government jobs with borrowed tax dollars, which doesn't benefit taxpayers, King said, there needs to be growth in the private sector.

"To do that you have to get the taxes and the regulations out of the way and let people make some money. If they are making money, they'll try to make more and then they'll hire somebody to help them," King said. "That's what grows the economy."

Health care reform

"I have been and will remain opposed to a national health care act that has at least the framework -- if not all the features -- of socialized medicine," King said. "This is the federal government taking over the management of our bodies, our health care, the most private thing we have."

King used the argument from the 1973 court case that legalized abortions in the U.S. to emphasize the government's decision, which concluded that no one can tell a woman what to do with her body. That it's her private business, King said.

"Those same people now that have made that argument for 37 years are arguing the federal government should be able to tell everybody in America what to do with their body," King said. "And what insurance policy they will have and what health coverage they will have and how much they will pay for it. This national health care act is a nationalization of a person's body."

King said the next step for Congress is to throw out Obama's health care plan that has become a "toxic stew" -- one that Americans, through town hall meetings and press conferences, have expressed their displeasure for.

"They want no part of it and we need to throw it over the side and start fresh," King said. "There are a list of things I would do."

Some of his health care reform ideas include reforming lawsuit abuse, providing full deductivibility for everybody's health insurance premiums and their legitimate health insurance costs, being able to purchase insurance across state lines and addressing the issue of pre-existing conditions, King said.

"We have tried to work with the other side of the aisle and they have closed the doors. We've offered over 40 different pieces of legislation for health care reform and all of them were summarily rejected," King said. "There are even many democrats that can't get in that door to negotiate."

But he sees a different future.

"In 2011 we are going to have a lot of new faces, and it will change the dynamics," King said.

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787 billion equates to giving every person in the US a check for $2,588. If they had filled the bucket from the bottom up rather than the top down I think things would be greatly different. Instead we give it to the big banks who dealt out huge bonuses, car companies who closed doors, and special interest groups. And if Mr King is correct in his math of 88k owed eventually, then why doesn't the govt. just give each US citizen 1/4 of that 88k now and watch the US come out of this recession yet this year.

-- Posted by economics101 on Mon, Feb 8, 2010, at 1:47 PM

Funny Mr. King was nowhere to be found when Bush was spending

everyones life savings. Loud voice now that I hope will disappear

after the census results.

-- Posted by one4theroad on Mon, Feb 8, 2010, at 3:56 PM

"Loud voice now that I hope will disappear

after the census results."

Just what do you except the 2010 census to do for you?

As for Bush (43) spending too much. I agree. He, much like LBJ, tried to have "Guns and Butter" at the same time. That does not work. Big mistake by both men.

-- Posted by a777pilot on Mon, Feb 8, 2010, at 6:08 PM

with the results of the census we most likely will be minus one

house of representatives and with a little luck it will be King.

-- Posted by one4theroad on Mon, Feb 8, 2010, at 7:30 PM

"with the results of the census we most likely will be minus one house of representatives..."

Great thinking there!

So what we have is a situation where the 2010 census is going to count all the illegals, up to 20 million of them, for the purpose of Congressional redistribution. So California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado and Florida will be getting those extra seats based on the fact of illegal immigrants......and you are happy that Iowa is not going to be fairly represented.

Great thinking there, guy.


-- Posted by a777pilot on Mon, Feb 8, 2010, at 10:21 PM

Funny that King says to cut spending, yet our city and county government continue to spend instead of holding the line on expenses and cutting back where they can. Our local government continues to give raises, signifying that there is ample funds to do so. With the additional request for donated food at the food banks, more people requesting energy funding assistance; isn't it apparent that we are still sliding downward. The economy was said to be improving, yet we won't really know that for a number of years to come (full accuracy is obtained in 7 years, the estimates will continue to bounce around as more data is gathered).

Economics101, I've heard many similar comments of giving the people funds and it would make a better economic impact toward recovery. While it remains to be seen if it actually would, it really makes more sense than what was done.

I think King really twisted the health care reform issue in his response...

-- Posted by Michael Lamb on Mon, Feb 8, 2010, at 10:27 PM

I agree with the spending and it being stopped. More concerend about wages than fixing things in town. We shut lights off to save funds yet spend like a drunken sailor. Had to use that one 777pilot. Anyone drive down 75 lately from North to South in Le Mars? If you can miss the potholes your a better driver than most. Where's are stimulus money for this?

-- Posted by economics101 on Tue, Feb 9, 2010, at 8:47 AM

With Mr. King in Mass. watching their election so it would be honest, if this is in our interest then we really aren't represented anyway are we? We'd had better get use to having all the other races taking over as we will be out numbered soon.

-- Posted by one4theroad on Tue, Feb 9, 2010, at 9:00 AM

It would be dumb to fix the potholes now- winter (and salt and sand) is nowhere near over.

-- Posted by TuesdaysGone on Tue, Feb 9, 2010, at 9:10 AM

No it's prudent to get them repaired as best possible now. A pothole not repaired now will by spring be the size of a sinkhole. Every thaw and freeze now will only increase the size of the holes to the point it does damage to the vehicles hitting them. I know of 2 friends already who have had the front wheel drive axle snapped by hitting such potholes costing them $100's. Where's are stimulus money?

-- Posted by economics101 on Tue, Feb 9, 2010, at 9:39 AM

I came across this and thought it humerous and aggravating all at the same time. It sure get's one thinking if it's factual.


-- Posted by economics101 on Tue, Feb 9, 2010, at 10:22 AM

Interesting fun fact...King didn't vote to not give himself a raise though.

-- Posted by YouHaveGotToBeKidding on Tue, Feb 9, 2010, at 11:20 AM

The Congress of the United States has not had a "pay raise" since the ratification of the 27th Amendment in 1992. Look it up.

But that is of no consequence, they, the Congress, cannot be bother with the limits of the US Constitution anyway. They just do as they d*mn well please and "We the People" are just excepted to go along with it.....if we know what is good for us.

-- Posted by a777pilot on Tue, Feb 9, 2010, at 1:38 PM

I did look it up. In 1992 a member of Congress was paid $129,500. Currently a member of Congress is paid $174,000, a difference of $44,500 (we'll leave out benefits and other expenses, such as for staff, travel, and office equipment supplies, totaling around $1.5 million). You can call it annual adjustments tied to private sector wages and salaries as measured by the Employment Cost Index or you can call it a raise, but they are not being paid the same amount they were in 1992. I note, pilot, you use quotes around "pay raise," so I assume you understand that just because 20 years ago members of Congress created a cost of living adjustment system for themselves that automatically raises their pay each year unless members block it, if they do not vote to block it, it's in effect a raise. I would think Congressman King, being the fiscally responsible sort he claims to be, would vote to block this "automatic raise" EVERY TIME IT COMES UP. Tell me his record of votes on this issue since becoming "our" congressman. Lengthy explanation to say exactly what YOUHAVEGOTTOBEKIDDING said...

-- Posted by Mark S on Fri, Feb 12, 2010, at 4:13 PM

a777pilot, raises a really good point regarding the counting of illegal immigrants in the census. Illegal immigrants are counted in regards to apportionment in Congress as well as for the electoral college. The Center for Immigration Studies issued a report that states 18 million non-citizens in the 2000 Census were equal to nearly 29 congressional seats. http://www.cis.org/articles/2005/sactest...

-- Posted by TJ Templeton on Sat, Feb 13, 2010, at 11:11 AM

When Reagon was President, we had Bob Hope and Johnny Cash....today, Obama is President and we have NO HOPE and NO CASH!!!! I think when I vote this year....I'm going to vote for whomever is running against the current seated member.

-- Posted by Curious-N-NWIowa on Tue, Feb 16, 2010, at 2:37 PM

I'm REALLY happy all of YOU Obama lovers have spoke!

I hope you get your socialized medicine, your cap & tax bill, and what ever else the most WORTHLESS president America has elected gives you!

But PLEASE don't cry when you have to wait in line for your socialized medical care, you are paying $7+ dollars a gallon for gas, and a pound of hamburger costs $10+ a lb., because transportation costs!

As Steve King says, "the spending HAS TO STOP!"

-- Posted by jwduke01 on Tue, Feb 16, 2010, at 7:13 PM

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