I do not believe in over-regulating any business, especially a small business where owners and employees are known by customers. I do not believe in over-regulating corporations either, especially when they are largely the engines of our economy. However, something is lost when the customer has no interaction with the executives delivering those goods and services. Something is forgotten and that can be dangerous. In these instances, it is the corporate officers’ and board-members’ responsibility to weigh profits against what is best for not only the customer, but also for their employees and ultimately, for America. They are not required to do this and I would not advise trying to legislate doing so, but Congress does have the authority to withdraw favorable treatment of these entities. This is not over-regulation; this is serving the citizens of this nation first and foremost and giving incentive to those organizations that understand patriotism. We should be clear that corporations are NOT people. They may be made up of individuals but since a corporation is not accountable to the same laws of the land, they are not subject to the same protections. A corporation, with its executives, boards, committees and stockholders is technically responsible only to a bottom line. It is not necessarily driven by responsible stewardship of American resources, both human and material. A good American corporation however, is made up of patriotic American citizens who realize that they have risen to that professional status by way of an amazing system of free-market capitalism unique to this exceptional country. These individuals and their companies have succeeded because of hard working American citizens who believe in success and prosperity. Even if they deliver goods and services abroad, it is our economic system that has been the seed bed of their good fortune. This country was built in its entirety by men and women with a shared vision. It was built brick by brick over many generations by hard working American patriots. It was not built by corporations and it will not be run by them. Power must always remain in the hands of the people. It is the sole responsibility of our elected official to ensure us of this.
Why are you running for Congress, and why are you the best choice for voters?
Our children deserve better. We all deserve leaders who are responsible, respectful and effective. We deserve a government that is limited but functional and serves its people. I am running because I am very good at both effective leadership and fixing what others have broken. I understand how to work with others to accomplish great things. I have a proud history of service to my country and I want to continue serving with honor and integrity as your voice in congress.
What role should the federal government play in strengthening the nation’s economy?
What is needed is private sector jobs. What we have now is a sputtering economy. There are trillions of dollars waiting to be invested in our economy but no one invests during uncertainty. We have uncertainty because our leaders show no leadership and are tragically unstable. They fumble from crisis to crisis with no hope for stability. If we can have real leadership and some bipartisanship, this equals consumer confidence which equals real investment.
What measures would you advocate to support job growth?
What I would do is reform and simplify the tax code making it fair and transparent. Congress then would have the muscle to write true jobs bills which would give tax incentives for new job creation, expansion or entrepreneurialism. Now, we actually have tax incentives to offshore American jobs. These must go. The only payroll tax incentives must be for the creation of new, good paying American jobs. Do this and we have real domestic job growth.
Do you think there is a place for earmarks in congressional legislation?
Not really. District projects, if worthwhile, are a good thing. They cannot, however be tucked into larger bills that have nothing to do with the project. Bring them out in the open on a single bill or a slate of bills and if they can get the votes, they can be done.
What should Congress do to improve care for veterans?
a) Allow veterans and their families to access care in local hospitals. b) Allocate a large number of active duty military to the VA from the medical field. This would include doctors, nurses, counselors and even administrators, particularly those with field experience from the wars in the Middle East. c) Create a program for enlisting and training needed VA staff into the active duty military. Over time, VA staff will gain a stronger sense of community and stay longer.
What do you think the United States’ role should be now in Iraq?
We need to stay out. This is insane. I was there in 1990 and 91. That region is not ready for our type of democracy and trying to transplant it has proven a costly failure. We can offer support to some international coalition, but entering into a hot war again is beyond ridiculous, it is tragic.
Do you support or oppose the Affordable Care Act? How would you replace or alter it?
It is untenable. It was passed in partisan fashion and it is grossly unpopular which dooms it. I would fully repeal it and replace it with a 10th amendment solution. Allow each state to create for itself its own unique plan. This must be done by the state's legislature with insurance commissioners and medical experts. With this, they could actually enter into true inter-state marketplaces with other states sharing similar needs and populations.
What changes do you think should be made to U.S. immigration law?
We need first to secure out borders. We do this using available technology: unmanned aerial vehicles, satellites and infrared cameras with necessary border agents. Next, we must address the labor needs of our country. Working with the industries, we must develop a functional worker visa program. Next we document everyone here and deport all undesirables. I would NEVER advocate for amnesty but to not have the conversation is irresponsible and economically damaging.
Do you support or oppose an increase in the federal minimum wage? Explain.
Not by the federal government. People deserve a living wage for their work but some businesses have already provided this. They demonstrate what can be done. We consumers must use our free-market to support companies that value their labor force. If a full-time McDonalds employee is on assistance, he is being subsidized by my tax dollars and I see that as a use tax. I would like all consumers to be responsible in making employers do the right thing on their own. They will.
Do you agree or disagree with the use of drone strikes to combat terrorism? Explain.
Never on American soil. Never without some certainty to their effectiveness. Never on an American - even one living abroad. I understand collateral damage but it must be minimized. I don't want to put a soldier in harm's way, if I can avoid it. I was one of those foot soldiers and I saw casualties. I think our war on terrorism has in large part failed us and needs to be rethought. However, when necessary, limited drones could serve a purpose but only with good policy.
Do you support the collection of data on telephone calls as a means of protecting national security? Explain
It is complex. I personally don't care because I have never had anything to hide. But, I believe it to be unwarranted search and seizure which is unconstitutional. I am for following the Constitution even if it means we don't collect all the data we could. I believe our data collection up till now has bagged us precisely zero bad guys, so it really seems to be an unnecessary evil; it should go.
Would you advocate any changes in federal tax code?
I believe I could lower all taxes into a simplified four bracket tax code. To do this, we would need to remove all tax loopholes, deductions and credits. These can be added back by specific congressional legislation when needed to incentivize specific activity (buying homes, research) or to promote domestic job growth. This legislation must sunset after a max of five years unless specifically renewed by Congress. In this way, we get rid of special interests & bad breaks.
Should federal government cut spending? If so, how, and which federal programs are you willing to cut?
Yes of course. Tremendously. But we must put everything on the table. Wherever there is serious fraud, abuse or waste, we cut responsibly. This includes of course, all entitlements and discretionary spending. We have gotten into this fiscal challenge as one nation spending, we can get out of it as one nation saving. I would also consolidate some federal agencies and abolish others. The bureaucracy has taken over and needs to be pushed back.
What, if any, reforms do you support for Medicare or Social Security? Do you favor changing benefit levels?
I wouldn't touch Social Security benefits. I would, however, raise the age at which benefits start and I would remove the current caps on contributions. I would also work tirelessly on returning all Social Security money to a separate, untouchable fund. Medicare, I would put many more resources into rooting out fraud and abuse and create savings. If I can get the economy truly rolling, Medicare costs will go down as a result of more financial potential of recipients.
Should there be greater disclosure of political contributions? Why or why not? Yes of course. As a school administrator, I am all about transparency and full disclosure. If the speech is not equally accessible to all, it is not free and it is not fair. It is inconceivable that the volume of money entering into politics from both sides does not have a harmful effect on our democracy. The public needs to be aware of where the money is coming from and from whom the message is originating, this is key to a free and open society.
What should be the country’s energy policy moving forward?
We must have energy security and independence. I do not want to keep funding terrorism through my middle-eastern oil dollars. I fully support oil and gas but it must maintain or improve its safety and efficiency. I whole-heartedly support renewables since I have three daughters and they will need energy sources too. Renewables are here to stay and I will strongly advocate for their continued development. I need to be clear: Tim has NEVER supported renewables & never will!
Do you believe abortion should be limited? If so, to what degree?
Of course. I believe the Supreme Court may have overstepped its boundaries by making federal policy where there is no constitutional basis for it. I believe the only solution to this terribly divisive topic is to remand the rights back to each state. My state would of course set very specific policy as to the limitations and I support this. Anyone claiming to be capable of setting federal policy is being dishonest. Federal policy must be tied only to the constitution.
Would you alter any federal policies addressing climate change?
Of course. But there must be a meeting of what is scientifically prudent combined with what is economically feasible. I most certainly will not kill an industry without some serious and deliberate investigation and consideration of the alternatives. We have always led the way in industry, science and innovation. We are also a major energy producer and consumer. We will continue to do this with leaders like myself willing to do what is necessary and appropriate.
What other issue do you feel strongly about?
I can appreciate those who distrust our government. I too have little faith in current leadership. This will be my first elected office. I did not create the catastrophic mess we are in and yet I am willing to take full responsibility in order to actually fix things. What we can not do is elect people who would willingly sabotage our party or our congress. Saying no to everything is not responsible leadership. It is adolescent and dangerous. Demonizing a full half of our population is not healthy and it's not Christian. The greatest threat to our nation is us. We need to work together for our kids.
How much time do you plan to spend in Washington? In Kansas?
I couldn't possibly say. I've never served in Washington. I can say that my preference will be to spend every weekend and more back here in Clyde. I'd prefer my daughters to go to the very same school that I went to for 12 years and grow up in the home that my wife and I have owned for many years. My family is all here in the area and my roots are here. I love my community and they love me and I wouldn't trade them for the world.
How do you define yourself politically?
Fiscally, I am as conservative as one could be. I am however practical. I know we must spend money on education, infrastructure and some form of a safety net. I do not subscribe to the notion that being conservative can be rated and that it means saying no to everything. That is irresponsible and impractical. I am still Republican and many conservatives no longer identify with the party. That is a shame. I do. I want to shrink government and grow the party. Think 2016!
Who do you most admire and why?
My dad is probably the hardest working man I've ever met. I've never heard him lie about anything, I've never seen him cheat anyone and I know his integrity is unquestionable. My biological father died when I was very young and my dad raised me as well as any man ever could. He taught me his rock solid traits and gave me the ability to take on any challenge. He might be the proudest of my campaign but it is all due to his strength of character that I am capable of this. I believe in being extremely “pro-business”. I also believe in being extremely “pro-American”. These two ideas can and should be the same thing. However, if a business finds itself at odds with this concept of operating in the best interest of the American people, they will swiftly lose my support.