I'm running for Congress because the country I love is endangered by the people in power. America is hurting because of the actions and inactions of those who control the federal government, chief among them President Obama. Whether it's ObamaCare, the stimulus, amnesty for illegal immigrants, or a weak foreign policy that has made us less secure, this president is the worst in recent memory.
As a result, the United States faces three crises: a financial crisis, a moral crisis, and a constitutional crisis. I am prepared to do battle against these crises, and I hope and pray patriots across Tennessee and America join me in taking them on.
I believe we can and we must do better. We do not lack the blueprints to deal with the problems plaguing our country. We lack people in power with conservative principles. But to change direction in Washington, we must start by sending a Congressman to Washington who fights for Tennessee values on every single vote. I will not just talk like a conservative, I will vote like a conservative. Republicans in the Fourth District expect that from their Congressman.
The blueprints are simple, though liberals from both parties in D.C. don’t find them easy to follow. For the financial crisis, President Reagan had the blueprint; for the constitutional crisis, the Constitution is the blueprint; and for the moral crisis, the Bible is the blueprint.
Here’s where I stand on the issues, and where I stand in contrast to Congressman Scott DesJarlais:
THE FINANCIAL CRISIS
SPENDING and DEBT
I stand for a simple proposition: we shouldn’t spend more than we take in. It’s a principle that Tennesseans in every household from Murfreesboro to Cleveland recognize—but those in D.C. fail to live up to. The federal government continues to grow year after year, saddling every child born today with nearly $60,000 in debt, and my generation will be stuck with the bill.
Barack Obama, the most liberal president we’ve ever had, has run up the debt to over $18 trillion. That number is so large it’s hard to comprehend – but think of it this way: it’s about the size of the entire American economy over the course of one year. Every meal you eat, every movie or concert you attend, every item you buy: all adds up to an amount similar to our national debt.
Sadly, the last time in American history when we actually paid off the debt was under fellow Tennessean Andrew Jackson! I don’t trust politicians—of either party—so that’s why I strongly support a constitutional amendment that requires the federal government to produce a balanced budget.
Congressman DesJarlais is part of the problem. He has a lifetime 79% rating from the non-partisan group Citizens against Government Waste, and he got a 68% in his first year in Congress. That’s a D+. A D+ grade on cutting government waste. This is a big difference between myself and Congressman DesJarlais: I don’t think a D+ is acceptable for a Republican member of Congress on cutting spending. Democrats don’t need any more help.
And what kind of spending has Congressman DesJarlais supported? Well, one of the biggest entitlement programs in the federal government is the food stamp program. Under President Obama's financial mismanagement, the program has grown to more than $700 billion over the next ten years. Congressman DesJarlais voted for it. I won't.
I also strongly believe that capitalism works best when there is a level playing field and the federal government shouldn’t pick winners and losers when it comes to bailouts or subsidies.
Congressman DesJarlais apparently has a different view of federal intervention in the economy. Even after investigations into Barack Obama’s green energy scandals had begun, Congressman DesJarlais voted to continue the program that subsidized programs like Solyndra. He also voted for the notorious, corporate-welfare dispensing Export-Import Bank!
Our financial crisis is totally predictable. Our entitlements are charted on a course to insolvency and no one in my generation thinks that the safety net will be available for us. Even worse, because politicians won’t live up to their responsibility, our economy is at risk of catastrophe.
We know that we can't spend more than we take in. We know we can't have an industrial age government regulating an information age economy. We know that tax and spend policies don't work. We have a blueprint for success, and that's precisely what Ronald Reagan pursued to get this country moving again. As Margaret Thatcher said, “The problem with socialism is that you run out of other people’s money.” I refuse to let America slip quietly toward socialism, small dreams, and mediocrity.
THE MORAL CRISIS
Our families are disintegrating and our unborn children are being slain – and the federal government subsidizes both while activist judges ignore the plain text of our Constitution to impose their liberal agenda.
I want to go to Washington to fight the federal government’s horrifying disruptions of the American family. I believe life begins at conception and will strongly oppose your tax dollars going to any organization that provides abortions. And I will fight all government efforts to attack our churches and the integrity of our families. Last year, the National Right to Life endorsed every Republican in the federal delegation for Tennessee—except for Congressman DesJarlais. Tennesseans deserve better.
At the same time, I don’t believe that government is ever the answer to all of our ills and particularly cannot be an answer when it comes to the hearts of men. I will do my best in Washington, but I also think that the church is going to have to step up and demonstrate moral leadership in our communities. The Bible has the blueprint.
When the heart and soul of our nation is adrift, perhaps the best remedy comes in the form of prayer to a gracious God who watches over us. We must pray for the unborn, for families on the brink of collapse, for the hungry and jobless, for our soldiers in foreign lands, and for decision-makers in Washington D.C., that God’s will would guide their hearts. We must pray that God would guide us down paths of righteousness.
THE CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS
The federal government has exceeded its constitutional boundaries and unelected bureaucrats are bribing, cajoling, and dictating to Tennessee what we should be doing on our own. Activist judges misread the plain text of the Constitution in order to impose their liberal agenda on the nation while our Commander-in-Chief has vacated his position.
When I took the bar, I took an oath to defend the Constitution, and I took it seriously enough to do something about it here in Tennessee. When I take the oath again as a Congressman, I am going to mean every word.
We must ensure that federal judges follow the law as plainly written. Even amidst this constitutional crisis, we have a simple blueprint for success, and it's not easy, but it's the right thing to do: follow the Constitution!
Of course, we know what happens when we veer from that path: A less secure nation, Common Core, ObamaCare, amnesty, government gun-grabbing, and EPA regulations run amok.
Our federal government needs to be lean at home and mean abroad. The Commander-in-Chief has vacated his position as threats gather around the world: chaos throughout the Middle East threatens our ally Israel; Iran races to build a nuclear bomb and our president wants to pursue the same tactics that failed to stop North Korea; Russia is invading its neighbors; and China is unnerving theirs.
Our country has paid a terrible price when we have not adequately addressed and named the evils we are fighting. The massacre at Fort Hood was not “workplace violence” but “Islamic terrorism,” plain and simple. And yet still, despite operating in a court of military justice, the perpetrator has not seen his sentence carried through. We can do better – Obama’s foreign policy has failed and we need a new generation of leaders to restore America’s place in the world.
Our veterans served to protect our country and our way of life, and deserve our nation’s thanks and admiration. The Department of Veterans Affairs has done an abysmal job in serving our veterans, with many veterans not getting the medical treatment they deserve for service-related injuries. We must hold the executives in Veterans Affairs accountable for their actions, reduce wait time for medical care, and ensure that we take proper care of our veterans.
Common Core is rotten to the core: distant bureaucrats building themselves a taxpayer-funded empire to preside over and cobbling together an incoherent national curriculum at the expense of state sovereignty. Worse: many states, including Tennessee, signed on board to get at federal cash. We need to stop this at the top: eliminate the Department of Education and let states and families determine the course of their kids’ education.
ObamaCare is a disaster that has resulted in worse outcomes for most Tennesseans and our entire healthcare system is built on a platform that was conjured by wage and price controls of the last century. We need to repeal and replace ObamaCare with constitutional free market solutions that actually bring down the costs for the average American.
Obama’s executive amnesty defies Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution, which requires that the president "shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed." The president has no power to unilaterally amend the law. We need a Congress that will stand up not only for the right immigration policy but also against an unconstitutional extension of the president’s power.
OUR 2nd AMENDMENT RIGHTS
The Bill of Rights is crystal clear—our right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. President Obama and his cronies in Washington, D.C. have made every attempt to curb our constitutionally guaranteed rights to defend ourselves and our families. I will stand firm with every vote to protect our 2nd Amendment from the liberals who want to pry our rights from our hands.
Obama's EPA is exploiting a law designed to protect rivers and applying it so that they may even get to regulate the use of ditches on private property. Heck, if a farmer has a low spot in his land that fills with water in the wet season, he may have "waters of the United States" in his puddle. The Supreme Court has been rightfully skeptical of how far the EPA has pushed its power without Congressional authority. And the EPA is a perfect example of our constitutional crisis, in which unelected bureaucrats, not lawmakers, make the rules.