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  Summary of political beliefs (search mode)
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Author Topic: Summary of political beliefs  (Read 403421 times)
NDN
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« on: July 06, 2007, 01:00:53 am »
« edited: July 17, 2007, 10:59:34 pm by Bobby Lee Swagger »

My views have evolved considerably. By now I'm basically a social liberal, fiscal conservative and a (pragmatic) internationalist.

Social Issues:

Abortion: Pro-choice. 1st and 2nd trimester abortions should be available on demand. 3rd trimester abortions should always be allowed for health/life saving reasons. If a women can not afford an abortion but needs one for health/life saving reasons, she should be provided with one by the government.

Gay Rights: Strongly support. Legalize Gay Marriage, Adoption, Open Military Service, etc.

Separation of Church and State: Strongly support. End "faith based initiatives," compulsory AA attendance, vouchers for religious schools (the Supreme Court was wrong), etc.

Affirmative Action: Oppose. The most qualified person should always get the job. With that said, I recognize there are still disparities. But those should be remedied by vigorous enforcement of anti-discrimination laws -- not government sanctioned discrimination.

Gun Control: I reluctantly support gun registration and licensing to screen out the mentally incompetent or criminal, but otherwise oppose gun control.

Death Penalty: Support for violent repeat offenders, and with regulations such as videotaping interrogations, witnesses, etc. for cases involving murder.

Censorship: Strongly oppose any censorship of the entertainment mediums. Let consumers make their own viewing or listening decisions. We don't need anymore moral guardians or government officials telling us what we can or can't see.

Flag burning: It's unconstitutional to ban it on the grounds of "offensiveness", although ordinances preventing it based on safety concerns might be OK.

Hate crimes: Oppose. It's redundant, just try them for assault/murder/etc. Everyone should be equal under the law, creating "special" crimes for minorities is hypocritical.

Hate speech: Support within reason. It's one thing to engage in defamation or encourage violence, it's another to just be prejudiced. The former are directly harmful, the latter isn't.

Smoking: I support public smoking bans. While people have every right to smoke, second-hand smoke is a health risk that no one has the "right" to expose others to.

Alcohol consumption: It should be legal to buy beer at 18, and the drinking age should be abolished. The current laws are unenforceable, inconsistent, and ultimately hostile to personal freedom.

Euthanasia: It should be legal. Who is the government to tell the terminally ill and suffering that they can not end their pain?

Drugs: I support the legalization of at least soft drugs, and the decriminalization of drugs in general. The current War on Drugs is an expensive, tyrannical failure just like Alcohol Prohibition was.

Gambling: It should be legal to gamble, but Casino development and the like should be left up to local areas.

Prostitution: It should be legalized immediately.

Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Strongly support. The opposition to this infuriates me. People, these aren't even fetuses, they're embryos. They're cells. Do you really care more about something that isn't even in the womb more than suffering Parkison's or Alzheimer's patients?

Immigration: We should increase funding to ICE, slap companies that hire illegal immigrants with stiff fines, and establish an Earned Citizenship policy that allows certain illegal immigrants to become citizens. I oppose Guest Worker Programs and Blanket Amnesty however.

Patriot Act: Oppose, at least in current form. Certain sections of it such as 215 are still too broad and undermine or flat out eliminate basic civil liberties such as protection from unwarranted searches and seizures, privacy, etc. People might feel safer, but ultimately if the government can break the highest law of the land in order to protect us, no one is safe.

Economic Issues

Taxes: Should be progressive and tied to spending (Pay-GO). Cut them if spending is cut, but raise them if spending is raised (better to do that then have inflation and huge tax hikes later).

Unions: They're holding a lot of this country back, such as the Rust Belt. In many respects, they have as negative of an influence in politics as Big Business. I support restricting the right to strike further and  reducing their power considerably. If possible, I'd flat out abolish private unions, although that would probably be unconstitutional.

Free trade: While I dislike the bureaucracy associated with NAFTA, WTO, etc. I firmly support Free Trade, and thus am willing to tolerate those if we have no other options. Free Trade means more markets for American Businesses, cheaper and more diverse goods for American Consumers, and increased peace and prosperity in the long term.

Spending: I believe in fiscal responsibility. Roll back pork spending both domestically and military wise. That means slashing subsidies, unnecessary military spending projects, etc. At least a third or more of the current government should be either cut or flat out abolished.

Social Security: Abolish Social Security as we know it. Only provide benefits for the poor and disabled. We did it for Welfare, why are we treating this as a sacred cow? Also, if we do keep it, make it illegal for congress to raid the trust fund.

Space Program: We should look into privatization. The near-monopoly NASA has had on space exploration has resulted in stagnation and little advancement. And Space Tourism or Space-Plane Manufacturing is a promising industry...

Welfare: Continue reform.  Welfare should focus on providing temporary child care and getting parents who are able to work back to work.

Health-care: I think we should implement Massachusetts-style Healthcare Reform nation-wide. Everyone within a certain income range should be covered by Medicare/Medicaid, the rest should be required to buy health insurance.

Education: We need to overhaul our whole approach. The Department of Education should be abolished, as it has done little if anything to improve education. The US should establish a "National Education Trust Fund" instead to ensure that the federal government meets its obligation to fully fund our educational priorities and to make sure that schools can meet high standards. Teacher's salaries should be raised and mass renovation of schools (with thorough audits to prevent waste) should begin.

Foreign Policy Issues:

Democracy and Trade: Don't link human rights to China. It isn't economically viable and we can't do anything about it. By the same token, end the embargo on Cuba. We could make more money and destabilize the Socialist government there if we just let American business into that country.

Anti (fill in the blank) Treaty: Strongly support disarmament of nuclear weapons and efforts to stop nuclear proliferation.

United Nations: It's corrupt and needs reform, but our participation is needed. The UN still provides many valuable programs that combat poverty, hunger, etc. world-wide and is still one of the best tools for diplomacy out there.

Afghanistan: Increase funding for the Afghani war and work to convert the Opium there into pharmaceutical drugs. That's both more realistic and more profitable for American business. The current attempts at stopping the heroin trade by burning Poppyfields isn't working.

Iraq: A disaster. Iraq was never a threat to anyone, there was no reason whatsoever to invade it. Furthermore, our presence in Iraq is just fueling the current insurgency further. The US should attempt to re-partition Iraq, then immediately leave.

Russia: Russia might be hostile to us now, but a lot of that is justifiable paranoia. We didn't help ourselves by invading Iraq pre-emptively or by continuing to threaten them with nuclear weapons and bases long after the Cold War ended. We need to engage them and take a carrot-stick approach, emphasizing that they can do whatever they want to get rid of their own Islamist/terrorist problem. A Russian-American alliance is achievable if we play our cards right.

Israel: Hezbollah and Hamas are both terrorist groups and hostile to the West, no doubt about it, but Israel's conduct in many respects has been almost equally bad (and it's creation was a mistake).  I'm really at a loss as to what we should do here. Each time we intervene, we tend to make things worse.
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NDN
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2007, 09:34:11 am »
« Edited: July 06, 2007, 09:36:26 am by NDN »

Gay Rights: An interesting way of phrasing it as I believe gays should have rights, however, these rights should be extended to the point of marriage or civil unions.  Well I hate the intervention of the federal government, if one state legalizes it, everyone will go there to get married and move back as appears to be happening.

Clearly you are completely ignorant on the issue. Of all states, only Rhode Island recognizes same-sex marriages performed in Massachusetts as legally binding. Therefore, no one moves to Massachusetts just to get married, then moves back. (Plus, that would be an obscene expensive for basic equality.)
Which is unfortunate, since refusing to recognize them is clearly a violation of basic constitutional rights. It's too bad our courts are too conservative and spineless to actually strike down the DOMA. Otherwise, gay people might actually have seen some REAL gains in civil rights by now.
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NDN
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2007, 12:11:09 am »

After having thought about it for a few months, I think the "cut benefits" people are right on Social Security. Why are we forcing the working and middle class to pay for current retirees who can support themselves just fine? Either abolish it or make it a means-tested welfare program targeted only to the elderly poor.

Not to mention the constitutionality of the program is questionable.
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NDN
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2007, 12:33:29 am »

After having thought about it for a few months, I think the "cut benefits" people are right on Social Security. Why are we forcing the working and middle class to pay for current retirees who can support themselves just fine? Either abolish it or make it a means-tested welfare program targeted only to the elderly poor.

I could agree with that. The problem I see with social security, however, is that it encourages people not to be too concerned about their finances. Obviously it doesn't affect the decisions of a well-off person, but someone who could either A) save a certain amount of money over their lifespan for retirement or B) spend that money on worthless consumerist goods and get it back from the government anyway will always choose the latter, which, IMO, is not a good idea to be promoting.

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How so?

1. I would agree with that as well. The government should be promoting private accounts through tax breaks and the like.

2. A variety of reasons. But the basic problem was that under the "reserve clause" of the Constitution (the 10th Amendment) powers not specifically granted to the federal government are reserved for the States or the people. Since the government was obviously not explicitly authorized to do that, they only had two possible justifications: the commerce clause or the broad power to levy taxes and expend funds to "provide for the general welfare," as the basis for the programs in the Act. But neither one was really convincingly argued, in fact the Supreme Court only ruled that the Social Security tax was valid.

Not to mention FDR misled Congress and the Public on the nature of the program.

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NDN
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2008, 07:08:40 am »
« Edited: August 21, 2008, 02:34:14 pm by Ice Bat »

Summary: Personal Liberty, States Rights, Fiscal Conservatism and a Humble Foreign Policy.

Cultural Issues:

Abortion: Pro-choice but okay with late-term restrictions and not for using this as a litmus test.

Gay Marriage: I support gay marriage for obvious reasons. However, this issue should be left to the states and courts for the time being.

Affirmative Action: I oppose it, government racial preferences are unconstitutional and this policy often has unintended consequences. I would not oppose class based preferences however.

Gun Control:  No federal gun control! This is a state issue at most. Respect Heller Verdict.

Death Penalty: I support it although it needs reforms such as mandatory DNA testing and videotaping of police interrogations. The costs associated with it aren't that great when you factor in plea bargaining or the severity of the crimes involved as well.

Censorship: Oppose it, unless it directly harms an individual (e.g. libel). FCC regulations and obscenity laws need to be abolished.

Flag Burning: Do not support efforts to ban it, although fire ordinances should be observed.

Hate Crimes/Speech: Generally oppose, especially in cases of free speech. However, in cases of group intimidation or decades old 'civil rights' violations they can be appropriate.

Smoking: I support public smoking bans because second hand smoke is a public health hazard, which often harms people against their consent.

Alcohol consumption: I oppose the current drinking age (partially on the grounds of states rights), but support far tougher penalties for DUI.

Euthanasia: Support. If someone is of sound mind and in extreme pain, they should be allowed to end their suffering in a humane way.

Gambling: I oppose it but this is a state issue.

Prostitution: I support legalization but again, this is a state issue.

Embryonic Stem-Cell Research: I support federal Stem Cell Research.

Sex Education: I support it. Teenagers should be informed on STDs, birth control, etc. to prevent the spread of disease and teenage pregnancy.

Drug War & Marijuana: End the federal war on drugs, it is an tyrannical and expensive failure. Let states make their own laws.

Voting access: Aggressively prosecute 'caging.' Require a paper trail for all electronic ballots.

Illegal Immigration: No 'Amnesty' or Guest Workers! Increase border security, fines, etc. while streamlining process for qualified applicants.

Patriot Act: Oppose, it threatens constitutional rights such as due process, protection from search and seizure, etc. Replace it with the Benjamin Franklin True Patriot Act.

Economic issues

Social Security: We should phase out benefits for the well off and establish tax-free personal retirement/savings accounts for everyone. Congress should be banned from raiding the Trust Fund.

Healthcare: Implement Universal Healthcare similar to the Healthy Americans Act; provide automatic coverage for the unemployed and a choice between private or public coverage for the employed. Allow importation of drugs and buying health insurance over state lines.

Welfare: Focus more on grants and encouraging private charities, including religious ones.

Education: The federal government is ruining education. Abolish the Department of Education and repeal No Child Left Behind. Move towards Charter School system and provide regulated Vouchers. Support Head-start, Student Loans, and After School Programs because they all have proven success records.

Taxes: Raise taxes for wealthy, cut taxes for business and the poor instead. Simplify the tax code overall, there are too many deductions and loop holes.

Spending: Implement a Balanced Budget Amendment to control spending and require more transparency. Enough is enough.

Farm Subsidies: Protect small farms through crop insurance, loans, etc. End subsidies to Megafarms and their predatory practices (incidentally, the public agrees).

Minimum Wage: Abolish the Federal Minimum Wage, leave wage 'rates' to the states. Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit and support for charities or similar relief instead. This has been shown to be more efficient (e.g. Congressional Budget Office study).

Eminent Domain: This is extremely disturbing and yet another example of how big government and big business are colluding against us. We must stop special interests from violating property rights and literally driving families from their homes, farms and ranches.

Regulation: Simplify and enforce, because Big Business is evading the law while Smaller Business is generally bearing the brunt of it. Some areas such as food safety need drastic improvements, others are overly complicated (e.g. acquisition).

Infrastructure: Build smarter not larger. Stop funding so many massive highways, subsidized suburban sprawl, etc. New Urbanism and sustainability should be the new model.

Energy Independence and the Environment: Invest massively in alternative energy including Nuclear Power over the long term. Drill for oil offshore and in ANWR but divert a portion of profits to fund research. Move more towards mass public transportation. Enforce existing regulations, don't add new ones (e.g. Kyoto).

Currency: The dollar is being devalued, restore the 'Gold Window' and cap spending to combat it.

Trade Policy: Reform NAFTA and other agreements. Trade should both lower tariffs and aim to promote basic environmental and labor standards. Massively subsidize steel and alternative energy companies.

Foreign Policy

Military Involvement: Our commitments are excessive, we need to focus more on our own problems. Cut funds and involvement in areas such as West Europe, East Asia, Latin America, etc.

Iraq: We were lied into an unconstitutional war, and we are not seeing real progress. Begin phased withdrawal and talks to repartition the country.

Cuba: End the embargo, it is not working and there is no real need anymore.

Israel: The US needs to move towards neutrality.

Iran: Carrot and Stick diplomacy. Offer trade liberalization if they comply more with us. No military action!

China: Maintain relations with China and Taiwan. No MFN; sell arms to Taiwan.
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NDN
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2008, 10:49:14 am »
« Edited: July 06, 2008, 10:57:36 am by Blue Dog »

Separation of church and state: An endorsement of atheism is just as bad as an endorsement of Christianity.

Huh?

Keep income on par with spending. Eliminate income tax.

I'm not sure how you'd do that and still have a mandate for state-administered health insurance plans. Even with the massive spending cuts you're proposing, which let's be honest are not going to happen short of a financial meltdown.


That would just make Social Security even less solvent. Logically that would entail less revenue for the program in addition to benefits cuts and the costs incurred from setting up 'transfer accounts.' At least that's assuming you favor something along the lines of the 'partial privatization' the GOP has been touting lately.

Welfare: Extreme overhaul. Subsidize working.

Details please.

Other than that most of what you posted looks pretty logical and straight forward for the most part.
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