The current state of the campaign makes me sad that I didn’t spend a week in New Hampshire and have a chance to interview, or ask questions of, the candidates. I think I would have like to ask the following:
Senator/Governor/Businessperson/Doctor: you claim to have the market cornered on being the “only true conservative.” This term gets used so often, it’s meaning loses clarity. If you were elected, can you identify the following issues in the priority for your administration? Or if they are not a priority, please say so
- Climate Change – the Department of Defense has identified it as a security challenge that threatens future military planning and logistics.
- Taxation and the tax code – how will your tax policies impact the middle/working class of America – those that bear the largest percentage tax burden?
- Budget – what is the first year you intend to balance the budget in your administration?
Sub-question: Is it more important to balance the budget or cut taxes? Shouldn’t a decision on tax reform come after a balanced budget?
- National Debt. In order to begin chipping away at the Nation’s debt, an annual budget surplus must be established, above and beyond simply paying interest on the debt. What size annual surplus should be applied to resolving the debt? What is a healthy amount of debt to carry? How will your administration accomplish this?
- Health Care – though hardly a partisan issue, elected Republicans have been clear that the Affordable Care Act is an anathema. Repeal and replace has been a party slogan for several years. What do you intend to replace the ACA with and if repeal is done before replacement, how will this impact over 20+ millions of your citizens?
- Social Security. Entitlements are big targets for the Republican party. What exactly do you intend to do with regard to reforming Social Security – especially as the Baby Boomer generation and the beginning Generation Xers plan to retire during your administration (assuming your in office for 8 years?)
- Military and Defense – The U.S. military by any standard remains the envy of the world, yet each of you talk as though the military is broken and needs repair, Can you please explain?
- Would you increase, decrease or leave steady defense spending? If you plan to increase, what in the budget must be cut to pay for it?
- Veterans issues: What would you do to improve the Veterans Administration to ensure all our men and women that have served our nation receive the greatest care and benefits possible?
- Marriage Equality – several candidates have expressed this as a top priority for their administration to repeal marriage equality. Is this actually a Top 10 priority for you or just campaign rhetoric?
Bonus Question: Given the situation in Flint, Michigan and the lead in public drinking water caused by an aging and failing infrastructure, what would your administration do to address this and others throughout the country – especially if the costs of doing so could lead to additional budget imbalances and additional debt?