1. Constitutional Rights
We must never forget that many of our country’s founders sacrificed their lives and fortunes in order to secure our basic human rights – which are enumerated in our Constitution. Our rights come from God—not man—and our founders designed our foundational documents to protect and defend these God-given rights. The one constitutional right that safeguards all other rights is the second amendment – the right to bear arms. As a lifetime member of the NRA and Gun Owners of America, I pledge to promote, protect and defend every law-abiding Americans’ ability to keep and bear arms for personal safety, to defend their property, and to enjoy hunting and sporting. I will also fight to defend the 2nd amendment to protect our liberty in the event we ever find ourselves fighting against a tyrannical government to uphold our sacred honor.
2. Budget and Spending
I believe it is vital to our nation’s survival that the federal government not just reduce spending, but that we enact absolute spending caps. That’s what we do here in Tennessee, and that’s why we have a AAA credit rating and a “rainy day” fund of over $450 million. As your Senator I will push hard for repealing or defunding Obamacare. We the people will no longer tolerate wasteful federal bailout programs like the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) or any other wasteful program that increases the federal deficit and debt. Washington must learn from Tennessee how to balance its budget.
3. National Debt
Limiting the size of the federal government is key to saving our nation’s financial future. We have too many programs, departments and too much bureaucracy. Future generations may fail to enjoy the freedom and prosperity we have due to out-of-control government spending and crushing regulations. A combination of eliminating outdated and redundant programs and departments as well as allowing the private sector to perform certain needed duties will go a long way toward getting our country financially solvent.
4. Jobs and the Economy
No new taxes. Period. Our problem is not enough revenue. Our problem is overspending and a failure of leadership in Washington. The burden of the federal government’s spending binge and mismanagement must not be upon hard-working American taxpayers. I will oppose any new taxes and higher taxes. A balanced budget, lower taxes (our corporate tax rate is among the highest in the world) and predictable regulatory environment will create a solid foundation for job growth and economic resurgence.
One of the keys to reviving our economy is cutting our budget deficit. Our short-term and long-term fiscal viability is threatened due to continued deficit spending. Unfunded liabilities, projected spending increases and an uncertain economy all add up to a financial disaster if we fail to act responsibly now.
Promoting free and fair trade, repealing or defunding Obamacare, repealing the Dodd-Frank Act and reigning in the EPA are just a few of the arenas where I will fight to get us back on the right path.
Competition promotes achievement, and parental choice leads to more involvement, understanding and skin in the game. Empowering the states to manage their education systems rather than the federal government is the best way to help our children become more competitive globally. I have no confidence in federal education programs where one-size-fits-all and social engineering are more important than the three Rs. The last thing we need is the federal government running our schools like they run our government.
Expanding private school accessibility, lifting caps on charter schools, and expanding public school choice are the options that Tennessee families need to help their children receive the best education possible, and these are the education issues I will fight for as your Senator.
We must drill offshore, drill domestically, curb the EPA and reform the permitting process for nuclear energy production. Taking these steps will help us become more energy independent from regions of the world that do not share our pro-freedom interests. We possess all of the energy resources we need right here in America, and it’s unacceptable that leaders in Washington have succumbed to environmental extremism, anti-capitalist legislation and political correctness and made us dependent on energy sources from other countries. The Department of Energy (DOE), enabled by liberal elected officials in Washington, has become the primary culprit for reducing our energy independence. The DOE has spent billions on researching alternative energy sources that are not commercially viable or cost effective. The federal government must not be in the business of picking winners and losers by funding risky companies such as Solyndra and Fisker with taxpayer dollars. That enables cronyism, and there’s enough of that in Washington already.
7. Family and Religion
Marriage is under assault and should be defended as an institution that provides the best environment for creating strong families which leads to a successful culture and civilization. Marriage between a man and woman reduces the likelihood of child poverty by eighty-two percent. That is a sobering statistic–especially when every politician says they are interested in protecting children. Our culture has gotten off course, and the best way to build a strong America is by strengthening marriage in the home. If our federal government is really interested in a positive, healthy and prosperous country then our leaders must promote marriage and religious freedom. Our founders lived by Judeo-Christian beliefs and principles, and we must protect these core beliefs that shaped our nation and created the freest people in the world. I will focus on these areas as part of the first principles of personal responsibility and individual liberty.
I am 100% pro-life and my voting record reflects the same. As adoptive parents, my wife Ginny and I believe strongly in promoting adoption as well. I believe our self-evident rights, as enumerated in the Constitution, come from God—not from government, and that it’s the governments’ responsibility to protect our God-given rights. I believe those rights extend to the unborn.
Repealing or defunding Obamacare is at the top of my priority list of things to accomplish as your Senator. This one watershed piece of legislation is wreaking more havoc on our economy while simultaneously reducing the quality of healthcare than any one piece of legislation in modern history. The last thing Tennesseans need is for the federal government to dictate their healthcare at the federal level. Healthcare decisions are best made between the patient, their physician and their family–not government bureaucrats. Skyrocketing government spending on Medicare is not helping patients. On the contrary, it’s harming our economic future. The effect of Obamacare is that it is driving hard-working doctors and nurses out of the healthcare profession. The inevitable result is a shortage of doctors who are unable to deliver affordable quality healthcare. Obamacare must be repealed.
I fully support immigration. America is the most generous country on earth when it comes to granting immigrants access to the American dream. However, illegal immigration is turning that dream into a nightmare as illegals stream over our southern border in search of both jobs and free benefits that are paid for by hard-working Americans. The Constitution requires the federal government to secure our borders, and too many of our leaders in Washington have not upheld their oath and funded border security. I will advocate funding border security, rejecting amnesty proposals and strengthening interior enforcement such as e-verify. For years Tennessee families have shouldered the costs of illegal immigration. I will take the experience and passion I have for protecting Tennesseans from illegal immigration to Washington as your Senator. We also must reform our immigration policy to ensure we are attracting the best and brightest minds around the world and protecting our citizens from individuals who want to harm us. A successful immigration policy begins with enforcement of existing laws and respect for the rule of law.
The top ten percent of earners pay seventy percent of federal income taxes. Under any definition, that’s unfair. For starters, we should lower the corporate tax and make Bush-era tax reform permanent. I believe in the flat tax and a tax environment that encourages and rewards initiative, investment, hard work and success.
12. Foreign Policy
The essence of successful American foreign policy has always focused on protecting our best interests, supporting our allies and defending and promoting freedom. We must never agree to a treaty that diminishes our sovereignty, and we should impose strict criteria for granting foreign aid.
We need to invest in peace by implementing the Reagan philosophy of building our military and economic strength. A powerful military and vibrant economy increases our standing in the world and the platform of freedom. War must always be our last resort. However, I agree with Thomas Jefferson that “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
My father was an Air Force fighter pilot, and he’s my hero. Our veterans sacrifice so much for our country, and we must provide them the best healthcare and support we can possibly give them. We will never be able to repay them for their sacrifices, but that reality must not stop us from doing our best to care for them and their families.