Here I’ll be sharing my political opinions, leanings and philosophy. I’ll be updating this as issues come up or as I consider their political, government, and social ramifications.
Party Affiliation: Republican Party (though I’ll vote for anyone who is Constitutionally aligned, socially moderate, and fiscally responsible)
Religion: Agnostic (specifically Agnostic Theist)
I was raised Methodist and have read several versions of the Bible and Apocrypha, the Book of Mormon, the Torah and Tanakh, the Koran as well as Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, and assorted indigenous, Pagan and New Age beliefs.
Political leanings/influences: Fiscal conservative, social moderate, constructive Constitutionalist, responsible capitalist, secular government, small government, Federalism, States Rights
Politics & Governance Influential Personages: Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater, Dennis DeConcini, Thomas Jefferson, John F. Kennedy
Suggested Political & Philosophy Reading: The Federalist Papers (should be required in all high school and college civics and government classes, IMO), The United States Constitution and Bill of Rights, the Magna Carta, Aristotle, Plato, and to understand differing political philosophy: Machiavelli, Spinoza, Kant, Nietzsche, Marx, and so on.
Abortion I call myself pro-choice/pro-life. That is that I am personally opposed to abortions except in the case of rape, incest, threatening mother’s life, or a seriously defective fetus that would not survive, but I believe the government should have no decision making ability or interference in the woman, her family, and her doctor’s discussion. Attempts by religious groups to define life for the sole purpose of banning abortion and by extension contraceptives is unwarranted, unprovable, and ultimately harmful to solving problems related to reproductive rights and unwanted pregnancies.
Corporate Welfare Corporate welfare such as bailing out of the automotive and finance industries should be banned. They are business and as such should rise and fall of their own accord. Government supporting failing institutes via tax payers funds breeds only an corrupt nature of irresponsibility that only lead to more bailout in the future as these institutions believe they will be rescued every time without consequence. All such bailout funds should also go to non-management employees and secured creditors/debt holders first before any others.
Economic Discrimination It should be illegal to discriminate in employment based solely on individual’s economic status, FICO score, or other similar economic markers. It is reasonable that groups that deal with security issues and finance would desire to be aware of individuals who may prove unreliable or untrustworthy in such fields too often economic status and standing are costing individuals job fields where such concerns are irrelevant. While a relatively new phenomenon, this new form of discrimination is becoming quite prevalent and often used as a cover far more insidious discrimination like racism and sexism.
Emissions Trading I oppose cap and trade as it ignores the real problem: pollution, and the needed solution: cleaner emissions. I also oppose it on the grounds that it allows firms in a certain area to pollute above their levels by simply exchanging for cleaner areas, regardless of the impact of what the increased pollution may have on the local environment and individuals living and working there.
Election Reform Ideally, for me, would be the banning of all political parties returning the election process to the best individual candidates based on the regional issues and concerns of the constituents rather than of national groups. I know that won’t happen with the corrupted system we have at this moment so instead propose the following:
- Limitations on election spending for all parties to prevent those with more money from saturating markets to shutout opposing views.
- Equal access to main stream media for all political parties and independents.
- Mandatory equal access to run for office by all individuals and parties. Currently disenfranchisement exists to prevent alternate parties from attaining easy access to run for office by rules and regulations put into place by the corrupt party entities currently controlling the electoral process in many states.
- Banning all special interest groups, lobbyists, unions, corporations, non-profits, etc., from contributing, supporting, or otherwise indicating preference for or opposition against one party or individual in any way, shape, or form. Such groups are not individual citizens and as such should not be allowed to have greater influence on other individual citizens simply because their status as a group. Elections are for the people, not groups and organizations.
Energy Independence I support developing not only local energy reserves such as oil, gas, shale, et al, (in a responsibly manner) but also development and expansion of solar, nuclear, wind, hydrogen and other sources of alternate fuels so long as each is taken with careful consideration for unintended consequences. For example, we’ve already seen the disastrous effect of taking what were once food crops and turning them into fuel crops has done: high food prices and increasing levels of poverty and starvation throughout the world. Americans also need to demand greater fuel efficient vehicles while themselves looking for energy conserving appliances and lifestyles.
Equal Pay For Equal Work I am a firm believer that all people regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, affiliation, or socio-economic status should receive the same pay when compared to equally qualified and skilled individuals. One should not automatically be paid less simply because of their classification.
Fiscal Responsibility No government, from the Federal on down to State and local governments, should be allows to exceed their budgets except in cases of immediate emergency (i.e. natural disaster, terrorist attack, et al).Liekwise, to prevent governments from perpetuating budget overrides they should not be allowed to exceed budgets for more than two years in a row, per decade.
Budgets should be designed to outlay money in monthly allotments to prevent mismanagement, graft, and other nefarious corruption from siphoning taxpayer dollars.
No government funding or tax increases should be spent on corporate ventures (i.e. sports stadiums) or pork barrel projects, unless said government has surplus funds after having paid all necessities and then only with the approval of the citizenry.
Preferably any surplus funds would be required to be saved in a general emergency fund for any potential future budget shortfalls. After 10 years of surplus, taxation rates should be lowered as it would be evident that the government is taking in more funds that it needs to operate.
Gay Marriage I support gays having the right to be married and that such unions have the same protections, rights, and privileges of heterosexual couples. The government should have no place policing the bedroom and individuals relationships nor elevating one religious doctrine or belief above all others.
Gun Rights I am an adamant supporter of 2nd Amendment rights and firmly believe all law abiding citizens should have the ability to reasonably defend themselves as seen fit. That said, I do support the current instant check and 7-day waiting period. I also believe all people should be required to take and pass a weapons safety and basic marksmanship course before being allowed to purchase a weapon. I vehemently oppose any attempt to require national identification, registration, and permitting of private ownership.
Health Insurance Health insurance is another problem is this country that needs to be addressed. The industry needs to be encouraged to make health insurance affordable for all Americans. In addition, the industry must no longer be allowed to discriminate against individuals that due become ill by increasing rates to levels impossible for people to pay. State governments also need to step up and better regulate state insurance programs to ensure waste is eliminated and their scope limited to needed medical concerns of citizens. Among things that should be eliminated: non-injury or non-disfiguring related cosmetic surgery and fertility treatment.
Health Care Reform The health care industry in this country has become out of control making foolish decisions based not on keeping medical expenses down but on maximizing the industries profits at the expense of the population. Like the financial institutes the health care industry has shown it is unable and/or unwilling to regulate itself. As such, despite my abhorrence to government interference and intrusion, some regulations must be put into place to bring about accountability. Such regulation must include forcing companies to support successful health and wellness programs that promote healthy lifestyles and prevent unnecessary diseases.Among the things I support for health care reform:
- Elimination of coverage denial due to prior condition or genetic history.
- Increased rates due to family history rather than individual history.
- Annual insurance spending limitations.
- Mandatory preventative care coverage and incentives.
- Unification of all health related insurance into comprehensive health care. By this I mean all dental, hearing, vision, prescription drugs, and standard health care would be covered under one plan, no more separate coverage for dentists or optometrists or prescription drugs.
- Generic equivalents to drugs would be required to be made available after a suitable time period (say 5-10 years) to allow drug companies to make a reasonable profit but also ensure the public would not be forced to pay higher drug costs in perpetuity.
I oppose a Federally mandated requirements for individuals to buy insurance or face fines and penalties on the grounds that such a mandate violates the Constitution delineating the powers of the Federal Government and the States. Additionally, such a mandate clearly indicates the government views citizens as property to be regulated and controlled rather than more correctly the government being regulated and controlled by the people.
I’ll write more on the subject after further consideration of this complex issue.
Immigration The immigration policies of the United States are in need of reform. The current system is severely restrictive towards allowing qualified foreign nations in good standing to come to the United States. This has, in part, led to some of the illegal immigration problems suffered primarily in the Southwestern States. Some of the reforms I support are a national crackdown on employers who hire undocumented workers, a reasonable increase in legal visas, and a temporary guest worker program for cross border workers in the Southwest. Correspondingly, enforcement of visas must have absolute punishment for those who intentionally overstay their visas for the sole purpose of remaining in the country. Such punishment must include fines, expulsion for no less than five years for non-violent offenders/criminals, and permanent expulsion for violence and drug offenders.
I am torn on whether illegal immigrants currently in country should be given “amnesty” as I do not think they should be rewarded for violating U.S. law and draining state resources but I am also a pragmatist given their presence in this country. If given amnesty the should be required to face a background and criminal check and pay their taxes at the very least for the years they were present in this nation illegally.
National Security and Intelligence Our national security needs to be depoliticized.
Currently our security agencies are stymied under political correctness unable to do their jobs for fear of facing retribution over perceived “racism” or profiling. For example, if most illegal drug trafficking is occurring from Mexico then it is not racist to state as such and act accordingly. This is true in all national security areas: terrorism, nuclear proliferation, drugs, human trafficking, etc., so it is time to stop hindering the security agencies from using the tools and information they need to do their jobs.
Another politicization problem is elected officials undermining security agencies in their efforts for political gain. Numerous politicians and their staff have leaked confidential information, have lied to public about their personal knowledge of security issues, and often try to punish security experts whenever said experts views, opinions, and actions are contrary to their political agenda. This needs to stop, immediately, and any politician partaking in such activity at the very least censured and the at the very worst brought up on criminal charges.
Outsourcing While I oppose business sending out of country unnecessarily, I support businesses rights to take measures to stay competitive. It’s a highly complex issue involving labor unions, globalization, and exploitation of developing nations. A way for the U.S. government to alleviate this trend is to reform the current business tax rates in this nation. An effective way to bring jobs back to the U.S. would be as follows:
- Business in country would be taxed around 15%-20%.
- Business operating out of country would be taxed 35%.
These taxes would be based on where the actual work is done, not where the business is headquartered in order prevent abuse. Additionally, assorted payroll taxes on businesses and corporations need to be lowered.
Poor and Homeless The poor and homeless are not criminals despite what too many politicians and citizens think. No laws or taxes should be accrued for simply being poor and no law should unfairly target the homeless as is far to often to occur these days. Nonprofit and government agencies should work together to assist the poor and homeless by establishing centers and shelters by which they can get assistance to properly address their situation, not a handout that perpetuates the cycle of poverty and homelessness.
Space Exploration I support space exploration by both the government and private corporations. Government related programs like NASA need to face some reforms to ensure programs are as cost effective as possible, encourage innovation and new ideas, and draw upon technologically progressive individuals and concepts. Development of commercial space should also be encouraged and not subordinated to political agendas. International cooperation should be encouraged and treaties modernized to show relevance to changing world needs. China in particular should be encouraged to sign the space treaties as other space nations have done.
Stem Cell Research I believe restrictions currently in place on stem cell research needs to be removed. The questionable reasons for limiting stem cell research has been based more on religious dogma rather than scientific efforts.
Taxes, Personal Income I am of the opinion that personal income tax codes need to simplified and the tax burden on Americans relieved. I personally feel a flat 5% or 10% income tax would be sufficient but know many would never accept such a simple notion in the name of “economic justice”. So I propose 5% increments for each level starting at 0% for those below the poverty line and increasing with each of the current levels, capping at 25% for the wealthiest Americans. In addition, there should be no exemptions or deductions allowed except for the following: education and health care.
Term Limits Like the Presidential term limits, term limits for all government officials should be implemented.
- House of Representatives: 10 year term limit (Five 2 year terms) with one exception to account for additional time for filling an empty seat due to removal by illness/death/resignation so long as exception does not allow for the equivalent of a sixth term.
- Senate: 12 year term limit (Two 6 year terms) with one exception to account for additional time for filling an empty seat due to removal by illness/death/resignation so long as exception does not allow for the equivalent of a third term.
- Governor and Lt Governor: 10 year term limit. No exceptions.
- State Legislators: 10 year term limit. No exceptions.
Unions Unions have played a great role in protecting American workers in the past, but far too often now unions are corrupt organizations that unduly influence laws and regulations that do little to help anyone except the union leadership and harm small business. My hope is that unions will return to protecting the workers instead of exploiting them and driving up costs for all Americans but I don’t see that happening. As such:
- I oppose national unionization (as proposed by the Federal government’s “Card Check” system) that takes away the secret ballot when deciding whether to unionize.
- Right to work must be guaranteed.
- Union organizations should be banned from all election activities.
- Any union shown to have participated in intimidation or influence peddling of any sort should be stripped of their union status and and agreements considered abrogated and void.