Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Where Michael Wardell stands on 9 key issues

First, I don't believe the problem rests solely as a problem with Mexico, but it is the conduit for most of the illegal trafficking of drugs and people into the U.S. We must secure our porous border. Congress approved funding to build a barrier to reduce illegal immigration, but building the wall remains an elusive goal. 

Missouri's requires all employers to verify their employees are documented as citizens or legal immigrants before they begin work. This is a good step. The challenge is taking it to the national level because under the 10th Amendment, the States have the right and responsibility to enforce corporate regulation. As a parent of a dual-citizen child, the process in place to ensure correct and lawful immigration is sound, but execution and enforcement of the law continues to fail. The People of the Great State of Arizona through the process of the legislation, passed a law that they felt was necessary for the people in that state. Yes, there are howls of protest against it, but when you have 70% of the citizens favor the new law, it's difficult to dispute its importance to the state. Questioning someone about their status only after stopping them for another legal reason seems reasonable.
Q: How can the Congress promote economic growth and  jobs?

Looking back in time over the last 200 plus years of our Nation's history, the greatest growth period was when the federal government lowered controls, corporate taxes, and got out of the way of industry and business. Think about it for a minute, from the year 1812, our last little scrap with England, until 1912 our population exploded 13 fold from seven million to 92 million people.
People came here to escape the problems of the Europe and the rest of the world. We went from a fledgling nation to one of a global economic might in 100 years. The best way for our Government to promote economic growth is get out of the way of the American people, cut the federal budget in half, and let the people keep more of their money.  But the MOST important thing to gauge is who, without Congress as a whole or needing 217 votes to pass a bill, is going to facilitate jobs and economic growth here in the district?
I believe that it is time for us in the 7th to think out of the box, and begin doing things different to get families working again. Since I am unwilling to wait until, at a minimum, 2013 to get any type of tax relief for small businesses and working families, I’ve started an initiative to get the people of the 7th working again.  Even if someone is a 2 man operation, exporting goods to a market that is not damaged as ours  will diversify a company’s markets as well as create orders that need to be filled. With this increased demand for goods, it will require an increase in jobs needed to fill those orders. 
The one advantage we have in this economy is a weak Dollar, and we can exploit that advantage with great Missouri products at very competitive prices, globally. My upcoming trade mission to Japan is precisely what South West Missouri needs.  Someone who not only can work within the confines of Congress, but can and will lead the Businesses and the families of the 7th out of the economic doldrums we are experiencing today. With the ability to empower businesses with a guide to expand their sales on the global stage, we can and will overcome our unacceptable level of unemployment.

 Q: What can Congress do to make our education system more effective?
Give the power of education back to the states. The one solution fits all Department of Education thinking doesn’t meet the educational needs in Nixa, Missouri; Bonita, California; or Bar Harbor, Maine, but the people in those cities and states do.
Since the federal government took over the public education, creating the Department of Education, test scores have continued to drop. We once were a nation of great engineers, and now American companies are outsourcing and leaving our country in search of engineers. It’s obvious the Department of Education fails our children.
I will quote Ron Paul extensively on this one. Although I do not agree with Dr. Paul on everything, I wholeheartedly agree with him here:

I think there is a lot of misunderstanding about exactly what it means to vote against an earmark. It's very popular today to condemn earmarks and even hold up legislation because of this.

The truth is that if you removed all the earmarks from the budget you would not save one dime. The money was already appropriated when the federal budget was passed. The budget must be cut to have any impact on the national debt. Earmarks have become a catchphrase that magnifies the anger at Washington, but the overall problem is the trillions and trillions approved in each yearly budget. Earmarks come out of this mass of spending appropriations after Congress approves the money to spend. In other words, the money will be spent regardless of whether you earmark or not. To sign no earmark pledges and work to return this money to the district robs Southwest Missouri of jobs and economic development and it hurts the district. What we need to enforce is earmark reform that ensures earmarks meet the 18 enumerated powers given to Congress. 

So, in many ways what congress is doing is reneging on their responsibilities. It is the responsibility of the Congress to earmark. Congress is supposed to tell the people how we're spending the money. Not to just deliver it in the lump sum to the executive branch and let them deal with it. Do the people of Southwest Missouri want the Obama administration to seize this power and make appropriation decisions for the country? Of course not, but that’s exactly the reality of Congress removing the earmark process.  Actually, if you voted against all the earmarks there would be less transparency. Earmarks allow transparency and we know exactly where federal money is spent, in spite of what my fellow republicans who have pledged against them.

The real issue is the spending. If I don't like the spending, then I'll vote against the bill. But the principle of earmarking is something that we have to think about because we're just further undermining the responsibilities that I'll have in the Congress if elected. If we want to get things under control it won't be because I vote against an earmark and make a big deal of attacking earmarks because it doesn't address the subject.

In reality what we need are more earmarks. Just think of the 350 billion dollars that congress appropriated and gave to the Treasury Department. Afterwards, everybody was running around and saying, "We don't know where the money went, we just gave it to them in a lump sum". We should have earmarked everything. It should have been designated where the money is going. So instead of too many earmarks we don't have enough earmarks. Transparency is the only way we can find the underlying cause of this and if you make everything earmarked, it requires the author to be known  

The definition of an earmark is very, very confusing. If you would vote to support the embassy in Baghdad which came up to nearly a billion dollars, that's not called an earmark. But if you have an earmark for a highway or a building here in the United States, that is called an earmark. But if you vote for a weapons system, it would support and help a district and that's not considered an earmark. When people are yelling and screaming about getting rid of earmarks, they're not talking about getting rid of weapons systems or building buildings and bridges and highways in foreign countries. They only talk about earmarks when it is designated that certain money will be spent a certain way in this country.

The bottom line is this: The sooner Congress wakes up to their responsibilities, understand what earmarks are, and understand why we need earmarks, then we will come to our senses why earmarks benefit our district. Earmarks are transparent with exception of the so-called "airdropped earmark" that is one that suddenly appears in the conference report between the two chambers when it appears in neither the House nor the Senate version prior to the conference. I'm all in favor of killing “airdropped earmarks.” So the sooner congress realizes that, I think it will be better for the taxpayer.
I do not believe for a New York minute the piece of legislation called the 'Health Care Bill' has anything to do with health care for three reasons.

It excludes some members of the House, Senate, and Executive Branch and their respective senior staff from the bill, so much for the equal protection clause.

Tort reform was not in the bill and it should have been. We can't lower malpractice insurance until we get the lawyers under control. Nevertheless, that does not mean that doctors are immune from being sued, but caps should be put in place.

Where in the U.S. Constitution enumerates Congress to enact this law? Nowhere. If those who counter argue with the 'regulate business' then insurance companies will incorporate in every state, knocking the government’s nose out from under the tent.
You can't prevent another accident through legislation. The same question would then apply to the question "How do you prevent another car accident on I-44?" Drilling for Oil on National Park Land is referring to ANWR. Again the question needs to asked" where in the U.S. Constitution does the Federal Gov have the right besides the 10 square miles noted and military bases, to own land? Nowhere. 

There are always risks associated with exploration that benefits the human condition, and we must work to limit those risks while not sacrificing the human condition. We are killing the American spirit with this idea of limiting exploration that improves our lives.
Freedom and Personal Privacy are paramount as they are bedrock principles of our Republic. To alter them in the name of security, is not and should not be the policy of this nation.
It’s interesting to note that prior to 9/11 only 33 air marshals were employed by the Gov. and Pilots were not allowed to be armed. Had they been, e-mail monitoring, cell phone tapping, full body scanners and the patriot act would not exist. The balance should be personal responsibility and freedom over so called ‘Protection’ the Government can not protect us from the lone nut job or two, but it is empowered to protect the Nation from Foreign powers that wish us harm i.e. monitoring communication overseas and getting warrants to tap phones  given probable cause . 
I just stated, no amount of legislation will stop a terrorist with a mission, but an individual exercising all his or her freedoms will go further than any agency of the Federal Government.
Cutting the Debt means, you start with the budget. This is no different than our personal checkbook, you either cut spending and use the difference to pay down the balance, or you increase taxes and do the same. I’m not in favor of raising taxes.
I’m in favor of cutting Federal Gov. employee salaries to include members of Congress and the President. If they don’t hurt it will never get fixed. Cut out agencies that do not have enumerated powers would be a great start. Education, Dept of Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, to name a few. These services, if needed, are left up to the states or the people (10th Amendment) Although this sounds unrealistic, the alternative is worse. 
When I announced my run for the 7th Congressional District back in October of last year, I wrote:
With a 40+ Trillion Dollar deficit pending, there is no way we can continue down this path of destruction. For those who have been planning on Social Security as part of their retirement, we ensure that we honor our commitment. For those who have some time to adjust, we allow them to invent themselves, all the way, partly, or not at all. Government has shown that the Bernie Madoff  school of investing doesn’t work. The bottom line is this, I can fire Wall St., I can’t fire D.C. This is the only way to ensure solvency.

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