For Bob Morris, a 35-year-old businessman from Fort Wayne, the political is deeply personal. As he explains his priorities for national change, he comes back repeatedly to his own family and his businesses.
As he considers the staggering deficits and accumulating national debt of the federal government, he compares it to “the way the Bob Morris family personally balances our budget. If we spend a dollar we don't have here at the Morris household, we could lose everything we cherish, everything we love,” he said.
Morris has run for office before, but mostly he has concentrated on running his businesses, which range from a seasonal fireworks shop to a chain of health-food stores. How to make ends meet when there was a $1.4 trillion gap between federal revenue and spending in fiscal year 2009, with a $1.2 trillion deficit forecast this year?
Morris grants that at this point, he doesn't know exactly how to bridge that gap, but he said the most crucial point is to get to work on the deficit soon.
He said some spending can't be cut, especially for national defense and, to the degree the federal government is involved, public safety. And he opposes any increase in taxes to contribute to balancing the budget.
However, the urgency of cutting spending ought to motivate lawmakers to question programs that have long gone unquestioned. Morris offered an example: unemployment insurance. “Nothing in our Constitution says we have to pay a man when he is unemployed,” Morris said, noting that stopping unemployment payments would save billions.