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Issues

Fiscal Discipline

I am proud to rank among the few Members of Congress who did not vote for any of the bailouts, government takeovers or stimulus bills passed in the 111th Congress. 
 
Washington’s problem is not that it taxes too little; it’s that it spends too much.  Congress, just like every family in America, must learn to budget properly and live within its means.  Therefore, I will continue to push for fiscal discipline and work to rein in Washington’s out of control spending. 
 

Taxes

Currently, the U.S. tax code is 55,000 pages long and has over two million words it.  It’s filled with credits, loop-holes and giveaways.  It takes the average small business 37 hours to do their taxes.  That’s time they should be able to spend growing the business.
 
I believe the federal government should throw out the current system and adopt a much simpler, more stream-lined code.  Therefore, I am currently a co-sponsor of the Fair-Tax, which would replace the current progressive income tax with a national sales tax.  The benefit of the Fair-Tax is that it taxes most individuals at a lower rate than the income tax.  It also only taxes the goods and services you purchase, encourages saving, and produces similar revenue to the current code, just in a much simpler manner.
 

Jobs

The federal government does not exist to create jobs.  In fact, every new job it does “create” is paid for by American taxpayers.  What Washington should be doing is cutting taxes and limiting harmful regulations.  If that happens, businesses – especially small businesses – will once again begin to expand, hire and thrive.
 
As Chairman of the House Small Business Committee, I have made job creation one of my top priorities.  America’s small businesses create 70% of all new jobs.  Removing that uncertainty that fear of increased taxes and regulation introduce into the economy is the key to ending this recession and begging the recovery. 
 

National Defense

I have always been a vocal proponent for a strong national defense.  According to the United States Constitution, the federal government exists primarily to protect this nation from enemies abroad.  While we certainly need to cut spending at the national level, it is wrong to make the Department of Defense bear the brunt of these cuts.  This is especially true as we continue to prosecute two active wars and fight a global War on Terrorism.
 
I will continue to push for a robust national defense.  We currently have the most well-trained solders, sailors and Marines; the most technologically advanced weapons systems; and the best all-around military in the world.  However, maintaining our forces requires constant development and vigilance.  I will make sure our fighting men and women have everything they need to carry out their missions.
 

Agriculture

I’m proud to call myself a family farmer.  Our family continues to operate our corn and soy farm in North Missouri.  So I know first-hand how difficult it can be to make your living from the land.  Yet, America’s farmers and agricultural sector are far and away the best in the world.  Our bountiful harvests feed our countrymen and hundreds of millions elsewhere.  Without our farmers, Americans from coast-to-coast would not enjoy their current high standard of living.
 
I have supported numerous pieces of legislation designed to help farmers compete in global markets, maintain their world-beating levels of productivity and recover from the natural disasters that Mother Nature throws at us from time to time.  I will continue to fight for North Missouri’s farmers in Congress. 
 

Energy

I believe we must continue to develop all forms of energy production while limiting our reliance on foreign sources of oil.  America is home to a diverse energy sector.  We see that first hand in Northwest Missouri in the form of our windmills and seemingly endless acres of corn, much of which will be turned into ethanol. 
 
For our economy to truly recover we will need to continue to tap into both American resources and innovation in the energy field.  We must increase our production of wind, bio-fuels and other types of renewable energy, as well as continue to develop all forms of domestic energy production.  Northwest Missouri’s farmers are leading the way.  I will work to make sure they continue to do so.
 

Health Care

The government takeover of our health care system must not be allowed to stand.  Not a week goes by without hearing more stories about how the 2,000 page law will cost more than we were told, cover fewer people than we were promised and significantly increase taxes and fees on average Americans.  We must repeal this bad piece of legislation and replace it with reforms that will expand coverage while lowering costs. 
 
For example, we should let small businesses group together to buy coverage at rates similar to what large corporations pay.  Those policies should operate across state lines so insurance companies are forced to lower rates to compete for business.  And policies should be portable, following an individual from job-to-job so insurance companies have a stake in making sure their clients stay healthy.
 

Values

I believe marriage is between ONE man and ONE woman and that we should protect the lives of the unborn under all but the direst of circumstances.  As your Congressman, I will continue the fight to keep both marriage and life sacred.
 

Gun Rights

The founding fathers were very clear in their intent when they wrote the Second Amendment to the Constitution.  They believed that the population had the right to own and maintain firearms.  Legal, law-abiding citizens have the right to defend themselves and their families from criminals and those who would do them harm.
 
The recent Supreme Court decisions that have struck down various gun bans are certainly a step in the right direction.  However, I will remain vigilant in my defense of gun rights.

Paid for and authorized by Graves for Congress.

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