MA Senate Special Election: Michael J. Sullivan on the Issues
Our economy is being strangled by unprecedented debt, spending, and over-regulation. We’ve borrowed and spent well beyond our means and our ability to create jobs is suffering tremendously as a result. The federal government has amassed another $5 trillion dollars in debt in the past 4 years – without any meaningful debt or spending reduction plan in place. We recently exceeded a staggering $16 trillion in national debt. That debt is an economic albatross on our country’s future – and it’s been created by both parties over many years. There IS a direct correlation between the absence of fiscal sanity in economic policy in Washington and the absence of jobs for our people. We simply cannot continue on this path and expect the job growth that our people need and deserve. It is also very wrong to continue to borrow billions of dollars each day – to be paid for by generations yet unborn. The common-sense approach to budgeting that we each follow in our households must be forced upon the spenders in Washington if we’re to preserve our way of life for future generations.
Our unemployment rate is stuck around 8%. Millions of able-bodied Americans have dropped out of the workforce. 1 in 7 Americans is on food stamps. The rate of unemployment for college graduates is astoundingly high. These statistics should shock us all into action! Government does not create wealth or jobs in this country. Free enterprise and individual creativity are being stifled by government – even though they are the very engines of job creation in America. We need to strengthen the conditions that lead to entrepreneurial growth and jobs for our people. Right now, job creators remain unsure of future tax rates and massive regulatory burdens coming from Washington. Our national debt, which has increased by trillions in the past five years, presents another massive obstacle to job growth. I will fight tirelessly to put Washington on a path to fewer regulatory burdens, lower debt, and overall conditions which promote job growth.
Our people face health care costs which have been spiraling out of control for many years. I fought health care fraud as your United States Attorney – and we recovered more than $5 BILLION from companies which had committed fraud. In addition to fighting fraud at that level, we should support common-sense measures which result in lower health care costs and less bureaucratic red tape interfering in the health care decisions of the people. The savings that could be accomplished by including tort reform could be significant. Doctors and other health care providers practice “defensive medicine” each and every day to defend against lawsuits. Some lawsuits are warranted. Others may be excessive, at best. The resultant practices run medical bills sky-high – and we all pay. Obamacare was the wrong answer to a very real problem – and those problems persist. Real solutions to actually lowering health care costs and making better health care available to more of our people include passing tort reform to reduce the costs associated with “defensive medicine,” allowing people to buy health insurance across state lines to increase competitiveness, increasing the number of primary care physicians and community health care centers, adopting policies which encourage small businesses to join together to form Association Health Plans, and allowing expanded Health Savings Accounts. These are but a few of the reforms which ought to be implemented immediately and which would make quality health care more affordable and available for all of our people.
The quality of education provided by our public schools is a constant and growing concern. While the education of our nation’s children is truly a national concern and priority, it is primarily a local and state concern. Top-down mandates from the federal government place inappropriate burdens on teachers, administrators, and – most importantly – students. To the extent it can be encouraged by the federal government, we also need to do all that we can to return to the sacred purpose of state school systems: providing quality educational opportunities to all of our citizens at an affordable price. Charter schools can provide opportunities for inner-city children desperate for a solid education that can unlock future opportunities. There’s also a “Parent-Trigger” reform movement that gives parents the tools they need to reform a school when that school is failing. With public colleges, we need to drive down and control costs so that our schools remain affordable to all of our people –without students accruing massive debt in the process.
We have a sacred mission to each of those who have placed themselves in harm’s way in defense of our nation. That includes doing all that we can for our service members while they are serving – and thereafter. Federal employment opportunities – particularly in the area of national security – should be particularly available to returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan (even beyond normal hiring practices). We continue to thank and honor those who have served by welcoming them home and providing benefits to returning service members and their families. And yet, the benefits backlog for our wounded warriors is far too long and complicated. We must work tirelessly to streamline our mission to our returning veterans and to ensure the very highest quality care that our nation can provide to them as long as they are in need. The mission to our veterans is ongoing. PTSD and other concerns deserve our utmost and continuing attention as we re-commit ourselves to our returning heroes.
Israel stands as a nearly solitary bastion of liberty and freedom in the Middle East. She’s our closest ally and we have a special duty to ensure her continued survival. We have to remain clearly committed to Israel’s defense and survival. In many respects, Israel finds herself besieged by neighbors who wish her ill, such as Iran. Despite repeated attempts by Administrations of both parties to engage Iranian moderates, the leaders of Iran continue to directly threaten Israel’s existence. Iranian attempts to secure a nuclear weapon and develop a ballistic missile system capable of delivering such weapons must be prevented. Furthermore, we must make it completely clear to Iran that any attempt to destroy Israel would, in fact, be suicidal.