Dr. Paul Broun is far from being in lockstep with his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives. Georgia’s Tenth District congressman marches exclusively to the beat of fiscal responsibility.
A Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate currently held by Saxby Chambliss, Broun has never voted to increase taxes. In addition, he has never voted to raise the debt ceiling or requested earmarks for his district in the northeast corner of the state.
During his opening remarks at a meet-and-greet session at the Thomas County Public Library on Tuesday, Broun said the federal government is spending too much, taxing too much, regulating too much, borrowing too much and intruding into people’s lives too much.
“It must stop,” Broun said. “Both parties are guilty of spending money we don’t have. We must live within our means. We must put this country back on the right course.”
Too bolster his point, Broun, a 67-year-old former Marine, cited the words of Admiral Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“He said the greatest security threat we face as a nation is our debt. I agree with him,” Broun said. “Our debt is going to harm the future of your children and your grandchildren, and their children.
“Both parties have spent way more than we can afford. We risk the economic collapse of this country if we don’t stop it.”
Broun said he has sponsored more legislation to reduce federal spending than any current member of Congress. He authored a balanced budget amendment to stop wasteful spending and reduce the national debt. He is also an ardent foe of the Affordable Care Act.
“When I was sworn into the United States Marine Corps and Congress, I swore to uphold the Constitution against enemies, both foreign and domestic,” he said. “Out-of-control spending, out-of-control debt and out-of-control government have become our nation’s enemies.”
Broun’s proposed spending cuts include eliminating the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency. That mention drew applause from the crowd of about two dozen.
“Let’s keep those dollars here in Georgia,” Broun said. “Let’s get the government shackles off of our teachers. I call ‘No Child Left Behind’ ‘No Teacher Left Unshackled.’ It’s been disastrous, and it was given to us by George Bush.
“Let’s let our teachers teach so we can have a world-class education system right here in Georgia.”
Broun believes the environment can be protected by state agencies.
When weighing the merits of a legislative proposal, Broun said he asks four questions.
He said, “First, is it right? Does it fit the Judeo-Christian principles our nation was founded upon.
“Second, is it constitutional according to the original intent of our founding fathers? So is it constitutional? Both parties are under the idea that anything is constitutional that they or the Supreme Court says, but that’s not the original intent. That’s why both parties are spending more money and creating a bigger and more intrusive government.
“Third, do we need it? And fourth, can we afford it.”
“If the answer to all four questions is yes, I will vote yes. If the answer to one of them is no, I will vote no — and I pledge to you I will continue to do that as a U.S. senator.”
Broun said he wants to become a senator because the Senate’s rules would allow him to be more effective in reducing the size and scope of government. He said he is already working with Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) on spending cut bills.
“No other candidate in this race will join them in that effort,” Broun said.
Other Republican challengers include U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, Karen Handel, David Perdue, Derrick Grayson and Eugene Yu. The Democrat field consists of Michelle Nunn and Branko Radulovak.
Staunchly pro-life and a Second Amendment rights advocate, Broun encouraged the crowd to examine his record, which includes regularly bucking the wishes of Speaker of the House John Boehner. Broun opposed Boehner’s return to the speakership earlier this year, voting instead for Tea Party favorite Allen West, who lost his 2012 re-election bid in Florida.
“You can know where I’m going because you can look at where I have been,” he said.
Paul Broun for Congress