21 Rick Santorum ‘Where I Stand’ Statements All Liberals Need To Read

Rick Santorum - photo by Gage Skidmore

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has an extensive list of “where I stand” statements and policy goals on his campaign website, ricksantorum.com. I have chosen 21 Rick Santorum “issues” that I think all liberals need to read and I have provided commentary for each.

1. Taxes: Cut and simplify personal income taxes by cutting the number of tax rates to just two – 10% and 28% and return to Reagan era pro-growth tax rate.

Because in a time of great income and wealth inequality we should promote greater inequality with a less progressive tax system.

2. Taxes: Lower the Capital Gains and Dividend tax rates to 12% to spur economic growth and investment.

See #1

3. Taxes: Cut the corporate income tax rate in half to make our businesses competitive around the world, from 35% to 17.5%.

It is a fact that many big corporation pay nowhere near 35%. In some cases, like General Electric, they pay no income tax. Smaller companies typically do pay closer to the 35% rate because they don’t have an army of tax lawyers and lobbyists. I propose leaving the corporate tax rate where it is and closing loopholes that allow large corporations to avoid paying their fair share.

4. Family: When activist judges took it upon themselves to redefine marriage, and with it the underpinnings of the traditional American family and our First Amendment right to Freedom of Religion, Rick spearheaded the debate in favor of Federal Marriage Amendment in 2004. Rick successfully fought even members of his own Party and had the amendment brought to the Senate floor for public debate in two successive Congresses. Even though he knew he would be labeled a bigot or worse by members of the liberal elite, Rick Santorum understood this issue was far too important to the future of our society not to be debated before the American public.

Santorum is labeled a bigot because he is a bigot. If you discriminate against people because they are different and because you feel they are violating your religious beliefs, you are still a bigot. Your religion does not give you a free pass.

5. Executive Branch: Defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court.

Many on the Right talk a good game about getting government out of our lives. What you need to understand is that they are less concerned about government involvement in the lives of people they see as different.

6. Executive Branch: Ban military chaplains from performing same sex marriage ceremonies on military bases or other Federal properties.

If military chaplains are performing marriages at all, then there shall be no discrimination against same-sex couples. We as a country have moved beyond that era even if some people, like Santorum, have not.

7. Legislation: Advocate for a Personhood Amendment to the Constitution.

I’ll play it safe on this one because it’s highly subjective. What is clear and not subjective is that any attempt to pass a “personhood” amendment is an attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade. It’s the latest in a series of attempts (some successful) by conservatives to tell women what they should do with their bodies. It’s another example of conservatives using government overreach to advance an ideology. Don’t let any social conservative fool you into thinking they are for small and noninvasive government.

8. Legislation: Call on Congress to reinstitute Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Because turning back the clock on progress and decency towards fellow human beings is a great goal to have as a presidential candidate. Again, informed by religious ideology.

9. Legislation: Advocate for a federal law permitting schools to allow prayer at graduations, football games and other school functions.

Public schools cannot endorse any religion. It would be near impossible to offer equal opportunity to all religions, therefore public schools should stick to equal and fair treatment by leaving theology for Sunday school.

10. Energy: Restructure the priorities of the Department of Energy (DOE). The DOE spends an exorbitant amount of money on technologies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and alternative-energy vehicles. All of these energy sources and technologies are currently available, but they are not yet commercially viable because of burdensome regulations or because they are still prohibitively expensive. It is not the government’s role to force these technologies into the market place.

We should spend more to reduce carbon emissions and promote alternative-energy, not less. We need to stop catering to the status quo of rich oil companies and instead promote a clean and sustainable energy future.

11. Immigration: Oppose amnesty as unlawful, unfair to legal immigrants, and expensive to taxpayers.

We aren’t going to deport millions of illegal immigrants so this position is untenable.

12. Immigration: Make English the official language of government, not to penalize but to promote opportunity and a common culture for new immigrants.

This sounds almost Orwellian to me. It certainly doesn’t sound like a proposal for nation of freedom and liberty.

13. Education: The federal role in education is very limited. Education is the responsibility of parents, local schools (public and private), and states in that order.

We all should have an interest in making sure children are receiving a quality education. This requires at least some oversight from the Federal level. This is the “United” States of America, not the “Separate” States of America.

14. Guns: Rick Santorum vehemently opposed the Assault Weapons Ban because he believes that there are more effective ways to stop gun violence, such as stricter enforcement of existing laws, than taking away the rights of law abiding gun owners.

For people who tend to call themselves strict constitutionalists, they seem to stray from that stance when it comes to the Second Amendment. Nobody in their right mind would believe the Founding Fathers had assault weapons (which didn’t exist) in mind when the Second Amendment was written. I’m not a strict constitutionalist, and I believe we shape our laws as we progress as a people. I don’t consider ownership of assault weapons to be a protection under the Second Amendment. Lines can be drawn by legislation and the Constitution gives Congress that power. The Constitution is purposely vague. I don’t believe we can ‘form a more perfect Union’ by hiding behind the Second Amendment when it comes to opposing a ban on assault weapons like it was the intention of the Founding Fathers.

15. Health Care: America needs targeted, market-driven, patient-centered solutions to address the costs and underlying causes of being uninsured rather than a one-size fits-all, government-run health care system.

If health care is to be patient-centered, then it CANNOT be market-driven. The most patient-centered health care in the world is available in nations (Canada, Great Britain, Germany, etc.) that are far more advanced on this topic than we are. The market does not care about the individual, it cares about the bottom line. Government is the entity that can level the playing field and mandate fair and equal access to health care. Government is not driven by the profit motive. Do we want our health care determined by what makes a profit?

16. Health Care: Implement Medicare Reforms and Innovation proposed by Congressman Paul Ryan and speed up their implementation to control healthcare costs and improve quality.

This is another way of saying, ‘do away with Medicare as we know it’. At a time when we should be looking to extend Medicare to all Americans, Paul Ryan’s approach is misguided.

17. Spending: Pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution capping government spending at 18% of GDP so that Congress and the President will need to balance the budget like Governors are required to do.

This is just as insane as Grover Norquist’s “no tax increase” pledge. We don’t know what the future holds and that means we can’t artificially cap government spending in an attempt to force responsible spending. This has the potential to handcuff government in a time of national emergency. It’s replacing one irresponsible act for another irresponsible act.

18. Spending: Stop implementation of any remaining federal stimulus spending.

The stimulus spending did work, it just wasn’t enough. I don’t want to see more deficit spending and a larger debt but reducing spending during a weak economy is just plain stupid. You reign in spending when the economy is doing well, not when it’s still recovering.

19. Environment: Cut EPA resources for job killing regulations and return focus to commonsense conservation and safe and clean air and water.

The second part of this statement sounds good, but I don’t know how you accomplish anything but spewing hot air if you are going to cut EPA resources.

20. Financial Regulation: Eliminate funding for implementation of Dodd/Frank regulatory burdens.

Because we all know that too much regulation is why the economy and the financial system crashed in 2008. This is the height of irresponsibility.

21. Obscenity Laws: Rick Santorum believes that federal obscenity laws should be vigorously enforced. “If elected President, I will appoint an Attorney General who will do so.”

More social conservative government overreach. Leave people alone.

dks

photo by Gage Skidmore

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Election 2012Politics

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