Issues

Enough is Enough

The Role of Government I believe in the United States Constitution. I believe in the concept of a limited federal government. believe that the federal government’s primary duty is to safeguard our personal freedoms so that we can reach our highest potential as individuals.

Somehow our government has forgotten that. In just a generation Washington has gone from “Ask not what your country can do for you….” to “We will guarantee your GM warranty.”

It also strikes me that Washington has better things to do than to tell us how to live our lives. I don’t want to live in a nanny state or under a government that thinks it should be Big Brother. Generally speaking I believe what you do in your own home or in your private life is your business. At the same time neither is it the government’s job to institutionalize the corruption of American culture and history, or to legislate the wholesale destruction of our traditional community values.

The best balance comes in recognizing and honoring the limitations on the federal government – and the primacy of the people and the states – set forth in the Constitution.

Spending We have all been told that we got into the current financial crisis by spending money we didn’t have. The solution from Washington? Spend more money that we don’t have. Any place other than Washington, that would sound crazy…because it is.

We are on the verge of bankrupting the country, debasing the currency, and throwing the economy into a deathspin.

The deficit spending must end. Now. This year. It is time for the federal government to live within its means.

Jobs We are learning first hand the cruel lesson that the larger government is, the less responsive it is to the people. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the so-called stimulus bill, which we were told would create millions of new jobs.

In truth, all it did was lavish favors on those with political pull: unions, Wall Street, large corporations. Even supporters of the stimulus have now been forced to admit that it likely didn’t even save any jobs, let alone create them.

To have employees, we need employers. Simply demanding jobs, or conjuring them up with deficit spending, does not solve the problem. We need to immediately eliminate the capital gains tax, lower tax rates on business, and cut income tax rates. The best thing that the federal government can do to create jobs is to get out of the way and let the American people — the American people, collectively known as private enterprise and the free market – do what they do best: create, innovate, produce … and hire.

Health Care Does health care need reform? Absolutely. Is more government control the answer? Absolutely not. The solutions can be found – as they are in so many other parts of our economy — in more personal control and free market competition, less government intervention, and some common-sense reforms. This means private purchase and ownership of policies (and the portability that goes with it), interstate competition, an end to the anti-trust exemption for insurance companies, and a crackdown on frivolous malpractice lawsuits.

Social Security - I am committed to doing whatever it takes to protect Social Security for those who planned their lives and retirement around the promise that they will receive its benefits. When the social security program was begun in 1935, more than half of America’s senior citizens were living in poverty. We must ensure that America’s senior citizens are never put in that situation again. I am also dedicated to making sure that future generations benefit from a viable retirement system.

Some politicians have favored privatizing social security. I disagree with that approach as a cure-all. Instead, I look forward to working to find a comprehensive solution that keeps social security both solvent and sustainable.

Bailouts Simply put: no more bailouts. Failure is just as much a part of our free market system as success. In fact, business failures are often the genesis of tremendous innovation and improvement.

Even worse, these bailouts have only served to enrich those with strong political connections. Ownership of GM was stolen from private bondholders – in many cases individuals and retirement funds – and given to unions. The Wall Street bailouts rewarded those who were “too big too fail” … and big enough to have considerable pull in Washington. Smaller, regional and local banks which had managed their assets wisely, but didn’t have the same influence, ended up with more regulation, higher taxes, and lost opportunities.

Cap-and-Trade Energy independence, green technology, and innovation is something we should pursue as a nation. However, we shouldn’t seek to accomplish that by taxing people based on questionable science. Neither should we ignore domestic energy resources – coal, natural gas, oil – because of baseless claims regarding global warming.

I believe that making it easier to drill for and use domestic resources, build nuclear power plants, and develop new technologies is the best formula for ending the current energy regime, which essentially has us empowering governments and groups that are markedly anti-American.

Transparency I remember President Obama’s promise to televise the debate the health care bill on C-Span – only to ignore that promise only months later. I also remember my opponent’s resistance to having town hall meetings (and the one town hall meeting he had where he picked the participants and the questions). Both instances are an embarrassment to the political process.

People need to have confidence that the system works, and that laws are applied evenly and fairly to all. The best way to do this is to simply let people know what is going on with their own government.

Sanctity of Life I believe that life begins at conception. For me, and my wife Pam, that is more than just a political theory or ideology. It is what we saw, first hand, with our own triplets. Once you see what we saw, and lived what we lived, being pro-life is not about politics it is about, well, life.

Term Limits Before I got into government, I opposed term limits, as I believed that 1) the ballot box was the ultimate term “limiter,” and 2) high turnover among accountable, elected officials would give more power to unelected bureaucrats.

After just three years in the legislature, I have changed my mind. With gerrymandering — where lawmakers pick the voters, instead of voters picking the lawmakers – the ballot box has lost much of its power. And the bureaucrats are powerful anyway, simply given the size of government.

Put another way: having seen government up close, I have learned my lesson. I support term limits.