Rep. Jon Porter, R-Nev., said Thursday he believes the U.S. can and must win the Iraq War and doesn't need the Democratic-sponsored tax increase to pay for it.
"People tell me they're not happy with the way the war has been handled, but 60 percent of them agree the war has to be fought," he told reporters after addressing the Nevada Legislature. "I believe we have to win the war."
Porter said he hears the same from the soldiers fighting in Iraq.
"They want to take away freedom," he said. "If we don't continue the fight, they will follow us here. I believe that."
He said the Democrats pushed through the "biggest tax increase in history - $400 billion." He said that works out to $3,000 more in taxes for every one in Nevada. That number, however, is an average which includes the rich and big corporations as well as the middle class.
Porter said the increase isn't needed if Congress is willing to eliminate some of the waste in the federal government.
"There are eight agencies inspecting frozen pizza," he said. And he said the child welfare budget has $30,000 or more per child on welfare.
"It's ridiculous we're spending that amount of money," he said. "That money isn't all getting to the kids."
And, he said, there are more employees in the U.S. Department of Agriculture than there are farmers in the U.S.
"It's all bureaucracy," he said.
But, Porter said, there is one area where he supports expanding federal services. He said he is signed on a bill to expand Medicaid to more children.
"I will vote for it, yes, absolutely," he said.
Porter said he would also speak to Nevada lawmakers Thursday about his bill to permit public/private partnerships to expand the federal highway system. His plan calls for demonstration projects to test the idea of letting businesses build and operate toll roads alongside existing highways.
The best candidates in Nevada, he said would be Interstate 15 south of Las Vegas, the Boulder Highway into Las Vegas and Interstate 80 between Reno and Sacramento.
Porter said those who wanted to get out of the heavy traffic would pay the toll to use the new, expanded lanes. Those who didn't could still use the existing roads for free.
But he said he wouldn't support the idea of a toll road as the only route between two cities.
• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 687-8750.