As the country geared up for President Obama’s State of the Union Address last month, NTU Foundation followers were putting their money where their mouths are. They took the facts, figures, and conclusions of our research and placed their guesses as to how much the speech’s proposals could cost taxpayers.
Dylan Grimsled was one member of Team Taxpayer who placed a guess. He was right on the money. His guess of $61 billion in spending increases was one of the closest entry in our SOTU Price Tag contest. We wanted to learn more about Dylan and share his insights with you. Care to share your own thoughts? Send me an email with these questions answered and you could be featured on NTUF’s blog!
Without further ado, here’s Dylan Grimsled:
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am currently 19 years old and live where I grew up, Jefferson County, WI. I am attending the University of Wisconsin - Madison and am pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Personal Finance. While most of my time is spent attending college full time and working two jobs, I enjoy my free time sifting through the political happenings of the day, especially the financial/economic spectrum of the issue(s). Also, I like looking through my city's, state's, and the US budgets to see where all the money goes, and so I can build my own preferred budgets with all my ideas to fix those budgets.
How did you get involved in the taxpayer movement?
During the 2008 election cycle, when I was in middle school, my parents were proactive in getting me engaged in the process by inquiring as to which political figures I preferred and most importantly, why I preferred those figures. Since then, I've spent more and more time researching (usually at least two hours/day) the issues and deciding where I stand on them and why I stand there. The research is what brought me to NTUF and other tax related organizations, i.e. Tax Foundation.
Are you apart of a local taxpayer association, Tea Party group, or other advocacy organization?
I am not currently involved or a member of any group. However, I was part of the College Republicans Student Organization at the UW-Madison campus.
Who is your favorite political figure?
What is your favorite book?
1984 by George Orwell
Describe Congress in 5 words.
A collection of self-serving panderers.
How would you balance the federal budget?
I've built a whole excel spreadsheet budget with ideas to deal with it, but in general: phase out all federal programs/agencies except defense/veterans, foreign affairs, and the functioning of the judicial, executive, and legislative branches. The remaining areas would receive large haircuts as well: pay freezes/reductions, elimination of most congressional benefits, priority based budgeting. Basically, return most functions to the states to bring the power closer to the people and increase interstate competition, and to reduce/eliminate extortion by the Federal government towards the states. Use the same spending growth limit illustrated in my answer to the question below. Replace/Constitutionally prohibit individual and corporate income taxes with a sales tax.
If Congress were to pass one fiscal measure, what would you want it to be?
A law, or amendment, that limited total year-over-year federal spending growth to the previous five year average of: inflation plus population growth.
If you could tell other taxpayers how to make a difference, what should they do?
Make sure to do your research first; you can't change a legislator's, or anyone else's, mind without evidence to back up your claim for what you think should be done.
Check out NTUF’s complete analysis of President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address and subscribe to receive the latest from Team Taxpayer’s Foundation. Want to help NTUF reach more taxpayers? Make a tax-deductible donation and help us keep a tab on Congress!