JOBS AND THE FUTURE OF OUR ECONOMY
The United States became an economic super-power because of our ingenuity, innovativeness, and independence- not because our government controlled corporate structures, coddled certain industry, and corrupted market incentives. In order to revitalize our economy, and renew our hopes for the future, we must again distinguish our economic model as one that is built upon the firm foundation of free enterprise, and balanced books.
In addition to balancing the budget, I believe that the fastest way to create new jobs is to restore our businesses’ free market choices. Repealing unnecessary regulations, and simplifying and lowering taxes will cause immediate changes in the way our private sector operates. As your Congressman, I will do the following:
- I will de-regulate, in order to encourage job creators, so that they can succeed. Over-regulations discourages business, and slows, or stops the invisible hand of the the free market.
- I will work towards repealing Obamacare.
- I will work towards rescinding the Davis-Bacon Act.
- Along those lines, I will fight to repeal the Dodd-Frank Act and Sarbanes Oxley Act.
- I will fight for infrastructure investments, because the 1st District needs functioning highways and a thriving port in order to make it competitive when bringing in and growing industry.
Simply put, employment will rise when the private sector succeeds. Washington’s role in that process must be a limited one. Growing regulation and debt, and sky-high taxes will not solve our economic woes. It is imperative that we go back to the free market ideals that our country was founded on.
Our right to protect ourselves, and our families, through the ownership and use of arms, was an important concept to America’s Founding Fathers. Gun rights were so important to them that the only rights preceding it in our Constitution are freedom of speech, the press, religion, and peaceful assembly.
Recent comments by the current administration are truly abominable. The notion that a President, acting alone through executive order, would attempt to alter the plain language of the United States Constitution should alarm every American, regardless of creed. And as if the incredibly egregious overstep of power wasn’t enough, the logic behind the President’s intent doesn’t hold water. Limiting access to guns will only prevent those who follow the law from being armed. Law-breakers will still break the law. Therefore, I oppose any measure by the President or his administration, to usurp the rights of the people to keep and bear arms. As a Congressman, I would fight any executive order abridging our rights, and I would support legislation that seeks to nullify any confines of the 2nd Amendment that the President desires.
Near the end of 2012, the United States fell to an overall debt of $16 trillion. And it keeps growing. $1.5 trillion is added each year, despite the fact that our yearly revenues have recently stagnated at around $2.2 trillion. Our country’s interest on the debt we’ve amassed surprisingly hovers around the 2% mark. These rates will not get lower, and will likely increase significantly. If interest rates on federal debt were to jump to 10%, then at the projected rate of spending, by year 2020, our current revenue of $2.2 trillion would only service the debt our country will have amassed. It’s clear that with these numbers, our spending is completely unsustainable.
Democrats seek to address spending through tax increases. Obamacare alone contains $500 billion in tax increases. Unfortunately, more taxes will only hinder economic growth, and will only slightly (and temporarily) address the huge deficits we continue to face. We must cut taxes in order to put money back in the hands of those who earned it, which will foster growth in the private sector.
Once our tax system is addressed, our country must address the outflow of funds. We cannot continue to increase our debt limit. We must prioritize the implementation of a Balanced Budget Amendment. We must live with our country’s means. Nearly every federal department in the government could survive on less. Some reforms could remove federal involvement from unnecessary programs altogether. As your Congressman, I will work toward decreased federal spending every day.
FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND OUR ARMED FORCES
Major cuts are needed across the board in federal spending, and our military will certainly see a decline in the federal money it receives. However, freedom cannot be quantified in monetary terms. Therefore, military spending is one area where we must stay vigilant in order to defend our homeland, remain a world power, and provide for the men and women who protect us. Fiscal responsibility remains important in this arena. However, the threats to our nation continue to grow, and our troops rely on the American people to support them in exchange for their sacrifices. In Washington, I will balance the needs of military with the crisis of overspending we face.
Additionally, our veterans must not be overlooked. Not only have we made a commitment to the fine men and women in uniform, we also must consider the repercussions our nation would face if the volunteer army no longer had willing enlistees. We must treat our veterans fairly, or else we will see a decline in the number of recruits. Close to 100,000 veterans reside in the First District, and as their Congressman, I will support legislation that addresses the serious problems our veterans encounter back at home.
HEALTH CARE & HEALTH INSURANCE
There are few people who would contest the notion that health care and insurance need reform. But, while the President believes in more regulation, I believe in free market competition and less government intervention. Insurance companies are a product of the regulatory scheme we have designed- which has increased costs, decreased efficiency, and caused problems for practitioners and patients alike. Repealing Obamacare is the first step towards fixing the system.
Reform of our immigration system must take place in this Congressional cycle. Thankfully, a strong bipartisan effort has come together to work towards refining the existing (and largely ignored) system that’s now in place. Like Senator Marco Rubio, I am in favor of creating a tough, but attainable, path towards citizenship for illegal immigrants already living in the country. Additionally, despite the wishes of labor unions, I believe our economy would benefit with an increase in the temporary visa rate of skilled workers, when American companies cannot find available labor in their area. Finally, in order to monitor the new system, I support the implementation of an employer verification program, which would identify illegal workers.
When it comes to social security, two controlling principles will guide my decisions.
First, for everyone over 50 years old, the Social Security system should remain unchanged. You have paid into the program and the government needs to put your money back in the program. The United States government made a promise to citizens who contributed hard-earned money towards Social Security, and for those who have relied on that promise, the Government owes a duty to live up to its promises. Not to do so would be unconscionable, and irresponsible. It would be a breach of contract.
Second, every year that Congress, the Senate, and the President don’t act, our country grows closer to insolvency. Therefore, I am willing to review any plan for those under fifty years old, that upholds promises made by the Government while significantly adjusting the Social Security Program for the future in order to make it viable.
Our country’s traditional family values must be protected by our government. As the father of an adopted daughter, I am particularly passionate about my belief in the sanctity of life, and my votes in Washington will reflect that belief. I grew up on my parents’ family farm, and I worked hard in the fields when I was young, and I worked hard after college to keep our agribusiness running well. We all worked hard because we knew we had to, as a family. I hope that I, along with my wife of 23 years, Shea, are instilling those same values in our three children. The free market allows us to work hard and be successful, but it’s our family and their welfare, that motivate us to be successful. When our country loses sight of family values, we will be a nation economically lagging, too.
Our Modern World is dependent on energy. Roads require fossil fuels for building, as well as traveling. Air conditioning and heat, which have made the entire world habitable, cannot operate without electricity- coal and natural gas. Three decades ago, proven world oil reserves were 645 billion barrels; five years ago, it was 1.28 trillion, and in 2009, it was 1.34 trillion. Almost certainly, more exists than we have yet discovered. Unfortunately, the Administration’s policies are keeping too much of our resource off-limits, which means higher prices and more dependence. Unblocking access to our reserves is the cornerstone of the solution. We must make oil more affordable in order to foster an atmosphere where the private sector can experiment and provide supply. Cheaper oil now is the jumping off point for innovation in the future.
That’s why my policy on energy is an ‘All of the Above’ approach. Nuclear power, green energy, and off-shore drilling must all be utilized to address the problems we face in the present market. War-torn and hostile nations have hoodwinked us for years. They play games with the cost and availability of oil and gas, not necessarily because of the limited amount available, but because they know how desperate we Americans are for it. We must detach ourselves from these abusive relationships. We have resources right here at home, but due to special interests and liberal misinformation, our ability to tap into these resources has been hampered, or even derailed. We must act, and soon, in order to wean our country from the foreign reliance we have on energy. To begin, and to revolutionize the world, we must seek out the energy found right here in our own back yards.
PORT OF CHARLESTON
South Carolina’s ports, specifically the Charleston port, have been some of South Carolina’s most critical economic resources for centuries. Today, ports in South Carolina’s lowcountry translate into a $45 billion + per year economic machine and generate hundreds of thousands of jobs for South Carolina citizens. Additionally, our port serves the entire southeastern region and beyond. The Port of Charleston, an ideally located port, directly serves more than 150 countries. One out of every five jobs in South Carolina is directly or indirectly tied to the Port of Charleston. The economic benefit and impact a strong Port of Charleston has on the citizens of the 1st Congressional district cannot be understated.
Unlike many Federal Government spending programs today, Federal assistance (with national interests) related to Commerce is outlined in the United States Constitution. If elected to serve as your Congressman, I will work to do everything I can to secure federal funding to complete the dredging of the Charleston harbor on a reasonable timeframe.
Our federal tax dollars should go towards national interests that directly or indirectly affect a broad group of Americans – like the Port of Charleston. I will work hard to ensure that our hard earned tax dollars are spent on common-sense projects that are national priorities, like dredging the Port of Charleston, and not wasteful pork barrel spending. There is a countless number of federally funded “projects” that serve special interests and should be eliminated completely – like the $325,000 federal grant for the development of a “Robo-squirrel” – a robotic squirrel designed to test the interaction between rattlesnakes and squirrels or the estimated $1.5 billion taxpayers pay for cell phones for more than 16.5 million people. The list is endless and our priorities are out of line.
Washington needs to get serious about its priorities related to spending and I’ll do all I can to fight for a little common sense in Washington – something this country desperately needs.