Statement of Larry Grant

I've chosen to run for Congress because we have a crisis in leadership in this country. Congress is simply not doing its job and we need fresh leadership to get America back on track.

Examples are everywhere, but there are three overriding issues that illustrate the problem. The first is spending. Congress is on a spree like no other in history. We are facing ever deepening deficits and an overwhelming national debt. Yet Congress continues to ignore the most fundamental of principles that if you spend more money than you take in, you go into debt. People can talk about tax cuts all they want, but running a deficit is nothing more than a deferred tax increase because we - that's you and I, our children and grandchildren - will have to pay it sooner or later, with interest.

The second problem is corruption. We've had numerous people plead guilty to bribery and conspiracy at the highest levels of our government. The investigations continue. Yet Congress has done nothing to end free lunches, golf trips to Scotland, or subsidized trips on private corporate jets. Some blame lobbyists for the problem, but the sad truth is that congressmen are not the victims here. You cannot bribe a congressman unless he takes the money and puts it in his pocket.

The third problem is bureaucratic bungling. We have spent several years and over a billion dollars reorganizing the federal bureaucracy only to turn FEMA into one of the most inept government agencies of all time. Congress has an oversight role over every federal agency, but obviously, they have been looking the other way.

And, to top it all off, Congress gave itself another pay raise this year. Does anyone really believe they deserve it?

Here is what I want to do instead. Get back to pay-as-you-go government. Congress used to have rules that they could not pass a law unless they knew how much it would cost, where the money was coming from, and that it would not increase the national debt.

Turn the House Ethics Committee back into an effective oversight committee. It used to be a bi-partisan committee with a non-partisan staff. Current leadership scuttled that structure out of self-interest in favor of the ineffective, mostly superfluous committee we have now.

Make sure that experienced, competent leaders are appointed to head government agencies. Congress, in its oversight role, must demand that all agencies be efficient, effective and accountable.

These things aren't too much to ask. But somehow our current leadership doesn't seem to be up to the job. So, if you really want to send Congress a message that you are tired of deficit spending, corruption and governmental failure, then send someone new to Congress, someone like me, who will work hard to restore responsibility and accountability to our government.