Seems like every few years the consumer gets pinched by various energy sectors. Cold weather we can endure, but [potential] hidden deceit in fabricated shortages for financial corporate gain is detrimental to the trust and well being of all Americans. I typically don’t support expanded governmental involvement and regulation, but we have helplessly endured unnecessary and predictable energy spikes on an all too frequent basis. My rationale is based on the obvious lack of industry communication and the inability to maintain consistent overlapping production schedules to avoid volatile so-called shortages resulting in price spikes. This was the case in propane production in 2014, as storage tanks were kept empty and the depropanizers were not near capacity going into the heating season. This is frequently the case with gasoline refineries, as apparently all refineries have to go into maintenance mode - at the same time. Natural gas also gets it shot at profit gouging - there’s no shortage, just commodity trading greed stealing your hard earned money. I’m more than willing to accept a price increase due to supply and demand economics, but to continually call it a shortage when nobody is actually getting shorted is near criminal.
There’s a fine balance when it comes to society’s existence and advancements and the acceptable level of burden placed on the environment. Obviously, and I think everyone agrees to some degree, the burden level on the environment needs to be kept as reasonably close to neutral as possible. I don’t believe it should be the governments position to reward taxpayer money to the direct production of the newest technologies, as there has been numerous politically well connected companies that have squandered billions of taxpayer dollars. Increasing demands on efficiencies need to advance along with the development of new technologies, forcing it only leads to hardships and additional financial burdens placed on all of us.
Sodium Fluoride is a toxic poison. We are lead to believe that by consuming water, at the right fluoritic level, our teeth will be strengthened against decay and yet at the same time there has been no outcry from rural well water drinkers and their rotting mouths demanding fluoridation. Fluoridated water is not recommended for babies and the elderly as it has complications for both age groups, yet everyone in between is presumed fine. How many babies and elderly, due to low income conditions, are left with no choice? Why is there such a divisive fight over this when it comes to removing this chemical that has so many proven negatives that overwhelm any claimed gain by its use? Our friends in Chippewa Falls have done battle several times to keep fluoride out of their water and still, after all this time, no reports of mass decay and rotting teeth. Let’s finally do something about an known toxic compound.
Food Safety/GMO Food/Health
Our food is nutritionally dead and is likely killing us from within! I believe that we either don’t know, don’t care or don’t have the time to investigate everything on a item’s ingredient list of which we consume. We do need government involvement in eliminating dangerous additives that most Americans can’t comprehend. You can still consume whatever you want, the food just needs to be ‘fixed’, and in my experiences you would never know the difference. There are literally 100’s of chemicals added to your food that make it look more pleasing, but not necessarily taste better. In all likelihood it is doing various degrees of damage to our bodies. Let’s look at just two - azodiacarbonamide and the more common MSG (monosodium glutamate), both by the way found to cause cancer in rats. Azodiacarbonamide, until recently, was added to Subway’s bread, to give it more fluff, it’s also found in yoga mats. MSG, found also to cause severe obesity in rats, is not surprisingly still added to almost all forms of junk food. I’m pretty confident that, if you understood and had a choice, you’d ask to hold the MSG and azodiacarbonamide.
The FDA has done an extremely poor job of monitoring ingredients such as those above and Congress has done an even poorer job of keeping abreast of the changes made in the food industry. Maybe even more disturbing is the FDA green lighting nearly all genetically modified foods. With GM foods - the farmer, in conjunction with using harsher pesticides, is able to grow more food faster and cheaper than conventional methods. The trade off is these Frankenstein foods have virtually no nutrients compared to non-GM and those deadly pesticides are introduced into your body and environment. The big winner - Monsanto. Holding most of the GM cards and the patented pesticide poison Roundup. Don’t even get me started on their patents on aluminum and barium resistant seeds and plants. Monsantos’s monopoly strangle hold is a threat to the health and well being of our country and the people need to be protected by Congress taking action.
Pictured is a corncob test using GMO and organic corns placed side by side in the woods. Note how the squirrels eat mainly the organic corn, only eating the GMO as a last resort. This similar test was shown by a farmer near Chippewa Falls, where a cow was given a choice of each and had similar results. What do animals know that we humans are incapable of figuring out? As a side note, all this farmer’s non-GMO corn and others in the region grown traditionally and certified as non-GMO are sent to the west coast for shipment to Japan.
The United States spends roughly 45 billion dollars a year on both humanitarian assistance (60%) and military assistance (40%) to foreign countries. Israel receives the biggest taxpayer handout at slightly over 3 billion dollars a year. Given the current financial state of our country, I’d strive to lower this number as close as possible to zero. I am definitely not for any aid being administered in a cash like payment - if there continues to be such aid then it must be closely accountable.
The United States has shouldered the ills of the world for far too long. This burden needs to be shifted to the United Nations and be part of a world solution. Now with the threat of Russia moving on Ukraine, there is talk of a billion dollar aid package - that makes no sense. We can’t seriously be considering backing Ukraine in the event of Russia claiming it’s once held territory. This money would be much better spent on humanitarian aid on our own people.
Global warming is a whole lot to take in especially since the global temperatures have been actually cooling and the head spokesperson Al Gore is making tens of millions of dollars from his personal crusade. Do we all need to be good stewards of our environment, absolutely and we are doing just that [see my stance on Energy Conservation]. There is no need to squash certain industries and their workforce, the majority being union labor, just because of political pressures and misguided theologies. There is simply just not enough historical data to support global warming theories. Global alarmists tend to ignore that this planet has always had a history of cyclical temperature changes. Record sun spot activity, earth wobble, and numerous solar cycles are seldom accounted for in these theories that the media influences you by reporting it as fact. In reality, the earth has gone through a complete industrial revolution in all countries and the best insufficient 100 year data that they can come up with shows only a quarter of a degree in temperature rise. Not enough in my opinion to sound the alarms and take billions of dollars from various industries and redistribute them to others or even other counties. It’s important to keep in mind that you the end consumer ultimately will bear all of the costs of any government mandated rules and regulations based on disputed theories and agendas.
God and Religion
I take great offense to when my religion, religious beliefs, and my God come under attack from the extreme minority of this nation. Our country is steeped in a history entrenched in religious liberties and beliefs. Our Founding Fathers, whom nearly all were deeply religious, wrote the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing this underlying freedom for all so that no one or no religion undergo any type of religious persecution. As your Congressman, I will always side with protecting our 1st amendment Constitutional rights, whether religious or not both are deserving of respect and equal protections.
Many religious Democrats don’t even realize how deeply hard-line liberalism has infiltrated their political party’s leadership. This collection of individuals, though a minority within the Democrat party, has an extensive commanding control on the influences and the direction of where the party is headed. This is not the God loving and fearing leadership of past Democrats as JFK, Carter and Proxmire. This is the new Liberal Democrat party hell bent on wiping away all existence of God. Click on the image of DNC 2012 Convention Chairman to watch the video of the convention delegates vote on adding “God” and Jerusalem, as the capital of Israel, back to the official language of Democrat party platform. Let’s forget about if he indeed received the 2/3 voice vote necessary for approval, the fact that it was even that close should be extremely disturbing to all Americans.
We have a big government that we’ve been mortgaging our children’s future to pay for. Big government carries big costs and much of the time it’s not just paid with taxpayer dollars, but with diminished freedoms and rights. NSA, TSA, ICE, EPA and IRS are the fastest growing government agencies and there’s no question that most Americans have growing concerns over their overreaching powers.
“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.” Thomas Jefferson
We must strive for a more reasonable and sensible sized government that we as taxpayers can afford. To accomplish this, hard decisions on trimming agencies and reducing expenditures will need to be made. Political parties will argue on how we can do this in such a fragile economy. I maintain, how can we not, when this bloated government is paid for by the our children’s future.
I am in full support of our 2nd Amendment Constitutional Rights! I cringe when there is news of a politicized shooting. The anti-gun crowd uses the tragedy to instantly swarm looking to seize another piece of your rights or if for anything else to continue to fester public doubt. These people fail to see the importance of this right, for it’s not just about the ability to protect one’s self, family and property. The framers of the Constitution wanted you to possess the ability to defend ourselves from being enslaved by a tyrannical government. The short amendment to the Constitution is arguably the most important and reads clear and true:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bare arms, shall not be infringed.
Congress must be on guard at all times. Ready to challenge and defend against any limitations President Obama’s potential successor will try to instill by use of unauthorized executive authority. There can be no weakness or compromise in this matter. To me, any comment, such as the one made by President Obama to take action with or without the support of Congress, is a threat to any law abiding American and puts all our rights and freedoms in danger.
My view on gay marriage fairly put, is one of recognition and here’s why. To me there is no difference from allowing a homosexual union or a homosexual marriage, it’s a matter of semantics, they’re both civil unions. To a homosexual couple however, that may ultimately be the finally pinnacle of acceptance and happiness they rightfully should be allowed to pursue in our civil society and that view is shared with the high courts. As a Christian, who am I to lay judgment? Christians, conceivably the largest group against homosexual marriage, should focus more effort on strengthen their own marriages with God through Holy Matrimony. That being said, if elected, I will lead the fight to protect the 1st amendment rights of religious institutes if there is any type movement whatsoever to forcibly contrive homosexual marriage into any religious establishment that rejects it.
Is there truly separate rights known as ‘homosexual rights’? I support everyone’s rights, as long as your rights don’t infringe on another’s rights there shouldn’t be a problem. Arizona conceded the rights of the religious community in 2014 by the threatening powers apparently possessed by the NFL and now it’s North Carolinas turn. Using the Arizona example and now North Carolina, I do support the rights of anyone seeking to purchase common goods and services from a business open to the general population. However, a business owner offering specialized services to the general population that has a reasonable objection based on their 1st amendment right of religious belief should be allowed to chose their customers. Quite frankly I can’t imagine why anyone would seek to do business where they are not welcomed.
Immigration is a privilege, not a right. Those that are illegally present in our country are not entitled to citizenship simply because they are present. I will vote to strengthen our borders and will not reward amnesty to illegals. Open borders are allowing all sorts of non-immigration related issues to enter this country including: drugs, human trafficking, weapons, gangs, potential terrorists, and eradicated diseases. This is not about the few media propagated hardship stories that may need special legistlation...this is about the security of our nation and our liberties and rights.
We, as a nation with a real adjusted unemployment rate closer to 18%, can not afford to release these jobs to people that are here illegally in this country. Along with the job loses are the additional massive social service costs, schooling costs, health and emergency medical costs, police enforcement costs, jail and prison costs, and the least talked about is the hit on the U.S. monetary supply when currency is shipped out of the country. Having a weak and porous border has dire economic consequences to everyone’s pocketbook
No one is saying that immigrants are not worthy to live in this country. What needs to be understood is legal citizen status is an earned privilege and not a right that we are lead to believe. There is an official orderly legal process that needs to be followed if someone desires permanent entry into our great nation. Our federal government needs to be the strong enforcer of our borders instead of wasting time and resources on trivial lawsuits against states that need this enforcement now. This is an utmost matter of national security. I would vote for the strengthening of our borders to ensure total protection from all known and unknown threats and wouldn’t vote for amnesty for those illegally in our great country.
Even though there are Federal laws prohibiting it’s use, there are now 23 states with some form of legalized medicinal marijuana laws on the books, 4 of them [Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington] also allow for recreational use. About half of those states approved it through pubic referendum, generally with comfortable majority margins. This federal/state conflict cannot exist in a responsible society. My viewpoint on this topic is one of acceptance of responsible use as long as it doesn’t trample on the rights of others. Participants are still subject to public intoxication and illegal distribution laws. I also believe that legalized recreational users forego the right to many of the governmental social services. Marijuana is already a highly accessible drug, just as your high school aged child. By legalizing it, the criminal element is greatly reduced, tax revenues that never existed are now collected and states can now use these new revenues to cure problems that were likely already there. I cautiously await increased abuse reports from these states, but have yet to see one that is troubling over the past several years.
My belief on Medicare is much the same as my belief on Social Security. There are so many people that are depending on Medicare’s promise to be there for them at retirement that this health care option must be protected. Just as social security is in danger of insolvency, so too is medicare and without any changes the program will not be able to pay benefits fully in the next 10 years. Much like most government spending programs there are limited and unpopular solutions available - add more to the program through tax revenues, limit coverage or lessen benefits. There is much confusion as to the exact available numbers and complex data on the survivability of this program, but as a generic belief for me there should be little change for those on medicare now or about to qualify. There are currently no planned changes in the funding of this program. If providing less benefits is to be avoided, then the current 1.45% rate and the $118,500 taxable ceiling or the .9% premium on income earners over $200,000 must be adjusted upwards to account for expenditure increases. With Obamacare in the mix, and diverting funds away from Medicare, there could be any numerous changes to the current program structure or solution.
Minimum Wage Increase
Democrats have been talking a lot this campaign cycle about raising the minimum wage to benefit the low income wage earner and literally no mention of its impact on everyone else. Labor is a component of cost of goods sold and if that increases the price of goods and services offered to the public will also need to increase. Small businesses work with much smaller margins than the silicon valley companies frequently worked into this discussion. Many of these businesses may not be able to absorb a 40% cost increase in their labor force. If the public shies away because of lack sale due to the higher prices, workers will need to be terminated or possibly the business may close. The CBO (Congressional Budget Office) newly released report clearly explains the disadvantages and gross unfairness of such a destructive potential mandate. Lifting 900,000 low wage earned out of poverty at the expense of 500,000 workers losing their job is not an acceptable tradeoff. No where is it governmentally written that minimum wage was purported to provide an individual with a ‘living wage’ and any argument based on this is grossly misstated. If there was such a great concern by Democrats, other than the current vote grabbing tactic, then it should have been taken care of in 2009-2011 when they controlled all branches of government. Is it time for an viable increase after the last one in 2009? Maybe, but I haven’t seen any CBO feasibility studies other than $10.10/hr and $15/hr. This decision can’t just be about the wage earner, it must incorporate fairly all economic aspects for a justifiable outcome.
Our country must be so enabled to protect its sovereignty and that of its ‘closest’ allies. A military force with superior weaponry must also be maintained. Nuclear weaponry must continue to be a vital part of our nation’s defense as the ultimate threat deterrent. We cannot afford to be spread so thin around the globe and continue to be the world’s guardians. We need only to be so equipped to trounce the largest, most capable and most threatening force that is a viable risk to our nation’s sovereignty and way of life. Military budgets will need to minimized and cuts will need to be made, but only to the extent that our nation’s safety is not in jeopardy. The morale of our military personnel needs to be restored to a high honorable level.
“Military Spending is welfare for the well connected military-industrial complex, which enriches itself manufacturing useless boondoggles like the F-35 fighter. We should never confuse legitimate defense spending with military spending, which promotes interventionism overseas and actually undermines our national security.” Dr. Ron Paul
ObamaCare/Affordable Health Care Act
Sold to the American people by a river of lies: If you like your doctor - you can keep your doctor, if you like your plan - you can keep your plan, for the first time 30 million people will be covered by health care, it will cut the cost of your health care, and it will not increase the deficit. All of these promises have been proven to be grossly inaccurate or what I believe are blatant agenda lies. This plan is thus far a massive failure as it was intended by design and will continue to crumble to set the stage for socialized medicine. According to the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) this plan, over the next 10 years, will cost American taxpayers 2-3 trillion dollars and eliminate 2.5 million full time jobs. As of now, only 11% of all new enrollees were people deemed uninsured, a far cry from the sham 30 million figure that this law was purported to fix. This disastrous economic juggernaut needs to be stopped now! Tort reform, open interstate insurance exchanges and other economic options need to be enabled and given time to evolve and work properly. With all the federal and state health care programs that were already operational, there never existed such a dire need to sacrifice so much for so few, that of which the numbers are now currently exposing.
4 out of 5 new enrollees are receiving subsidized policies for now with your tax dollars. When these subsidies end in a few years there will be such a cry over skyrocketing policy prices and deductibles, it just may be too late. United Health Group, the nations largest health care insurer, has now announced in will be leaving most markets and provides further proof of Obamacare’s failure. We’d be so far better off just repealing this disaster and for now and just pay the 10-12 billion dollars that was being absorbed annually by the hospitals to care for the uninsured in providing basic health care. That’s what originally sparked an opportunity for this future single payer plan to be set in motion in the first place.
Everyone’s a reformer when it comes to elections. It all starts by electing the right House leadership that’s willing to bring reforming type bills to the floor for a vote. I believe all elected officials need adhere to a much higher and stringent standards. That they should succumb to a FBI background check and pass it. Their financial data and income flows need to be monitored, as well as that of their relatives beyond immediate family and needs to include friends and cohorts - especially when sponsoring spending bills. Lobbyists and others that interact with such officials also give way to more such scrutiny. All forms of communication needs to be open for inspection. No Congressman should be accepted with a history of learning, psychiatric, and behavioral disorders - even if treated by medications. Some may find that harsh, but if it’s a zero defects mentality standard (2-27) required of those that serve our military forces, then it certainly must be a standard for those that guide it.
A recent CNN poll found 43% of Americans had less than $10,000 saved for retirement, 65% had inadequate savings to retire, and only 10% had a comfortable level of planned savings for a lengthy retirement. There are so many people that are depending on social security to be there for them at retirement. I believe we must work toward preserving this crucial program for all. My last Social Security statement had the following statement:
I would suspect, like most government estimates, that those numbers are overstated. Nonetheless, sacrifices that are unpopular will need to be made in order to achieve solvency. Making no sacrifices at all is ensuring complete system collapse for all future retirees. These sacrifices could include raising the retirement age, raising the maximum taxable earnings ceiling - currently at a $118,500 level, raising the the employer/employee contribution - both at 6.2 % of earnings or reducing benefits paid. I believe the biggest fix needs to come by limiting early program qualification of able bodied individuals that are financially busting this age based system. Specifically, Congress needs to put limits on what conditions qualify a person to be disabled and not the American Medical Association. There are simply too many AMA backed conditions, such as depression and obesity, that lawyer backed able bodied claimants unfairly succeed in getting put into the system.
Clearly the Supreme Court and many other Federal Courts have overstepped their capacity in order to facilitate their political agendas. They are abusing the balance of powers by overturn legislative and executive created laws and stifling the general population’s voice by disallowing direct referendum legislation. What we have here is misbalance of power. The nine politically appointed adjudicators sit wielding their authoritative might, many times exposing their obvious political prejudice, commanding the ultimate unquestionable decisive authority. Nowhere in the Constitution is it written that a Supreme Court justice shall have a lifetime appointment. Only by tradition has this been allowed to carry on for so long. While the conversation on term limits has been focused on legislative members, I believe that these nine justices need also to be included in the discussion. I am in full support of adding a Constitutional amendment to limit their term of judgeship. In Wisconsin, the State Supreme Court is elected by the people to a reasonable 10 year term.
Nobody enjoys paying taxes. Yet, the majority of voters have no problems with sending the same old rank and file politicians to Washington to continue the usual business of tax and spend policies. I’d like to say “if you elect me, I will lower your taxes”, but I can’t. If we can’t agree on cutting spending, then how can we even hope for a reduction of our taxes. You may find some satisfaction in knowing the tax rate for the most wealthy individuals and corporations climbed from 35% to 39.6%, but that won’t help our financial situation much. Though it’s nice thought knowing that JayZ and Miley Cyrus will be paying more, somehow I just know that we’ll be paying just that much more for the products and services we purchase.
In a responsible world without borrowing and printing capabilities, the truth is quite simple: more government spending equals more taxes you pay and less spending equals less taxes. Here’s what I can promise were I to be elected - I will vote heavily on the less spending side, starting with the most recently added new spending. So if the government program you’re benefiting from now, existed say 10 years ago, you’ll probably not feel that much of a pinch. Any new spending will be paid by real tangible current spending reductions. It is possible to bring our taxes down, but we’re going to have to pull together and make some tough sacrifices in order to see some results.
Did the founding fathers envision term longevity such as recently retired John Dingell (D) MI, who served 58 years. What about our own Dave Obey and his nearly 42 years? I believe term limits are necessary to ensure a fair balance of new ideas and viewpoints, keep disloyalty and potential corruption at bay, and it limits the damage of suffering through a rogue official that votes consistently and sometimes blindly along party lines and irresponsibly ignores the facts when making decisions. Ideally, I’d like to see a cap of 12 years of service, but even that number should be put to a national referendum. I also believe that any retirement package need to be limited and any other future benefits need to be kept to a modest level. I also believe a constitutional amendment needs to be added to limit the life time appointments of Supreme Court justices. [See my stance on the Supreme Court here]
From the Office of the United States Trade Representative, trade agreements can create opportunities for Americans and help grow the US economy. I believe this ‘opportunity’ may or may not be the case for everyone, which may lead to inequalities that may not have been present when enacted. Such was the case with NAFTA, which my blue collar union friends love to bring up, to which I maintain it was passed with a Republican Congress and signed into law by Democrat Bill Clinton. I feel that in an open free trade society such agreements may be antiquated, unnecessary and extremely hard to fairly enforce. Yet, without them it could lead to an inflow of exploitively low priced products that would lead to an even more complicated balancing of duties and tariffs. I believe before any such agreements are entered, there needs to be a clear understand of who the benefiting winners are, the potential losers, and all costs and potential gains to the American people. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is one of those disgraceful secretive deals. I am extremely reluctant to favor any free trade agreements.
All Americans owe a debt of gratitude to the United States Armed Forces for preserving our country’s freedoms. Promises made at time of enlistment to our military personnel need to be bindingly kept and adequately maintained as future needs evolve. Our wounded warriors need to be treated with the best medical services available and the utmost care in order for them to proceed in a normal and capable productive life. We must invest funds now until the massive claims backlog at the Veteran’s Administration is cleared up so these veterans can then receive the timely medical care and services that they’ve earned with their service.
I believe the only war we should ever enter should be in defense of the American homeland and those of our greatest allies that directly affect our national sovereignty. The continental Americas, geographically protected by massive oceans, need to be strategical protected from foreign incursion. The US can ill afford to get drawn into future hotspots such as North Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, and numerous African and Middle Eastern countries that are not in our direct interests. Much of my opinion of noninterventionism by the United States military comes from the political saddling that our boys have to endure after the conflict has started. Instead of letting our military forces dominate with all its might and bring it to a quick ending, some political dinks in Washington have to handcuff them with a modern day version of ‘don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes’. This of course leads to more needless deaths, endless money being flushed and even more global hatred toward the United States. I am reluctantly supportive of the use of our Air Force and Naval services, in a no boots on the ground role, to provide support to nations when dealing with such purely evil groups that have no bounds when it comes to recklessly destroying humanity, such as ISIS and Boko Haram.
This is OUR money! Yet we let the government spend it like they had inherited it. Too often the government is spending with no sense or no record of where the money went or what was done with it. We need full disclosure of the money trails and routine audits to ensure all spending is accounted for and used responsibly.
Fiscal responsibility needs to be mandatory of our elected officials. You certainly would not spend recklessly with your family’s money and then hope for the best in the future. Yet somehow it has become common place for our government to do just that. The national debt has become such an enormous problem that it literally hinders the decision making of all spending legislation. It doesn’t matter what political party you belong to, either way it is fiscally irresponsible to continue such unsustainable and reckless spending with no regards to the national debt. Those officials that routinely continue to do so need to be quickly removed from office. Imagine if we had 218 Congressmen that actually had the will to say NO...it all starts by you voting for a candidate that isn’t afraid to put the will of the people first.