Q: How should we hand the immigration problem with Mexico? What do you think of the Arizona law?
The first priority should be to secure our border. I would support the use of our armed forces to secure our southern border. I am not sure if the Arizona law is the best answer, but I am not going to be quick to criticize the efforts of states to protect their citizens when the federal government has failed to do so.
Q: How can the Congress promote economic growth and jobs?
We need to insure adequate access to credit from the banking industry by reducing regulatory barriers to lending. We need to lower tax burdens on businesses that create incentives to move commerce offshore. Cap & Trade legislation needs to be defeated which would add to the cost of business in the Midwest. We also need tort reform.
Q: What can Congress do to make our education system more effective?
Education is not a constitutional responsibility of the federal government. It is the first responsibility of Missouri state government under our state constitution, after the payment of public debt. The federal government should not burden states with federal education rules.
Q: Earmarks: what do you think about them and why?
Americans are fed up with the buying, selling and trading of votes through earmarks. I would favor a rule change that would make it an ethics violation to promise an appropriation in exchange for a vote for or against unrelated legislation. I am not in favor of the United States House of Representatives abandoning its constitutional responsibility to line item the federal budget. That would give President Obama and his bureaucrats control over spending that rightfully belongs to the elected representatives of the people.
Q: Health care: where do we go from here now that the U.S. has reformed health care?
I will fight for the repeal of “Obama care.” If we are unable to repeal it, I would vote to starve it through the appropriation process. This battle is not over and I will fight to protect patient choice and access to health care.
Q: What is your opinion of drilling for oil in national park land and how do you prevent another Gulf oil slick?
I would support more drilling options on land in National parks and preserves. I also think we would be better served if the offshore drilling was being done by American companies and not foreign interests drilling near the United States.
Q: Discuss the balance between personal privacy and individual freedoms versus protection from terrorists.
This is a very difficult question. In order to achieve greater security we must sacrifice some of our liberties, but if the loss of liberty is too great the terrorists can achieve part of their goal by forcing us to lose some of our freedom. We must be constantly vigilant to make sure that our pursuit of security does not lead to a loss of the basic freedoms defined by our Founding Fathers.
Q: How can our government realistically cut the federal debt?
The first step in bringing our debt under control is to stop adding to it. Beyond that we must find ways to stimulate economic growth and fight to make sure that spending rises more slowly than the expansion of our economy. We cannot solve this problem without robust economic growth.
Q: How can the federal government reform Social Security?
Any changes in social security must be prospective and far enough in the future to insure that we are not breaking our promise to existing recipients or those who have paid-in for a substantial amount of time. We should not change the rules in the middle of the game for hard working Americans who have done their part, and now have the right to expect the government to do its part. As with the previous question, this solution requires robust growth in our economy.