This is an open letter to our congressional candidates Chuck Fleischmann and Weston Wamp. After reviewing both of your websites, what is your plan to deal with the important issues mentioned?
For example, both of you mention several key issues like the economy, taxes, immigration, healthcare and government spending. Can you please elaborate and educate the undecided voters about your actual plan or strategy to deal with these important issues?
On the Economy:
Chuck Fleischmann (website): In order for our economy to rebound during this current economic crisis, we need strong job growth. We do not need more government intervention…. The adoption of policies that promote business investment, lower taxes and reduce the regulatory burdens on business will create the strong economic force needed to turn our economy around.
Question for Chuck Fleishmann: What is your plan for less government intervention, and strong job growth? What actual policies are you proposing to promote business investment, lower taxes and reduce regulatory burdens on business?
Weston Wamp (website): Overregulation and uncompetitive corporate tax rates have discouraged creativity and prevented growth in the private sector, but nothing negatively affects confidence in U.S. markets like the dysfunction in Washington. It’s time for a new leadership in Washington to force the government back into its proper role so that entrepreneurs and hard-working Americans don’t have to fear the next crazy idea our of our nation’s capital. Fundamentally, that’s how we can strengthen the American economy from the federal level: unleash the American spirit of innovation while holding the federal government in check.
Question for Weston Wamp: What is your plan/strategy to force the government back into its proper role and strengthen the American economy?
Chuck Fleischmann (website): I believe that the federal government should be prohibited from spending more money than it collects each year. I believe that a constitutional amendment is needed in order to force Congress to live within its means…. Clear and concise legislation is needed in order to hold the federal government accountable for the abuse, fraud and waste that they expect the American tax payer to subsidize…. Our current tax code is simply too invasive. It should be completely overhauled so that American taxpayers can spend more of their own money instead of having the federal government spend it for them. Changing the tax code would also have the added benefit of making America more competitive in the global economy.
Question for Chuck Fleishmann: What is your plan to insure the federal government should be prohibited from spending more money than it collects and how are you going to change the tax code? Do you support a Fair Tax or Flat Tax? If so, why to you favor one over the other?
Weston Wamp (website): Our current tax code is antiquated to the point that it has become a hindrance to American productivity. We need a complete overhaul that would dramatically simplify the tax code and create fairness in the way the government collects revenue. I’m supportive of the Fair Tax and other creative solutions, but the priority is that we find consensus around a commonsense approach and take action.
Question for Weston Wamp: What is your plan to simplify the tax code and create fairness in the way the government collects revenue? You say you support the Fair Tax or other creative solutions. Can you please tell us why you prefer a tax on consumption versus a Flat Tax on income? How are you going to find consensus around a commonsense approach and take action especially knowing the tax code favors groups of individuals or corporations with special interests? Will you stand against them knowing that many of them contributed to your campaign.
Chuck Fleischmann (website): America’s current immigration policies are not working. Change is needed. I am convinced that our country’s border security is paramount to our nation’s security. The security of America’s southern border can be improved by increasing the number of border enforcement agents, completing and enhancing the current fence and implementing the use of new technology.
Question for Chuck Fleishman: What is your plan to implement the change you say is needed and how will you increase the number of border agents and implement the use of new technology?
Weston Wamp (website): We are a rule of law country and we must begin the process of fixing our immigration problem by securing the border. Congress has paid lip service to this problem, but has done nothing.
Question for Weston Wamp: You accuse Chuck Fleischmann of doing nothing in four years to secure the border. Can you please provide us a sample or outline of a bill or amendment you would introduce to address this problem? On your website you are critical of Chuck for not taking a trip to the border. Have you been there?
Chuck Fleischmann (website): A government run health insurance program is not the answer. It would take control away from the doctors. It would threaten employer sponsored health insurance. But, most importantly, it would limit individual choices. Government run health insurance does not work. It doesn’t work in the countries that have it. It won’t work in America….. We must reform malpractice law to eliminate both excessive medical liability costs and frivolous lawsuits. We must also insure that reimbursement to providers is at levels that will allow them to provide continued care to their patients.
Question for Chuck Fleishman: The House continues to waste time voting to repeal ObamaCare knowing that nothing will happen in the Senate. Knowing that Congress has the power of the purse, what steps will you/have you taken to reduce funding for Obamacare and reform malpractice law?
Weston Wamp (website): Health insurance costs continue to rise and the radical federal healthcare mandates restrict small business growth. We must deploy free market principles, increase competition, expand access to our private healthcare system and lower costs so that business owners know for certain the government will do no more harm. From day one, I will fight Obamacare with solutions and not just worn out rhetoric.
Question for Weston Wamp: We are all tired of rhetoric from our politicians, what are your actual solutions to address healthcare in this country? Knowing that healthcare is already highly regulated at both the federal and state levels, what free market principles are you referring too?
On Government Spending:
Chuck Fleischmann (website): The government’s massive spending to stem the tide of rising unemployment is counterproductive. The adoption of policies that promote business investment, lower taxes and reduce the regulatory burdens on business will create the strong economic force needed to turn our economy around…. I believe that the federal government should be prohibited from spending more money than it collects each year. I believe that a constitutional amendment is needed in order to force Congress to live within its means. Our country is drowning in a sea of debt with uncontrolled government spending and a tax system that fails to support the continued growth that our nation’s economy needs.
Question for Chuck Fleishmann: You voted for the No Budget, No Pay Act knowing there would be an increase in the debt ceiling. If you say you are against increased government spending, why would you vote to increase our debt limit?
Weston Wamp (website): The bottom line is that the role of the federal government is going to have to change in order for the United States to overcome trillions in debt. Spending priorities must be set based on the Constitution, we need to eliminate duplication in government programs, drastically simplify the tax code and apply innovative private sector methods to modernize the way the federal government does business.
Question for Weston Wamp: If elected, will you vote for legislation that increases the debt limit or government spending? What government programs will you fight to eliminate? What are some of the innovative private sector methods you would implement to modernize the way the federal government does business and how you would accomplish this goal?
After reviewing both websites, it is difficult to distinguish the differences between your opinions on the key issues. For additional clarification, can you please be specific and address the issues and questions presented with an actual plan or strategy instead of repeating the same old rhetoric and talking points that we continue to hear over and over from our politicians.
Lets be honest, if elected you will join 435 other representatives, and probably will not have that much influence on your own. It is sad that we elected a majority of Republicans to control the House of Representatives, the body that controls the purse and passes federal laws, but we have not seen any reduction whatsoever in the debt, taxes, regulations, illegal immigration or spending that we were promised. Why? Please don’t answer that question and say Washington is broke and must be fixed or requires new leadership. Washington needs intelligent goal oriented term-limited representatives, not career seeking politicians repeating feel-good talking points without a clear plan or strategy. Are you in favor of term limits, if so put it in writing on your website? Show us your plan and prove to us that you are capable of taking a stand on the key issues while not giving into peer pressure, groupthink or special interests like so many others in the past, even if it means not getting reelected or appointed to certain committees.
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John Madzin, since Weston Wamp and Chuck Fleischmann are in the final week of early voting I would not expect either one of them to respond to your request. I’m sure that both men are busy making sure that they have votes lined up and at this point it is the most important thing either should do.
However, since I have really studied this race and studied both candidates over the past two years, I will attempt to briefly tell you what I believe to be the plans of both. I believe that Weston Wamp will go to D.C. to represent all of the people of the 3rd Congressional District. This means he will be willing to reach across the aisle when it is the right thing to do, rather than play “hard tail” and let things go undone and all of us suffer. I think he would be against shutting down the government to prove his point if there was a better way to move forward. I believe Chuck Fleischmann will continue do what he has done in his first 3 ½ years, nothing much. That’s how he earned the title “Do nothing Chuck.”
You can google their names along with the word debate and that will answer all of your questions. In the meantime, I hope you and others will get out and vote for Weston Wamp. He is our future in the 3rd District.
J. Pat Williams