The following is my response to the Lumberton Gazette’s questionnaire on the issues concerning the U.S. Congressional District race, of which I am the Democratic Party candidate. The Lumberton Gazette is distributed from Lumberton, Texas, in Hardin County.
(Q) What are your thoughts on public schools and education?
(A) I believe the educators of this country are among the finest in the world. However, over the last few years they have been prevented from doing their job, due to testing requirements handed down from the federal and state governments. These tests are designed to increase the drop out rate and we need to leave testing up to our teachers. I have been involved in the educational technology sector for many years and believe we should look into possibly consolidating some of our metropolitan area district. Educating our children is very important to the success of our country for generations. I see no reason to privatize it and end up with something similar to our insurance industry.
(Q) What is your view on the debt ceiling?
(A) You do not decide on our budget, after you’ve gone to the store and run up the bills. If you do, your credit rating goes down and your debt costs go up. Paying my bills is very important to me, because when I incur the bill, I’m giving that person my word that I will pay them. To do anything else as a country, is not smart. We have taken on two wars, a very expensive prescription drug bill and a significant tax cut for upper incomes over the last ten years. We will never be able to cut our way out of the economic predicament it has placed us in. Without additional income and reduction of unnecessary expenses, we are domed economically.
(Q) What do you think is the best way to remedy America’s economic situation?
(A) Return to the tax rates of the Clinton years. Tax earned income and capital gains the same. Return the defense budget to the $320 billion/year level it was in 2001. Decriminalize marijuana and make it retroactive. Restore the teachers, firefighters and other public sector jobs that have been lost over the last three years, funded through the federal government.
(Q) What do you think of Obama, his agenda, and his healthcare?
(A) I believe, given the task, he has performed exemplary. The country was loosing 750,000 jobs a month and the national debt had been increasing by $500 billion/year for several years. The stimulus package implemented by every industrialized nation world wide almost immediately turned the economy around and within a few months we were in positive jobs and GDP growth. His decisions to support the auto industry lead to a revitalization to its original status as the world’s leader. He handled the gulf spill in a responsible manner and has returned the energy industry from a depleted state to one of near oil glut. His decisions on Libya, resulted in the end of the Gaddafi regime, with no lose of American lives. He has gotten us out of Iraq and scheduled the end of the Afghanistan conflict. The Taliban has been almost entirely eliminated and their leader, Osama bin Laden has been killed. All of this was despite the obstructionism caused by a very unpopular GOP controlled Congress.
The Affordable Healthcare Act allowed millions to have insurance, closed the donut hole for the elderly and has had several qualities that the insurance companies are saying they will keep, even if the Supreme Court finds the mandate unconstitutional.
(Q) What are your thoughts on guns?
(A) George Washington mandated that every able bodied man purchase and keep in his home a firearm. This was one of the first mandates a president made, shortly after the writing of the Constitution. I believe every home owner should have an AR15, a 18”/12 Ga. pump and a 9mm semi-automatic pistol. I know, I do.
U.S. Congress, Texas 36th District