Thank you for the opportunity to update you on the work of the 112th Congress. I trust this finds you and your family well.
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This Week (Sept. 30 - Oct. 6)
Did you know that in less than 100 years, the U.S. tax code has grown from 400 pages to more than 73,000 pages? The staggering growth of our tax code is a result of a fundamental change in the way the federal government uses the tax code: from a simple mechanism for collecting revenue to fund the government, to a tool for incentivizing behavior. Click here to read my recent op-ed for The Hill, where I explained how the unfairness and complexity of our tax code hurts families and small businesses as our economy struggles to recover.
This week, I had the opportunity to visit with the Lafayette Citizens in Action and to share with them my presentation on spending and debt, which I’ve now given more than 50 times around the fourth district. The presentation highlights the urgent need to address the drivers of our debt – our entitlement programs – and explains why many of the “simple” solutions to our debt crisis just won’t cut it. I also appeared on WLS radio Thursday morning with hosts Bruce Wolf and Dan Proft to talk about entitlements and tax reform in light of this week’s presidential debate (click here for audio).
Also, you can click here to listen to my interview on Monday’s Garrison program, where we talked about some of the latest foreign policy developments from overseas, as well as a preview discussion of Wednesday night’s debate. While I was on my way to the Garrison interview, news broke about Colts head coach Chuck Pagano’s diagnosis with a treatable form of leukemia. I wish Coach Pagano a speedy recovery, and I know that folks all around Indiana will be keeping him and the Colts organization in our prayers.
Last Week (Sept. 23-29)
Last week, I enjoyed a visit with employees and management of the UPS West Indy facility, where I had a good discussion with the mechanics about Medicare reform, the environment, and the national debt. Click here to see a few photos:
I also visited Bosma Enterprises in Indianapolis, which provides job training, employment services, rehabilitation, and outreach programs for people who are blind or visually impaired. Click here for a few photos from my visit:
In addition, I visited with several groups of Hoosiers, including the Indy Defenders of Liberty-West, where we discussed the importance of reining in our unsustainable spending and debt and cutting the size and scope of government.
And last Wednesday, I received the Guardian of Seniors’ Rights Award and the Benjamin Franklin Award (for opposing the "death tax") from the 60 Plus Association at a seniors’ town hall meeting in Indianapolis, and attended an event at the statehouse to honor the service of long-term state employees.
In Case You Missed It
1st Annual Red Tape Rollback Report
Rokita Op-Ed: Complex, unfair tax code stands in way of recovery
RAISE Act - Commentary: It's time for a new Labor Day
PJ Media - Two Ex-Secretaries of State Introduce Bill to Clean Up Voter Rolls
For additional news items, please visit my In the News page.
A clickable offering of books and articles that I've read recently and highly recommend, as we strive together to "Keep the Republic."
In a recent interview on The Late Show with David Letterman, President Obama talked about his view of the government’s role in society. “We’ve got some obligations to each other, and there’s nothing wrong with us giving each other a helping hand so that that single mom’s kid, even after all the work she’s done, can afford to go to college,” he said.
The president is right about one thing: we have a moral obligation to help one another. But what the president revealed in his comments – and what he has revealed throughout his presidency – is a fundamental misunderstanding of how we ought to fulfill that moral obligation. In this recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece, Antony Davies and Kristina Antolin explain that it makes all the difference in the world whether our charity is voluntary, or whether it’s coerced by the government.
“Coerced acts, no matter how beneficial or well-intentioned, cannot be moral. If we force people to give to the poor, we have stripped away the moral component, reducing charity to mere income redistribution,” they write. When the federal government attempts to legislate concern for the poor, it intrudes on the sphere of life that properly belongs to private charities and religious institutions – which do a great job and don’t need government interference.
The ongoing expansion of government comes with growing costs, which we’ve seen recently with Obamacare. For when the government begins to legislate acts of charity, it inevitably will try to dictate matters of conscience – as the Obama administration did with its contraceptive mandate for religious institutions. And this is another chilling reminder of the dangers of an ever-growing government that respects no limits.
Thank you for your continued interest in Congress and for supporting my efforts in Washington. Take care.
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