Archive for Government Reform

Candidate Profile: Rick Santorum

Posted in Commentary, Current Events, Government, History, Life, News, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2012 by Ronin

, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania.

With campaign season revving up, its time to get to know the ones that want to be President. Going to look at their record if they have one, what positions they take if they don’t. Coupled with my thoughts on the said candidate.

I’m not going to list the party, because that’s just a banner politicians hide behind, look at person, not the party. To set the stage, here’s the link to his campaign website here. This has his positions, but I prefer to look at his record instead. Its a lot so instead of my commentary at the end, it will be in italics throughout.

Entitlements: Rick had been in Congress for awhile, and was part of Gingrich’s Contract. Rick drafted & managed 1994 Contract with America Welfare Reform and supports time-limits for able-bodied welfare recipients.As for his record…

He voted Yes on welfare block grants, on allowing state welfare waivers, and on welfare overhaul. Also voted for Social Security Lockbox & limiting national debt, on allowing Roth IRAs for retirees, on allowing personal retirement accounts and on deducting Social Security payments on income taxes.

He voted No on eliminating block grants for food stamps.

I prefer the end of entitlements ideally however his reforms in 1994 and time limits and on moving resposibility onto the individual. 

National Security: How well does Rick do on National Security and Wars? Lets see…he voted No on preserving habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees, on requiring CIA reports on detainees & interrogation methods,on restricting business with entities linked to terrorism. Also voted No on restoring $565M for states’ and ports’ first responders and on adopting the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Looks like someone is a fan of indefinite detention. 

What did he vote Yes on? Lets see…reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act and extending the PATRIOT Act’s wiretap provision.Also for allowing another round of military base closures, on cutting nuclear weapons below START levels, on deploying National Missile Defense ASAP. Voted for a military pay raise of 4.8%.Along with voting for prohibiting same-sex basic training and Yes on favoring 36 vetoed military projects. And voted for a chemical weapon ban.

Guess the 4th Amendment means nothing to him, so much for his Oath to Defend the Constitution. 

He voted No on redeploying troops out of Iraq by July 2007, on investigating contract awards in Iraq & Afghanistan, on requiring on-budget funding for Iraq, not emergency funding and finally on authorizing air strikes in Kosovo.

Supports the Iraqi War no matter what the cost, crony capitalism(war profiteering) and at least he didn’t want to bomb Kosovo too. Not much of a difference. 

Rick voted Yes on ending the Bosnian arms embargo, on $86 billion for military operations in Iraq & Afghanistan and for authorizing use of military force against Iraq.

 Foreign Policy: Lets see how his Foreign Policy stands up. He voted No on killing a bill for trade sanctions if China sells weapons, limiting the President’s power to impose economic sanctions, and on limiting NATO expansion to only Poland, Hungary & Czech.

He voted Yes on capping foreign aid at only $12.7 billion, on enlarging NATO to include Eastern Europe, on $17.9 billion to the IMF, and strengthening of the trade embargo against Cuba.

Capping Foreign Aid? Good move. Interfering in global politics…No.

Now onto the War side of it. He voted No on redeploying troops out of Iraq by July 2007, on investigating contract awards in Iraq & Afghanistan, on requiring on-budget funding for Iraq, not emergency funding and on authorizing air strikes in Kosovo.

He voted Yes on $86 billion for military operations in Iraq & Afghanistan, on authorizing use of military force against Iraq to begin with. Before that he supported allowing all necessary force in Kosovo and ending the Bosnian arms embargo.

Healthcare: Lets see…he voted No on expanding enrollment period for Medicare Part D, increasing Medicaid rebate for producing generics, negotiating bulk purchases for Medicare prescription drugs and $40 billion per year for limited Medicare prescription drug benefit. Also voted No on allowing reimportation of Rx drugs from Canada, on allowing patients to sue HMOs & collect punitive damages, on including prescription drugs under Medicare. Plus No votes on on increasing tobacco restrictions and on blocking medical savings accounts.

Voted no on socialized medicine but then knee-capped the free market by allowing cheap drugs from Canada. Crony Capitalist.

He voted Yes on limiting medical liability lawsuits to $250,000, on funding GOP version of Medicare prescription drug benefit, on limiting self-employment health deduction and Medicare means-testing.

Medicare means-testing is good.

 The Economy and Taxes: This is an incredibly extensive list of votes. He voted Yes on $40B in reduced federal overall spending in 2005, on prioritizing national debt reduction below tax cuts in 2000, and on a Balanced-budget constitutional amendment in 1997.

He voted No on repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore and voted Yes on reforming bankruptcy to include means-testing & restrictions and on restricting rules on personal bankruptcy.

Spending cuts are good, but allowing subsidies (more crony Keynesian capitalism) is bad. If he claims to be a free market capitalist, you’ll know he’s lying.

We have No votes on disallowing an oil leasing program in Alaska’s ANWR, on reducing oil usage by 40% by 2025 (instead of 5%) and on banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

He voted Yes on targeting 100,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2010, on drilling ANWR on national security grounds, on terminating CAFE standards within 15 months in 2002. Also for preserving budget for ANWR oil drilling, on defunding renewable and solar energy and on approving a nuclear waste repository.

He voted Yes on free trade agreement with Oman, on implementing CAFTA for Central America free-trade, on establishing free trade between US & Singapore between the US and Chile, extending free trade to Andean nations, granting normal trade relations status to Vietnam, on removing common goods from national security export rules.

Is it “free trade” if it needs Government approval?

Voted Yes on permanent normal trade relations with China, on expanding trade to the third world on renewing ‘fast track’ presidential trade authority and on imposing trade sanctions on Japan for closed market in 1995.

He voted No on raising the minimum wage to $7.25 rather than $6.25 and on replacing farm price supports. He voted Yes on repealing Clinton’s ergonomic rules on repetitive stress, on allowing workers to choose between overtime & comp-time.

Finally on Taxes. Voted Yes on supporting permanence of estate tax cuts, on permanently repealing the `death tax`. Voted Yes on retaining reduced taxes on capital gains & dividends, on extending the tax cuts on capital gains and dividends, on $350 billion in tax breaks over 11 years. Voted No on increasing tax deductions for college tuition. And Voted Yes on eliminating the ‘marriage penalty’, on across-the-board spending cut in 1999 and on requiring super-majority for raising taxes in 1998.

I particullarly like the super-majority tax vote.

Government Transparency: Lets see how well he cleans house. He voted Yes on allowing some lobbyist gifts to Congress, on requiring photo ID (not just signature) for voter registration, and on Approving the presidential line-item veto. (I need to do a post in line-item vetos, don’t know anything about them.)

Other than requiring photo ID, he’s a lousy janitor.

He voted No on establishing the Senate Office of Public Integrity, on banning “soft money” contributions and restricting issue ads, on banning campaign donations from unions & corporations, on favoring 1997 McCain-Feingold overhaul of campaign finance and on banning more types of Congressional gifts.

Free Speech is at least important to him.

Civil Rights: He voted Yes on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration and on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage, on Amendment to prohibit flag burning. Also voted Yes on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping.

Spoke to soon, all of the above is interfering into your life and privacy and what you say.

He voted No on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes, and on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. He voted No on setting aside 10% of highway funds for minorities & women and on ending special funding for minority & women-owned business, on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation, on banning affirmative action hiring with federal funds.

Hate crimes? I’m against. I don’t care about the intent, it’s the result. Any crime can be a hate crime. You don’t do it if you like the person. Also Equality to me is no special treatment based on sex or race, you have to do it all on your own. That’s true equality, not with an outside influence stacking the deck.

Now to Gun Rights. He voted Yes on prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers, on more penalties for gun & drug violations, on loosening license & background checks at gun shows, on maintaining current law: guns sold without trigger locks.

Voted No on banning lawsuits against gun manufacturers for gun violence, on background checks at gun shows.

Immigration: He voted Yes on building a fence along the Mexican border, on allowing more foreign workers into the US for farm work, on visas for skilled workers, on limited welfare for immigrants.

No fence. Its a two-edged sword. Plus with Unemployment as high as it is, how about leaving the field work for Americans. I know, “Its work We don’t wanna do.” How about this, you wanna eat, you gotta work. 

He voted No on establishing a Guest Worker program, on allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security, and on giving Guest Workers a path to citizenship.

My Conclusion: Cookie-cutter statist Republican. Wants to police the world, interfere with your life and tell you who to have sex with. And you better not complain because he’s listening in. Big Government is fine as long as its Republican Big Government.

 Sources:
Rick Santorum on the Issues
Politifact: Rick Santorum’s File
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