a reply to: nwtrucker
I listened to his interview. It simply backed up my opinion that he's a distant third, the interview was a bunch of sound and fury signifying
nothing, based on that interview I would completely dismiss him. On the other hand as I've said before he knows how to win an election and if he can
commit to the right goals I could potentially support him.
Unfortunately for me, what I look for in politicians is specifics that don't fit into neat little soundbytes, I don't want to hear talking points, I
want to hear a credible plan.
On the subjects covered:
Lower taxes - This isn't necessarily a bad thing but I want to hear what he's going to do. He mentioned that his goal in Wisconsin has been to reduce
property taxes. That's a fine goal but Wisconsin and the Feds are both to the left on a Laffer Curve, that means that reducing taxes reduces revenue.
If he's going to cut taxes where is he going to cut spending to compensate? We're currently 400 billion over budget, lets say he cuts taxes by 25%,
we could expect a 25% drop in revenue which would then place us at 1.2 trillion over budget. Where are we going to remove spending to compensate?
Furthermore, what we've been seeing lately is that when the feds cut funding to something the states end up running their own programs which pick that
tab right back up resulting in no change to overall taxation, only the percentages going to federal vs state. How does he plan to prevent that from
If I go by his plan in Wisconsin his budget measures were as follows:
Drug screening for those on benefits. This has been a massive failure in both states now where it was tried. The number of people caught didn't even
pay for the screening costs.
Consolidating government offices - I'll wait to see how that one plays out, it could go either way. From a standpoint of vulnerability to corruption
you are better off with a lot of people having a little bit of power each, but from a purely cost effectiveness position you are better off with a few
people each having a lot of power. There's probably a happy medium in there somewhere, it's entirely possible that he's finding that medium.
Cuts to college subsidies - I agree with this but any real reform here requires a change to how we process student loans which is beyond his current
power. The structure I most favor is removing all government grants and subsidies while simultaneously removing bankruptcy protections on student
loans. Then I want to see the colleges themselves providing the loans so that they have an incentive to not just compete on price and loan terms, but
so their future relies on producing graduates that will be able to pay back those loans. This solves the issue of overproducing degrees and creating
useless degrees. The competition also causes colleges to trim unnecessary classes in order to bring down costs.
Back to his issues.
Reign in regulations - I can't say a whole lot here as I don't know every regulation on the books. I think that in general building codes are far too
strict and that environmental impact studies are a waste of time in most cases (excluding potential disruption to waterways). On the other hand I
want to see tighter regulations on the financial industry. Which regulations specifically does he want to get rid of? If he can't answer that, at
the least he can say what sectors he considers over regulated.
Energy exploration - I'm an all of the above person on energy. Again he didn't give any specifics so I may be reading too much into this. I want to
see offshore drilling opened back up, I want to see us building nuclear plants again, and I really want to see a major expansion of geothermal. Also,
while I don't like what it does to the environment we need to keep fracking going because there is a whole lot of national leverage and security to be
gained in being a major oil exporter (for example, supplying Europe with natural gas when Putin throws a fit).
On Iran I think he's asking for too much. I never read Obama's deal, instead just the outline but I liked what I saw. It's a coalition of nations
that are demanding certain conditions on Iran such as the ability to inspect their sites and ensure they aren't stockpiling nuclear material. If
we're going to entertain the idea of them having nuclear power in the first place (and I think such a reality is inevitable regardless of our
decisions) putting safeguards in place that give us a several month warning on them building a nuclear weapon is a good idea. Furthermore by having a
coalition there's international backing to attack them if such a thing becomes necessary. Agreeing to the deal that we did even sidelines their
allies in Russia and China. Recognizing Israel would be nice but that's a separate issue from nuclear power, by tying one to the other you ensure
that neither will be accomplished. Last, on the subject of missiles I find it to be irrelevant. The next major war will be all about cyber weapons
hitting infrastructure and financial entities, an ICBM will likely never even be launched, as such I can't see the wisdom in expending political
capital over such a concession. In addition, any removal of missiles aimed at us or our allies would almost certainly require a reciprocal response
on our end and I don't think the US and Iran are at a place in their relationship where they can stop pointing weapons at each other, even the US and
Europe aren't at such a place.
Gay marriage I find to be irrelevant, to Walker's credit he said as much too. The fact is it doesn't matter what his stance is because it's going to
be decided as it was always going to be decided... through the courts rather than legislation, just like every other civil rights issue. I don't
agree with his stance here but he's honest about it unlike some others, and in any event an answer one way or the other wouldn't influence my vote.
Overall, actions and unique plans resonate far more with me than talking points and crowd sourced ideas. Rand Paul for example gained a lot of points
with me for his plan to remove the Patriot Act, and then proving he was capable enough to pull it off. That's the mix of action and ability that I
like to see. As more time passes and we see the effects of Walkers budgets on Wisconsin I'll decide if he meets that bar too. I think his budget is
up in July so we'll see what the state looks like then once all the reports come out.
edit on 2-6-2015 by Aazadan because: (no reason