U.S. House District 6: Richard Tisei on the issues
Taken from Richard Tisei's website:
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 experience of the last 3 years makes clear that such an approach doesn’t work. “Obamacare” is but one of many massive new burdens being imposed on job creators. In 2011 alone, the Obama Administration proposed 219 new regulations, each of which would cost $100 million or more to implement. Job creators simply cannot move under such over-regulation. Our national debt, which has increased by almost one third since January 2009, presents another massive obstacle to job growth. As a small business owner, I understand the challenges that job creators face each and every day. I will fight tirelessly to put Washington on a path to fewer regulatory burdens, lower debt, and overall conditions which promote job growth.
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 $4.5 trillion dollars in debt in the past 3 years – without any meaningful debt or spending reduction plan in place. We recently exceeded a staggering $15 trillion in national debt. That debt is an economic albatross on our country – and it’s been created by both parties over many years. As a U.S. Senator, Barack Obama opposed the 2006 debt ceiling increase as a “sign of leadership failure.” He was right then. 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 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 people face health care costs which have been spiraling out of control for many years. I will support common-sense legislation which results in lower health care costs and less bureaucratic red tape interfering in the health care decisions of the people. President Obama’s “Obamacare” does not and cannot accomplish those results. Unfortunately, it 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.
One of the most important issues facing the next Congress will be how best to ensure the future of Medicare. Members of both parties have “kicked the can” down the road on Medicare and other critical programs. If we really believe these programs serve a vital purpose, as I do, burying our heads in the sand is no longer an option. That’s why my priority as congressman will be to preserve, protect and strengthen this vital program so it is available for those who depend on it now and in the future.
Medicaid provides an important social safety net for the most vulnerable members of society. Supported by matching federal funds and administered by state governments under federal guidelines, the program varies considerably from state to state based on the individual program designs. Medicaid supports the blind, disabled, elderly, and impoverished, providing access to vital, frequently lifesaving care. In addition, the program provides provisions to cover the uninsured, creating access to basic healthcare for vulnerable populations. In many cases, Medicaid provides care that could otherwise not be accessed, and the expanded use of various Managed Care Organization (MCO) models allows for access to substantially more economical preventative medicine, avoiding the need for highly burdensome emergency care. As the expense of this program has grown, it has become a source of significant debate, and policy leaders continue working to institute cost controls to reign in expenditures.
We owe a sacred debt to our senior citizens – particularly those with low incomes who may not have access to needed food, shelter, or medical care. It is absolutely necessary that, in order to protect our most vulnerable citizens, we put Medicare and Social Security on paths to fiscal solvency. As Congressman, I will work tirelessly to ensure that any changes made to these programs will not affect current recipients or those nearing eligibility. I will work with other members of Congress who are serious about restoring solvency to these programs, whether they’re Democratic or Republican. Helping low-income seniors obtain benefits which are truly needed and simplifying applications for Medicare and other benefits are among my top priorities. Far too often, seniors are also targets of fraud by criminal predators who commit identity theft and various financial crimes. We must make every effort to defend and protect our senior citizens from these predators and to protect the vital programs upon which they now depend.
I support the Earned Retiree Healthcare Benefits Protection Act, which will protect the retirement health benefits of our nation’s seniors. That legislation would prohibit post-retirement reductions in benefits — as well as providing employers with a substantial hardship exemption if the employers were truly unable to restore post-retirement benefits which had been promised to retirees (to be determined by the Secretary of Labor).
IRAN AND ISRAEL
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. After traveling to Israel several years ago, I’ve seen firsthand how truly precarious is her mere existence. 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.
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. 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.
As a state legislator, I was a strong advocate for our veterans. I helped them obtain needed benefits and advocated for the Chelsea Soldiers Home. I helped pass a law which established a “veteran’s preference” in public housing. As your Congressman, I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that our veterans receive the full assistance they deserve.
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 (which has a massive role in student financial aid to schools and students), 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. That means driving down and controlling costs to that our schools remain affordable to all of our people –without students accruing massive debt in the process. I’m the first member of my family to earn a college degree and I fully understand the role of grants and loans as well as the need for affordable, but high-quality, educational opportunities to all of our citizens.