An overbearing federal government in Washington is squelching the American Dream, former New York Gov. George Pataki warned in a speech Thursday afternoon in Center City Philadelphia.
The Republican presidential candidate noted that six of the 10 wealthiest counties in the U.S. surround the capital city – and that’s not a good thing, he said.
“What do they make in Washington D.C.? They make credits and exemptions and laws and regulations,” Pataki said at the opening session of the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel.
And most of that product is aimed at smoothing the way for insiders to amass more wealth and power, Pataki said. “The government has become a captive of an inner-beltway mentality of lobbyists and lawyers, the rich and the powerful,” he said. “They have stopped serving the American people.”
Pataki, 69, served three terms as governor of ultra-blue New York from 1995-2003. He has moderate views on social issues – he favors abortion rights, for instance, in a party that is mostly opposed – but reminded several hundred conferees that he had been a fiscal conservative, cutting taxes and shrinking the state workforce by more than 15 percent.
As for Washington, he said he’d shrink the size of the federal government. And he said he would push to ban members of the House and Senate from lobbying – for life.
Pataki was the first of several presidential candidates to pitch to the activists at the leadership conference. Tomorrow, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Carly Fiorina, the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, are all scheduled to speak Friday. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is due in Saturday.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/big_tent/Pataki-says-Washington-killing-American-Dream.html