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Pat Toomey

Former Republican congressman from Pennsylvania Pat Toomey, the new president of the Club for Growth, was Wednesday's guest. Here are excerpts from his remarks:

On whether President Bush's new budget lives up to the club's call for limited government and lower taxes:

"By Washington standards, it is pretty extraordinary to propose an actual dollar reduction in any significant category of government spending. And the president has done that with ... all nonsecurity discretionary spending. I'd like to see it more dramatic than seven-tenths of a percent."

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On criticism that Bush is a big-government conservative:

"In his first term, there were certainly examples of expanding government beyond what most limited-government conservatives want to see. I am hopeful the second administration will be better than the first in that respect."

On the long-term political impact of personal Social Security accounts:

"The ownership society does have profound implications, and they include political implications. If it succeeds in undermining the liberal economic policy that most Democrats hold, that's fine with me."

On the club's ad campaign against liberal Republicans in Congress:

"I just don't accept the idea that we have to take whole categories of incumbents off the table and say we can't do any better.... We are not a Republican institution, we are a pro-growth organization."


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