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ISSUES

Issue: Education

The federal government does not own our children. Yet we act as if it does by letting it decide when, how, and what our children will learn.

The federal government does not own our children. Yet we act as if it does by letting it decide when, how, and what our children will learn. We have turned their futures over to lobbyists and bureaucrats.

I support giving educational control back to parents, who know their children better than any politician in D.C. ever will.

The federal government has no constitutional authority to fund or control schools. I want to abolish the unconstitutional, wasteful Department of Education and return its functions to the states. By removing the federal subsidies that inflate costs, schools can be funded by local taxes, and parents and teachers can directly decide how best to allocate the resources.

To help parents with the costs of schooling, I have introduced H.R. 1056, the Family Education Freedom Act, in Congress. This bill would allow parents a tax credit of up to $5,000 (adjustable after 2007 for inflation) per student per year for the cost of attendance at an elementary and/or secondary school. This includes private, parochial, religious, and home schools.

Another bill I have sponsored, H.R. 1059, allows full-time elementary and secondary teachers a $3,000 yearly tax credit, thus easing their financial burden and encouraging good teachers to stay in an underpaid profession.

Many parents have already shown their desire to be free of federal control by either enrolling their children in private schools or homeschooling them. And students enrolled in these alternatives have consistently performed better and tested higher than those in state-run schools.

Years of centralized education have produced nothing but failure and frustrated parents. We can resurrect our public school system if we follow the Constitution and end the federal education monopoly.

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Issue: Environment

I believe that a lack of respect for property rights has led to many [environmental] problems.

The federal government has proven itself untrustworthy with environmental policy by facilitating polluters, subsidizing logging in the National Forests, and instituting one-size-fits-all approaches that too often discriminate against those they are intended to help.

The key to sound environmental policy is respect for private property rights. The strict enforcement of property rights corrects environmental wrongs while increasing the cost of polluting.

In a free market, no one is allowed to pollute his neighbor's land, air, or water. If your property is being damaged, you have every right to sue the polluter, and government should protect that right. After paying damages, the polluter's production and sale costs rise, making it unprofitable to continue doing business the same way. Currently, preemptive regulations and pay-to-pollute schemes favor those wealthy enough to perform the regulatory tap dance, while those who own the polluted land rarely receive a quick or just resolution to their problems.

In Congress, I have followed a constitutional approach to environmental action:

  • I consistently vote against using tax dollars to subsidize logging in National Forests.
  • I am a co-sponsor of legislation designed to encourage the development of alternative and sustainable energy. H.R. 550 extends the investment tax credit to solar energy property and qualified fuel cell property, and H.R. 1772 provides tax credits for the installation of wind energy property.
  • Taxpayers for Common Sense named me a "Treasury Guardian" for my work against environmentally-harmful government spending and corporate welfare.
  • I am a member of the Congressional Green Scissors Coalition, a bipartisan caucus devoted to ending taxpayer subsidies of projects that harm the environment for the benefit of special interests.

Individuals, businesses, localities, and states must be free to negotiate environmental standards. Those who depend on the land for their health and livelihood have the greatest incentive to be responsible stewards.

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Issue: Racism

The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims.

A nation that once prided itself on a sense of rugged individualism has become uncomfortably obsessed with racial group identities.

The collectivist mindset is at the heart of racism.

Government as an institution is particularly ill-suited to combat bigotry. Bigotry at its essence is a problem of the heart, and we cannot change people's hearts by passing more laws and regulations.

It is the federal government that most divides us by race, class, religion, and gender. Through its taxes, restrictive regulations, corporate subsidies, racial set-asides, and welfare programs, government plays far too large a role in determining who succeeds and who fails. Government "benevolence" crowds out genuine goodwill by institutionalizing group thinking, thus making each group suspicious that others are receiving more of the government loot. This leads to resentment and hostility among us.

Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than as individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called "diversity" actually perpetuate racism.

The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims. Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence - not skin color, gender, or ethnicity.

In a free society, every citizen gains a sense of himself as an individual, rather than developing a group or victim mentality. This leads to a sense of individual responsibility and personal pride, making skin color irrelevant. Racism will endure until we stop thinking in terms of groups and begin thinking in terms of individual liberty.

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Issue: Social Security

If all the other members of congress had followed my voting record, the trust fund would be in good shape because I have never voted to spend one penny out of the social security trust fund.

Our nation’s promise to its seniors, once considered a sacred trust, has become little more than a tool for politicians to scare retirees while robbing them of their promised benefits. Today, the Social Security system is broke and broken.

Those in the system are seeing their benefits dwindle due to higher taxes, increasing inflation, and irresponsible public spending.

The proposed solutions, ranging from lower benefits to higher taxes to increasing the age of eligibility, are NOT solutions; they are betrayals.

Imposing any tax on Social Security benefits is unfair and illogical. In Congress, I have introduced the Senior Citizens Tax Elimination Act (H.R. 191), which repeals ALL taxes on Social Security benefits, to eliminate political theft of our seniors’ income and raise their standard of living.

Solvency is the key to keeping our promise to our seniors, and I have introduced the Social Security Preservation Act (H.R. 219) to ensure that money paid into the system is only used for Social Security.

It is fundamentally unfair to give benefits to anyone who has not paid into the system. The Social Security for Americans Only Act (H.R. 190) ends the drain on Social Security caused by illegal aliens seeking the fruits of your labor.

We must also address the desire of younger workers to save and invest on their own. We should cut payroll taxes and give workers the opportunity to seek better returns in the private market.

Excessive government spending has created the insolvency crisis in Social Security. We must significantly reduce spending so that our nation can keep its promise to our seniors.

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Issue: Debt and Taxes

The people know much better how to spend their money than the government

Working Americans like lower taxes. So do I. Lower taxes benefit all of us, creating jobs and allowing us to make more decisions for ourselves about our lives.

Whether a tax cut reduces a single mother’s payroll taxes by $40 a month or allows a business owner to save thousands in capital gains taxes and hire more employees, that tax cut is a good thing. Lower taxes allow more spending, saving, and investing which helps the economy — that means all of us.

Real conservatives have always supported low taxes and low spending.

But today, too many politicians and lobbyists are spending America into ruin. We are nine trillion dollars in debt as a nation. Our mounting government debt endangers the financial future of our children and grandchildren. If we don’t cut spending now, higher taxes and economic disaster will be in their future — and yours.

In addition, the Federal Reserve, our central bank, fosters runaway debt by increasing the money supply — making each dollar in your pocket worth less. The Fed is a private bank run by unelected officials who are not required to be open or accountable to “we the people.”

Worse, our economy and our very independence as a nation is increasingly in the hands of foreign governments such as China and Saudi Arabia, because their central banks also finance our runaway spending.

We cannot continue to allow private banks, wasteful agencies, lobbyists, corporations on welfare, and governments collecting foreign aid to dictate the size of our ballooning budget. We need a new method to prioritize our spending. It’s called the Constitution of the United States

Issue: Border Security and
         Immigration Reform

I don’t think the problem of illegal immigration will ever be solved until we have a healthy, thriving economy.

The talk must stop. We must secure our borders now. A nation without secure borders is no nation at all. It makes no sense to fight terrorists abroad when our own front door is left unlocked. This is my six point plan:

  • Physically secure our borders and coastlines. We must do whatever it takes to control entry into our country before we undertake complicated immigration reform proposals.
  • Enforce visa rules.  Immigration officials must track visa holders and deport anyone who overstays their visa or otherwise violates U.S. law.  This is especially important when we recall that a number of 9/11 terrorists had expired visas.
  • No amnesty.  Estimates suggest that 10 to 20 million people are in our country illegally. That’s a lot of people to reward for breaking our laws.
  • No welfare for illegal aliens.  Americans have welcomed immigrants who seek opportunity, work hard, and play by the rules.  But taxpayers should not pay for illegal immigrants who use hospitals, clinics, schools, roads, and social services.
  • End birthright citizenship.  As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be citizens, the incentive to enter the U.S. illegally will remain strong. 
  • Pass true immigration reform.  The current system is incoherent and unfair.  But current reform proposals would allow up to 60 million more immigrants into our country, according to the Heritage Foundation.  This is insanity.  Legal immigrants from all countries should face the same rules and waiting periods.

Issue: American Independence
         and Sovereignty

I believe in being friends and I like as free travel as possible and I like free trade, but I don’t like more government managements because it essentially protects big industry...

So called free trade deals and world governmental organizations like the International Criminal Court (ICC), NAFTA, GATT, WTO, and CAFTA are a threat to our independence as a nation. They transfer power from our government to unelected foreign elites.

The ICC wants to try our soldiers as war criminals. Both the WTO and CAFTA could force Americans to get a doctor’s prescription to take herbs and vitamins. Alternative treatments could be banned.

The WTO has forced Congress to change our laws, yet we still face trade wars. Today, France is threatening to have U.S. goods taxed throughout Europe. If anything, the WTO makes trade relations worse by giving foreign competitors a new way to attack U.S. jobs.

NAFTA’s superhighway is just one part of a plan to erase the borders between the U.S. and Mexico, called the North American Union. This spawn of powerful special interests, would create a single nation out of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, with a new unelected bureaucracy and money system. Forget about controlling immigration under this scheme.

And a free America, with limited, constitutional government, would be gone forever.

Let’s not forget the UN. It wants to impose a direct tax on us. I successfully fought this move in Congress last year, but if we are going to stop ongoing attempts of this world government body to tax us, we will need leadership from the White House.

We must withdraw from any organizations and trade deals that infringe upon the freedom and independence of the United States of America.

Issue: Privacy and Personal Liberty

The constitution was written to restrain the government, never to restrain the people.

The biggest threat to your privacy is the government. We must drastically limit the ability of government to collect and store data regarding citizens” personal matters.

We must stop the move toward a national ID card system. All states are preparing to issue new driver’s licenses embedded with “standard identifier” data — a national ID. A national ID with new tracking technologies means we’re heading into an Orwellian world of no privacy. I voted against the Real ID Act in March of 2005.

To date, the privacy focus has been on identity theft. It was Congress that created this danger by mandating use of the standard identifier (currently your SSN) in the private sector. For example, banks use SSNs as customer account identifiers because the government requires it.

We must also protect medical privacy. Right now, you’re vulnerable. Under so-called “medical privacy protection” rules, insurance companies and other entities have access to your personal medical information.

Financial privacy? Right now depositing $10,000 in your local bank will generate a “suspicious activity report” to the federal government.

And then there’s the so-called Patriot Act. As originally proposed,

  • Expanded the federal government's ability to use wiretaps without judicial oversight;
  • Allowed nationwide search warrants non-specific to any given location, nor subject to any local judicial oversight;
  • Made it far easier for the government to monitor private internet usage;
  • Authorized “sneak and peek” warrants enabling federal authorities to search a person’s home, office, or personal property without that person’s knowledge; and
  • Required libraries and bookstores to turn over records of books read by their patrons.

I have fought this fight for many years. I sponsored a bill to overturn the Patriot Act and have won some victories, but today the threat to your liberty and privacy is very real. We need leadership at the top that will prevent Washington from centralizing power and private data about our lives.

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Issue: War and Foriegn Policy

The only proper way to go to war, the only legal way to go to war, the only constitutional way to go to war is to declare the war, by the congress, not by the president. The people should be behind it.

The war in Iraq was sold to us with false information. The area is more dangerous now than when we entered it. We destroyed a regime hated by our direct enemies, the jihadists, and created thousands of new recruits for them. This war has cost more than 3,000 American lives, thousands of seriously wounded, and hundreds of billions of dollars. We must have new leadership in the White House to ensure this never happens again.

Both Jefferson and Washington warned us about entangling ourselves in the affairs of other nations. Today, we have troops in 130 countries. We are spread so thin that we have too few troops defending America. And now, there are new calls for a draft of our young men and women.

We can continue to fund and fight no-win police actions around the globe, or we can refocus on securing America and bring the troops home. No war should ever be fought without a declaration of war voted upon by the Congress, as required by the Constitution.

Under no circumstances should the U.S. again go to war as the result of a resolution that comes from an unelected, foreign body, such as the United Nations.

Too often we give foreign aid and intervene on behalf of governments that are despised. Then, we become despised. Too often we have supported those who turn on us, like the Kosovars who aid Islamic terrorists, or the Afghan jihads themselves, and their friend Osama bin Laden. We armed and trained them, and now we’re paying the price.

At the same time, we must not isolate ourselves. The generosity of the American people has been felt around the globe. Many have thanked God for it, in many languages. Let us have a strong America, conducting open trade, travel, communication, and diplomacy with other nations.

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Issue: Property Rights and
         Eminent Domain

We must stop special interests from violating property rights and literally driving families from their homes, farms and ranches.

We must stop special interests from violating property rights and literally driving families from their homes, farms and ranches.

Today, we face a new threat of widespread eminent domain actions as a result of powerful interests who want to build a NAFTA superhighway through the United States from Mexico to Canada.

We also face another danger in regulatory takings: Through excess regulation, governments deprive property owners of significant value and use of their properties — all without paying “just compensation.”

Property rights are the foundation of all rights in a free society. Without the right to own a printing press, for example, freedom of the press becomes meaningless. The next president must get federal agencies out of these schemes to deny property owners their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property.

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Issue: Life and Liberty

I am strongly pro life. Life begins at conception ... but, I do not believe this should be a federal matter. All issues of life and violence and crime and murder are dealt with at the local level.

The right of an innocent, unborn child to life is at the heart of the American ideals of liberty. My professional and legislative record demonstrates my strong commitment to this pro-life principle.

In 40 years of medical practice, I never once considered performing an abortion, nor did I ever find abortion necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman.

In Congress, I have authored legislation that seeks to define life as beginning at conception, HR 1094.

I am also the prime sponsor of HR 300, which would negate the effect of Roe v Wade by removing the ability of federal courts to interfere with state legislation to protect life. This is a practical, direct approach to ending federal court tyranny which threatens our constitutional republic and has caused the deaths of 45 million of the unborn.

I have also authored HR 1095, which prevents federal funds to be used for so-called “population control.”

Many talk about being pro-life. I have taken direct action to restore protection for the unborn.

As an OB/GYN doctor, I’ve delivered over 4,000 babies. That experience has made me an unshakable foe of abortion. Many of you may have read my book, Challenge To Liberty, which champions the idea that there cannot be liberty in a society unless the rights of all innocents are protected. Much can be understood about the civility of a society in observing its regard for the dignity of human life.

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Issue: Health Care

[The Government] is more involved in medicine than many other areas and you see a skyrocketing of prices.

The federal government decided long ago that it knew how to manage your health care better than you and replaced personal responsibility and accountability with a system that puts corporate interests first. Our free market health care system that was once the envy of the world became a federally-managed disaster.

Few people realize that Congress forced Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) on us. HMOs rose to prominence through federal legislation, incentives, and coercion.

Now, the Food and Drug Administration's bias toward large pharmaceutical companies enlarges their power, limits treatment options, and drives consumers to seek Canadian medicines. Regulations from D.C. make it virtually impossible for small business owners to cover their employees. The unemployed often cannot afford insurance, meaning those who need basic medical attention overcrowd emergency rooms and drive up premiums.

The federal government will not suddenly become efficient managers if universal health care is instituted. Government health care only means long waiting periods, lack of choice, poor quality, and frustration. Many Canadians, fed up with socialized medicine, come to the U.S. in order to obtain care. Socialized medicine will not magically work here.

Health care should not be left up to HMOs, big drug companies, and government bureaucrats.

It is time to take back our health care. This is why I support:

  • Making all medical expenses tax deductible.
  • Eliminating federal regulations that discourage small businesses from providing coverage.
  • Giving doctors the freedom to collectively negotiate with insurance companies and drive down the cost of medical care.
  • Making every American eligible for a Health Savings Account (HSA), and removing the requirement that individuals must obtain a high-deductible insurance policy before opening an HSA.
  • Reform licensure requirements so that pharmacists and nurses can perform some basic functions to increase access to care and lower costs.

By removing federal regulations, encouraging competition, and presenting real choices, we can make our health care system the envy of the world once again.

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Issue: Health Freedom

Americans are justifiably concerned over the government’s escalating intervention into their freedom to choose what they eat and how they take care of their health.

Americans are justifiably concerned over the government’s escalating intervention into their freedom to choose what they eat and how they take care of their health.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in order to comply with standards dictated by supra-national organizations such as the UN‘s World Food Code (CODEX), NAFTA, and CAFTA, has been assuming greater control over nutrients, vitamins and natural health care providers to restrict your right to choose the manner in which you manage your health and nutritional needs.

I have been the national leader in preserving Health Freedom.

I have introduced the Health Freedom Protection Act, HR 2117, to ensure Americans can receive truthful health information about supplements and natural remedies.

I support the Access to Medical Treatment Act, H.R. 746, which expands the ability of Americans to use alternative medicine and new treatments.

I oppose legislation that increases the FDA‘s legal powers. FDA has consistently failed to protect the public from dangerous drugs, genetically modified foods, dangerous pesticides and other chemicals in the food supply. Meanwhile they waste public funds attacking safe, healthy foods and dietary supplements

I also opposed the Homeland Security Bill, H.R. 5005, which, in section 304, authorizes the forced vaccination of American citizens against small pox. The government should never have the power to require immunizations or vaccinations.

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Issue: Home Schooling

My commitment to ensuring home schooling remains a practical alternative for American families is unmatched by any Presidential candidate.

My commitment to ensuring home schooling remains a practical alternative for American families is unmatched by any Presidential candidate.

Returning control of education to parents is the centerpiece of my education agenda. As President I will advance tax credits through the Family Education Freedom Act, which reduces taxes to make it easier for parents to home school by allowing them to devote more of their own funds to their children's education.

I am committed to guaranteeing parity for home school diplomas and advancing equal scholarship consideration for students entering college from a home school environment.

We must have permanency in the Department of Defense Home School Tier 1 Pilot Program, providing recruitment status parity for home school graduates. I will use my authority to prevent the Department of Education from regulating home school activities.

I will veto any legislation that creates national standards or national testing for homes school parents or students. I also believe that, as long as No Child Left Behind remains law, it must include the protections for home schoolers included in sec. 9506 (enshrining home schoolers’ rights) and 9527 (guaranteeing no national curriculum).

Federal monies must never be used to undermine the rights of homeschooling parents. I will use the bully pulpit of the Presidency to encourage a culture of educational freedom throughout the nation.

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Issue: The Second Amendment

I share our Founders’ belief that in a free society each citizen must have the right to keep and bear arms.

I share our Founders' belief that in a free society each citizen must have the right to keep and bear arms. They ratified the Second Amendment knowing that this right is the guardian of every other right, and they all would be horrified by the proliferation of unconstitutional legislation that prevents law-abiding Americans from exercising this right.

I have always supported the Second Amendment and these are some of the bills I have introduced in the current Congress to help restore respect for it:

  • H.R. 1096 includes provisions repealing the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act and the Federal Firearms License Reform Act of 1993, two invasive and unconstitutional bills.
  • H.R. 1897 would end the ban on carrying a firearm in the National Park System, restoring Americans� ability to protect themselves in potentially hazardous situations.
  • H.R. 3305 would allow pilots and specially assigned law enforcement personnel to carry firearms in order to protect airline passengers, possibly preventing future 9/11-style attacks.
  • H.R. 1146 would end our membership in the United Nations, protecting us from their attempts to tax our guns or disarm us entirely.

In the past, I introduced legislation to repeal the so-called "assault weapons" ban before its 2004 sunset, and I will oppose any attempts to reinstate it.

I also recently opposed H.R. 2640, which would allow government-appointed psychiatrists to ban U.S. veterans experiencing even mild forms of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome from ever owning a gun.

You have the right to protect your life, liberty, and property. As President, I will continue to guard the liberties stated in the Second Amendment.

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Issue: No Taxes on Tips

It is an outrage that waiters, waitresses, and other service-sector employees have to pay taxes on the tips they earn.

It is an outrage that waiters, waitresses, and other service-sector employees have to pay taxes on the tips they earn. The IRS makes an estimate of how much service-sector workers will make in tips, and taxes them on it even if the taxpayer did not actually earn as much as the IRS' estimate!

Tips provide a substantial portion of the income of many service-sector employees, many of whom are young people just trying to make a few extra dollars to get through school, or single parents often balancing two jobs while trying to make enough to raise a family. This tax amounts to nothing more than the federal government punishing these employees for working hard and doing their jobs well.

I have introduced H.R. 3664 in Congress to end this problem. The Tax Free Tips Act of 2007 will exempt tips from federal income and payroll taxes. Ending taxes on tips will give workers an immediate pay raise, letting them keep more money to put toward things like a house or car payment, their retirement, or their own and/or their children's education.

When you give someone a tip, you should not have to simultaneously tip the federal government.

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Issue: Ending the IRS

If we stop incurring this debt, we can quickly end the IRS.

I have long been an advocate of ending the income tax and eliminating the IRS. People tell me that this is a laudable goal, but they don't see how it would be possible. The question that I am often asked is, "How would the government pay for the services they provide, or pay their employees, if there were no income tax?"

Between 1787 and 1913, we had no permanent income tax system, and America prospered! The Sixteenth Amendment was ratified to prevent the Supreme Court from ruling the income tax unconstitutional, as it had done in 1895.

The income tax isn't necessary to pay for government services. Few people know that every penny of the income tax is used to service federal debt, a large percentage of which is held by foreign investors and governments. Our government is borrowing nearly three billion dollars a day in order to perpetuate the welfare state and an international war-making empire. The fruits of your labor are going directly to Saudi millionaires and Chinese communist officials.

If we stop incurring this debt, we can quickly end the IRS.

Only about 42 percent of government revenue is collected through the personal income tax. During the course of the Bush presidency, government spending has increased by about 75 percent. Cutting spending to the same level it was at seven years ago would make it possible to render the personal income tax unnecessary.

If we further reduced spending to the 1992 level, we could quickly pay off our foreign debt, return our nation to solvency, and make April 15th a normal day.

Would you be comfortable with the government providing the services they did just fifteen years ago if it meant never paying income taxes again?

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Issue: The Inflation Tax

Day by day, every dollar you have is being devalued. You pay an inflation tax without even realizing it ...

Today, the federal government burdens us with one of the most dangerous taxes it can impose — the inflation tax. When the federal government finds that it cannot afford its out-of-control spending, and is unwilling to directly tax the public, it resorts simply to creating the money out of thin air.

Inflating the money supply is the easiest form of financing the government. The Federal Reserve, an unelected and unaccountable private organization, pumps more dollars into the economy whenever it chooses. Because the public is forced to accept these bills, the Fed essentially gets away with legally counterfeiting. We cannot possibly expect the government to control spending when it has a blank checkbook.

This greatly benefits the politicians and special interests — they are able to finance the massive welfare-warfare state. But how does this inflation affect you?

Basic economics tells us that the more there is of a good, the less valuable it becomes. This is also true of money. The dollar is worth four cents of what it was when the Federal Reserve was created in 1913.

Day by day, every dollar you have is being devalued. You pay an inflation tax without even realizing it because you are forced by a falling dollar to pay more for goods and services.

The disastrous fiscal policies of our own government, marked by shameless deficit spending and Federal Reserve currency devaluation, are some of the greatest threats facing our nation today. It is this one-two punch — Congress spending more than it can tax or borrow, and the Treasury printing money to make up the difference — that threatens to impoverish us by further destroying the value of our dollars.

By legalizing competing currencies, we can end the Federal Reserve’s stranglehold on our money supply and begin to restore value to the dollar. But Congress will continue to spend extravagantly until we the people make our views known at the ballot box.

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Issue: Energy

Any source that truly is cheaper and cleaner, yet still reliable, will not need government help to develop or sell.

Government regulations, taxes, and corporate subsidies have distorted the energy market, causing some prices to rise above what they would be in the free market, while artificially lowering other prices and discouraging conservation. The costs of energy subsidies are hidden in your tax bill so the government can silently withhold them from your wallet with each paycheck.

As president, I will work to restore a free-market in energy. In particular, I will work with Congress to repeal federal regulations and taxes that impede the development of new energy sources. Such policies give government bureaucrats the power to pick winners and losers, and cause resources to be devoted to those producers with the most political clout rather than to the producers who are best able to meet the needs of consumers. Alternative sources should prove their viability in the free market. Any source that truly is cheaper and cleaner, yet still reliable, will not need government help to develop or sell.

Returning to a free market in energy will encourage conservation as well as the development of new forms of energy. In a free market, conservation occurs naturally when property rights are strictly enforced to prevent pollution and because resources become more costly as they become scarcer.

I have cosponsored legislation designed to encourage the development of alternative energy. H.R. 550 extends the investment tax credit to solar energy property and qualified fuel cell property, and H.R. 1772 provides tax credits for the installation of wind energy property.

Nuclear energy can also provide the American people with a reliable and environmentally sound alternative. Therefore, I will repeal federal regulations that hinder the development of nuclear energy. However, I will also repeal all federal subsidies and privileges granted the nuclear industry. Nuclear power should prove its worth in the free-market.

Clean, safe, and reliable energy is far too important to leave to the political whims of Washington bureaucrats.

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Issue: Veterans

A top priority for me is to take care of our veterans and I would do that by saving money elsewhere.

Many politicians talk about honoring our veterans and their sacrifices. Yet so often the rhetoric obscures the reality that the federal government treats veterans badly. Congress wastes billions of dollars on countless unconstitutional programs, but fails to provide adequately for the men and women who carry out the most important constitutional function: national defense.

Any nation willing to ask its men and women to risk their lives serving overseas must also be willing to fulfill the promises that were made to them when they enlisted in our country’s service. We cannot provide adequate care with a VA that is run like the IRS.

One of the most shameful ways our veterans are mistreated is in the area of concurrent receipt benefits. Existing federal rules force disabled veterans to give up their military retirement pay in order to receive VA disability benefits. Every VA disability dollar paid to a veteran is deducted from his retirement pay, effectively creating a “disabled veterans tax”. No other group of federal employees is subject to this unfair standard; in every other case, disability pay is viewed as distinct from standard retirement pay.

Ultimately, we can best honor both our veterans and our current armed forces by changing our foreign policy to one that serves America’s interests. Today’s soldiers are our future veterans, and they should never be sent to war without clear objectives that serve definite American national security interests.

I support:

  • Reforming the VA to make sure that it efficiently provides affordable care and benefits to our veterans.
  • Giving employers a tax credit for hiring veterans.
  • Narrowing the pay gap that exists between military and private sector pay scales.
  • Restoring health care coverage to retired service members and reducing their out-of-pocket costs.
  • Establishing a House Select Committee on POW and MIA Affairs.
  • Fully investigating the causes of Gulf War illnesses and providing all necessary treatments to veterans suffering from those illnesses.
  • Immediately ending the requirement that disabled veterans give up their military retirement pay in order to receive VA disability benefits.

Having served in the U.S. Air Force for five years, I feel an obligation to our veterans and current armed forces. As a congressman, I have fought hard to make sure veterans receive the care and respect they deserve. I will continue that fight as president.

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Issue: Iraq

A well-intended but flawed policy has produced conditions that have led to a war dominated by procrastination, without victory or resolution in sight.

The United States invaded Iraq under false pretenses without a constitutionally-required declaration of war. Our Founders understood that how we go to war is as important as when we go to war, which is why they vested the power to declare war in the Legislative Branch. The resolution passed in Congress authorizing the president to use force in Iraq said nothing about the U.S. Constitution, but it mentioned the United Nations a dozen times. The United States should never go to war to enforce UN resolutions!

Our continued presence in Iraq is serving as a recruiting tool for al-Qaeda. A recent National Intelligence Estimate found that the U.S. presence in Iraq has had a “rejuvenating” effect on the terrorist group. Proponents of the surge say that we are achieving victory. However, even if the level of our troops being killed has declined, they are still being targeted and the Iraqi government is no closer to stability, meaning that the violence will continue.

While we keep our focus on Iraq indefinitely, bin Laden remains free to plot his next attack, and can continue to portray us as occupiers and recruit more volunteers to his cause. Shortly after 9/11, I voted for the authorization to go into Afghanistan because it told the president to do what he already had the authority to do: go after the ones who directly hit us. I was extremely disappointed that the mission there changed to one of nation-building.

Military experts, including Generals Barry McCaffrey and John Batiste, have sounded the warning that our military is stretched so thin because of Iraq and our other commitments that, as General Batiste put it recently, “our Army and Marine Corps are at a breaking point with little to show for it.” A weakened and over-committed military is a recipe for a national security disaster. Meanwhile, Washington continues to talk about how many other countries it could send troops to.

As if a national debt topping $9 trillion is not bad enough, each day this war is fought, deficit spending increases. To avoid raising taxes and the subsequent anger that would follow come election time, the federal government will continue to borrow money from countries like Saudi Arabia and China, making your children and grandchildren’s futures dependent on the actions of other nations and selling out our national security to the highest bidder.

Make no mistake, as Congress spends more and more, there will be less and less to fund Social Security and Medicare, the programs Washington has made us dependent on, without a massive tax increase. Meanwhile, bin Laden proclaims that our falling dollar is a sign that al-Qaeda’s “bleed-until-bankruptcy plan” is working.

On my first day as commander-in-chief, I will direct the Joint Chiefs of Staff and our commanders on the ground to devise and execute a plan to immediately withdraw our troops in the safest manner possible.

Those who caution that leaving Iraq would be a disaster are the same ones who promised the conflict would be a “cake-walk.” It is impossible to tell how long we will have to stay and how many lives we will have to lose if we wait for political factions that have been at war for centuries to come together.

As long as we occupy Iraq, the violence against our troops will continue, and the Iraqi government will become more dependent on us. It is in the best interests of the Iraqi people that we return their country to them immediately. Indeed, violence has already gone down in the areas that are not as heavily occupied.

It is now time to bring our troops home. We must return our focus to finding bin Laden and making sure that we can be prepared for any future threats against our national security.

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Issue: National Defense

We seem to have forgotten that our primary objective in the war on terror is to capture or kill bin Laden and his henchmen.

A defense policy designed to keep Americans safe should start with the idea that we must secure our borders from those who would cross them to do us harm. Currently, the United States maintains hundreds of thousands of troops in more than 100 foreign countries. In many cases, they are there to defend foreign borders. Maintaining such a global empire drains nearly one trillion dollars from the U.S. economy each year, while offering very little real security for the American people. What’s worse, our U.S. Border Guards are sent overseas to places like Iraq while our own borders remain porous and vulnerable.

According to the 9/11 Commission Report, the terrorists who attacked the U.S. on September 11, 2001, had obtained some 24 visas to enter the United States under false pretenses or with incomplete or misleading applications. All these should have been caught and refused. The fact that this did not happen is another indictment on our inadequate border security system.

As president, I would:

  • Make securing our borders against a possible terrorist threat the top defense priority. No one who seeks to do us harm should be allowed to cross the border into U.S. territory. After all, a defense policy should benefit those who actually pay for it: the American people.
  • Re-focus the efforts of our military and intelligence services on locating those individuals who planned the terrorist attacks on the U.S. and who remain at large. It must be made clear that the United States cannot be attacked with impunity. When I voted for the authorization to use force against those who attacked us in 2001, I did not imagine that we would be getting bogged down for years in a nation-building exercise in Afghanistan while the perpetrators remain at large. Efforts in that part of the world should be exclusively focused on apprehending those responsible for the attacks against the United States.
  • Push for a complete overhaul of U.S. intelligence requirements and capabilities. For far too long, Congress has operated under the assumption that simply spending more on the intelligence community would make it more effective and efficient. We have unfortunately learned the hard way that this is not a wise approach. I have consulted with numerous current and former intelligence professionals about the need to re-assess our intelligence community and how it should function, and I will take action to implement such reforms as president.

I have introduced several pieces of legislation designed to strengthen our capability to find the 9/11 perpetrators and protect our nation against future attacks:

  • H.R. 3216 would authorize the president to issue letters of marque and reprisal, naming private sources who can capture or kill our enemies. This method works in conjunction with our military efforts, creating an incentive for people on the ground close to bin Laden to kill or capture him and his associates. Letters of marque are especially suited to fight against individuals who can melt into the civilian population or hide in remote areas.
  • H.R. 3305 would allow pilots and specially assigned law enforcement personnel to carry firearms in order to protect airline passengers. Pilots must have the choice to carry weapons as a last line of defense against future hijacking attempts.
  • H.R. 3217 would prohibit the issuance of student, training, vocational, and diversity visas without presidential review to anyone from a country that repeatedly supports terrorism or does not cooperate fully with U.S. antiterrorism efforts.

Keeping America safe and secure is about more than the size of the defense budget or the number of U.S. military personnel. An America-first defense policy understands the need to rationally assess the threats that do exist to the United States and then figure out what we can do to minimize those threats. We must be willing to ask and answer the hard questions. Has our foreign policy of interventionism overseas increased or decreased the threats to our security? When we interfere in a foreign election or foment unrest abroad, are the people more or less likely to harbor ill-feelings toward the United States and the American people?

We must move beyond the assertions of some that “they hate us because we are prosperous and free” and earnestly attempt to understand what it is that motivates others to wish us harm and then to act upon those wishes. We must understand that many of the threats to the United States from overseas come from non-state actors rather than states. I have consulted and will continue to consult defense experts who are well-versed in such important topics as fourth generation warfare and how the U.S. can respond to emerging trends and threats.

A defense policy for the United States should first seek to make Americans safer. A foreign policy of non-interventionism overseas will be the first step in reducing threats to the U.S. My policy will enable us to focus our resources where they belong: in defense of the United States and the American people. An America-first defense policy will not go abroad seeking monsters to slay, but will deter through strength and lead by example.

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