John Kasich on Budget & Economy
Former Republican Representative (OH-12); 2000 candidate for President
In 1989 there was offered on the House floor the President's budget, and the Democrats' rebuttal budget, and the Kasich budget. The Democratic budget received 230 votes. The Bush budget received 213 votes. The Kasich budget received 30 votes.
Every year I offered my own budget for consideration, and my 3rd or 4th year my budget received more votes than the President got for his budget, and in so doing I learned a few things about leadership. Leadership is not talking. Leadership is doing. Every time they beat my budget on the floor of the House and I lay there in a bloody heap, people knew I was committed. It wasn't talk. It was action.
As it happened, Pres. Clinton wanted to phony up the numbers on this first go-round, so we shut down the government. I look back and think it was one of the greatest moments of my career. Why? Well, typically, politicians make their decisions based on votes. And yet in at least this one instance politicians set aside these concerns and stood up for what was right. For our children. For our shared future. For America. For this one battle, for the time being, we forgot about politics and focused on good government, and if we had to take a beating for it then so b it. And as a direct result of that government shutdown in 1995, we wrote a bill that provided for the first balanced budget in nearly forty years and allowed us to pay down the largest chunk of our staggering national debt in the history of this country.
The cleanup continues, and frankly I don't think we're doing a good job of it. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, hailed as the most significant change to federal securities laws since the New Deal, has had a deleterious effect on American business. I see it as a clear case of the government overreacting to a serious problem, one that can't be solved through legislation. Why? Well, for one thing, you can't legislate ethical behavior; you either know the difference betwee right and wrong, or you don't.
On the positive side, Sarbanes-Oxley has established a strong set of internal controls. But they've been a deterrent to legitimate American businesses. They've put many honest businessmen and women on the defensive.
[As part of the Contract with America, within 100 days we pledge to bring to the House Floor the following bill]:
The Fiscal Responsibility Act:
A balanced budget/tax limitation amendment and a legislative line-item veto to restore fiscal responsibility to an out-of-control Congress, requiring them to live under the same budget constraints as families and businesses.
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