Taxes are often the most common mark of discussion — and disagreement — during heady election battles. Indeed, the tax issue is implicit in Pat Toomey’s campaign slogan, “More Jobs, Less Government.”
But as Kevin Williamson often argues at Exchequer, the real problem in the growth of government is spending, and Pat Toomey seems to grasp that fact. And that “Stop Spending!” rallying cry is the motive force among Tea Partiers and independents — crucial constituencies for a Toomey victory.
The following is transcribed from Toomey’s appearance on Fox News yesterday:
I think it’s incredibly important that we focus on maximizing economic growth. That’s where we get the job creation that we need, that’s where we get revenue for the federal government. You’re right, the real problem is the spending side.
I mean, look at what we’ve done. After almost 50 years in which federal spending averaged about 20 percent of GDP, Joe Sestak and Nancy Pelosi took federal spending to 25 percent. That’s a 25 percent increase in the size of the government overnight. That’s what we’ve got to reign in.
I would end the bailouts, I disagreed with bailouts as a policy. I think we should rescind the unspent portion of the stimulus bill, I’d like to abolish earmarks, and I’ll tell you what … that could be a big item, it’s not just the cost of the individual earmarks, but it’s also the fact that they’ve become a currency to buy votes for bloated appropriation bills.
I think we should look at consolidating all kinds of programs in the government… [emphasis added]
And on the topic of entitlements, always a third rail, Toomey treads delicately: “… if we’re going to be honest, we’ve got to acknowledge that these programs cannot exist in their current form, precisely, indefinitely. The demographics won’t sustain it.”
Are Pennsylvania moderates taking note?