On The Issues
Below Are David Jon Sponheim's responses On The Issues:
1. Abortion is a woman's right - Strongly Support
However, I support new legislation that would limit abortions to First Trimester only, thus reducing the suffering endured by the child - cases of rape and unusual circumstances would be exceptions.
2. Require companies to hire more women & minorities - Strongly Oppose
The tyranny of Federal mandates like Affirmative Action has left our Government under qualified and under prepared to properly handle its affairs. What right do we have to influence the private hiring practices of companies that are trying to compete in an ever changing economy?
3. Same-sex domestic partnership benefits - Oppose
A same sex marriage law on a national level will affect all aspects of insurance company actuarial and underwriting agreements currently in effect. Unfortunately, we cannot afford to provide extensive benefits to an additional population of people. Current costs for life insurance, health insurance, and pension benefits are already too high for many people and companies in America. Same sex marriage laws come under the purview of the 10th Amendment and should be determined on a state by state basis.
4. Teacher-led prayer in public schools - Strongly Oppose
It is not the role of the Federal Government to define religion in schools. The constitutional interpretation of the separation of Church and State validates this.
5. More federal funding for health coverage - Oppose
We cannot afford to fund an already over paid health-care industry. The rising cost of Health Care has cost Americans their life savings! We need caps on the cost of many health care services. This is one way we will begin to handle the health care crisis. Even with caps, providers can compete in the free market. The other way is a bypass solution that we call Mobile Medical Units. The MMU will roam all around cities throughout America on a daily basis. It will cost $2 billion to build 200 units and deploy them for a year. Existing funding can be found in the current VA spending bill.
6. Privatize Social Security – Oppose
I would support a modified approach to Social Security reform. I recommend we limit entitlements to only people who do not currently have a Pension or Retirement fund. We should also limit fund outlays to U.S. Citizens only. I agree with the concept of taking a portion of the general fund and investing in the market, but mostly in secured equities. No individual should bear any responsibility for those funds. Additionally, I support ending the cap on payroll taxes and raising the age of retirement to 70, phased in over 10 years. These adjustments will save the Social Security Trust Fund.
7. Parents choose schools via vouchers – Strongly Agree
The choice of educating children should start with the parent’s responsibility. A parent could home school their child and as long as the child passes a test each semester, the parent would receive that voucher. Similarly, they could use it to pay private schools, as well as public schools. The State’s authority over distributing this income would be overseen by the Department of Education (DOE). The DOE can be more of a learning resource provider and less of a bureaucracy. States would no longer be mandated to provide tests for students. The federal government would standardize, grade and limit tests. Online learning would be a central part of this new model.
8. Death Penalty – Agree
The death penalty is a deterrent in many countries. The federal government could impose it in all federal prisons. States reserve the right to decide on this issue. I believe the death penalty should only be imposed if there is incriminating DNA evidence in each case. Also, there should only be one appeal allowed. All of this would lessen the financial burden that the judicial and prison system incurs from a convicted felon.
9. Mandatory Three Strikes sentencing laws – Agree
I only support these laws where capital crimes are committed. The goal of the criminal justice system should be to incarcerate and rehabilitate. Civil or misdemeanor offenses are in no way an indication of a person’s propensity to do more harm. It is the obligation of our government to protect the public from dangerous individuals.
10. Absolute right to gun ownership – Agree
I support the second amendment. I do not want to reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban. The government should require a seven day check on all gun ownership. A national database could prevent persons who have been institutionalized for violence from acquiring a gun legally.
11. Make taxes more progressive – Oppose
Taxes are already progressive. 10% of the population pays 70% of the taxes. I support a fair/flat tax reform. This will completely eliminate 77,000 pages of tax code and thus eliminate tax loopholes entirely. The number of CPAs and tax attorneys who will be displaced will be absorbed by the Government Accounting Office. Our nation will need many more forensic auditors to find the waste and fraud in our system.
12. Illegal immigrants earn citizenship – Agree
People who enter our country illegally should be deported as soon as possible. People should be able to become U.S. citizens while they are in their original country. Fast Track Naturalization can be achieved with a six-month student visa program where the people attend classes in their home country. Unlike the Dream Act, this will be open to people of all ages. A $1,000 filing fee would be required and would include an education in English, U.S. Government and History. A person would be able to take the citizenship test (while in their home country) in English as many times as needed with that six-month period. No person with a criminal conviction would qualify for citizenship. After six months, employers will be told that current laws against hiring illegal immigrants will be enforced.
13. Support & expand free trade – Oppose
Our nation has not gained from any free trade agreements on record. Instead, we have lost market share and jobs to foreign multi-national corporations. This can be seen in every industry. The steel industry, the lumber industry, the textile industry, the electronic industry, the farming industry, the manufacturing industry, the aluminum industry, the paper industry, and the auto industry have all suffered as a result of free trade with other nations. Trade is good. Why should it be free?
14. The Patriot Act harms civil liberties – Strongly Agree
It is on record that Presidents have violated the rights of individuals with warrantless wiretaps. In thousands of cases, domestic surveillance was used to monitor and intimidate groups that do not pose a threat to our national security. I would like to see the Patriot Act revised to prosecute authorities that do not receive a warrant from a judge as required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act prior to wiretapping. Also, I do not believe that the Transportation Security Administration should exist. It is an unnecessary work force that slows air travel, ineffectively checks for explosives, and violates civil liberties. Plain-clothed military personnel could be used at airports to monitor metal detectors and we can incorporate modern biometric analysis to scan for potential threats.
15. Expand the armed forces – Oppose
I would only consider this if our nation was attacked directly. The volunteer military has proven to be an excellent, specialized fighting force. The current budget for military is over $700 billion per year. This will need to be brought down if our nation’s fiscal problems are going to be resolved.
16. Stricter limits on political campaign funds – Agree
More oversight is necessary to prevent political paybacks for large donations. I also support stricter limits, including people not being able to use their own fortunes to finance their campaigns. In addition, ballot access rules need to be changed so that any candidate seeking the same political office should meet the same requirements imposed on them, such as signatures necessary to get on the ballot. This should take place regardless of party affiliation, incumbency, or financial status.
17. US out of Iraq – Oppose
I was against the Iraq War. However, I do not believe that the dead U.S. soldiers have died in vain! They have fought to protect the Iraqi people. We have a large amount of infrastructure in Iraq that requires maintenance. Former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of Iraq asked us to stay. The Sunni leaders separated from his government, which laid the ground work for the crisis they are now experiencing. Without a contingency of at least 5,000 troops, we cannot be assured of the Iraqi Army’s ability to maintain security. I also support a long-term strategy for securing the populated regions from insurgent violence. I call it, “Weapons Free Safe Zones.” These zones can be safe havens against Improvised Explosive Devices, and can guard large agricultural areas that help the Iraqi people. Also, I support modernizing the oil fields north of Baghdad. Over time, Iraq can slowly pay the U.S. back for the nearly $2 trillion dollar investment we have made.
18. Replace coal & oil with alternatives – Strongly Agree
Building a host of new renewable energy sources is at the center of my campaign for the Presidency. Our nation’s infrastructure requires coal and oil, but these are seen as commodities by the Department of Energy. I recommend that the DOE view these as resources and instigate transparency rules that the oil and coal companies must abide by. Oil future speculation must be done in the open. This will lower the price of a barrel of oil and save U.S. consumers money. All electric companies should be required to leverage renewable sources for power, before oil and coal can be purchased. Currently, only 20% of our potential hydroelectric power is being utilized!
19. Drug use is immoral: enforce laws against it – Oppose
I support legalization for the purpose of increased tax revenue and future bio-diesel from hemp production. As President, I will repeal marijuana from the list of controlled substances, as it is medicinal. The war on drugs should continue against the importation of all other controlled substances. However, I support a slow, methodical release of low level drug offenders from our prison system. The benefits of legalization will enhance the well being of our Nation. Drug cartels will lose a huge source of revenue. States like California will earn upwards of $1 Billion per year in tax revenue.
20. Allow churches to provide welfare services – Agree
Churches should be one of the many organizations that serve the general welfare of the nation, in addition to what the government provides. Separation of church and state ensures that churches are not overseen or regulated by the government.