Q: What are your top three priorities if elected?
1) Economy and Jobs
1) Cut the crippling corporate tax rate to under 13% and remove loopholes.
2) Introduce a flat tax for all Americans keeping the home mortgage deduction and charitable giving deduction.
3) Put Washington’s economic emphasis on private sector innovation and growth
4) Eliminate the David Bacon Act and other onerous regulation that drives up the costs of public sector construction projects.
5) Remove destructive and ineffective regulations, programs and bureaucracies that are a detriment to job creation
2) EnergyEveryone talks about renewable sources of energy but as it stands, we still do not have the technology to stop using fossil fuels…….yet. While we are still developing these new technologies, we need heat for our homes and fuel for our cars. Energy independence is possible. This nation and our closest neighbors are rich with energy resources. In the past, developing these resources has been a pathway to prosperity and we must do the following in order to bridge the gap between the technologies of today and the ones of the future.
Support construction of pipelines to bring Canadian oil to the United States.
Prevent overregulation of shale gas development and extraction. Western Maryland is rich in natural gas and extraction will mean hundreds of jobs for Allegany and Garrett Counties.
3) Health Care
It’s not enough for Republicans to simply say, “Repeal ObamaCare”. We need to let people know that we have alternative solutions. The issue is complex, obviously, but there are some simple steps that Republicans are requesting that would have a tremendous impact on the cost and quality of care.
1) Tort reform would help bring down costs by insuring that doctors are protected from frivolous lawsuits that clog our courts and prevent good doctors from practicing.
2) Increase the Medicare reimbursement rate in Maryland in order to make practicing medicine in our state more attractive. Maryland has become increasingly unattractive to potential doctors due to our exceptionally high malpractice insurance rates and low reimbursement from the federal Medicare program. As our median age continues to rise in Maryland, we will have an ever-increasing need for doctors and other health care professionals. Your next Congresswoman needs to advocate bringing Maryland’s doctor reimbursements up to other states, making us more attractive and competitive for attracting qualified physicians.
3) Stop health care fraud by moving from a dinosaur paper-based system to a 21st century electronic one. According to the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association, health care fraud accounts for as much as 10 percent of all health care spending. If credit card companies can prevent fraud in this way, then so can health care.
Q: Discuss your views on the role of the federal government in stimulating the economy. How would you seek to change this if elected?
A: If we have learned anything from the housing crash and the stimulus it is that government is often the root of the problem. Forcing banks to accept unworthy credit risks began the problem, and then bailing out everyone else was the next. Free markets correct themselves when the American entrepreneur is not stifled by overregulation, high corporate taxes, and high energy costs.
Q: Assess the performance of the incumbent who now holds the seat you're seeking. Discuss a decision he/she made that you disagree with. (For sitting members, assess your performance over the most recent term. Is there a decision you regret after having time to reflect on its result?)
A: I would not have voted to raise the debt ceiling. Congressman Bartlett has repeatedly voted to raise it and this habit has led to the crippling debt that our nation faces today. This lack of restraint is part of the problem in Washington. Also, after twenty years in Congress and that kind of seniority, he is still not a committee chair. If I am so honored to be the Congresswoman from District 6, Washington will know where Mid & Western Maryland is. District 6 doesn’t need a spacekeeper. We need someone who will get things done.
Q: Do you believe No Child Left Behind should be reauthorized? If so, what needs to be changed? Assess the law's effectiveness.
A: I believe the President Bush had the right intentions with NCLB, but setting such strict guidelines has been a double-edged sword for many school systems. “Teaching to the test” is a personal experience I have had to endure with my own daughters. Sometimes it seemed as though they weren’t being taught, but were constantly being test prepped. NCLB’s accountability measures have had only modest improvements in academic achievement and there is seemingly diminishing returns. I agree with Ronald Reagan that the entire US Dept. of Education needs to be closed and authority sent down to the state level.
Q: National politics have become more divisive over the past several years. In what way can you work to bring more a more collaborative approach to federal government?
A: I have proven in Annapolis that you can get things done by working collaboratively. A good legislator will comprise sometimes and hold their ground when necessary.
Q: Discuss your approach to federal budgeting. Roughly what percent of spending (and why) should be allocated to the following: defense; health and human services; transportation; education; Social Security?
A: I reject the idea that any area of federal spending should be mandatory or that there should be some preordained ratio of spending per federal government department. As it is now every department of the federal government asks for more money in the next fiscal year than they received in the preceding year. This endless cycle of spending must come to an end. Many states have balanced budget requirements directly in their constitutions and it is high time the federal government adopts such a requirement. The federal government cannot keep raising spending and passing the buck onto the next generation. With the current crippling levels of national debt all federal government expenditures must be analyzed and properly evaluated in the context of the appropriations process.
Q: How can government ensure optimal health care coverage for all Americans?
A: Government can’t and shouldn’t ensure that. That is not the role of government. I have read the US Constitution from cover to cover and haven’t noticed anything about health care. Repealing Obamacare should be a goal of the next Congress.