Website created in 1998 - last updated April 22, 2006
William Larsen For U.S. Congress
Republican Candidate for Indiana's 3rd District
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National Defense: Those who serve our country need to be trained and be provided the equipment necessary to carry out the tasks assigned to them. We should never knowingly send our men and women into combat with out-dated equipment, poor training and poor planning. They are putting their lives on the line, the least we can do is provide them the training and equipment to carry out their assigned tasks.
Budget deficits: We hear a lot of talk about cutting the deficit in half. In fact they have talked about it as far back as I can remember. I am 49 years old and I simply cannot remember a surplus year, can you? Who has been running this country, the politicians or the voters? I hear people complain, but do we ever take action? There are only two methods available to cut deficits, cut spending and raise taxes. The general budget deficit was $726 billion in 2005, but it was reported as a $554 Billion unified budget. Our representatives say they are against using social security revenues to offset general budget expenses, but they continue to use the Unified Budget numbers. They do this to make the numbers look better. I will not do this.
Tax Reform: Americans and Business spend too much on determining their taxes. Why should one company profit at the expense of another simply because a politician wants to give your money away? Individuals and business would do better understanding the tax code and knowing the tax code would not change every few years. Congress has given preferential treatment to companies groups and individuals. This is unfair, creates thousands of pages of code and is inefficient. Income is income, treat income as such. Treat all taxpayers fairly by not holding out carrots for preferential tax treatment. This will reduce the tax code to less than 50 pages. It will greatly reduce compliance costs and tax court litigation.
Energy reform: Congress has debated energy policy for decades and what do we have to show for it? It is time to stop subsidizing inefficient and wasteful energy programs. Wind power has now reached a level where it can compete with other forms of energy.
Identity Theft: In 2004 9.2 million complaints of identity theft were filed. The IRS is the single largest contributor to identity theft in that it requires financial institutions, employers and now colleges to collect an individualís taxpayer identification number for tax purposes yet puts no restrictions on the entity collecting the information. As a result these entities have lost control of this identifier. To begin to correct this serious error in judgement, we need to put strict controls on the access and use of these identifiers. I propose that no non-government entity would be allowed to utilize a social security or taxpayer identification number in its daily business as account numbers, PINís, employee numbers, insurance numbers, school IDís or any other method of identification.
Personal Freedoms: Our personal freedoms are under attack. The Right to bear arms is being restricted. Religious freedoms are under attack. We need to restore and strengthen our personal freedoms.
Pension, 401K and profit Sharing reform: If you are laid off, you should be vested in company matching 401K, profit sharing and pension plans.
"On-us" check cashing reform: It is not honorable to charge a fee to a non-account holder at the bank the check is drawn on. The bank is providing a service to the account holder, not the endorsee. All employer paychecks need to be readily cashable in a local bank without fees and surcharges at the bank on which they are drawn.
Veterans: As a Navy veteran, I know the hardship that military life can have on families. I also know first hand that injuries sustained in the line of duty can take years to recoup from if ever. We need to maintain our VA hospitals and provide those who have been injured the best medical care available. I also support changing the index used for adjusting veteran's benefits from the consumer price index to the Social Security Wage Index. This change will maintain the same standard of living benefit throughout the veteran's life.
Social Security Disability Program: I support the Social Security Disability Program covering the disabled and survivors of workers who die. This program unlike Social Security's Old Age Survivors Insurance Program is based on a covered loss and not based on living to a particular age.
Social Security Old Age Benefits: This program was not designed to work. A program that pays those born after 1985 just 29 cents back for each dollar of taxes and credited interest is not fair. Americans want value for their dollar. You can buy a value meal at about any fast food chain consisting of a sandwich, fries and drink for about $4.00. If Social Security were a value meal, it would cost $13.79.
If we want to save social security, then each adult must send a check today to social security for $87,000, or cut benefits by 40% or raise taxes by 85%. There simply is no painless solution. How firm are you on saving social security?
I support repealing the Social Security act. In its place I would propose paying those seniors who are found to be in need, a means tested benefit of $1,133 a month. This benefit would be indexed by the change in the United States Average Wage Growth instead of Inflation. This would maintain the benefit at the same level relative to any given year, which the current program does not do.
The worker would be required to open an IRA style account at a financial institution of their choice where the employer's share of the social security tax would be deposited. The employee's tax would never be taken out of the check so that the employee could use these wages for debt reduction, retirement, education, health care, etc. The total controlled by the employee would be about $3,600 per year ($1,800 in the IRA style account and $1,800 left in the paycheck).
Mark Souder’s Statement on Social Security. Mark Souder spoke to Prime Time 39 on 3/12/2004 and referred to Social Security as a "shell game." He stated, "For people under 30 it's probably going to be income based. I am not saying we're going to pass that. It will probably be passed after I am dead." He continued "If you're 40, you might make it through the system. But if you're under 40, and certainly under 30, you had better start planning because if you want to have a decent retirement you’re going to need supplemental funds."
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"I sit on a man's back, choking him and making him carry me,
and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means
-- except by getting off his back."-- Leo Tolstoy
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