As a constitutional conservative, I believe in our founding documents' principals. As such, I shall never vote to restrict any freedom guaranteed by the Bill of Rights for any reason. This includes the right of all citizens to bear arms.
The Constitution of the United States is the oldest (active) written constitution on the planet. Our founders understood that government was a necessary evil and wrote the Bill of Rights with that understanding. However, our rights today are under constant assault from the political establishment. Both sides of the political isle have willingly signed away our rights with unconstitutional laws like RICO, NDAA, Patriot Act and others in the name of "security". As a constitutional conservative, my main goal in congress will be to repeal these encroachments upon our liberties and restore the Bill of Rights, so that generations to come can enjoy the freedoms our founders found so vital to the existence of our nation.
Furthermore, I will never vote for or support a bill that restricts the freedoms guaranteed by our constitution. The Bill of Rights must remain unadulterated if we are to remain a nation of free individuals.
Just about everyone can agree that our current tax system is overly complex, too long and discourages productivity. The way our tax scale is structured, American's are often times discouraged from obtaining a raise or promotion, as they will end up paying a greater percentage of their income to the federal government, and many times taking home less money as a result. The system also places a heavy burden on middle and lower class families, as their wages are not increasing to match inflation. So, Americans have less and less money to live on.
There are two ways to attempt to tackle this problem. Either a "fair tax" where consumer goods are taxed, not your income or a "flat tax" where everyone pays the same percentage with no exemptions/deductions. Both have their individual benefits, with few negatives. Either solution would solve many of the inequities within our system, and would greatly benefit the quality of life for the middle/lower classes.
Personally, I support the "Fair Tax" method out of both solutions, however were a flat tax proposed, I would vote in support of it. The Fair Tax is a sales tax that would only be applied to non-essential items. Food, utilities and other essential items would be untaxed, as well as your income. This would greatly support lower income families who have a hard time paying for life's essentials, as their entire income would come home. This would also free up a large portion of our budget in the form of reduced safety net programs, as those lower income families would no longer require government assistance to survive.
Furthermore, because non-essential consumer items would have a high tax on them, it would discourage wasteful spending and instead encourage saving. As many conservative economists will tell you, consumer spending may drive growth in the short-term, but it has a net negative effect on economic growth and drives inflation. The best way to ensure steady economic growth is through saving and investing. Not only do savings and investment push sustained economic growth, but it also provides American families with a more secure financial future. Most American's today cannot survive an unexpected $500 expense, however if saving were encouraged, the number of families that could weather unexpected expenses would continue to grow, further dwindling the need for safety nets and put less emphasis on retirement/end of life programs like Social Security and Medicare.
One additional benefit both financial and political, is that the Fair Tax system would completely end the need for the IRS, saving the government buckets of cash and preventing the tax code from being used against political opponents.
For more information on the Fair Tax program, visit their website at: https://fairtax.org/about/how-fairtax-works or search Fair Tax on youtube to see many different videos explaining the Prebate system, and its effects on the economy.
One of the most disturbing issues of our time, is our out of control budget and our ever increasing national debt. While both parties may disagree on cutting/raising taxes, neither seem willing to curtail national spending. As a result, inflation continues to impact middle and lower class families all over the nation. Why? Because beyond borrowing money from China and other countries to pay for endless wars, entitlements and government bloat, we have to print more money to cover our expenses. Every time we fire up the printing press, we devalue our currency, creating a "hidden tax" that slowly makes life more expensive for the average American, especially given several decades of stagnant wage growth.
Luckily, there is a solution, albeit a bit painful. We need to come to terms with the fact that the Federal Government is too big, does too many things ineffectively, and costs too much money to sustain. Real cuts to government structure are needed to bring us back within the "black" of our ledger. This doesn't mean sequestration, it means the dissolution of dozens of government programs, departments and agencies across the board. It means cutting entitlements, restructuring Social Security, reducing the size of our 800 military bases in over 80 different countries (this accounts for about $100 billion a year), ending wars in over half a dozen countries, ending the war on drugs, and many other ways we wantonly waste our nation's wealth.
In all, the Federal Government needs to shrink its balance sheet by about 25-50%, and focus on handling only those responsibilities enumerated in our constitution. This is important not only from a budgetary sense, but from a representative sense as well, as your vote carries more weight at the state level, than the national.
As an educator, my goal has always been to create genuine science experiences for my students and inspire a sense of independence within them. The future of our economy and our society will require a citizenry that is creative, highly adaptable, and self-reliant. As such, education needs to drastically change from the puritanical, German model of the late 1700's. Today, the same mode of instruction prevails in classrooms all across the country. Students sit, the teacher talks, worksheets and notes are taken, and finally, assessments and grades are assigned. This model was intended to indoctrinate and practice rote memorization of a narrow field of factual and biblical content, and not conducive to a free thinking, creative workforce. What we need today is a system that looks at how children learn best. We need a system that looks at how kids have learned for millennia, through play and experimentation.
The standardization of education has almost completely killed any innovative practices within the field. Through it, it makes several assumptions:
1. That teachers are incapable of making decisions that best suit their learners.
2. That all learner's cognitive abilities are more or less equivalent.
3. That all learner's needs are the same across the board.
However, educators are very much aware that none of the above is accurate. Kids aren't empty slates, ready to be filled. Every child has different needs, likes, desires. Every student comes from different life circumstances. While student A may come from a loving home, where parents reinforce good morals and learning habits, student B may come from a broken home, that doesn't place education in very high regard and hasn't taught their child the skills necessary to function in a traditional classroom setting. The needs and approaches used for both students in this scenario will be drastically different, yet the standardization of education ensures that teachers are unable to address each student's needs appropriately.
So, the question prevails, what are we to do as policy makers, to ensure that all learners have an opportunity to learn in a manner that suits their needs? The answer is quite simple. We need to get out of the way. We are a society based on the principals of liberty and freedom, and as such, we should have an education system that reflects those values. The very process of standardization is a direct affront to our founding principals, and worse, it stifles innovation within the classroom.
This is why I propose that we end the standardization process pushed by the Department of Education and NCLB, and dissolve the DoE entirely. Control over the minds of young American's should never be left in the hands of our politicians. Students in the inner city don't have the same needs as students in suburbia, and as such, it makes sense to allow those cities to address the needs of their learners as they see fit and give educators the freedom needed to innovate. The more local the control over education, the better and more adaptable it will be.
It is no secret that the NSA is currently spying on its citizens and violating our constitutional rights. Its also no secret that they have repeatedly lied to both congress and the public. Allowing an agency as powerful as the NSA, to operate in such a rogue fashion is simply unacceptable in a free nation. As the NSA has been operating without oversight from "we the people", simple reform measures will likely do nothing to change the rampant constitutional violations. As a result, the NSA should be completely defunded/dissolved. This measure will not only save our country billions each year, but it will strengthen our constitutional freedoms and our republic.
Secondarily, while the addition of the Department of Homeland Security was an attempt to help streamline communications between agencies, it has done little more than add more confusion and more government bloat to the balance sheet. Too often, the right hand knows not what the left is doing, and competition between these different agencies has led to a lack of trust and communication between them, making us less secure as a result, while also obfuscating the process of holding them accountable. This is why I believe it is necessary to take appropriate measures in consolidatating our country’s 17 separate spy agencies into one, saving tax payers a huge chunk of change and increasing the efficiency of operation, making our country safer.
Currently the United States is on pace to spend over $700 billion on our military, which is more money than the next 13 countries combined. Even if we cut our budget by 1/2, we would still be spending billions more than the next closest country, China. Much of what we see in the military budget is ‘sustaining the military industrial base’, meaning we are spending money to keep the profits coming for weapons manufacturing. Currently the government is purchasing tanks, drones, planes, etc. that the military has repeatedly said they neither want, need, nor have a place to store them. Meanwhile, congress continues to appropriate money for these unwanted military expenditures.
The United States also has as many as 800 military bases, in as many as 80 different countries, with U.S. military personnel in over 160 countries. It is funding wars in South America, the Middle East and Africa, and is even covering the expenses for maintaining and upgrading private weapons manufacturing facilities. It’s safe to say that there is plenty of room to cut, without weakening our abilities to protect our country both at home and abroad, or without having a negative impact on our soldiers and their families.