Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Second Republican Presidential Debate: What the Candidates Should Have Said, or Wouldn’t It Be Great if They Had Said . . .

1.) Unemployment / Job Creation

Question: “Yes, Mr. Gingrich said that 14 million people are unemployed. My question is this: The Democrats say that the Republicans don't have any plans to create jobs--and jobs in the private sector, not in the government jobs. I'd like to know, what are those plans?”

Answer: Get the government out of the economy. Stop taxing and regulating individuals and their private enterprises: businesses large or small.

2.) Obamacare / Healthcare

Question: “As a journalist who's written frequently about health care and medicine for both newspapers and for corporate publications, I'm very concerned about the overreach of the massive health care legislation that was passed last year. My question is what would each candidate do? What three steps would they take to de-fund Obamacare and repeal it as soon as possible?”

Answer: Move to repeal it immediately. Then, move to get the government out of healthcare.

3.) Jobs

Question: “Well, for the candidates, I'd like to know how they plan on returning manufacturing jobs to the United States.”

Answer: Stop taxing and regulating businesses. As a result manufacturers will start manufacturing in the U. S. again.

4.) Unions / Right-to-Work

Question: “My question is: Where do you fall on right to work and would you support a federal right-to-work law?”

Answer: I do not support the idea of mandatory unions. Union membership should be voluntary. It is not right to force an individual into any organization. Furthermore, there should be no legislation favoring groups of individuals--unions or businesses.

5.) Corporate Welfare

Question: “The federal government now assists many industries: green jobs, the auto industry, research and development. All get subsidies. Given the current state of the economy, what standards do you have, if any, for government assistance to private enterprise?”

Answer: The purpose of government is to protect individual rights—not to take from some and give to others, not to redistribute wealth, not to give handouts (which are taken from others), not to “stimulate” the economy, not to grant economic favors to certain individuals or businesses. Therefore, the government should not give assistance to private enterprise. The only “assistance” private enterprises need from government is to be left alone so that they can function and not be robbed by government.

6.) Government Bailouts

Question: “General Motors and Chrysler have rebounded since the Obama administration bailed them up. Bankruptcy is no longer a threat. Would you say the bailout program was a success?”

Answer: No. Government intervention is what caused their demise in the first place: decades of government taxation, government regulation, and laws which favored unions. That the government drove them to bankruptcy and then subsidized them can, by no stretch of the imagination, be considered a success.

7.) Space Exploration

Question: “Next month, the space shuttle program is scheduled to retire after 30 years, and last year, President Obama effectively killed government-run space flight to the International Space Station and wants to turn it over to private companies. In the meantime, U.S. astronauts would ride Russian spacecraft at a cost of $50 million to $63 million a seat. What role should the government play in future space exploration?”

Answer: It should have the same role it has in land exploration here on earth: It should protect the rights of U.S.-based private enterprises to make such explorations and to protect resultant property rights of any such private enterprises.

8.) Housing Market

Question: “Roughly right now, there are about a million—a million homes in the—in the hands of banks and lenders, millions of more homeowners are upside-down, meaning they owe more than their home is worth. What would you or your administration do to try to right the housing ship?”

Answer: Government intervention into the financial and housing markets is what caused the crisis. For starters I would repeal the Community Reinvestment Act and abolish Freddy Mac and Fanny Mae, specifically. Beyond these two measures, I would move to get the government out of the financial and housing markets, generally.

9.) FDA / Government Regulatory Agencies

Question: “You see the E. coli scare that's going on in Europe right now. You're trying to cut money. The FDA, other agencies that get involved in that, are in front of you. What do you do?”

Answer: The premise is that private enterprises in the food supply industry have no incentive to be concerned with health and safety and, therefore, if left to their own devices—i.e., if not “regulated” by government—would sell people unsafe food. I don’t accept that premise. It is that premise that needs to be challenged.

10.) FEMA

Question: “FEMA is about to run out of money, and there are some people who say do it on a case-by-case basis and some people who say, you know, maybe we're learning a lesson here that the states should take on more of this role. How do you deal with something like that?”

Answer: The function of government is to protect individual rights—not to provide federal emergency assistance. The free market system, if allowed to operate, is more than adequately capable of providing emergency relief, if and when needed. This issue, however, is not a central one and therefore should not be given more weight than it deserves.

11.) Medicare

Question: “As a member of the Baby Boomer generation, I've been contributing to Medicare through payroll taxes for over 30 years. How do you propose to keep Medicare financially solvent for the next 50 years and beyond?”

Answer: There is no way to keep it solvent. The only fair and rational solution is to phase out the program (as well as the other so-called entitlement programs). Pay back the money to those from whom it has been taken over the years, but do not force the current generation into this wasteful, destructive, and unjust system. Recognize that individuals have a right to keep that which they produce, and stop taking from them.

12.) Debt Ceiling

Question: “The Treasury Department says the United States will hit its credit limit on August the 2nd. Do you believe we will ultimately have to raise the debt ceiling?”

Answer: No, we simply have to stop spending. This is a lesson that we should have learned long ago but didn’t. There is no longer any way to evade reality.

13.) Separation of Church and State

Question: “I'm just wondering what your definition of the separation of church and state is and how it will affect your decision-making.”

Answer: Separation of church and state is the principle that government has no role in endorsing or discouraging religious belief—specific religious beliefs or religious belief in general. Therefore, there should be no “private-public partnerships" between religion and government, nor any such thing. On a related note, keep in mind that the function of government is to protect individual rights. Therefore, if a religious movement promotes, advocates, endorses, or accepts ideas which threaten individuals rights—for example, Jihad or Holy War against infidels and apostates, or Fatwas calling to kill such individuals—the government has a duty to go after such movements.

14.) Gay Marriage

Question: “New Hampshire is one of five states where individuals who happen to be gay can marry legally. This is a question of conflicting interest. I know you're opposed to same-sex marriage. As president, would you try to overturn -- what influence would you use from the White House to try to overturn these state laws despite your own personal belief that states should handle their own affairs whenever possible and in many circumstances?”

Answer: This is a complex issue, and as President I would not pursue a policy on the matter. However, my own personal belief and the idea which I would endorse and advocate as President is that if two individuals of legal age want to voluntarily enter into such a legal status, they should be allowed to do so and should be afforded the same rights as heterosexual persons. Furthermore, I want to say that even if other people find the concept inexplicable or even offensive (I do not), you have no right to try to prohibit such behavior. The life of gays may violate your sensibilities, but it violates your rights not one single bit.

15.) Gays in Military

Question: “I want to ask each of you—and, again, if we can be quickly, because then we want to get to the voters question—if you were president, if you become president of the United States—now gays are allowed to serve openly in the military—would you leave that policy in place or would you try to change it, go back to "don't ask/don't tell," or something else?”

Answer: A gay person is every bit a citizen as any other. As such, he or she has the same right to his own life, liberty, property, and pursuit of happiness as do every other citizen. A rational individual enters into military service to fight against those who threaten those rights. Therefore, he has every bit the right to enter into military service to defend those rights as any other citizen. Accordingly, he or she should not have to attempt to conceal his sexuality via “don’t ask/don’t tell” any more than a straight person should have to attempt to conceal his or her heterosexuality via such means.

16.) Abortion

Question: “Representative Bachmann, I have a question for you. Governor Pawlenty says he opposes abortion rights except in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother's life is at stake. Do you have any problem with that position? And if so, why?”

Answer: As President, I would not attempt to pursue a policy on the matter. However, I would lend my voice to defend the idea that a person—in this case, a woman—has the right to have complete control over the use and disposal her body and its functions.

17.) So-called Entitlements for Illegal Aliens

Question: “As a naturalized American citizen who came here legally, I would like to know how you, as . . . president, plan to prevent illegal immigrants from using our health care, educational, or welfare systems?”

Answer: First of all, why are people here illegally in the first place? Secondly, to the extent that they are, it seems to me to be unjust that someone who has entered illegally should be able to have access to these systems. Why do we tolerate this phenomenon? Thirdly, consider this: if it’s right to enslave some—those from whom money is taken to pay for such schemes—for the benefit of others—those who receive the loot—why not have illegals get some too? Why is it wrong? Aren’t they deserving also? Isn’t it the moral duty of the individual to sacrifice and to serve others? Why not the illegals? Why not the whole world? These are the moral premises that must be challenged if we are to solve the problem of our so-called entitlement system. What would I do as President regarding our health care, educational, and welfare systems? I would seek to phase out the welfare state as such.

18.) Emergency Healthcare for Children of Illegal Aliens

Question: “And so, Dr. Paul, to you on this one, the question comes up, though, once they're in the country illegally, you have—compassion sometimes bumps up against enforcing the law and state budget crises—a 5-year-old child of an illegal immigrant walks into an emergency room. Does the child get care?”

Answer: The question amounts to: Should a person from another country be allowed to illegally enter our country and demand that his or her child get free healthcare? That’s really what you’re asking.

19.) Eminent Domain for Domestic Oil Production

Question: “Should governments at any level be able to use eminent domain for major projects that will reduce America's dependence on foreign oil?”

Answer: An individual should not have his property taken from him by government (unless the property was obtained by the individual’s having committed a crime or is taken to recompense the victim or victims of an individual’s crime). Concerning dependence on foreign oil, there is nothing wrong in principle in obtaining oil, or any other commodity, via trade with foreign nations. The question we need to be asking is: Why on earth are we not making use the oil which is available in our own country? The answer is that we are not doing so in the name of “protecting our environment.” In so doing, we are subordinating man to animals, to “nature,” to the planet, and the like. The point is that we are subordinating man. Is there any rational basis for such a notion? We need to allow exploitation of our own natural resources for the sake our own material well-being—that is, for the sake of our own lives and happiness.

20.) Osama bin Laden / War in Afghanistan

Question: “Osama bin Laden is dead. We've been in Afghanistan for ten years. Isn't it time to bring our combat troops home from Afghanistan?”

Answer: Yes, we got the bastard who masterminded the slaughter of three thousand of our citizens on September 11, 2001. That we killed him is good, rational, and to be celebrated. We could have and should have taken him out years ago. In any event, there is no longer any need to be in Afghanistan. What we need to be concerned about more than a single person, however, is the ideology that motivated the attack: Totalitarian Islam. The biggest threat from this movement is the country of Iran. It is a church state, whose political and ideological leaders openly declare their desire to wage war against us (and Israel) and which is working to achieve the means to do so: they’re working on nuclear weapons, which we should have no doubt they will use on us if and when they are able to do so. We need to militarily knock-out this regime and this monstrous ideology—without regard for the so-called innocents, without regard for what the Islamic world will think of us, without regard for what the “rest of the world” will think of us, and certainly without regard for what the Left would start wailing about in response to such an approach. Also, I want to state that my approach would not entail sacrificing our citizen soldiers in an extensive or protracted ground war, nor spending bazillion, gazillions of dollars, nor the attempt at nation building. Simply it would involve heavy bombardment to kill Islamic Jihadists in great numbers and to destroy their political and military infrastructure, and if necessary leveling the country to the dirt. Then, I would leave and let them worry about it. If you can demonstrate to the rest of the countries in the region that we have moral certainty with respect to our defending the Western values of freedom and justice, Islamic Jihad as a serious world political force would quickly wither and die out from history in the same way that Nazism did.

21.) Yemen / Air Strikes

Governor Pawlenty, a growing number of Republicans are more skeptical of these foreign involvements. But I want you to take what Congressman Paul just said there. Let's focus on one. 

He said no bombing in Yemen. The strikes in Yemen have been targeted at al Qaeda leaders, at al Qaeda operatives, who the president of the United States, who happens to be a Democrat in his case, views as serious threats against this nation. Do you agree with Congressman Paul there or do you agree with President Obama and the strikes?

Although Yemen is a hot spot for Islamic Jihad, it should not be our where we focus our attention. The biggest problem we face right now with respect to the totalitarian Islamic movement is the country or Iran. We need to knock-out the current Iranian regime in Iran and along with it of course its clerics and the like.

22.) U.S. Military Bases throughout the World / National Debt

Question: “Well, I support the U.S. military, but frankly we're in debt up to our eyeballs. We have nation building going on around the world. We're the world's police force. World War II is over. The Korean War is over. But we still have military bases all over Europe, all over Asia. 

We have something like 900 military bases all around the world. I want to know if there's a candidate on the stage who is willing to shut down the bulk—not the bulk of these bases, but the bases that aren't vital to our national security—and take that money to pay off our national debt?”

Answer: I agree that we don’t need to have 900 military bases throughout the world. What we need to do is to go after Islamic totalitarian regimes, the number one of which is Iran. Furthermore, it is important to understand that closing military bases will not pay off our national debt. The only thing that will allow us to do that is to end the welfare state.

23.) Public Opinion Polls / Low Ratings for Presidential Candidates

Question: “Public opinion polls consistently result in low approval ratings for Congress as a whole. And early polls show a lack of enthusiasm for this field of candidates. Most of you will say that you don't watch polls, but shouldn't you pay attention to public sentiment? And aren't these polls a direct reflection of what voters are and are not looking for?”

Answer: The reason public opinion polls show a lack of enthusiasm for this field of candidates is that the current pool of candidates lacks a candidate such as this. Moreover, most people in any society at any point in history simply react. It makes no sense whatsoever to base one’s political leadership based on what the majority wants. The majority of people are simply reacting to what is placed in front of them. Lead with the right ideas. If people are even semi-rational, they will respond properly to the correct ideas, if and when such ideas are presented to them. To allow the random slop of that which has until now passed for political ideas to determine one’s ideas as a political leader is to let the tail wag the dog.