THE RIPON FORUM to discuss their mission in Washington and their goals for the rest of the year.
“Our Founders created a system of government in which it would be very, very difficult to ever make a dramatic change,” writes Congressman Rich Nugent (FL-5), in one of four original essays penned by GOP freshman for this latest edition. “But now, the problem we face (and the frustration we feel) is that radical change is needed – and fast. It isn’t talked about much, but last year, the federal government paid over $200 billion in interest payments on the debt.
“By the end of 2014, that number will more than double to $550 billion (more than we’ve typically spent on Medicare). And by the end of the decade, interest payments on the debt will be approaching a trillion dollars annually. That’s going to compound, in no small way, the problems we’re already facing trying to find the resources necessary to meet our obligations and priorities. And so we have a paradox … We’re at one of those rare moments in our history where our system of government actually needs to work better than our Founders really intended it to. That’s not going to be easy. It isn’t supposed to be.”
In addition to Nugent, other new Members writing for the latest edition of the 47-year old centrist Republican policy journal are Representatives Renee Ellmers (NC-2), Mike Kelly (PA-3), and Martha Roby (AL-2). The latest FORUM also includes coverage of a May 9th policy breakfast The Ripon Society hosted on the subject with Representatives Kristi Noem (SD-AL) and Tim Scott (SC-1), who in his remarks to the assembled crowd, was blunt about what he believed needed to be accomplished, and he and his freshman colleagues had been elected to do. “The freshman class was sent to Washington to be a firewall so that more bad things would not happen,” Scott stated.