Simply put. I’m prolife. The Declaration of Independence states that our inalienable rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Life is listed first in that famous line in the Declaration of Independence and it’s first with me, too. Protecting innocent life—of the born and preborn—is very dear to me. As a supporter of life, you want a candidate that has put his convictions to work. As a member of the legislature, I helped author the first prolife legislation Indiana has seen in over a decade. I have a 100% rating from Indiana Right-To-Life, and I will stand up to the anti-life interests in Washington. I believe life begins at conception, but the duty of protecting life doesn’t end with the birth of a child. Valuing life is a basic principle of America’s founding, and honoring life is showing honor to the creator of all life.
The most crucial issue facing Indiana today is creating jobs for Hoosier families. One need not look outside our own state to see the devastating effects of a struggling economy. In March of 2009, Elkhart County’s unemployment rate hit 18.9%. As a result, just one month later, Elkhart County was ranked first in the nation for the highest year-to-year unemployment rate increase. The New York Times even said that Elkhart represented the, “white-hot center of the meltdown of the American economy.” However, Elkhart is not alone. Counties across Indiana are being overwhelmed at the prospects of sustaining their communities. Now is not the time for federal government to continue to burden the greatest entrepreneurial minds and most productive workforce in the world.
Unemployment is a full-spectrum problem. Deficit spending, unsustainable government programs, and a crippling national debt are the sources of the relentless government intervention we see in the form of higher taxes, excessive regulation, and hostility toward investment. Couple that with hot-button issues like Cap and Trade, card-check, government-run healthcare, and poor energy policy and it creates a climate that drives Hoosier jobs over state lines or overseas.
My platform for job creation encompasses a full-spectrum approach to a full-spectrum problem. I support creating a market-friendly environment for businesses to operate and grow. This includes lowering taxes on businesses, eliminating taxes on capital gains and investments, promoting sound energy policy, investing in our infrastructure, and opposing the latest market-killing schemes such as Cap and Trade, government-run health care, and card check.
The free market didn’t create the problems we face now in the economy, but it can create the solution. The very future security and viability of Indiana, and our nation, depends on creating good-paying jobs, and as your Congressman I will be an aggressive advocate for job creation in Indiana.
While our government has become too intrusive in nearly every part of our lives, the politicians in DC have forgotten the Federal government’s primary job, which is to protect the American people. I believe in the simple – but powerful – axiom of President Ronald Reagan: Peace through strength.
Our current leadership in the White House has shown more concern for the legal rights of our enemies than it has demonstrated the will to defeat those enemies. The constant handwringing by the President and the liberals on Capitol Hill is a danger to Americans, and it sends the wrong message to our allies who are looking to the United States to lead the way against the enemies of free people.
Weakness and indecision is not an option. Whether it is a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe or keeping our enduring commitment to Israel, we must use our strength and relationships with other democracies around the world to send a message that free people will always stand together against despotism, tyrants, and radical Islam.
Finally, our elected officials must be committed to the men and women on the frontlines. Those who are willing to give the last full measure to ensure our way of life deserve more than just our thanks. The men and women of our U.S. Military can be sure that I will continue to be a tireless advocate for them in every way that can. That is why it has been my honor to author and pass legislation that supports our military, such as co-authoring the Military Family Relief Fund and supporting state funding assistance to Hoosier Purple Heart recipients who are seeking to finish college. I firmly believe they have earned a special place among the citizenry, and deserve the utmost respect from those in public service.
I oppose card check. The so-called Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) does anything but give workers freedom of choice. Currently, employees have the right to vote by secret ballot to determine whether their workplace organizes under a labor union. That election is supervised by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to ensure that employees cast a free and legitimate vote in private. The EFCA would remove the right to secret ballot, as well as NLRB oversight, forcing employees to “vote” by signing their name in front of union organizers and coworkers. A secret ballot is the bedrock of free and fair elections and removing it only opens the process up to intimidation and coercion. The EFCA is also extremely destructive to businesses and job-creation. Should a company’s workforce unionize, that employer would have three months to reach a labor agreement before a federal arbitrator forced a contract upon them. It’s bad for workers, bad for employers, and only gives government more control.
I have a consistent track record of firm support for gun owners. I’m a member of the NRA with an A rating, and during my time in the Indiana legislature, I helped author and pass Indiana’s lifetime handgun permit. The 2nd Amendment is not about hunting or sportsmen. Too many politicians and anti-gun interests have diluted the meaning of the 2nd Amendment down to merely something for those that enjoy the outdoors. It’s not. It’s a basic, untouchable right that the Founding Fathers revered so highly, they included it in the Bill of Rights. It’s one of our Constitutional guarantees as citizens of a free society, and in an unsafe world, it’s a guarantee to protect our families and our homes. Those that don’t share this view continually seek to erode our Constitutional rights. As your Congressman I won’t waver when I get to Washington. I’ll continue to be a firm and consistent defender of the 2nd amendment, and send a message to Washington that your rights aren’t up for discussion.
Our nation defines itself by our self-determination and independence. However, our continued dependence on foreign energy, largely from countries that do not have our interests in mind, conflicts with that spirit of self-determination. I believe in a full-spectrum approach to energy. From continuing to develop our nation’s traditional fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas, to encouraging the expansion of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, bioenergy, hydropower, nuclear, and geothermal, we must make the United States energy self-sufficient. Indiana has been a pioneer in the field of renewable energy. While in the Indiana Legislature, I helped create tax credits for bio-fuel producers that helped bring multiple new bio-fuel production plants to our state. Whether it is bio-fuels like ethanol and soy diesel, or developing the largest wind farm in the Midwest at Fowler Ridge, Indiana is a leader in energy self-reliance, and needs a leader in Congress to move our energy policy forward.
Cap and trade is a direct attack on Indiana’s economy. Under an emissions trading scheme like cap and trade, the federal government would force Indiana utility companies and manufacturers to buy “emissions credits” to meet unrealistic emissions standards. The cost to either meet the emissions cap or trade for more credits will be passed on to Hoosier families, or simply drive our manufacturing jobs overseas. With over 600,000 Hoosiers earning a living through jobs based in manufacturing, and 94% of our state’s energy produced by coal, Indiana would be one of the hardest hit states in the country. The effects of such a system would be devastating to Hoosier families: skyrocketing energy costs, job losses, and families with shrinking household incomes. I oppose taxes—both direct and indirect—and a cap and trade system is just another hidden tax on Hoosiers, and I strongly oppose it.
I would never support a federal bailout of private business. In a free enterprise economy, businesses have the opportunity to succeed, and sometimes, even the opportunity to fail. The federal government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers. Washington Millionaires have been taking your family’s hard-earned tax dollars to bailout AIG, Wall Street, the auto industry, and others who take money from your family’s success and gives it as a reward to those that have been irresponsible. That’s the wrong message to send. It’s not how a small business works, and it’s not how a free market economy should work. As your Congressman, I won’t reward corrupt or bad businesses by voting for a bailout.
For too long, the fiscal debate has centered on cutting taxes alone. However, cutting taxes is only half of the battle. We must address the real cause behind why politicians are raising our taxes in the first place: runaway government spending. Don’t misunderstand me, I do not support tax increases in any form, but taxes are the symptom of a much more inherent problem in Washington. Washington has bought in to the myth that it can spend its way out of trouble. Government spending is so far out of line that raising taxes has unfortunately become the only response Washington politicians know.
Washington can learn a lot from Hoosier families: common sense, setting priorities, and not spending more than you have. Don’t let Washington politicians tell you the problem is complicated. It’s not. Thousands of families across Indiana set their family’s budget every day without the aid of a Harvard Economist. I want to take the same common sense your family exhibits with your family budget, to Washington. That’s why I support common sense spending solutions such as a balanced budget amendment and putting an end to earmark spending.
I believe our fundamental spending priorities should include a strong national defense, immediately securing our borders, and developing our nation’s infrastructure. Apart from those, we must look to shrink government bureaucracy. Indiana has been a model for the way the federal government should operate. That’s why in these challenging economic times I support following our state’s lead and cutting all federal bureaucracies across the board by 10%. I would also work to simplify the tax code and make it less hostile toward families that wish to save and invest in their future by eliminating unjust taxes like the Estate Tax, more accurately known as the “death tax.”
As a citizen legislator in the Indiana General Assembly, I have never voted for a tax increase, and I helped pass the first honestly balanced budget our state has seen in years. During my tenure in the State Legislature, I have been honored to help our state go from a $1billion deficit in 2001, to the 2009 budget which budgeted a $1billion surplus. As your United States Congressman, I’ll take these same fiscal convictions to Washington.
I believe in real educational choice. And, homeschooling is a fundamental option that parents should be able to choose freely and without concern for added burdens from the government. Families that choose to educate their children at home should be encouraged and supported in their decision. I support tax credits for home school families to help remove financial burdens and encourage their work as home educators. The decision to home school your children should never be affected by a government that stands in the way of your rights as a family. As your Congressman, I’ll be a strong advocate for home educators because I fundamentally believe that parents know best.
Nowhere has the federal government’s mind-set of spending its way out of trouble been more evident that in its approach to education. In 1965, Congress passed the Elementary and Secondary Education (ESEA) Act, effectively beginning federal funding of education in the United States. Since then, we have seen more and more money poured into public education resulting only in slipping test scores and students left further and further behind. In fact, a recent study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ranked the United States 1st in annual spending per pupil at $13,447.00; but a sobering 18th in total education with only 75% earning a high school diploma. The Department of Education estimates the total cost of education to the American taxpayers will come in at $543 billion. That’s almost 4 times what we will spend on the War on Terror this year, with far less scrutiny placed on how that money is being spent.
With statistics like that, I believe it’s time we demand accountability for how our educational dollars are being spent. That’s why I support increased competition in the educational system by giving tax credits to families that send their children to private or choose to home school. Competition and choice are the driving forces behind innovation, and empowering parents to choose the best education for their child will increase their opportunity to succeed in an increasingly competitive market.
I strictly support maintaining local control of education, and empowering teachers to teach by concentrating educational spending on the classroom, and not on bureaucracy. We must give teachers more authority to teach, and reward educators that produce positive results. As your Congressman, I will ensure that Hoosiers kids get the education necessary to compete at home and abroad.
I do not support any expansion of government-run health insurance. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time the federal government has tried to “fix” healthcare. In 1973, Congress passed the Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Act that effectively forced HMOs onto private businesses. This government “solution” only served to decrease patient choice, increase red tape, and smother free market solutions, leading to many of the problems we see today. Time and time again, history has shown the best intentions of the government have the worst consequences on people. The United States has the best health care in the world, but we agree there are some serious concerns with how that care is provided. However, the cure to fix our healthcare system should not be worse than the disease.
Independence, choice, and competition are the keys to innovation and enduring solutions. I believe that health insurers should be in competition for American’s business. I support expanding free market solutions such as Health Savings Accounts to include all citizens, increasing tax credits for businesses that provide healthcare, and comprehensive tort reform that will lead to increased access to health care and a decrease in premiums and overall cost.
I unequivocally support a total repeal and replacement of the deceptively named Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act. I will join with other conservative-minded members of Congress to work toward a real free market solution, as well as immediately eliminating the many destructive peripheral items found within the bill such as the 1099 regulation on small businesses.
Since our nation’s founding, the United States has been a beacon for immigrants to come and share in the opportunities of a free and welcoming nation. However, illegal immigration not only jeopardizes those opportunities for everyone, but presents a serious threat to national security. No immigration policy can begin without first securing our borders. Border security is a basic function of the federal government; however, we will not see true immigration reform until Washington has the resolve to enforce the laws already in place.
We should not reward those that first break our laws to enter our country, and then refuse to acknowledge their stake in its prosperity while here. It’s for that reason that I do not support amnesty. Nor do I support continuing to subsidize social welfare for illegal immigrants. Ending the subsidization of illegal immigration will subsequently make the issue far less commonplace. Illegal immigrants detained within our borders should be forced to pay a penalty, learn English, and be sent to the back of the line before even being considered for citizenship. Securing our borders and making the process equitable and honest, for citizens both current and prospective, are my priorities for immigration reform.