As voters decide who they want to represent them at all levels of government, the partisan divide is as great as it’s been in a lifetime. Many are disillusioned by the process, and it’s helpful to reflect on where we are politically in America.
All public servants must value partnership over partisanship. Our Constitution begins with the words “We the people.” It is the work of the people that is supposed to be done in state legislatures across the land, and in Washington D.C. as well. It is not the work of a political party. Indeed, a lot of the work is done in a by-partisan way. Unfortunately, most of the attention is focused on the more contentious partisan issues.
However, there is a wide divide between conservative and liberal views of the role of government in this election year. As a conservative who is running for the state Senate, I will highly value partnership. I pledge to listen closely to those who differ with me, but I will also press hard to keep government responsible, limited and affordable.
The key issue of our time is the economy, and the 23 million unemployed Americans. Tax and regulatory policies are part of the debate at the highest levels. The federal government is spending trillions of dollars it doesn’t have, and is devaluing our currency by printing $40 billion each month. When we allow government to spend $1.50 for every $1 in revenue, and to add over $1 trillion every year to our federal debt, we are passing that burden on to our children and grandchildren. In 2009 the Iowa legislature and governor borrowed $875 million in an attempt to stimulate Iowa’s economy, leaving our state (and our children) with a 25 year obligation to pay back the money they spent.
These are examples of government that is not responsible, limited and affordable. Entrepreneurship and private enterprise are the economic engines that have historically fueled our economy and job creation. But today they are hobbled by high taxes, excessive regulations and uncertainty about government policies. Government and business must be partners, not adversaries, so we can grow our economy and increase our tax base to the benefit of all.
We must recognize also that social issues are part of the political discourse today. The very fabric of our culture is defined by social issues. Some of the most significant government policies in recent years have been established by the courts rather than by elected representatives of the people. It is the responsibility of elected representatives of the people to make decisions that will protect the life of the unborn, and it should be up to the people of Iowa to determine how marriage will be defined.
I love America and I love this state. I want the next generation to have the same wonderful opportunities and freedoms we’ve all enjoyed. That will happen only with responsible, limited government. That will be my primary goal in the Senate; that’s how I will set my compass.