Fort Wayne News Sentinel Questionnaire for 2006 primary
Name: William R. Larsen
Web URL: http://www.justsayno.50megs.com
Office: U.S. Representative 3rd District
Education: Paul Harding High School – Graduated
Purdue University - BS Degree
Work: Mechanical engineer
Years lived in NE Ind: 36 years
Those who serve our country need to be trained and 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.
As a Navy veteran, I know the hardship that military life can have on families. We need to maintain our VA hospitals and provide those who have been injured the best medical care available.
In 2004 our Representatives passed a Unified Budget resulting in a $553.6 billion deficit. They included Social Security and Medicare taxes as well as interest the trust funds earned, which are dedicated to paying Social Security and Medicare costs, not general budget items. Excluding these revenues, the General Budget deficit was $726.1 Billion.
In 2005 there was Katrina and now we have the Rx Medicare drug program. The deficit this year is going to be what, $800 Billion? Interest on the Debt in 2005 was over $450 Billion last year. Its time to just say no to deficits.
There’s no painless solution. The best young workers can do with Social Security is to be paid 29 cents in benefits for each $1 in taxes paid. Raising taxes, retirement age or cutting benefits will not change this fact!
I propose workers retain what was the social security old-age-tax paid by employee/employer in their own accounts; use the current $1.65 Trillion trust fund to pay a means tested benefit of $1,133 per month to each senior in need; then use general revenues. Taking care of those in need is not just a worker's responsibility, but everyone’s. Read my plan at www.justsayno.50megs.com/pdf/larsen_plan
Previous political experience:
I have no previous political experience. I am not a politician.
What are your qualifications for this office?
I’m a mechanical engineer who has solved numerous complex problems. I have estimated the cost of proposed projects identified in contracts and designs. Contracts identify deliverables; in this case benefits. Contracts identify payments; in this case tax revenues. Do the tax payments cover the cost of benefits? If not, then we have deficits. This is our problem. Congress does not know how to budget.
Legislation is no different than specifications found in any design requirement or contract. Being able to understand complex requirements and ensure that payments are adequate to cover benefits will minimize deficits, unfunded programs and tax increases.
What do you hope to accomplish if elected?
I want to restore the American Dream, where in a land of opportunity an individual can work hard and prosper. Every worker has within their grasp the ability for a secure retirement. A secure retirement leads to a secure economy that creates and supports jobs.
To accomplish my goal, the worker must be given the opportunity and ability to save; solve social security’s problem; reform the federal tax code; balance the budget; pension and 401K reform and eliminate ear marks.
It isn’t painless, but the longer we delay, the more pain our children will have to endure because of our failure to act now.
What changes would you make in the structure of local government?
Return control of education to the local level. Washington thinks they know what is best for our children. They pride themselves by how much they return to Indiana. Isn’t it more sensible to leave the money in our local area; let us decide what’s best and how to spend it?
The Federal Government should relinquish control of education back to the states. I want you to feel the pride and satisfaction that you are in control of your children’s education, not a U.S. Representative or Senator in Washington.
Do you have or have you had any children attend school in this school district? If you have, please describe the education they received.
I have five children attending NACS. Though I believe they are receiving an adequate education, I feel the school system could do much better. The Federal Government takes our taxes and doles them back to our schools with strings attached. In addition sending money to the Washington is like having the added cost of a middle man one does not need. We have to pay for all that federal education bureaucracy.