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Capitol Report: Lessons From Our First President

Feb 20, 2015

George WashingtonFebruary is the birth month of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and each February, Presidents’ Day offers us a chance to reflect on lessons learned from our former presidents. As America faces challenges at home and abroad, some of George Washington’s lessons are especially relevant today.

“The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon.”
George Washington’s commitment to the Constitution is one of the most important lessons we can take to heart. In Washington, D.C., some seem to have forgotten that Congress is the law-making body in our Constitutional government and the executive branch is tasked with enforcing the laws. We must protect the Constitution our Founding Fathers established and work through the legislative process to move America forward.

“To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.”
America’s military is one of our country’s most valuable resources. Maintaining a world-class military is critical for demonstrating national strength to those who wish to do us harm. We must properly equip our troops and maintain our nation’s military installations to ensure our continued security at home and abroad. In our area, Fort Leonard Wood has many well-established assets like the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence; the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear School; the Engineer School; and the Military Police School that are critical in developing our military leaders. I have been vocal in my unwavering support of Fort Leonard Wood and we must stand together in opposition to operational and personnel cuts at the base.

“To contract new debts is not the way to pay old ones.”
With the president’s $4 trillion budget in front of Congress, including $2.1 trillion in new taxes, Congress must be very thoughtful in how taxpayer dollars are spent. I’ve consistently said that the United States does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. George Washington was absolutely right when he said that we cannot keep driving up our debt to pay for programs we cannot afford. Instead, we must restrain spending and put America back on a path to sustainable economic prosperity.