Our nation still stands. While other nations around the world are collapsing like dominoes in a chain, America remains a land of freedom and a place where men can rule themselves by law. The foundations of America put in place by our founders and the genetic spirit of liberty passed down through our nations DNA remains strong. With that said, our state and our nation are in crisis. Rampant overspending has taken root and we have drifted away from the principles on which our nation was founded. Those principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility and free markets have been replaced by a massive and ever growing government, reckless fiscal policy and government intrusion into almost every industry.
The 2008 election was won with the motto of "Hope and Change" and too many of us are still waiting to see those things happen. Congress passed a huge universal healthcare bill that nearly 70% of the nation disapproved of and while the Congress removed SOME of the more divisive provisions, like federal funding for abortions and the public option, the Obama administration is working them back in through regulations. In the last SOTU our President chastised the Supreme Court and divided the nation. In Delaware a long term political icon, former Congressman Mike Castle was defeated by a challenger who embraced the TEA Party values (those original principles of our nations founding). By November 2010, America took the "hope and change" mantra into its own hands. They elected conservative leadership, most backed by TEA Party groups across the country. It happened in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia but it missed Delaware.
The national debt stands at more than $14 Trillion and Delaware's debt is $9 Billion. Our elected officials have only grown MORE irresponsible over time and they have spent, spent, spent and taxed, taxed, taxed without remorse. New Castle County has blown through almost all of their $200 Million surplus and their answer? Raise fees and maybe taxes. Folks, the time for a discussion about fiscal responsibility is here. The Obama administration has spent $4 Trillion in 3 years. His spending habits have trickled down to the states. Delaware has a Constitutionally mandated balanced budget. That means that the state legislature MUST balance the budget every year. Sounds great right? The problem is that every year our structural deficit (that's the amount our state "overspends") grows every year. Last year it was over $200 Million and we expect it to be more than $300 Million this year. Last year state workers took a 2.5% pay cut and a myriad of taxes and fees were raised to close the gap. Delaware even got deeper into the gambling business and still we are more than $300 Million overspent this year.
What our nation needs now is a fiscal intervention. We must get in touch with our inner Calvin Coolidge. Now is the time to roll back spending and get our debt under control. Delaware must live up to our nickname "The First State". We must lead the nation into prosperity by reestablishing fiscal sanity. It's time to get our public employee pensions under control and back in line with the private sector. We must ensure that our state is debt free. Our federal government must do the same. We must roll back spending and cut in EVERY department. Yes, even the Department of Defense must make cuts. That doesn't mean we should leave our nation unsecured. We must maintain the security of the nation but there are plenty of areas where we can cut fraud, waste and abuse, out of date programs and overpriced services. Our nation prospered for more than 100 years without massive government spending by relying on the goodness of our society and placing the trust largely in faith based organizations. Americans are the most generous people in the world, especially to our own people. It's time that we take back the responsibility of caring for one another from the government. This is not all theatrics and theoretical either. There is a practical reason to reduce our spending. Reducing our spending will lead to the elimination of our debt. This stabilizes our economy, protects the value of our currency and it leads to more certainty in the markets. Spending cuts alone, like tax cuts alone, are only a temporary fix. There is a ceiling when one is undertaken without the other. That's why our state and federal taxes should be reduced by at least 10% across the board, our state and national corporate taxes should be eliminated at least for 24 months and our state and national death taxes abolished. Cutting taxes puts more money back into the pockets of individuals and businesses who will invest in more innovation and increase the economic output of America. Further, every time taxes are cut, under Reagan, under Kennedy and under Coolidge, revenue to the government has increased. The greatest benefits were realized under Coolidge when spending AND taxes were cut. Then, America REALLY prospered.
Cutting spending and taxes will by extension cut the size and scope of government at all levels. Under the Obama administration, we have seen an expansion of executive power not seen since Teddy Roosevelt. Anything that the administration wants, that the Congress cannot pass, the administrations regulatory czar Cass Sunstein does with regulations. We've seen it with provisions in the healthcare bill like death panels and with restrictions on energy usage and pollution. We must shrink the power that the federal government holds back to where it was intended to be. Government was never intended to be efficient because government is powerful. The more efficient it becomes, the more control it usurps and the more liberty we lose. In Delaware the state is likewise becoming too large. They are telling us where we can use the phone, where we can smoke and what we can throw away. Our lives are becoming decided by bureaucrats instead of ourselves. We must take back responsibility for our own care. Our founders believed that man could rule himself and I agree. It's our time, we must seize the day.
Our markets face an increasing encroachment by the federal government. Our auto industry, banking industry and our energy industry are all but under the direct control of our federal government. Labor unions now control the auto industry and our teaching corps and they have formed an unholy alliance with the Obama Administration. The time is now to end this encroachment, get the government out of our markets. Our federal government needs to get out of our industries, reduce burdensome regulations and create a fiscal climate where the private market can thrive and grow. Here in Delaware, we've heard more than our fair share of times that Delaware is creating a "partnership" with business. I must respectfully ask, where's the beef? Corporations like GM, Chrysler, Valero and now HSBC are fleeing Delaware left and right. I think it's time that Delaware's government did what it said it would. I think it's time that the state created a climate where private business can thrive.
You can listen to President Obama and Governor Markell and you can take in their words and what you will end up with is....9.8% national unemployment (8.5 in Delaware) and jobs leaving the state and nation like water over Niagara Falls or you can listen to our founders and return to their original principles and get real prosperity.