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Natural Law is the foundation and source of liberty.  The Declaration of Independence introduced  the concept of unalienable rights in the original document of the American idea.  The Bill of Rights in the US Constitution pays tribute to Natural Law, not by granting rights, but by reminding us of the rights that we innately possess so that we may be better equipped to defend those rights from ambitious or misguided politicians.  This fundamental concept that rights come through the "Laws of Nature, and Nature's God," and not from figures of authority, is at the core of my philosophy regarding the relationship between the government and the civil society.

 The issues of the day provide opportunities for a representative to act on principle, but even the right positions on issues can be arrived at for a variety of unprincipled reasons.  Too many politicians take positions on issues that they are unable to articulate or defend when pressed.  These politicians hold these positions out of convenience, not out of conviction. Positions that are informed by principle never need the aid of focus groups, polls, or surveys.  My views on many of the issues of the day are provided below.  If there is an issue that you would like to see added, or if you would like clarification on any particular point, please use the contact form to let me know. Click on a topic below to go to the associated discussion.

Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.  ~James Madison The Constitution  is the supreme law of the land. It was written to establish the framework of the Federal government. Congress has been given the role of Steward of the Constitution - a role that has been handled with staggering incompetence and lack of commitment. Those that find the Constitution to be an obstacle to their agenda try to convince the American people that it is simply an out-of-date historical relic. The reality is that if the constitution is out of date in any way, it is the fault of Congress. The only oath taken by representatives and senators is an oath to uphold the Constitution. It is far too common for politicians today to take that oath with no intention of keeping it. Restoring the Constitution to its intended role is vital for securing the liberty of future generations of Americans. back-to-top
Nothing so strongly impels a man to regard the interest of his constituents, as the certainty of returning to the general mass of the people, from whence he was taken, where he must participate in their burdens.  ~George Mason Term Limits  are an unfortunate necessity.  In an ideal situation, the people would be able to retain their ability to indefinitely vote into office the individual that they think is the best for the job.  It has become quite clear that the situation is far from ideal.  With the current system, incumbent politicians have significant advantages over challengers.  The seniority rules in Congress create an incentive for representatives and senators to stay in office.  These rules also encourage voters to keep sending their politicians to Washington.  Term limits are necessary, but they should be approached with caution and for constructive purpose.  It is tempting to view term limits as a way to punish politicians for the mess they have made, but it is possible to make things worse by imposing unrealistic term limits.  If the limits are too short, the possibility arises for beltway insiders and career lobbyists to become the senior statesmen in Washington.  Representatives must have time to mature and pass on their knowledge and wisdom to incoming freshmen.  Obviously, if the term limit is too long it defeats the purpose.  I believe a maximum of 12 years of consecutive service for members of the House and Senate would be constructive.  It is important to note that, regardless of the success in passing a term limit bill, it is vital that efforts continue for nullifying the incumbency advantage and for changing the seniority rules that create incentives for members to keep returning. back-to-top
I am not among those who fear the people. They, and not the rich, are our dependence for continued freedom. And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.  ~Thomas Jefferson Balancing the Budget  will clearly not happen without a balanced budget amendment.  The founding fathers knew of the dangers of political corruption, but even they did not foresee the level of irresponsibility that permeates the halls of Congress today.  If they had, they would have certainly included a balanced budget in the original framework of the Federal government. A balanced budget amendment must include elements that protect against using the amendment as an excuse to raise taxes without limits. The current system of raising debt ceilings has become a farce.  The budgeting process in Washington is fundamentally broken when more attention is paid to the theater surrounding debt ceiling debates than is paid to the budgets that raise the debt in the first place.  Other budget reforms, such as ending baseline budgeting, must be worked in parallel with efforts to achieve a balanced budget amendment.  back-to-top
The problem isn't just limited to the cartels: Al-Qaeda openly boasts of using drug tunnels to smuggle weapons of mass destruction through our porous defenses. Fortunately, those boasts have proven empty — at least so far. 
~Gov. Mike Huckabee
US Border Security  is not an immigration issue. The borders of the United States should never be used as leverage to extract political compromise for tangential issues like immigration. The sovereignty of the United States must come before any other consideration in dealing with issues beyond our borders. It is the constitutional duty of the Federal government to secure our borders. The current dereliction of this duty is unacceptable. One branch of government must not be allowed to unilaterally decide that our borders will be left unsecured. The fact that one Party will use the conflation of border security and immigration policy to avoid addressing border security issues is deplorable. Border security must be decoupled from immigration debates. The Republicans have been too willing to play defense on this topic out of fear of offending immigrant groups. Border security is not an immigration issue.  back-to-top
Amnesty is a big billboard, a flashing billboard, to the rest of the world that we don't really mean our immigration law.  ~Richard Lamm US Immigration Policy  must place the interests of the United States above the interests of potential immigrants.   The American dream is coveted by people throughout the world.  Insisting that our immigration policy favor immigrants that share American values, value American culture, and are committed to assimilation is consistent with a rational immigration policy.  We can no longer deny the fact that the wink and nod approach to immigration law enforcement is designed simply to give one political Party an advantage over another.  back-to-top
The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws, discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property.  The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside...  Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them...  ~Thomas Paine The 2nd Amendment  forbids the Federal government from infringing on the rights of individuals to keep and bear arms.  There are no caveats to this prohibition.  When a politician talks about the 2nd Amendment in the context of hunting traditions and shooting sports, they aren't saying they believe that is what the 2nd Amendment is all about; they are trying to convince us that is what it is all about. The 2nd Amendment identifies a space where the federal government is denied authority. Anti-gun politicians know that if we can be convinced that this space is much smaller than the authors of the Constitution intended, then the scope of government influence can be expanded in this area. The discussion about hunting and target practice is not aimless or grounded in some misconception on the part of these politicians. They know what they are doing. It's time to stop pretending otherwise. As a US Representative I will oppose all Federal attempts to restrict gun rights. back-to-top

To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. ~Thomas Jefferson

Taxes  should be used strictly for raising funds necessary for the legitimate needs of government. The amount of taxes required should be determined by the size of government required to meet those needs.  The current system of sizing government according to the amount of taxes that can be borne by the American people tempts politicians to expand government when the economy is strong, but rarely seems to compel them to make reductions when the economy weakens.  The result is an ever-expanding Federal government at odds with the founding principles of limited government. I support the effort to replace the current income tax with a national consumption tax. Having the states collect the consumption tax and send it directly to the US treasury would completely end any need for the IRS.  back-to-top

The constitution supposes, what the History of all Governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it.  It has accordingly with studied care vested the question of war to the Legislature. ~James Madison

War  should be entered reluctantly and only when the vital interests of the United States or her close allies are clearly at stake.  Our warriors should not be asked to put their lives on the line for foreign experiments in democracy and nation building. It is the duty of the Federal government to provide a rational and coherent foreign policy that does not fluctuate dramatically with changes in administrations.  This stability is essential for allowing the military to develop robust doctrines and contingencies in support of national goals.  When the mission and the goals of any conflict can not be made clear to the American people, and especially to the men and women of our armed forces, it is time for that conflict to end.  We owe it to the members of our military to put them in harm's way only when necessary, and for reasons that are generally recognized. back-to-top

Diplomacy is not an end in itself if it does not advance U.S. interests. ~John Bolton
The United Nations  is increasingly at odds with the foundational values of the United States, and persistent in attempts to undermine American sovereignty.  I believe that the primary constructive reason for continued US involvement in the UN is to take advantage of opportunities to use our veto power in support of the interests of the United States and her allies.  It is clear that the use of the veto in the UN has thwarted attempts to work mischief by international cabals within the UN.  The current process in which US administrations negotiate and sign international treaties, and then fail to secure Senate ratification needs to be addressed in Congress. The US signature on international treaties should expire after a certain amount of time if ratification fails to occur.  I will support efforts to have any treaty signed by a US administration become unsigned if it has not been ratified by the Senate by the end of the final term of that administration.  It is clear that the founding fathers intended for treaty debates to be decided expeditiously. back-to-top

The notion of political correctness declares certain topics, certain expressions, even certain gestures, off-limits.  What began as a crusade for civility has soured into a cause of conflict and even censorship. ~George HW Bush

The 1st Amendment  informs us of our right to free expression, not so that we will know that it is acceptable for us to offer pleasantries to one another, but so that we will be aware of the vital importance of being free to express an unpopular view to an unsympathetic audience. When my neighbor apologized to me over the possibility that the noise of his target practice had inconvenienced me, I let him know that the sound of liberty is never an inconvenience.  I confess that it is more difficult to remind myself to take that same view when I hear some of the noise from the left, but we do well to consider that freedom will not withstand a monopoly in the marketplace of ideas.  back-to-top
The aid we continue to provide to China is particularly shocking when you consider that, in effect, the U.S. is now borrowing money from China so we can give it to the Chinese... 
~Gov. Rick Perry
Foreign Aid  should be reserved for situations where US interests can be clearly identified and communicated to the American people.  There are few areas where the idiocy of baseline budgeting is as obvious as it is for foreign aid.  All foreign aid should be subjected to routine reviews and re-justification.  back-to-top

We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life – the unborn – without diminishing the value of all human life.  ~Pres. Ronald Reagan

Human Life  is uniquely valuable.  A culture of life is essential to the continuation of a free society.  The fact that there was any controversy surrounding the efforts to recognize in law the fundamental right to life of children actually born alive into the hands of a doctor was one of the greatest travesties of contemporary politics.  The vast majority of Americans recognize that partial-birth abortions and born-alive "abortions" are unquestionably at odds with the right to life. Only in the minds of the most callous social engineers and politicians is there any question about the wrongness of these practices. Compulsory taxes used to fund the providers of abortions are cruel and oppressive assaults on the consciences of many millions of Americans. back-to-top

Competition always produces a superior and lower-cost product than government monopolies. ~Walter Williams

School Choice  is needed to break the education monopoly. The public education system in the United States has become too much about transforming society, and too little about providing an education. Societal re-engineering is not a legitimate role of education in the United States. When parents entrust their children to public schools for 13 of their most formative years, they have a reasonable expectation that the school will not work to undermine what the child is taught at home. The current education system abuses the influence that it wields over small children. Education reform must ensure that a knowledge of American exceptionalism, republican government, the Constitution, and our founding principles are common products of public education. I believe that the effort of educators to turn future generations away from American founding principles is the single greatest threat to the future of the Republic. The Federal government has no constitutional authority in the area of education. back-to-top

The Fed's operations under a cloak of secrecy have gone on too long and the American people have a right to know what the Federal Reserve is doing with our nation's money supply, ~Sen. Rand Paul

The Federal Reserve  suffers from an unacceptable lack of transparency. The 2012 GAO audit of the Fed revealed a number of questionable, bailout related activities undertaken without congressional oversight. An independent audit of the Federal Reserve should be a routine function overseen by the House of Representatives. Overseeing the monetary policy of a modern economy is a complex job, but there is no excuse for Congress abdicating responsibility in this area. The Fed's dual mandate of managing inflation, and managing national economic growth through monetary policy was imposed by Congress in 1975. This dual mandate is not logically consistent, and should be reduced to simply focusing on currency stability. A free market economy will work on the way up, and on the way down without government interference. The concept of "too big to fail" is not compatible with free market capitalism.  back-to-top
Not having imbibed the Enlightenment foolishness that people are basically good, the founders understood that in order for a society to prosper without big government, its citizens have to hold themselves accountable to something other than -- higher than -- the brute force of the state.~Dennis Prager

Social Conservatism  is not a separable part of conservatism. There is a tendency to make a distinction between “Social Conservatism” and “Fiscal Conservatism” in contemporary American political discussion. This tendency emerges from the discomfort that many conservatives have in defending a position that is viewed as being subject to accusations of being based on something other than reason. There is a fundamental philosophical inconsistency in a position that claims to support fiscal conservatism, but not social conservatism. Welfare state policies are directly at odds with fiscal responsibility, but it is reason that compels us to conclude that government expansion in these areas is an ultimate result of limiting conservative policies to the fiscal arena. Ignoring our clearly established understanding of human nature is an exercise in wishful thinking, not an exercise in reason. Social conservatism is an integral component of conservatism, and necessary for limiting government. The founding principles of our Nation were derived from libertarian philosophy combined in the crucible of reason with an informed understanding of human nature. Conservatism can't be broken into pieces and remain conservatism. back-to-top

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