Which Nebraska Senate Candidate Is Most Serious about the National Debt?

 

“The single biggest threat to our national security is our debt”
Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

My last blog, “Why the National Debt Is Such a Threat to the U.S.” observes that our debt is very large by historical standards and will just keep getting worse under current policies now in effect.  This has many severe consequences for the well-being of our country.
What do we do about it?  We have to shrink the size of our annual deficits which are continuing to make the debt bigger and bigger.  The deficit for the 2014-2015 budget year just ended is $483 billion which is 2.8% of GDP.  Since our economy has been growing at a rate of only 2.2% for the past five years, this means that the debt is still growing faster than the economy.  We have to do better than this.
CaptureThe above chart from the Congressional Budget Office shows that the main contributors to the deficit, and therefore also the debt, over the next 20 years, will be entitlements (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) and interest payments on the debt.  All other programs, i.e. almost all of traditional federal spending, will decrease as a percentage of GDP.
This means that there are just two basic ways to solve our debt problem: trim entitlement spending and/or increase government revenue.  We’ll need to do both.  Furthermore, it is unrealistic to expect middle-income and lower-income people to pay higher taxes when their wages have been stagnant for many years.  New tax revenue will have to come from the wealthy including upper-income wage earners.  The best way to do this is by cutting back on the annual $1.2 trillion in loopholes and deductions built into the tax code.
CaptureOnly one Senate candidate from Nebraska is willing to both trim entitlement spending and raise additional tax revenue: Jim Jenkins, a registered independent from Calloway.  The Democratic candidate, David Domina, will not support any significant reining in of entitlement spending.  The Republican candidate, Ben Sasse, is too beholden to wealthy contributors to be willing to raise their taxes by cutting back on their tax deductions.
We badly need elected representatives in Washington who will make it their top priority to “fix the debt.”  Jim Jenkins is such a person.  I hope you will vote for him!

“Nebraska Is Not a Tea Party State”

 

So declares Jim Jenkins, an independent candidate for the U.S. Senate from Callaway in western Nebraska. Several weeks ago I endorsed Jim based on his common-sense centrist views on many important issues such as fixing the debt, tax reform, Obamacare, and immigration reform.  Check out his campaign website for the details.
CaptureNow Jim has come out with additional common-sense reform ideas:

                                      My 5-Point Bipartisan Reform Agenda

Nebraska doesn’t belong to a political party; Nebraska belongs to our people. Unless you can develop a framework in Congress by which you actually debate, discuss and negotiate, we’re not going to be able to move forward. Here’s my 5-point, bipartisan reform agenda to end gridlock in Washington.

  1. Fix the Debt. Debate recommendations from the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, more commonly known as the Simpson-Bowles Commission that presented Congress and the President with a comprehensive plan to reduce the deficit.
  2. Biennial Budget. Congress should adopt a biennial budget process, an approach to budgeting utilized by many states, including Nebraska that allows for a more thorough evaluation of budget proposals in year one and a review of budget effectiveness in year two.
  3. No Budget, No Pay. Unless Congress passes a budget by the end of its fiscal year members of Congress will not receive pay. I also support legislation that suspends Congressional recesses until it has passed a budget. Failure to pass budgets undermines the greater economy and undermines the credibility of Congress with its citizens.
  4. Immigration Reform. President George W. Bush presented a bipartisan plan on immigration that had the backing of a significant number of Democrats. The passage of immigration reform will require a meeting in the messy middle. Both Democrats and Republicans are going to have to yield.
  5. Leadership Council. Congress should adopt a bipartisan leadership group each session that would identify the top legislative priorities.

We need leaders in Washington who will work together to find common-sense solutions to our very challenging national problems. Jim Jenkins is such a person and I hope you will consider voting for him on November 4!

Why I Support Jim Jenkins for the U.S. Senate from Nebraska

 

I have been writing this blog for almost two years because of my great concern about the direction our country is headed on fundamental fiscal and economic issues. Federal spending has been out of control for over thirty years and the situation is getting progressively worse.  Our national debt is over $17 trillion and growing at a rate of $500 billion per year.  And it will soon be growing much faster than this if we don’t make big changes.  Economic growth has been stuck at the anemic rate of 2.2% of GDP ever since the end of the Great Recession over five years ago.
Our national leaders are simply not doing the job they were elected for.  Democrats blame the Republicans and Republicans blame the Democrats but excuses are not good enough.  We need people in Washington who can figure out how to navigate within the system and actually find solutions to our very serious problems.
CaptureI believe that Jim Jenkins, a registered independent from Callaway, is the best qualified candidate to do what needs to be done.  Check out his website, Jenkins for Senate, and decide for yourself.  Here are a few of his views on important issues:

  • Fixing the Debt. Jim supports the recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles Commission which calls for dramatically cutting federal spending especially for entitlements and also raising taxes if necessary in order to drastically shrink our annual deficits.
  • Tax Reform. Jim supports lower tax rates achieved by eliminating many of the tax expenditures (credits, deductions and exclusions) embedded in the code. This is what is needed to boost economic growth.
  • Affordable Care Act. Jim believes that the ACA has many rough edges but that it is possible to fix them rather than repealing it and starting over.
  • Immigration Reform. Jim supports comprehensive immigration reform which includes securing our borders but at the same time expanding the number of guest worker visas to meet the needs of business and agriculture.
  • Veterans Administration. Jim supports setting up a plan to enable veterans to obtain medical care from health professionals within their own communities.

Compare these common sense views with the far more ideological positions of the other candidates in this race. I think that you will agree with me that Jim Jenkins is the person we want representing us in Washington!