As we enter into this New Year of 2017, many make resolutions to change some facet of life or to promise to do this or that.
What we should never do, however, is resolve to change our core principles for the sake of change and without rhyme or reason.
For me, as I have stated for the past several years in various reports, there are certain principles which I have maintained and have consistently stood on and behind. That has not changed as we have left 2016 to history and entered the “brave new world” yet explored called, “2017”.
There are those who say that a moderate independent is a fence straddler or wishy washy, without root. I would beg to differ. I once more reaffirm the principles upon which my political philosophy is based and has been steadfast.
I may be open to discussion, open to modifications and even at times change in where I stand as new information is revealed, but I am firm on who I am and where I stand.
The Cornfield Political Platform
1. Size of Federal Government – I am for a leaner, streamlined federal government with more power and authority vested in local and state governments.
2. Taxes – The tax code needs simplified. Close tax loopholes and get rid of deductions. I am not opposed to a flat tax, a value added tax or national sales tax.
3. Government Spending – I believe in spending what you have. Only in rare emergencies should government borrow to pay bills. Unnecessary or redundant government programs, agencies, bureaus, departments should be eliminated to cut the cost of government spending on all levels: local, state and federal.
4. Government Revenue – When necessary to keep vital programs, agencies, bureaus and departments operating, an increase in revenue (taxes) may be necessary, but should be rare, not the norm. Pledges to never raise taxes should be eliminated. It is at times necessary to pass limited taxation adjustment upward.
5. Safety Nets – Should be there only for the elderly, the infirm and disabled. Most other assistance to others can be provided traditionally on the local level through families, communities, churches, charities and local and state government as needed.
6. Social Security – Needs revamped and overhauled for the future. Current recipients should have option of current program or a new overhauled program. Social Security Trust Funds should be off limits to Congress with hefty fines on individual members of Congress who attempt to “borrow” from the SSTF.
7. Medicare – Needs revamped and overhauled for the future. Perhaps an individual medical savings account is the route to go. Current recipients should have the option of the current program or the new system.
8. Medicaid – This should go directly back to the states and implemented as outlined in #5.
9. Supplemental Security Income – Should be given back to the states to administer in a manner as outlined in #5.
10. Military/Defense – We must ensure that we have the best equipped, best trained military in the world. We must be sure we stay ahead of the world in defense weapons and technology including cyber security. We do need to assess our commitments and global locations. Closing those bases that are not necessary, consolidating our forces and bases where feasible.
11. Education – Belongs on the local level. Local school boards should have more say over the curriculum and evaluation. Bad teachers should be weeded out without regard to tenure. Parents must become more involved. No federal oversight, only state and local administration.
12. Laws and Regulations – A complete study and analysis of all federal laws. Get redundant, outdated, overly cumbersome laws and regulations off the books. We must make sure our laws are concise and fair.
13. Environment and Energy – We must become independent for our energy needs. We must explore all avenues. We must approach new technologies with common sense. We must ensure we do the best for the enviroment, but measured and with common sense without being overly burdensome. We will move from fossil fuels to newer, greener energy once that technology is developed and affordable. We must weigh the needs of jobs and the economy against rules and regulations put in place which would place an undue hardship on families and individuals.
14. Equality – We must ensure that all our citizens are treated equally under the law. No one class or group of individuals or couples should be granted any rights and benefits not afforded to every other group of individuals and couples.
15. Immigration – We must stop the fear mongering and address the issue with common sense. Mass deportation will not work. Children who have grown up in the US all or the majority of their lives and who are here, not of their own free will, should be afforded a path to residence, but not citizenship, by serving in the military or upon completion of college giving back to the community in such areas as medicine, research and development. Immigration laws need enforced and streamlined and overhauled with quotas reassessed every 5 years.
16. The National Debt – As I stated, government should spend only what it brings in through taxation and fees. To pay down our unsustainable national debt, 10% of revenue should be used explicitly to cut the debt balance. Government will have to live with the 90% left to meet its expenditures, making cuts to stay within that amount. This 10% should be used until the national debt is liquidated. Once liquidated, the 10% should be set aside and build a surplus in the event of an emergency to prevent the need for borrowing in the future. If God and religious organizations can make it on 10%, the government can do without 10% to address the national debt and build an emergency fund for the future.
17. Jobs and Labor – The federal government needs to get out of the way and let the market work. Except for ensuring workers are not abused and safety concerns are dealt with, government should be in the position of enhancing an environment that is conducive to job creation – not an impediment to work and business expansion.
18. Unemployment Insurance – This should be returned to the states with full authority. Benefits should be limited to encourage individuals to actively seek work. Training classes and assistance in finding work should be provided and required. All of this should be managed and administered at the local/state level.
19. Food Assistance – This again should be a state/local activity and not a way of life. This can be done successfully as was done traditionally as outlined in #5.
20. Financial and Banking – The federal government should ensure that proper oversight is in place to prevent those in the financial markets or banks from predatory practices. Banks or other financial institutions which run into trouble should be allowed to fail and let the market make corrections, while ensuring that customers are protected against loss. Regulators, inspectors and members of the Federal Reserve Boards should not be past or current employees of financial institutions or banks. Regulators, Federal Reserve Board members and inspectors must be completely independent of the industry.
21. Abortion – Abortion should not be banned in its entirety. There should be exemptions for rape, incest and medical necessity (the life of the mother or viability of the unborn).
22. Campaign Finances – Campaign financing reform is drastically needed. All political campaigns should be funded on all levels (local, state, nationally) by the people through a fund set-up specifically for that purpose, placing all campaigns on equal footing with equal funding based on type of campaign (local, state, national). No funding of political ads by any other entity or individuals should be allowed and only publicly-financed ads should be allowed. This will take Congress having the guts to cut off any and all outside influences.
23. The US of A in the World – America must accept and understand its position of leadership in the world along with its responsibility as being a beacon of freedom. However, the US of A must not become entangled in every outbreak or unrest that occurs. We must choose our battles carefully. When our government (the Executive and Legislative Branches acting in unison) does choose to intervene, we must ensure that our military forces are not hampered by politics or changing public mood. Rather when our military forces are unleashed it must be with one objective – to win and then withdraw from the battlefield. The US of A must not be in the business of nation building and must eschew the path of “winning the hearts and minds” of the enemy. The enemy is the enemy.
24. Voter ID Laws – Voter photo identification seems logical and practical from where I sit in the Cornfield. We have had the law requiring a photo ID in the Hoosier State since 2005 with no disruption nor suppression of the vote. From my perspective, all the talk about voter fraud and voter suppression is all hooey. The practicality of having a photo ID to vote, to me, is that in order to receive government benefits, to purchase alcohol or cigarettes, to pick up prescriptions, to cash a check and the list goes on, a photo ID is required. Doesn’t it just make common sense if an ID is required for these things an ID would be appropriate before casting a vote? Think about it, you even have to have identification to have a job. Isn’t the most important function in our free society choosing our elected officials? So why not provide a photo ID, which under Supreme Court rulings must be free of charge?
That’s just a bit of The Cornfield Political Platform. It is not all inclusive nor does it address all issues. It is just a sampling of where I stand politically on the issues.
From the Cornfield, I stand flat-footed, my feet planted by the water. I may sway with the storms of life, but I will not be deterred by those who attempt to demagogue or cast aspersions on those who may think differently.
We are Americans.
Part of our legacy is our independence and liberty, not just from a foreign power, but free to think, reason and live with the least amount of interference and influence of government and special interest groups. It is our freedom to be ourselves, individuals united as one, which is our strength.
Our national motto says it best: “Out of many, one” – E pluribus unum.