Our high unemployment rate—both here in Michigan and nationally—is a direct result of government central planning. Government actions to restrict trade, prop up failing companies, and discriminate against non-union workers have blocked real innovation and damaged the economy. Federal stimulus programs, combined with government efforts to manipulate the money supply, simply add to our skyrocketing debt and fuel further inflation. Government cannot “create” jobs—it can only shuffle jobs and resources from one place to another. Innovation and entrepreneurship create jobs, and both are blocked when the government tries to dictate artificial outcomes in society.
The right of parents to educate their children as they see fit, including the right of homeschooling, should not be infringed. Government-mandated curriculums and teaching methods do not properly account for different learning styles, leaving many children confused and falling short of their potential. To encourage innovation and competition, the federal government should leave the matter of education to the states. Schools should be managed locally, allowing parents, teachers, and community leaders to determine the most efficient use of resources.
Government subsidies, regulations (like cap and trade), and taxes result in costlier and less efficient forms of energy than would be produced in the free market. Instead of letting you and me determine our needs, government intervention rewards energy producers with the most political pull, while discouraging innovation and eliminating the incentive to reduce costs. Energy sources that truly meet the demands of consumers will thrive in the marketplace and do not need government handouts to remain viable.
The best way to protect and preserve the environment is through the strict enforcement of property rights. Private ownership encourages people to conserve natural resources, and it produces the innovations and behavioral changes necessary to protect the environment. Government should punish businesses and individuals that pollute the land, water, or air of their neighbors, but it should avoid efforts to micromanage environmental protection through economic incentives. Such efforts harm the economy in the long run, hampering the development of environmentally friendly technologies.
Michigan is blessed to have one of the most diverse agricultural economies in the country. Our state’s farmers represent the best in innovation, entrepreneurship, and stewardship. The future success of Michigan farmers is endangered, however, when the government seeks to micromanage farm production with needless, and often onerous, regulations.
Similarly, the government must respect the private property rights of farmers and empower them to make decisions about the most productive use of their principal asset—the land. As a member of Congress, I will vote to protect private property rights and leave decisions about how to run farms to farmers. I am proud to be the only Third Congressional District candidate to have earned the endorsement of Michigan Farm Bureau AgriPac.
Government must respect each person’s economic freedom. Government intervention in the market should be seen for what it is—a decision by government bureaucrats with limited information about how you and I should spend our time and talents. When government uses central planning to promote certain activities and ventures—whether through Federal Reserve policies or targeted economic incentives—it disrupts price signals and distorts behavior, creating dangerous economic cycles.
Health care is a personal issue. I have pledged to repeal the federal government's plan to force families and individuals to purchase government-approved health insurance. Heavy-handed government regulation has created a hopelessly complicated medical system that benefits mostly insurance companies and lawyers. In this system, both patients and their doctors are disempowered and prevented from making optimal choices about the matters they know best. In 2009, I sponsored a resolution that would amend Michigan’s constitution to affirm that no one can be forced to join a health care plan against his or her will. That resolution provided the basis for a statewide ballot petition. We need reforms that will reduce the real costs of health care. I support allowing insurance companies to sell health care policies across state lines and innovative programs, like health savings accounts, that improve care and reduce costs by aligning the incentives of patients, doctors, and hospitals.
The federal government must secure our borders. The United States has always welcomed individuals who legally seek to enter our country to work or become citizens, but Congress and the president must make every effort to stop at the border those immigrants who attempt to break our laws. Hard-working, skilled, entrepreneurial, and educated legal immigrants benefit our communities and our country.
Life, Faith & Family
The proper function of government is to protect individual rights—life, liberty, and property. I believe that life begins at conception, and it is unconscionable that government would sanction the taking of the helpless and innocent. I will always vote against government funding of abortion and will fight to protect life at all stages. I am proud to be the only Third Congressional District candidate to have earned the endorsement of Right to Life of Michigan PAC.
My family and I are committed Christians. My Christian faith is an important part of who I am. It informs my values and principles. Our most important unit of government is the family. When larger units of government attempt to supplant the family, we must say no. I believe in the sanctity of traditional marriage, and I oppose government efforts to redefine this private, religious institution. I strongly support the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
All parties benefit from an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict. I share former President George W. Bush's vision of two independent states, Israel and Palestine—two peoples, living side by side in peace and security. Israel's borders must be secure, recognized, and defensible, and it must be free to respond to hostilities that threaten its people. A future state of Palestine must be viable, contiguous, sovereign, and independent. The use of incitement, violence, unnecessary force, or terror to achieve political goals must be abandoned. The parties should negotiate a just and mutually acceptable agreement on the status of borders and Palestinian refugees. Throughout the Middle East, enduring stability cannot be imposed but must be based on mutual recognition and a sincere commitment to peace.
for more information and a position paper on U.S.-Israel relations.
National defense is an essential function of the federal government as provided in the United States Constitution. The full force of our armed forces should be unleashed when presented with genuine threats to our safety, such as active foreign aggression or invasion. The exclusive power of Congress to declare war must be respected, and executive reactions to imminent dangers must not be allowed to drag on without the express authorization of Congress. I'll fight to ensure that we abide by the Constitution and that perceived threats are truly a danger to our life, liberty, or sovereignty before sending American troops into harm’s way.
As the Founders recognized, the right of the people to keep and bear arms is the surest safeguard against violations of our liberty. We must defend the Second Amendment just as vigorously as the rest of the United States Constitution. Congress must halt the unconstitutional practice of restricting a person’s ability to purchase, transport, store, or possess arms on public lands or on that individual’s private property under the guise of regulating interstate commerce.
Social Security & Medicare
We must keep our promises to seniors and not change benefits for those who are currently receiving or will soon receive Social Security or Medicare. Individuals who have paid into these programs for much of their lives have made decisions based on promised benefits, and those promises should be kept. For younger people, such as those in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, this country's entitlement spending is unsustainable in the long term. We must begin to phase in significant reforms for the benefit of future generations.
State Sovereignty & Individual Rights
The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” The federal government should not use the General Welfare Clause, the Commerce Clause, or the Necessary and Proper Clause to justify regulating activities that are not within its authority.
As a state legislator, I introduced a resolution to affirm the individual rights secured under the Ninth Amendment. Individuals have certain unalienable rights, and the Ninth Amendment ensures that all of our rights are protected, even if they are not among those specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights. I oppose legislative acts that grow government and threaten our civil liberties.
Federal and state taxes on Michigan residents and businesses are too high. They don’t need to be. Government should end the ugly practice of picking winners and losers in our economy through subsidies and targeted tax breaks. Instead of taking your money to give to a few favored government interests, government should leave tax rates low for everyone. Lower taxes will bring in new investment, encourage innovation, and give Michigan’s youth and businesses a reason to stay in our state.
Our political system is broken. Government officials are not held accountable because it is extremely difficult for citizens to track the activities and votes of their elected representatives in Washington, DC. People need to know the intentions of their government, and it is the duty of elected officials to keep their constituents informed and to be available for questioning. I have dedicated myself to transparency and accountability
as a state representative and will continue my quest for government transparency as a representative in Congress.