Meeting with Senator Carper

Jim Thomen and Bill Whipple represented SAFE at a half-hour meeting with Senator Tom Carper on Oct. 3, 2016. Our basic message was that balancing the budget is doable, with the necessary political will, and urgently needed. Here's a copy of the SAFE handouts for the meeting, which was cordial and constructive.

A conversation with Senator Tom Carper about the fiscal problem

#Secure America’s Future Economy (originally Seniors Against Federal Extravagance) was formed in 1996. One of our founders was the late Bill Morris, who ran for the US Senate in 2006 (coming in 3rd).

#We are a non-profit, all-volunteer group, not affiliated with any political party or special interest. Our agenda is smaller, more focused, less costly government.

#SAFE has repeatedly offered suggestions to the members of Congress for balancing the budget and stabilizing (or even paying down) the debt. See, e.g., attached letters dated 2/2/11 and 6/3/13.

#Barring decisive action, the fiscal problem could have dire consequences – and that’s not just our opinion. Obama’s debt commission warned of fiscal “cancer,” Dan Balz, Washington Post, 7/12/10.

The co-chairmen of President Obama’s debt and deficit commission offered an ominous assessment of the nation's fiscal future here Sunday, calling current budgetary trends a cancer "that will destroy the country from within" unless checked by tough action in Washington.

#Gross debt is currently nearing $20T, deficit was around $600B for fiscal year 2016, Congress just resorted to a continuing resolution again due to failure to follow its own budget rules.

#The fiscal problem is not insoluble, but the options (list attached) for addressing it may not seem politically appealing to many in DC. Your thoughts on the options would be greatly appreciated.

#At the end there is a flyer providing an introduction to the SAFE website. We like to think that our website contains a lot of useful information. Perhaps some of your staff members would find it a useful resource.

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Secure America’s Future Economy

June 3, 2013

[Individually addressed, e.g., Senator Tom Carper, Delaware]

SAFE is an all-volunteer, grassroots organization, with members in Delaware and over 20 other states, which has been advocating smaller, more focused, less costly government since 1996.

We are appalled by the relentless rise in government spending and debt, and can see little indication that Congress is trying to set things right. Even the House budget plan projects deficits until 2023; the Senate budget plan (and likewise the president’s plan) is not designed to achieve budget balance at all.

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SAFE has proposed an 8-step strategy to address the fiscal problem. Blog page of our website, 5/6/13 entry. What we would stress in this letter, however, is not the points in our plan as such but rather the goal the plan is aimed at – balancing the budget within say three years and keeping it that way.

Some may advocate reducing the deficit to a “sustainable” 3% of Gross Domestic Product, but a balanced budget policy would offer three advantages: (1) Reserve government borrowing capacity for true emergencies, e.g., a major war. (2) Control borrowing costs, which over time threaten to crowd out desired programs. Net interest expense, is currently running over $200 billion per year; it is projected to more than triple over the next 10 years. (3) Minimize the temptation for government leaders to make spending commitments now that will not be affordable later.

SAFE would welcome the opportunity to provide further input. Please let us know how we can help.


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Options for balancing the budget

#Businesslike budgeting

#Cut spending

#Raise taxes

#Promote economic growth

#Restructure entitlement programs

#End Federal Reserve responsibility for promoting full employment


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Current state - Taxes have been hiked substantially in recent years, but government spending is growing even faster and gross debt is nearing $20 trillion. Government oversight and regulations are proliferating, with corresponding erosion of personal liberties. Cherished social programs face an uncertain future due to rising costs. Partisan gridlock reigns in DC, and our political leaders spend more time playing the blame game than solving problems.

About 2/3 of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, according to polls, but that doesn’t mean there is a consensus as to what course adjustments should be made. Many changes are being proposed that would actually make things worse. Unless better thinking is brought to bear, the future doesn’t look bright.

Our agenda - SAFE is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization, which has been advocating smaller, more focused, less costly government since 1996. We have developed a detailed, logical approach for getting the nation’s economy back on track.

The basic changes would be to curb wasteful spending (via targeted cuts), streamline the tax system (our SimpleTax plan is revenue neutral), restructure “entitlements” (Social Security, Medicare, etc.) so they will be affordable over the long term, and rationalize regulations (300+ administrative agencies have been running amok, and it’s time for Congress to rein them in).

Path forward - Perhaps our ideas will seem overly “conservative,” but we urge you to consider them. The logic and specifics are spelled out on SAFE’s website. You might start with the policy statement pages (Political System, Spending & budget discipline, Taxes, Social Security, Healthcare, Education, Energy policy & other regulations). Or go to the Blog page and sample some of the recent entries.

We would appreciate your feedback, whether pro or con. Questions, comments or suggestions may be directed to Here’s to a better tomorrow - for all of us!

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