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U.S. House: Time for new generation has come, Byberg says

Lee Byberg, right, the Republican candidate for U.S. House 7th District, answers questions early Saturday morning at a Beltrami Republicans breakfast. With him is Fargo, N.D., radio personality Scott Hennen. Pioneer Photo/Brad Swenson

Runaway spending in Washington, D.C., has to stop, says Lee Byberg, who wants to be the generation that stops it.

Increasing tax revenue and reducing costs are the only two ways to reach a balanced federal budget, Byberg said Saturday morning at a Beltrami Republicans pancake breakfast rally.

And the way to increase revenue is "by reducing individual and corporate taxes," he said. "That will allow more of the economic engine to retain its profits to invest more into expansion, so you can do more R and D, so the risk takers will take more risk and develop,"

Reducing taxes will lead to more jobs, and then more tax revenue, Byberg said.

"I believe in free enterprise," Byberg said. "That means is that I have to bring policy that will allow the most efficient dollars to stay in the economic engine or sending them to the federal government where they will be wasted."

Byberg, who faces long-term U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, DFL-7th District, had with him Fargo, N.D., radio personality Scott Hennen to help take questions from the 35 people who showed up for politics and pancakes early Saturday morning before going out on literature drops in Bemidji.

"I don't think we can balance the budget without looking at every agency, every federal program and say why are you there, what are your goals and is your role constitutional," Byberg said. "If not, let's start reducing the federal government back to a limited government."

Under a limited government, most decisions are moved from the federal government to the states, he said.

Even though Peterson considers himself a moderate and part of the Blue Dog coalition of conservative Democrats in the House, he still votes for Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the most liberal House member, for speaker, Byberg said.

About 13 years ago, Peterson voted with the Democrat majority about 64 percent of the time, the Willmar Republican said. Now he votes with Pelosi about 93 percent of the time.

"He changed by 30 points," says Byberg. "He talks as if he's a moderate, he endorses the most liberal president we've had in U.S. history. ... He voted for cap and trade, what's moderate about that? On the health care reform, he said he voted against it and that's correct, but it's a system that will add costs and he doesn't like the ideology that comes with it, but he's going to work with it. ... You have to take a stand on it -- repeal it."

Byberg says he favors term limits to cut down on members becoming more powerful and arrogant the longer they serve. He says 10 years is enough.

"This is a time in history where we have to come together as Americans on a mission," he said. "My mission is to be part of a new generation of leaders to take on the mission of conquering the national debt and balance the budget."

Peterson is chairman of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, whose chief mission is the five-year farm bill. But Byberg said if the GOP retakes the House, Peterson will lose that post.

Byberg, if elected, would seek what farmers want and transition that over a 10-year period.

"The general answer I get from farmers is that they want to be more independent, they want less involvement from federal government regulations and the pricing mechanism of the crops that they produce," he said.

On a question about Social Security, Byberg tied that to his anti-abortion views, alleging that abortion killed a generation of Americans that would otherwise be holding jobs and paying into Society Security.

"I will now tie moral law into economic law," he said in making that premise. "For 30 years we have deprived of all generations of Americans of the right to live. These are people who could have been carpenters, mechanics, teachers, scientists, innovators, business owners. They are gone."

Action must begin now so that another generation doesn't experience life, he said.

Calling it nature's law, Byberg said, "As a nation, you cannot continue, you cannot grow, if you don't give life itself the chance to live."

Peterson votes for life, but doesn't champion life, Byberg said.

Byberg has raised more than $350,000, which he says is the most any Peterson challenger ever has raised.

He remains optimistic of a win Tuesday, but said in an interview that it takes several campaigns to get name recognition across the huge 7th District, and did not rule out a 2012 bid.

Also speaking were state House 2B GOP candidate Dave Hancock and Senate 2 Republican Dennis Moser.

Republican visits continue today with 8th District GOP candidate Chip Cravaack rallying in Cass Lake 12:20-12:50 p.m. at the 371 Café and 1:35-2:05 p.m. at the Blackduck Trail's End Restaurant.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, on a marathon across-the-state tour, will stop in Bemidji at 1 a.m. Tuesday at the Beltrami Republicans headquarters in the old Burger King building.