Issues

Health Care

What Congress passed earlier this year is nothing short of a government takeover of our health care system.  It was an unprecedented power grab by Washington, and it will destroy what is now – without a doubt – the best health care system in the world.  Not only is this bill unconstitutional and a job killer, it will certainly result in less access to health care – or rationing;  less innovation in health care; and less control over your own personal health care.  Marcy Kaptur voted YES on this misguided bill.  So what should we do?   Simply put, this bill must be repealed, and I will do everything I can to see that that happens.  What we need to do is take the politics out of health care and really fix what is wrong – by passing tort reform and allowing consumers to buy insurance across state lines.

Cap and Trade Energy Bill

The House has voted for a so-called Cap and Trade energy bill that won’t help the environment, but will impose dramatic costs on every household in America, and on businesses.  Marcy Kaptur voted YES on this bill, but it will cripple our economy with such a heavy burden that it will result in many lost jobs and less business expansion.  Your home heating bills will more than double, your gasoline bill will skyrocket, and if this bill becomes law, it will mean the end of Ohio’s coal industry.  Considering we get 87% of our electricity from coal here in Ohio, this is going to put a huge hole in our energy supply.  At a time when we need to make it cheaper and easier to live and do business here in Ohio, this bill would take us in exactly the wrong direction.

I support an ‘all of the above’ energy policy which takes full advantage of the natural resources this county has been blessed with.  I believe the marketplace should drive which of these resources rises to the top in terms of meeting the needs of Americans.

Bailouts

The government bailouts are a corruption of our free market system, and a waste of taxpayer money.  There is no getting around this core fact – there is no Constitutional authority for Congress to bail out any industry.  Whenever you allow the federal government to pick the winners and the losers in an industry, you have a corrupt system. Washington invented the idea of “Too Big to Fail,” and we’ve been picking up the tab since.  In many ways, Washington created our housing, banking and automotive crises in the first place, and compounded their mistakes with the bailouts.  The bailouts are a raid on our – empty – federal treasury that must stop.

Earmarks

The bridge to nowhere.  A teapot museum in North Carolina.  The Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Texas.  Fruit fly research in France.  These are all earmarks that Marcy Kaptur has voted for.  But they are only a handful of the more than 70,000 she has voted for in just the last 10 years!

For those who don’t know, a Congressional earmark is a special spending bill – usually for a wasteful pet project of some congressman – that sidesteps the normal budget process in Washington and is fast-tracked for approval without the normal checks and balances.  They are mostly used to reward campaign contributors with million-dollar payouts from the federal treasury.  Marcy Kaptur has used the earmark system this way – she has funneled tens of millions of your tax dollars to her supporters, who in turn have contributed tens of thousands to her re-election campaign.  So, essentially, she is funding her campaign with your tax dollars, and she refuses to give that money back.  It’s not just me saying this – it’s the New York Times and others.  In fact, one government watchdog group recently named her the “Porker of the Month” – she was the Champion Porker of Washington.  Meanwhile, I have signed a pledge not to request any earmarks when elected to Congress.

Social Security

We all know Social Security is broke because Congress couldn’t keep itself from raiding the Social Security trust fund to pay for their pet projects.  And now, Social Security is in crisis because Democrats have incurred so much new debt – without improving the jobs climate – that there is extra pressure on the system.  Changes to the system need to be made, but these are the principles that must be followed:

1.  The system should not be privatized – it is a public commitment and must remain so.

2.  Benefits for recipients must be protected.

3. The retirement age should not be raised.

4. Taxes should not be raised. Congress has proven it cannot be trusted with any new money.

Again, the keys to fixing Social Security are to have a growing national economy and a Congress who lives within a reasonable budget.

Jobs

We need to increase the number of jobs in America.  That’s not happening now and the reason is clear – there is so much uncertainty about what new taxes and what new regulations will be imposed by Washington that any smart business owner isn’t going to expand and hire new workers until they believe Congress won’t hit them with prohibitively expensive taxes and rules.  A recent report showed there is $2 Trillion in private investment just sitting on the sidelines waiting for Washington to get out of the way.  Washington is filled with career politicians, not business owners, and that needs to change.  I have 30 years of experience creating jobs and building successful businesses, and with your help, I will take that experience to Washington.

Immigration

All you need to know about Illegal immigration is just that – it is illegal.  A country that fails to control its borders ceases to exist.  Clearly, the government has to stop playing politics with this issue and get to work to fix it.  Taking Arizona to court to stop the state from protecting its citizens and property was exactly the wrong thing to do.  We first need to seal the borders to stop the influx, and then when illegal immigrants surface to law enforcement, they should be sent back to where they came from.  This is really a national security issue, because we don’t know who or what is coming across our borders, especially our Southern border.  It has to stop – and I will push to see that it does.

Food Town

Food Town was a great chain of grocery stores, but it fell victim to the same “Wall Mart Effect” that you have seen ravaging Main Street America for decades.  Here are the four things you need to know about Food Town:

1. To compete with Wal-Mart, Food Town MERGED with Spartan Foods. It was not sold, and there was no big bag of cash exchanging hands.  No one got a golden parachute or a special deal.

2.  Before the merger, I personally put in place a package of benefits for Food Town employees in case of severance.  And, when I left the company immediately after the merger, I got the same exact severance deal as everybody else.  Additionally, after the merger, the existing Food Town union contracts had to be honored.  The merger was not a ‘union-busting’ plot.

3.  After the merger, I had an advisory role, but had no authority to force the company to do anything.  I fought against changes that Spartan made that I knew were wrong, but by the time it was proven that I was right, it was too late.

4. Since leaving Food Town, I have been actively involved in developing several new businesses that are creating jobs right here in our community.  They are all growing and are successful, and our plans are that, one day, they’ll each employ many workers who will contribute to our local economy.

Constitutional Authority – States Rights

Our Founding Fathers wrote at length about the dangers of an overly powerful national government, but, unfortunately, today we are suffering from just that kind of government.  When you look at Washington, it is clear Congress and the White House are out of control.  They have completely ignored the restrictions on the federal government’s authority and are stepping all over the rights of individuals and states.  In Arizona, the state passed a law to fight illegal immigration, and the feds sued the state. In California, a federal judge has overturned a state constitutional amendment that was passed with the votes of 7 million people.  In Louisiana, the feds stopped the state from protecting its own marshes and beaches after the BP oil spill, but then the feds refused to step in and help.  I will fight these moves by the federal government to crush the efforts of state and local governments to fix the pressing problems that they face.

National Debt – Spending

As a nation, we are quickly reaching a tipping point with our national debt from which we will not be able to recover. We must stop spending.  The sad truth is that we can no longer simply “grow our way out” of this debt.  If you don’t think this is serious, you are sadly mistaken. Just look at what has happened in Greece and elsewhere in Europe.  We need a hard course correction in Washington, and fast – or our children and grandchildren will live far less prosperous lives than we enjoy today.  Here is where I would start – by banning earmarks, which are wasteful spending projects that reward the political friends of sitting members of Congress.  Marcy Kaptur has participated in this pork fest – it must stop.

Asian Carp

The federal government’s failure to deal with the invasion of Asian Carp into the Great Lakes could end up costing our local economy billions of dollars every year as the Carp destroys the native stocks of fish.  The Asian Carp is voracious, and will consume the basis of our bass and walleye fisheries in short order.  The thing is, we have known about this looming threat for 17 years, yet Washington has done nothing until just recently – after Carp DNA was already found in the Lakes.  What is disturbing is that Marcy Kaptur just recently discovered this issue – she told a newspaper that she was “shocked” that the feds had done nothing to stop this existential threat to the Great Lakes, as if she hasn’t been a part of the federal government for the last 28 years.  That’s like buying a car, driving it home, and then being “shocked” to find it parked in your driveway.  It’s time for a change in Washington.

What should be done to combat the Asian Carp invasion of the Great Lakes?  The key waterway connection between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River must be closed permanently.

The Economy

Marcy Kaptur wrote in her recent taxpayer-funded campaign newsletter that the federal stimulus package she voted for last year would be creating 200,000 jobs every month, but nothing could be further from the truth.  Instead, we learn every Thursday that there are close to half-a-million jobs being cut from our economy every week.  Economic growth is anemic.  Recently, we learned housing sales had fallen by the largest rate since 1995.  The reason is obvious – Washington is taxing and spending and regulating us into a depression.  It must stop.

Improving the economy starts with making the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent.  It also means creating a business environment that provides predictability to the market; includes the freedom for individuals to run their businesses as they see fit; and the incentive to create jobs and make a profit.  In other words, I support the American Dream.

Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

Thanks to the fortitude of President Bush, military leaders and the incredible bravery of our soldiers, we have completed the task in Iraq, and we have freed 25 million people from a brutal dictator.  We are working toward the same goal in Afghanistan, and we will succeed if General Patreaus is able to change the rules of engagement to allow our soldiers to actually fight that war to win.  I support that effort.  It has become a slogan, but it is true – we live in a world where terrorists want to kill Americans.  If we don’t fight and kill them over there, we will end up having to fight them on the streets of our own cities.  We must remain vigilant in this effort.

Iran

We have failed to act decisively to stop Iran from pursuing a nuclear program that no one doubts will end up with them possessing a nuclear bomb.   This is a serious failure we will have to deal with now, and for decades.  One thing is clear – we must, by treaty help defend Israel, and we must do all we can to preserve peace in the Middle East.

Trade

For the American economy to grow, we must have free trade with countries around the world.  We have to be hard-nosed and realistic in the trade agreements we negotiate, and we have to be smart about enforcing those agreements.  But by definition, every trade deal is – a deal, with give and take.  It has been reported recently that our area farmers are a tremendous beneficiary of international trade, especially right now because of the terrible drought in Europe, and we must encourage more of that.  It means thousands of jobs in our area right now.  Our trade agreement with Canada has meant the free flow of cheap oil to America to fuel our economy.  Americans are the best, most productive workers in the world, and the best thing Washington can do is get out of the way of our private sector and let it compete in the world marketplace.  Every time that happens, we come out the winners.

High Speed Rail

Three things you need to know about high speed rail and Ohio:

1.  Marcy Kaptur touts her work to bring high speed rail to northwest Ohio, and it is just one more case where she is proving herself to be out of touch with what is going on in her district.  She did, in fact, vote for the Obama stimulus bill, which allocated $400 million to Ohio for a high-speed rail project.  But that rail service is NOT coming to Northwest Ohio.  Instead, it is going to connect the “Three Cs”, Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati.  Democratic Governor Ted Strickland chose not to route the train through Toledo, so Kaptur is wrong when she makes the claim that she is bringing high speed rail to her district.

2. The Ohio project is not “high-speed rail,” and, instead, is an inferior, 19th-Century speed train that is second rate when compared to other true high-speed rail projects (in California and elsewhere) that Marcy voted for in the Stimulus bill.

3.  The current plan for the proposed “high-speed rail” calls for Ohio taxpayers to subsidize the projected operating costs to the tune of $17 million each year!

So, she accepted a second-rate rail system for her own state while committing her constituents to pay for a first-rate rail system elsewhere – then her own party’s governor took the money and is placing this second-rate train system in other Ohio cities that come nowhere near Northwest Ohio.  The final insult is that Ohio taxpayers will be on the hook for millions in operating subsidies each year.  In other words, voters of the 9th District lose three times.

Welfare

Whenever the American economy dips into a recession, the number of people needing public assistance increases, so the best and most important thing we need to do in Congress is to create an atmosphere where the private sector is growing and creating more jobs.  The Obama administration, with Marcy Kaptur’s support, has created an atmosphere of such great uncertainty that private companies and employers are unwilling to risk their capital to expand.  There is $2 trillion in private capital that should be in our economy creating jobs that is currently sitting on the sidelines – because of this uncertainty – and it will remain there until the private sector is convinced Washington isn’t going to tax and regulate them out of business.

I understand what it takes to be a job creator, and I will take that expertise to Washington to help get this economy back on track.

Ever since an effective national welfare reform measure was signed into law by President Clinton in the 1990s, there has been a chipping away at those reforms to the point where we are almost back to where we started before that reform began.  My thinking on this is that whatever safety net programs are in place need to encourage people to improve their situation and get off of federal assistance.  It needs to be humane, but it needs to be a hand up, not a hand out.

I Believe:

I believe in our Republic – a nation of laws – and that the Constitution is the foundation of those laws.

I believe that less government is good government and that the Constitution clearly defines the limited role of the federal government.

I believe in States’ Rights and that most laws and regulations should be made at the levels closest to the people which they affect.

I believe the primary mission of our government at the national level is to protect our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness and that a strong national defense is key to that mission.

I am a fiscal conservative and I believe in personal responsibility.

I believe in helping those who cannot help themselves, but I believe charity can best be handled by the private sector and through faith-based organizations.

I believe in the sanctity of life and I believe that a marriage is an institution between a man and a woman.

I believe that the country cannot borrow its way to prosperity or spend its way to stability any more than you or I can do that in our personal lives or businesses.

I believe that Americans are the most innovative and productive people on earth and that they can drive a robust economy which creates jobs and wealth at every level – if the government will just get out of their way.

These are the principles by which I will judge all issues.

Please check back as we will be announcing detailed comments on various topics throughout the campaign.