A Discussion of the Issues

Submitted by kvaughn on Fri, 02/10/2012 - 01:00

A Discussion of the Issues

How do voters decide who they want representing them?

They ask questions. The candidates answer them. In the process, they reveal not just how they view the world, but how they think through complex issues.

This past Wednesday evening, I participated in a well-attended panel discussion about issues vital to our country’s future. Both of the 11th District Congressional primary candidates were invited to take part in this discussion, but I was the only candidate who attended. A quick summary of the topics and my positions, along with links to video clips of my comments, is provided below:

  • National Debt: “We should live within our means. What we’re doing right now [in relation to the debt] is fundamentally immoral. So let’s change the budgetary process to say ‘first of all, what are our spending targets as far as the deficit?’”
  • Revenue: “… the maximum that we have ever been able to sustain in government revenue … is 19% of our economy… At most, I would say until we prove otherwise, 19% is the most we should be assuming that we can ever possibly raise in government revenue.”
  • Spending: “Rather than focusing the conversation on cuts, … let’s turn it around and say ‘what are our spending priorities?’” This is a problem that can be solved. Republicans and Democrats just need to sit down and agree.
  • Taxes: “The current tax code is 10 times the longer than the King James Bible… How do we expect any of our tax accountants to really get this right?” We need to simplify the tax code while revitalizing our economy.
  • Immigration: “Neither party has been solving this issue… Until we change [the] law, we need to honor the law that we have in place.” We must enforce our laws so that people have respect for them. If immigration law is flawed, and I think it is, we should reform it. We need to change our policy to ensure that we are granting legal immigration status to all of those who want to the opportunity to pursue happiness and are willing to work hard and integrate into our society.

Electing our nation’s leaders is a serious matter that deserves open and honest discussions about these and many other issues prior to the elections, and I was happy to have the opportunity to participate in this event.

As I mentioned earlier this week, I propose a minimum of five debates with my opponent before the primary. However, as there has been some controversy about this proposal, I’d like to clarify exactly what I mean.

I propose a series of respectful discussions about the relevant political issues facing our country and the 11th Congressional District. I recommend that the precise format of these discussions be determined by non-biased event hosts.

I believe the event on Wednesday evening could have provided such a forum. The organizers, moderator, and all of the panelists were open, honest, and respectful and truly interested in hearing different opinions. It is unfortunate that the voters of the 11th District heard only one side of the conversation.

I look forward to future events, rallies, meetings, forums and debates where I can answer your questions and hear your concerns.

In Liberty,
Ken Vaughn