Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Earlier today, I came off the campaign trail to sign important providing education choice for millions of parents across the country. Charter schools are the wave of the future in this country by providing the selectivity of private schools, but doing it at tax payer expense. Charter schools are freed up of the bureaucratic nightmare of environmental and fiscal regulation and aren't required to grant their teachers due process as a result fully 17% of charter schools perform better than public schools and some of them have become multi-million job creators.
One of the greatest things about charter school supporters like hedge fund operator Whitney Tilson is that they don't limit their contributions to one political party. It's not unusual to be at a pro-charter cocktail party and find liberals like Jared Polis socializing with strict conservatives like myself. It's this spirit of putting children first across party boundaries is one of the reasons that this bill had such huge bipartisan support. Of course, a lot of wining and dining on vintage wine and one and a half pound lobsters stuffed with one pound lobsters didn't hurt.
Charters have been under an increasing microscope lately after test scores in Chicago and Los Angeles both showed them as doing considerably worse than the neighborhood schools so hopefully this extra cash will help them to put the nasty press behind them. Above all, this act was for the kids. It isn't so much choosing a better alternative as much as it is providing a choice and isn't that really what we all want. While charters will take money away from neighborhood schools, that may enable 20 or even 25% of charter schools to start outperforming neighborhood students and isn't that something we can all get behind, even if we're not getting a large check to cover our campaign expenses?
[If you care about children please visit www.laststand4children.org]
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
At this year's Heritage Valley Corn Dog Festival, Congressman Jack Kimble outlined his path forward for this country before Picture This took the stage. While Picture This is America's best Huey Lewis and the News Tribute Band, it was truly Jack Kimble who connected with the audience on that night.
I have built my Presidential campaign around moving American into the 21st Century, while retaining the strength it showed in the 20th century and the morality it showed in the 18th Century. However, in this chapter, I offer a way for our country to move forward freely given to all candidates regardless of political party. While these ideas may sound like a stump speech or State of the Union address, they are in fact good common sense conservative solutions to the many issues that plague us from our place in the world to the strength of the economy.
In the previous chapter I laid out some pretty grim information on the sorry state of our country. The good news is that it doesn't have to be that way. There is a way forward and that way is being embraced by conservatives all across this country. From the board rooms of Fortune 500 companies to the tea party activists assembled in peaceful protest, America is crying out for new leadership in this time of crisis and turmoil. In Congress as well as in my run for the White House, I am pleased to answer their call.
The first thing we need to do to get this country back on the road to recovery is to put it back to work. An active and vibrant workforce is the lifeblood of our economy and it is the can do spirit of the American worker that has always driven America forward. That's why I've proposed H.R. 929 which would extend full employment rights to all citizens regardless of age. I do not have to tell you that many Americans under the age of 18 are wasting their lives playing video games when they could be helping their families pay the bills and learning a valuable trade. Unfortunately, employers are barred from hiring qualified children due to antiquated work rules that prohibit child labor. Every year America imports #*R#U(#@@$ worth of goods from countries that use child labor. Those goods should be made by American children.
As I have traveled across this great big country of ours campaigning, I have met many job creators who tell me the same heartbreaking stories of wanting to employ children, but being treated like criminals for even attempting to do it. In a previous chapter, I mentioned a great restaurant that I love to go to with my friends from the oil industry. It just so happens that the owner of that restaurant, Gerard, is a friend of mine. Gerard found out years ago that when it comes to declawing a lobster, nobody has the small hands and manual dexterity that the job requires like small children do. He has tried to work with parents and school districts, but he is constantly handcuffed both literally and figuratively because of child labor laws.
Let's face it, not every child is cut out for academic rigor. Even in the best neighborhoods school can be a waste of time for some children. What better way to accommodate the needs of every child than by allowing them all the option to work for a living. Extending full employment rights to all Americans is common sense and it should be the law regardless of the age of the employee.
In addition to helping the very young, I am drawn to the plight of the elderly as well. There is nothing more tragic than when the state teams up with a senior citizens own family to deprive him of the right to drive his automobile. For many of these seniors, they've been driving for 60 or 70 years. Now, just because they don't see too well or their reaction time is slow or their decision making has gotten a bit fuzzy, they're supposed to surrender their drivers licenses. This is one of America's greatest shames.
H.R. 2781 would eliminate all driving tests for senior citizens who already have a license. It is a bill whose time has come and I am very proud to be its sponsor. If we can pass this important legislation, seniors will once again be able to drive to their job at Walmart, to play bridge, or to visit their grandchildren in peace. I know that I speak for many seniors when I say, "you can have my driver's license when you can pull it from my cold dead hand."
We must not only improve the economy through job growth, real recovery will require us to end the problem of repossession and foreclosure. Throughout this country, there are thousands of vacant homes, which are a magnet for crime, vandalism, and other urban blight. To move forward we must eradicate these pockets of blight. To do that, we must work with state and municipal zoning boards to take areas with large numbers of vacant and abandoned homes and rezone them for commercial development. Give me any 3 abandoned homes and I'll replace them with strip mall containing a currency exchange, a Seven-Eleven, and an insurance broker. This is progress and this is what makes America great.
Businesses will not expand until they are free from the tyranny of the ban on incandescent bulbs. As Michele Bachmann is fond of saying, "Thomas Jefferson did a pretty patriotic thing for this country when he invented the light bulb." I couldn't agree more. What Jefferson did was to help propel Americans into the 19th century, a time of wonder and electric lighting. It is criminal for the government to renege on this promise of science. In a survey conducted by Osram Sylvania, they discovered that many Americans are worried about the end of incandescent light and 13% of Americans said they would horde the light bulbs.
It is death by 1000 paper cuts and needless government regulation such as the light bulb ban that has American business reeling. To save American business we must reduce regulation and red tape wherever possible. When businesses have to close, they create a blight on our nation's economy. Nobody wants to move into that pizza parlor that has gone through 8 owners in 6 years because it keeps shutting down.
I propose that we work with zoning boards to take these vacant business properties and replace them with single family housing. The American dream is home ownership and nothing will help Americans to pursue this dream more than an increase in the number of homes for sale. Supply and demand and the invisible hand of the free market, will make this piece of the American dream just a bit closer to reality by rezoning failed commercial property into thriving single family homes. The statistics on what home ownership does are overwhelming. People who own their own homes are much more likely to take care of them than renters are.
The middle east continues to change at an alarming rate. Revolutions in the region have overthrown the governments of Tunisia, Egypt, Lybia, and at the time of this writing potentially Syria. It almost makes our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq seem expensive, futile, and even a little counterproductive. However, I believe an aggressive United States foreign policy is a good United States foreign policy. There are several middle eastern countries that are not currently in the midst of revolution. Iran comes to mind. We need to get in there and overthrow these governments before their own people stage an uprising and get all the credit for it. I have no doubt that if we pick an unpopular enough government, we will not only not have a guerilla war waged against us, but we will be greeted as liberators.
The reason that George Bush was willing to be aggressive in his foreign policy while President Obama seems content to sit on the sidelines is that George Bush was a man of faith. He knew that if weapons of mass destruction weren't found in Iraq, God would give him another reason why we should be there. This faith is something we have lost in this country.
Our country was founded by deeply religious men like George Washington, Thomas Paine, and James Madison. Their faith moved them to leave England on the Mayflower so that they could worship in peace in the United States. Over the years, we have lost this faith in a big steaming pile of tolerance and multi-culturalism. If Middle Easterners want to come here that's fine, but they should do so as Christians. You don't see Americans going oversees and trying to impose our lifestyle on other countries.
Until we return to our religious roots, I fear that this country will remain headed in the wrong direction. When you think of it, God is the ultimate free market capitalist. He was the first deity to give his followers free will so that they could profit from their success or be punished for their failure. In fact, what is God's love, but the ultimate in trickle down economics?
I'll let you in on a little secret. I like to think of the invisible hand of the free market as being an actual invisible hand that belongs to the Holy Spirit. When God sees that things are off balance, he steps forward to bless us with precious balance. I have no doubt that God moves through capitalistic forces and I have America's continued prosperity as proof. It isn't that I don't think God loves socialists, it's simply that I think he finds it much easier to take care of capitalists as we have a system already in place that doesn't look to the state for help, but looks to God instead. We must not lose that. I am sure that a few centuries from now our great job creators will become Saints. It'd be nice if the Pope would also remember those of us who worked in Washington to keep a pro-business environment in this country.