U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Harrisonville, brought her plan for prosperity to Blue Springs Thursday night, addressing a modest crowd at James Walker Elementary School – the last stop on her town hall meeting tour.

U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Harrisonville, brought her plan for prosperity to Blue Springs Thursday night, addressing a modest crowd at James Walker Elementary School – the last stop on her town hall meeting tour.

 Hartzler, who upset longtime incumbent Ike Skelton last year to represent the 4th District, spent half her time explaining her alarm about Washington spending, national defense and partisan struggles for control of the government.

 Riding on a wave of success with the passage of the “Path to Prosperity” plan in the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives, Hartzler wasted no time. With charts emblazoned on a video screen, she expressed dismay over current government spending habits, one that is requiring the government to borrow 42 cents of every dollar it spends.

 “We don’t do that at home, we tighten up,” the former schoolteacher and track coach said, adding that any spending after July 27 will be on borrowed money.

As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Hartzler said the problem is compounded by the fact that China holds 29 percent of the debt owed to foreign countries by the U.S.

In addition, China is building up its defenses while the U.S. is lagging behind.

“What are (the Chinese) doing?” she asked. “I don’t know.”

In addition, Japan holds 20 percent of U.S. foreign debt, the United Kingdom 6.1 percent, while oil-exporting nations hold another 4.8 percent, Brazil 4.2 percent, Taiwan 3.5 percent and Russia 3.4 percent.

“With the devastation in Japan, what happens if they come calling for their debt?” she said.

 Against this backdrop is the “Path to Prosperity” plan, a passed on April 15 by Republicans and derided by Democrats. Among its proposals would be $6.2 trillion in spending cuts in 10 years; the banning of “earmark” appropriations; the targeting of “corporate welfare” and the elimination of hundreds of duplicative programs.

 Its aim, she said, is simple: to bring spending below 2008 levels.

 By doing so, Hartzler said, jobs could be created, national security could be improved and children’s futures could be preserved.

The plan also calls for “tweaking” social programs like Medicare and Medicaid. In one example, states would have control over Medicaid and administer it as they saw fit.

 “The people of Missouri know the people of Missouri best,” she said, adding that the program could be put into grants and issued in that manner.

 Other tactics in the plan include lowering the corporate tax rate to 25 percent, nearly 10 percent less than its current rate, and eliminating the government plan for health care.

 Lowering the corporate tax rate got one audience member’s attention. Bob Yates, a college professor and constituent Hartzler was familiar with, asked why in her pursuit of prosperity did that plan include cutting and/or eliminating important federal programs, like educational grants.

 Yates also questioned why, if the debt was so bad, taxes could not be raised on those living within the higher tax brackets.

 Hartzler said money taken away from business owners in the form of higher taxes and regulations prevents owners from adding employees and expanding.

 “I don’t believe in Washington, D.C., making business owners send more money to D.C.,” she said, adding that compared to other countries, the U.S. has one of the highest corporate tax rates, which in turn causes more corporations to send jobs overseas.

 Ultimately, she said, she agrees with “lowering taxes for everyone.”