National defense budget
In these turbulent times on the world stage and our ongoing defense against global terrorism the defense budget and how we manage it must be done with thoughtful deliberation.
As a 30 year Veteran who has lived through the Post Vietnam military drawdown, Cold War drawdown, and the post Global War on Terror drawdown, as a Department of Defense Civil Servant, I can speak with experience on the drawdown announcement made by the Secretary of Defense. If the Government wants to downsize the force due to a lack of actual combat operations or Stability Operations in hazardous areas such as Afghanistan, I applaud a drawdown under the conditions that not one dime of the savings from the reduction of force will be spent on anything other than:
Pay service members enough to not need food stamp to feed their families.
Approve and pay every current backlogged veterans disability claim.
Rebuild the aging base infrastructure that has been placed on the back burner due to multiple deployments.
Stop trying to defund the Commissary system which is a covenant between the government and those that serve.
No cuts to training dollars of the active force so that they remain fully capable as promised to the American people.
Fully fund and lock in the medical cost and retirement pay for every retired service member and their spouses.
If anything remains, it should all go back to the American people as a tax cut, because it is their taxes that pay for the National Defense.
Immigration has become an issue that is much too complicated due to political agendas. Immigration reform should be built from three basic fundamental points: 1. Our borders must be secure. 2. We need legal immigration to augment the workforce. 3. All immigrant workers must be documented. Please take the time to read the attached proposal (link). It is not the only answer, but this proposal lays the groundwork for what I believe is fundamental to true immigration reform.
The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
The insurance system we had before was not efficient and was becoming the fastest rising expenditure of government. Something had to be done; however, at this point we can safely say that the new health care system has not delivered as promised. I am opposed to Repeal and Smash and am more in favor of correct and simplify. There are positive aspects included in the ACA, but all parties must be open to constructive criticism as well as intelligent improvement. There are many institutions that are threatened by reforms; however, substantial common ground could be reached to allow for profit as well as high quality health care. We as voters have an opportunity to address both issues by using an approach that benefits everyone. The health care web site was a good idea with the wrong execution. Currently, you are only allowed to use a limited number of insurance companies for each specific State. Health insurance should be like auto and home insurance and be available across State lines to breed competition, lower premiums, and give people more choice. The Federal Government would have oversight for all insurance companies authorized to provide insurance through the Government website and take legal measures to ensure that customers are being provided quality health care. Security of the general population’s financial and medical records is non-negotiable. Grandstanding and obstruction will get us nowhere.
Financial Regulation vs Deregulation
The current system we are operating under now is neither Socialism nor Capitalism. It is a combination of both, which leaves the American taxpayer holding the bag. We currently have a free market system, although, when the American taxpayer must bail out financial institutions that make unethical and risky investments for high profits this is not capitalism. The repeal of the Glass Stegal Act in the 1990s removed the protections of regular banking-savings accounts, retirement’s funds and non-speculative investments, and allowed the large investment banks to gamble with the people’s money. During the Glass Stegal era, investors who used individual capital were the only individuals that lost their money for a bad investment. The system is now rigged to protect those investors. Glass Stegal must be re-enacted to prevent other financial crises and prevent risky investments with the people’s money. Regulation that affords proper protections and oversight, but are not restrictive to growth and competition are a necessary partnership for a healthy economy.
Raising the debt ceiling
At no time in history has raising the debt ceiling been a political weapon. I will not advocate nor hold hostage our credit rating and condone economic damage for political posturing. Both parties have raised the ceiling and it is necessary. The larger issue is controlling Government spending, but that is another topic
Federal Assistance ID CARD
I propose the Government Issue a verified identification card to each and every citizen who currently uses Federal Assistance, i.e. welfare, social security, food stamps, Medicare/Medicaid, etc. This would not only provide authorized identification for those individuals who are being provided government assistance, it will help prevent fraud and abuse of the current assistant programs. This can easily be addressed due to the Motor Voter laws in place and each state can provide the ID at their Dept. of Motor Vehicles. The Federal Govt. would pay for the costs of the ID’s/ reimburse the state and the states would provide said ID’s and gather the photo/ fingerprint/ location data for the ID Holder and incorporate into their data bases as they currently do.
Same Sex Marriage
Every consenting adult couple, regardless of color, or sexual orientation, is entitled to be married. To me, the word marriage is a Legal union and not a Religious union.
We have a Constitutional Right to bear arms and also have Gun Control laws; however, I am of the opinion that both have been manipulated for business and political reasons and therefore have lost a certain ability to address this issue with responsibility and reason. We as a people do have the right to arm ourselves and afford ourselves protection. Once again, this is another divisive and passionate debate that requires sensible and thoughtful consideration and reflection. I believe background Checks are necessary for all gun sales. I also believe that all Military Grade Rifles and Ammunition Clips should only be sold under special permit only and with proper accountability. Furthermore, having the Right to bear arms also includes the Right of Responsibility. The anti-gun population should have the right to be afforded certain and basic protections from non-responsible and preventable harm from those who choose to own guns. Any mass-shootings and deaths at the hands of weapons by gun owner, friends or family members of guns not properly stored/ secured as mentioned prior, would render the gun owner subject to prosecution. This complex issue is too important not to address further and attempt to solve. It is a social and systemic issue. The Anti-Gun lobby must realize that their position is untenable. The Constitution guarantees gun rights; however, the Pro-Gun lobby must also realize that having the right to bear arms does not mean that there can be no restrictions on weapons. As a veteran, I know the difference between a weapon for home protection or recreation and a weapon for mass-casualties.
This is a Judicial Issue and thus should be addressed by the Judicial Branch of Government. In the final analysis, the ultimate decisions regarding this divisive and impassioned issue are decided by the courts. I would recommend letting the Abortion Issue continue to be decided by said courts and suggest that the public funds spent on attempts to overrule this decisive issue by means of state legislation be spent in more productive ways. (I.e. the Federal Courts striking down the Sonogram Law passed in North Carolina.) This has already been established by the Supreme Court and any challenges should be on a private level and not by elected public servants whom are elected to represent the entire constituency, and not their own personal religious beliefs. As a Constitutional Conservative I believe we are approaching abortion and abortion rights in the wrong way. Since the time of Roe v. Wade, medical technology and advances in birth control and sex education require a new debate on what life and citizenship mean. A woman does have the right to choose what to do with her body, and nobody is contesting that. What many people are contesting including me is at what point does the life inside a woman become a separate body, with individual rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? How is it we can send out spacecraft to find organisms on other planets and define such organisms as life, but not use the same definitions when it applies to life in a woman’s womb? I don’t presume to have all the answers, but the time for a new discussion on abortion is here; because under currently law the unborn have no voice, and have no protection under the Constitution.
Regarding my questions on Foreign Policy, I cannot, nor will I make any statements on foreign policy until I have been debriefed and have access to the classified information pertaining to these subjects. Any opinion expressed would only be opinion. I choose to be responsible and will only answer such questions when I am privy to the necessary information to make an educated statement.