Dear Mr. Larsen,
As the campaign season continues, we at The Goshen News want to provide the most informative election coverage possible. To do that, we need your help. Included in this mailing is a list of questions we would like you to answer. Your responses, along with those of your opponent(s), will run in The News.
We ask that responses to individual questions be no more than 150 words. Longer answers will be edited for space. Also, we ask that we receive your responses at the newspaper no later than April 22. In addition, any available biographical/background information about you would be appreciated, along with a color photograph.
You may fax your answers to the newsroom at (574) 534-8830, e-mail your responses to email@example.com or mail your information to:
The Goshen News
c/o Scott Weisser
P.O. Box 569
Goshen, IN 46527-0569
Thank you for your attention in this matter,
Goshen News Assistant City Editor
The questions are:
1. What is the most crucial issue facing the 3rd District, and what as a legislator would you do to address it?
In 2004 our Representatives reported a Unified Budget deficit of $553.6 billion, but this included Social Security and Medicare taxes as well as interest the trust funds earned. In reality the General Budget deficit was $726.1 Billion. There was Katrina and now the Rx Medicare drug program. The deficit for March 2006 is $85.5 Billion or over $1 Trillion annualized! Its time to just say no to deficits. Both Social Security and Medicare use cash flow instead of accrual accounting. This has created huge unfunded liabilities.
Social Security is broke beyond repair. Repeal the Old Age provision; pay a means tested benefit of $1,133 per month to each senior in need based on assets funded using the trust fund and then general revenues; each worker to retain what used to be the employer and employee paid old age tax of 10.6% in personal accounts. Require accrual accounting of all programs. http://www.justsayno.50megs.com/pdf/larsen-plan.pdf
2. Were you in favor of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq? Why or why not? Do your feelings differ three years after the invasion?
Like most Americans I supported the invasion of Iraq, Hussein was a brutal tyrant. I believed the military was in charge of planning and carrying out the operation. However, this was not the case. Intelligence information appears to have been greatly influenced by politics. It appears politics pressured our military in low-balling the number of troops we needed. Equipment to protect our military men and women appears to have been less than ideal; many having to weld steel plates to un-armored humvees and buy personal protection themselves.
Mistakes were made in bypassing ammo dumps and not securing enemy troops, both requiring more troops than were sent.
We should never knowingly send our men and women into combat with out-dated equipment and poor training and planning. They are putting their lives on the line, the least we can do is provide them the necessary training and equipment. I support our military.
3. What course of action should U.S. officials take regarding Iran¹s push for greater nuclear capabilities?
The United States used to have credibility in the World as a nation of high moral standing. Our government has created many of the problems in Iran. Undermining the elected leader who was friendly to the U.S. but not oil companies did not help. Much of the problem we have today is due to past administrations’ interference.
Iran says it is seeking enriching capabilities for commercial use (6% enriched). Bomb grade quality is much higher. We were unable to stop India, Pakistan or Israel from obtaining the bomb. N. Korea says it has the bomb. Can we stop Iran from building a bomb, yes? If we stop Iran, will the countries in the area turn against us more than they already have? Will it create more terrorists? Will the bomb labs go out of country? I like any citizen, am not privy to intelligence data, therefore I support diplomacy/sanctions for now.
4. What, if anything, should be done regarding illegal immigration into the United States? Should illegal aliens currently in this country be considered felons? Do you favor amnesty?
I support legal immigration. We need to stop illegal immigration. Steven Camarota, Research Director for the Center of Immigration Studies; The data shows that illegal workers take jobs from the least educated Americans, resulting in increased unemployment, increased numbers who have stopped looking for a job and low wages. There are just 35 occupations (7% of the total U.S. Workforce) where immigrants make up nearly 1/3 of the workers. There is no such thing as a job an American worker will not perform. An unsecured border is not good national security. Do you leave your house without locking the doors?
It would be nice if we had all the resources we needed, but we do not, Americans come first. Anyone who is violating our laws should be prosecuted. I do not favor amnesty. This practice only invites others to do the same. We have laws, let’s enforce them.
5. What specific health care reform proposals, if any, do you support?
It is not the purpose of Government to provide healthcare. Health insurance is a relatively new product and was not common prior to Medicare. Too many people look at insurance as they would an-all-you-can-eat buffet, I am going to eat my money’s worth. By using more health insurance, we cause the cost to increase. Medicare reimburses providers 70 cents on the dollar. These providers have to charge others 120% or more to recoup costs; it’s called cost-shifting. Low birth rates causes the average age to increase. As we age, we use more services resulting in increased cost. This only increases cost shifting more. Had Medicare used accrual accounting, we would not have the problem today in terms of cost shifting. 2/3 of Medicare’s costs are consumed in the last two months of life. In addition states mandate specific coverage not associated with healthcare that increases costs by 50% or more.