We continue our Member of the Week segment with a questionnaire with the Congressman. We want you to know the most conservative members of Congress on both a professional and personal level because it's important to see them as real people, not just politicians. Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) answers 5 questions, some policy oriented and some personal:
Heritage Action: What aspect of government (i.e., program, department, agency) do you want to reform the most? What legislation are you currently pushing or working on to achieve that reform?
Rep. Flake: The tax code. It's entirely too long at more than 72,000 pages; too cumbersome, and too distorting. I will continue to support proposals that simplify the tax code, specifically reforms that broaden the base and lower overall rates. I'm a cosponsor of the Fair Tax, which would replace the income tax with a national sales tax. A national sales tax would be simple, efficient and yes, fair. By taxing consumption instead of income, taxpayers wouldn't be penalized for working, saving, and investing. Taxpayers would determine the amount of taxes they would pay based on their spending habits. Pending a comprehensive tax reform approach like the Fair Tax, I've pursued different legislative approaches to eliminating various tax loopholes and credits, like those for ethanol.
Additionally, I introduced in the House the Debt Buy Down Act, which would allow taxpayers to designate up to 10-percent of their federal tax liability (what they already owe to the federal government) toward paying down the national debt. The thinking behind this bill is that if Congress won't rein in our debt, why not let taxpayers step in and do it for them?
HA: What's a piece of smaller legislation, or nominee, that is currently on the agenda but flying under the radar that you feel conservatives should be concerned about?
Rep. Flake: Well, it's not a small piece of legislation by any means, but the Farm Bill deserves far more attention. Our current federal agriculture policy is loaded with subsidies that take a toll on taxpayers and distort trade. The Farm Bill reauthorization that's looming will include more of the same unless we can get enough folks to sound the alarm for some much needed changes.
HA: What do you enjoy the most and the least about being a Member of Congress?
Rep. Flake: I like being in the arena, being involved in big decisions about the future of our country. I least like being away from my family so often.
HA: What is your favorite thing to do when you are not in Washington?
Rep. Flake: Hanging out with my wife, Cheryl, and my kids.
HA: What do you miss most about being a kid?
Rep. Flake: Not even knowing, or caring to know, what the term "fundraiser" meant.