Issues

We need to Be Not Afraid to tackle the tough issues. Some of the critical issues that need to be addressed, and my positions on them, are listed below. We must address these tough issues, otherwise your and my kids and grandkids will bear the burden. In good conscience, we cannot let that happen!

But, first let me set out how I approach issues. I follow the facts, sometimes to where I would rather not go, but go there I do if the facts are compelling.

  • Free Market Economics: Problems and Solutions, May 7, 2019. Capitalism has enabled more people to escape poverty than any other economic system. Socialism and communism have proven to be failures. But capitalism is not perfect and sometimes “market failures” require government action to maximize the public good.
  • Am I a Libertarian?, June 29, 2019. Protecting individual liberties is always a great place to start in considering any government policy.
  • I have pledged to uphold our U.S. Constitution. The checks and balances, separation of powers and limits to our federal government written into the U.S. Constitution have been eroded over time to the point that the Founding Fathers would barely recognize it today. For example, the Executive Branch has accumulated enormous powers barely unchecked by the Congress, which the Republicans did not like when President Obama issued Executive Orders and now the Democrats don’t like when President Trump issues EO’s. Congress must take back more of the oversight duties. When Ben Franklin was asked what kind of government was being formed, he replied, “A republic, if we can keep it.” We must not allow any further erosion of the limits of government and retain the rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.
  • Thinking About Our Thinking: Is what you believe really true?, May 7, 2019. We have many cognitive biases. Awareness of these potential biases allows us to make better decisions.
  • Candidate Pledge of Civility, November 10, 2019. We can be steadfast in our principles and vigorous in our opposition to policies with which we do not agree, but we need not be uncivil in our discourse. We can disagree without being disagreeable. Being civil in strong disagreement is strength, not weakness. We all come from different backgrounds and experiences, so it is natural that we would have differences of opinion. Such differences of opinion can also an opportunity to learn. To support civil conversations on tough issues, I have moderated forums for Better Angels and National Issues Forums and led discussions for Global Minnesota.

 

National Debt

 

Health Care Costs

 

Climate Change

 

Social Security

  • Very Good Article About Saving Social Security, May 5, 2019. Takeaway: The pending insolvency of Social Security can easily be solved if everyone would be willing to give just a little. The longer we wait, the bigger those “littles” will need to be making agreement even harder to be achieved.

 

Immigration

  • Any meaningful immigration policy begins with secure borders! I agree with President Trump’s attempt to discourage people from even starting in the southern countries of Central America to come through Mexico to seek asylum in the U.S.
  • Immigration – Unsolvable Issue or a Political Football?, January 15, 2019. Takeaways from an Immigration Forum I moderated in January 2019.

 

National Security/Foreign Policy/ Trade Policy

 

Infrastructure

  • Every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) publishes The Infrastructure Report Card, which grades the current state of national infrastructure categories on a scale of A through F. its 2017 grade was D+, with only railroad infrastructure rating above the C level. Whether it be our roads, water ports, airports, water and sewer facilities, electrical transmission lines, Internet trunk lines, etc., our systems are either failing from old age or lack of maintenance, or demand has outgrown the existing capacity. The poor roads and the Flint lead in the waterlines problems I was intimately familiar with in Michigan are just examples of the greater nation-wide need.

    ASCE estimates that if we don’t respond to this need, $3.4 trillion of GDP will be lost for our potential, which means dollars out of every taxpayers’ pockets even if the “no action” alternative is chosen. A national response is needed, and again, that will probably mean more money. Public Private Partnerships proposed by President Trump could partially meet this need, but PPP only works where there will be a future stream of income from the capital investment, such as water and sewer projects, bridges on which tolls may be collected. The tradeoffs are higher taxes or lost economic growth.

 

Differences from Angie Craig

Miscellaneous: