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Lower Taxes, Increased Liberty, Less Poverty

Why I'm a Fiscal Conservative

By Steve Beren, January 17, 2009

A local writer this summer referred to me as a "New York City-bred free market advocate."  Although I've lived in Seattle since 1987, I can't deny that I was born and raised in New York City.  I also proudly confirm that I'm a free market advocate - it's a reputation of which I'm proud.  In fact, my enthusiasm for limited government and free market solutions was central to my campaign against far left Democratic Party incumbent Jim McDermott (he has a different reputation!). 

I firmly believe that lower taxes leads to increased liberty, and that the resulting increase in take home pay is the best way to reduce and combat poverty.

That’s why – right in the heart of liberal Seattle – I promote and support the free enterprise system, lower taxes, less regulation, limited government, reduced spending, and constitutional principles.

In all spheres of government bureaucracy, we must recognize that there is much wasteful spending on programs that are ineffective, obsolete, or no longer serve the purpose for which they were initially intended.  Thus, program-by-program auditing and accountability is necessary, and often greater results can be accomplished with program reform and less actual spending.

There should be across-the-board spending cuts of at least 10% to 15% in almost every program, with rare exceptions such as national defense, homeland security, and emergency preparedness. No program should ever be increased without a dollar-for-dollar decrease elsewhere in the budget.  No exceptions! 

And if we limit the scope of the federal government in accordance with the constitution, we decrease spending and reduce taxes, increasing our liberty in several ways:

(1) Liberty is increased when government is reduced to its essential and necessary functions, because there is no longer a role for lobbyists fighting to increase pork for their favorite non-essential, unnecessary programs.

(2) Liberty is increased when more government functions and decisions are handled at the state and local levels, closer to the American people.

(3) Liberty is increased when individual citizens have more responsibility and when government has less control.

(4) Limited government leads to lower taxes, and with lower taxes, liberty is increased because businesses have more of their own money to invest, hire, and provide services.  Less government bureaucracy improves the business climate and promotes job growth. 

(5) Limited government leads to lower taxes, which is better for families and property owners.  With lower taxes, liberty is increased because individuals and families have more of their own money - increased take-home pay - for their needs: food, clothing, housing, education, health insurance, and retirement.

(6) When people are able to provide for themselves, they are more likely to achieve prosperity and less dependent on government programs.  In turn, this leads to further reduction in government spending, allowing the remaining money to be targeted to legitimate needs, such as military veterans, orphans, and people with severe disabilities.  

We should eliminate taxes for everybody making less than $25,000 a year, and we should greatly reduce taxes for everybody else.  This could be done, for example, by raising the personal exemption to $25,000 for each individual family member ($100,000 for a family of four). 

This would greatly increase take home pay.  With lower taxes, liberty is increased because families would have more of their own money for food, clothing, health care, education, savings, and housing. 

I’m for lower taxes and smaller government, because lower taxes are better for families, property owners, and small businesses.  With lower taxes, businesses have more money to invest, hire, and provide services.  Less government bureaucracy improves the business climate, promotes economic growth, and reduces unemployment.

In my 2008 campaign against Jim McDermott, I campaigned as a “five star conservative.”  I campaigned for limited government, free market solutions, individual liberty, lower taxes, economic growth, and constitutional principles. 

The 2008 campaign is over, but the effort to advance the conservative movement continues.  Conservatives need a 24/7/365 strategy.  We need a 50-state strategy, and in Washington State we need a strategy for every county and every congressional district.  Let's change the political atmosphere of the Pacific Northwest!


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