Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hartline Responds to Rep. Jim Cooper’s Latest Op-Ed Pretending to Be a Fiscal Conservative

Jeff HartlineNASHVILLE – Jeff Hartline, the leading candidate for the Republican nomination in Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District, has issued the following statement in response to the editorial by Rep. Jim Cooper published in The Tennessean this week in which the long-time incumbent attempts to explain how we should “Slice Government, Close Loopholes.” (Link:

Rep. Cooper, I must say I was surprised by the content of your editorial. You succeed in bashing former President Reagan for raising spending, yet our current spending level is 1.2% higher (based on GDP) today than it was during Reagan’s Presidency, as evidenced by your editorial. You say the key is to find balance in government. This probably sounds great to most of the folks living in the Fifth District. However, I believe you miss the point entirely.

The key to our success as a nation does not rest within finding an acceptable level of size for our federal government. They key rests within the people, working hard, paying their bills, operating their homes within a reasonable budget, and making tough choices. The key is reducing our government to a size that pales in comparison to its current size. Our government is working to maintain its size, thanks partially to your voting record. Although your words express a desire to see a smaller government, your votes say otherwise.

Rep. Cooper, you talk of the budget as though you are an outside observer and are merely commenting on it and then tell us you are fighting for resolution. You are sorely out of touch; your record proves it. You voted for these incredibly expensive programs: Health care reform, bailouts for US Automakers and Wall Street Investment companies chosen by the government, the Cap and Trade energy bill, TARP bailouts, Cash for Clunkers, increasing the available debt limit an additional 2.1 trillion dollars, and Stimulus packages 1 and 2.

Not only were you a participant, but a generally silent participant in these votes. You are complicit in the very spending you despise. Your benchmark for federal spending is based upon the outrageous spending of an ineffective and wasteful Congress. I believe we can do far better than the 20.0% of GDP you suggest in the editorial.

In all fairness, it’s nice to know you want to change your tune. However, the song you are singing does not match the music. You are way off-key. You say, “Greatness does not come cheap.” I say that Liberty comes with a price. The spending you continue to support in Washington is the biggest threat to our liberties in this nation. You say that reducing taxes on Americans will not build a stronger America. Are you suggesting that taking more money from tax-paying citizens WILL create a stronger nation? I certainly don’t believe that to be the case.

Fundamental tax reform cannot take place as long as representatives like you remain in office. It will require a new breed of Congressman to see to it that our future is secured, especially our economic future. After all, Reagan did understand that a smaller federal government is directly correlated with economic security, something you and the current leadership continue to ignore. Instead of solely reducing federal spending, why not reduce the tax burden on productive Americans? That’s a slice we would be happy with.

Jeff Hartline, a former medical practice management consultant and business owner, is a leading candidate for the Republican nomination to challenge Cooper in the November election. Hartline’s campaign, which raised more money from individual donors than any other candidate in the GOP primary, in the first quarter, announced on Tuesday that prominent healthcare business executive and venture capitalist Andy Miller will serve as the campaign’s finance chair.

Learn more about Jeff by visiting his campaign website,

Link to Jeff's blog:

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