Like my colleagues, I did about 10 to 15 town hall meetings on this issue; and what I found is people came with a sincere interest to learn, a sincere interest to cut through the rhetoric and understand how this Medicare bill impacts them in their daily lives.
Time and again we have learned that the best way to achieve growth and create jobs is for hardworking people to keep more of their own money in their own pockets.
We have so many people retiring that we do not have enough people paying into the system to be able to provide the benefits for those collecting those benefits.
Every year the Federal Government wastes billions of dollars as a result of overpayments of government agencies, misuse of government credit cards, abuse of the Federal entitlement programs, and the mismanagement of the Federal bureaucracy.
Having said that, I believe we must not compound the natural disaster of Katrina by creating a fiscal disaster in Congress - it is our duty to ensure that we reign in other government spending in any event, and especially in this time of national emergency.
I believe the only measure of government response shouldn't be how much we spend on a situation, but rather how well we spend.
Prior to the PATRIOT Act, the ability of government agencies to share information with each other was limited, which kept investigators from fully understanding what terrorists might be planning and to prevent their attacks.
The government needs to help those in need, but members of Congress shouldn't take advantage of the situation and use a national tragedy as an opportunity to spend taxpayer dollars on their pet projects.
Madam Speaker, before being elected to Congress, I ran a manufacturing business that did a significant percentage of our sales outside the United States.
The fact is that one of the earliest lessons I learned in business was that balance sheets and income statements are fiction, cash flow is reality.
Congress has changed the Social Security system over time, and over 20 times in the past Congress has raised taxes on Social Security in payroll taxes into the system.
I believe it's time to put our best ideas on the table and work toward a bipartisan solution, with the single goal of leaving the Social Security system stronger than we found it.
The Iraqi Free Press, which did not exist 18 months ago because there was no such thing as the Iraqi Free Press, broke a story about the U.N. Oil-for-Food scandal, which could potentially turn out to be the largest scandal in history.
Iraq can emerge as a beacon of hope and democracy in the Middle East, and the world, with our help.
If we do not act now to strengthen Social Security, the system that so many depend upon today will be unable to meet its promises to tomorrow's retirees, and it will burden our children and grandchildren with exhaustive taxes.