The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Moran: ‘Stop spending’

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  • This country has been living beyond its means, and it is time to right the course, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran told a group gathered Monday in Newton.
    Moran was the featured speaker at the Kiwanis meeting at Charlie’s Restaurant in Newton, as one of many stops on his first listening tour as a U.S. senator.
    Moran said the federal government needs to adopt more fiscally responsible practices or generations into the future will pay for the mistakes of today.
    “This is not a philosophical battle,” he said. “It is the law of economics. We are borrowing money we can’t afford to pay back.”
    Moran said the elected officials can’t keep walking away from the problem.
    “You need to reward elected official who say no to spending and not those who say yes to spending,” Moran said.
    Steve Kaye, Newton resident, said he agreed with Moran’s position.
    “We have been sending representatives to Congress for the last 230 years, and they just write more laws and add more programs,” he said. “We need to get rid of some.
    “It is going to be painful for us as a country, but we are going to have to tightened the reins. When your wife is spending too much, you have to say no more.”
    Barrick Wilson, recently retired from Newton Medical Center, said the federal government needs to end entitlements.
    “Before 1934, nobody paid Social Security. Before 1964, there was no Medicare. There is not a constitutional right to Medicare and Social Security. They are laws. The public and the AARP — you need to tell them this guy says they can go stuff it.”
    Moran responded by saying many people believe someone else pays for their health care. He said people behave differently when they realize they are paying for their health care.
    In his first public statement on U.S. action in Lybia, Moran warned against military aggression without clear goals.
    “I am troubled by our action in Lybia,” he said. “I think our military already is stretched thin.”
    Moran said he did not think U.S. forces should be engaged until the issue has been debated and a formula declaration of war issued by Congress.
    “I don’t think our government has defined success. I think that is an indication we should not go there in the first place,” he said. “I think we have focused on the Middle East in large part because of the oil.”
    During questions, Moran was asked about No Child Left Behind. Moran, who voted against NCLB, said the law takes away local control and increases costs without increasing quality.
    “If 99 percent of students don’t meet standards, a school is labeled as a failure,” he said, “but 99 percent of students are not the same. Every student can improve, but that is different from saying that 99 percent of everyone is the same.”
    Page 2 of 2 - NCLB and its overwhelming focus on reading and math is taking away funds and emphasis on vocational and agriculture programs, which are vital to the future of rural communities in Kansas, Moran said.
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