We must not enact more government programs than we can pay for. I support individuals and families spending their own money in a capital and free-market enterprise system. A market driven system fosters competition, which ensures the availability of many goods and services at the best possible price.
We expect our federal government to protect our borders and to protect our individual freedoms as Americans. And beyond that, we want them out of our pockets and away from our families and businesses. The Minnesota Legislature needs far greater fiscal responsibility to reduce the tax burden on working citizens. We can only do this by cutting government waste and eliminating unnecessary programs. Taxpayers deserve to have their hard earned money spent with frugality and fiscal discipline. Everyone is asked to live within their means, government must do the same. We must ease the tax burden on all taxpaying citizens.
Private industry is far more efficient and effective in use of money than the government. Money is best spent by the citizens who earned it. I believe that if government has less money, it becomes more efficient and cost-effective.
First of all, we need to lower taxes on Minnesota businesses so they have a greater opportunity to be successful, which in turn will spur on job growth. According to Minnesota’s Taxpayers League, Minnesota has the 3rd highest corporate tax rate in the world. Minnesota businesses cannot afford to pay higher taxes and hire more workers. Every dollar they pay in taxes is a dollar they can’t invest in their businesses—either for more employees or more goods and services. In addition, we have too many regulations, permits, licenses, moratoriums, and endless forms for businesses to fill out. We need a comprehensive restructuring of taxes, and required forms. Government agencies need to have a much friendlier attitude towards businesses with the goal of helping those businesses succeed, rather than driving them out of the state.
A Business Friendly Minnesota
Small business is an integral part of Minnesota’s economic foundation. Representing 98 percent of all employers in Minnesota, small employers serve as the backbone of communities across the state. Last year, roughly one-fifth of Minnesota’s private sector workforce was on the payroll of an employer with fewer than 20 employees. Between 2004 and 2005, almost 80 percent of the state’s net new jobs were created by small business. Small business is vital to our economic vitality. We must encourage entrepreneurship by allowing smaller businesses to thrive and compete.
Small businesses have suffered the greatest casualties in the recent economic downturn. The surest way to jumpstart our economy and combat Minnesota’s soaring unemployment is to provide a business climate that fosters small business success. As a senator, I will lead an agenda that will create a more business-friendly Minnesota.
It doesn’t take a doctor to tell us that our healthcare system is a mess. Some suggest that government should run all of healthcare, as though government has a reputation for efficiency and effectiveness. I support a healthcare system that empowers patients and doctors to determine what medical procedures are needed. In addition, we must eliminate the red tape and bureaucracy in our current healthcare system. This can be done through a careful analysis of our state’s policies and procedures governing health care. Although the federal government also has a role, the Minnesota Legislature can do its part to make quality health care more affordable and accessible.
Energy and Environment
I support an energy and environmental policy that recognizes the importance of energy independence for our national security. I support more drilling for oil in our own country and using more of all of our own energy resources. Market-driven incentives from the government for research and development of cleaner alternative fuels should be broad-based and not favor a particular solution, but be based on what is best and most cost-effective.
Education is a foundational tool to a literate well-run society. We need a K-12 education policy that respects parent’s choice, is funded fairly and insists on local control. Too many schools are struggling under bureaucracy and outdated regulations. The result affects our children and their teachers. Children and teachers should be the focus of education policy by ensuring they get the money they need and have appropriate standards for learning excellence. Core curriculum with an emphasis on math, reading, writing and genuine American History should be a priority in every setting.
The U.S. does and always has welcomed immigrants while at the same time encouraged assimilation. Everyone should be free to practice the customs and language of their native land and should also be actively encouraged to learn the most common things that binds our country together such as English. I support upholding immigration laws. If you commit an illegal act, there should be consequences whether it is to the employer hiring illegal aliens or the illegal alien being sent back to their country of origin. Sanctuary laws that tie the hands of law enforcement officers and protect illegal aliens should be repealed.
A primary role of government is to provide infrastructure for transportation. Roads and bridges serve the greatest number of citizens. Transportation tax dollars should be used for the provision of a safe and efficient highway system. When considering alternative methods of transportation, they should serve a large population, be efficient, safe, and cost-effective.
I believe that life begins at conception and ends at natural death. Adoption should always be the choice over abortion. When a young woman chooses to keep the child, we need to participate in helping the new family succeed.
We know that children are best raised with mom and dad, living together in a happy, healthy, life-long marriage. We must help families become more successful at reaching this goal. At the same time, we must help single parents, foster parents, and grandparents, succeed in their desire to raise healthy children.
I support adult stem-cell research which is the best ethical and scientific solution to help cure diseases.
Defending the Second Amendment
As a gun owner and hunter, I believe our Second Amendment rights are critical. The right to own firearms is under constant attack by those who want to limit, and in some cases, end gun ownership by individuals. We must continue to protect the right of law abiding citizens and sportsmen to own and carry firearms. I strongly opposed efforts to repeal our concealed carry law.
Securing Election Integrity
Voting is a fundamental American right. In Minnesota, we value this right and are proud of our state’s traditionally high voter turnout. We go to great lengths to encourage education of our electorate and participation in our elections. These efforts should also include our commitment to maintain and protect the integrity of our election process.
The false voter registration and other unethical activities of ACORN combined with news of felons voting in Minnesota supports the need for a higher scrutiny of the electoral process and requires voter identification and verification at the polls.
Photo identification is the number-one election integrity reform. Lack of a photo identification requirement erodes public confidence in our elections. In its absence, individual voters are left to question the value of their votes among others that may be fraudulent. We care about being fair; Justice is for all.