Friday, February 23 , 2018, 3:38 am | Fair 47º

 
 
 

Tom Watson: The Choice Is Yours on Tuesday

This election is about the future of our country. Which direction will you take?

Tuesday is Election Day and we as a country face a choice — a choice being forced upon us by an activist government that thinks it knows best about how we should live our lives. The choice is simple and it is straightforward: continue as a market-driven, entrepreneurial, capitalist, high-growth economy, or follow the path of European social democracies with high structural unemployment and low growth. That is your choice this election.

Tom Watson
Tom Watson

To me, the choice is obvious. Let’s stick with what made this country great in the first place: Individual liberty, fiscal responsibility and free-market entrepreneurial capitalism. Why would we follow the path of countries in decline? France has almost lost the ability to govern itself because too many people live off the government. Why follow the path of countries with a 30 percent lower standard of living than we enjoy? How does persistent 10 percent unemployment feel? Doesn’t feel very good to me. That is the norm in much of Europe. Yet this is what the current administration and Congress seem to have in mind for us.

We simply cannot continue spending money we don’t have. Since Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., became House speaker in January 2007, we have amassed about $5 trillion in new national debt. Congress writes the checks, not the president. We now have a national debt of more than $13 trillion and a gross domestic product of about $15 trillion, giving us about a 90 percent debt-to-GDP ratio. Greece was at 113 percent debt to GDP when it collapsed earlier this year. Historically, that has been a point of decline for most countries.

President George W. Bush and congressional Republicans spent too much money when they were in power, but this Congress and President Barack Obama have stepped on the spending gas pedal with a very heavy foot. President Obama and Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, like to say that President Bush drove the economy into a ditch, but they are driving us off a cliff.

We need to cut government spending and get this economy growing again. We aren’t growing because of bad government polices, policies that create an escalating cost of doing business and great uncertainty. Government regulation and irresponsible spending are killing our economy and chasing jobs out of our state and country California has become an economic development agency for low tax and regulation states like Texas. The California model is a failure, yet this seems to be where our national leaders plan to take our country.

These are self-inflicted wounds; it doesn’t need to be like this. We can fix what is wrong with our country without destroying what is right about it. The people made our country great, not our government. It is time to put people first again and stop prioritizing big government over our families and our collective prosperity.

Sending the same people back to Washington will deliver the same bad results. What we are doing now is clearly not working. We cannot tax, spend, borrow and regulate our way to prosperity. That hasn’t worked anywhere — ever — and it’s not going to work here or now. This election isn’t about party, it is about policy and whether we are going to bankrupt our country. You can’t change Congress without changing your congressperson.

Tom Watson is the Republican nominee for the 23rd Congressional District.

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