Unlike my opponent in the race for Congress, I believe in boosting the middle class.
In the past several years we have seen the toughest economic times in a generation, but I believe America's best days are ahead of us.
Our can-do spirit and American ingenuity will get our economy back on track. We're ending the bailout mentality. We are going to tackle the national debt and reign in spending. We can make things in America again, and we can make them better and more efficiently than anywhere in the world.
Unfortunately, even though it would blow a $700 billion hole in the national debt, my opponent's No. 1 priority is to extend tax cuts for millionaires like himself ("Congress likes job security -- its own," Oct. 4). State Rep. Randy Demmer is peddling the same failed policies of the past that got us into this mess in the first place.
He wants to put today's tax cut for millionaires on the national credit card for your kids and grandkids to pay tomorrow. That's not fiscally responsible. These aren't southern Minnesota values, and we cannot afford more of the same failed policies. If giving tax breaks to millionaires created jobs or grew our economy, I would be in favor of them, but they are the same failed policies of the past that just don't work.
We need a more balanced approach that puts middle-class interests over Wall Street special interests. I voted for -- and we enacted into law -- legislation to put the "cops back on the beat" on Wall Street and restore tough, common-sense rules to protect ordinary people's life savings. Demmer wants to repeal those new rules for Wall Street, pull those cops off their Wall Street beat and return us to the days when the taxpayer is forced to bail out reckless decisions by the big banks.
I have been a strong proponent of middle-class tax relief, and I voted for one of the largest middle-class tax cuts in U.S. history, one that gave relief for 98 percent of families. I will continue to vote for the middle class again and again to get this economy back on solid footing in the private sector. To jump-start our economy, we must leave cash in your hands -- because if you've got money in your pocket, you'll spend it at the hardware store or the corner market, and that will drive job growth in our private sector.
We don't need more of the same, typical politicians fighting for themselves and for special interests. We need someone to believe in our small-business owners again and someone to champion those folks who play by the rules. We need a common-sense approach -- an approach that is rooted in southern Minnesota values and puts the middle class first. An approach that puts middle-class Americans' interests over those of millionaires and of Wall Street and insurance company special interests.
We will get back on the path to economic prosperity, and southern Minnesota can lead the world in exciting new industries like renewable energy production, bioresearch and health care information technology. But we cannot choose the same failed policies of the past that Demmer is peddling.
Tim Walz, a Democrat, represents Minnesota's first congressional district in the U.S. House.
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