So… my last blog entry about Congressional candidate Ken Vaughn brought a flurry of comments, which makes me wonder who on the Chris Perkins campaign trolls the web for the good Colonel’s name and sends out a clarion call to his supporters to come denigrate his opponents. It happened on the Oakton Patch story, and now here. Some came simply to piss on the candidate without any understanding or knowledge about his ideas. Some came to mark their territory (and abuse the rules of capitalization and punctuation in the process), a la “chris perkins is going to win and is the best candidate” and some even attempted to use sock puppets to leave multiple comments in support of Col. (Ret.) Perkins to make it appear he has more support.
My note to Chris Perkins: you might want to check your campaign lapdogs. Whoever issued the clarion call to your supporters to come spam a site with nonsense and vitriol merely because it voiced positive thoughts about your opponent did you no favors. Alienating possible future allies is stupid. The slew of comments came all at the same time, which points to a mass email that was apparently sent out. If it wasn’t your campaign, you might want to address the issues to your supporters. I would think the last thing you want is to be associated with these types.
That is not to say there wasn’t decent discussion. Some brought legitimate points to the table, and it is those points I want to address. I want to show the difference I see between the two candidates, which might better explain my support for Ken Vaughn. I’m sure it will bring on more sarcastic, platitude-spewing ignorants, but oh hell… I live to piss them off.
First of all, those who know me and my writing know that my primary issue of importance is the Second Amendment. It is the right that protects our other rights from government infringement. It is a right only exercised by a free people. The difference between the two candidates? Simple.
From Chris Perkins’ website:
What is your stance on the 2nd amendment and gun control?
– Trevor D.
Having spent most of my adult life around guns, I have come to appreciate them as simply tools to be used for sport and security. Like most tools, I believe they need to be handled competently and responsibly. I also believe that the individual states are well suited to determine their own policies regarding firearms, and that the federal government should allow them to do so.
Not just no, but HELL NO! The right to keep and bear arms is a right. It is a right that no government should have the authority to violate – not federal, not state, and not local. Additionally, that right has now been incorporated. That means the Supreme Court rightfully ruled that the right to keep and bear arms applies equally in cities and states as in D.C. The Second Amendment is not just a leash on federal power. “Shall not be infringed” means just that, no matter which petty political tyrant aims to control you.
I asked a very similar question of Ken Vaughn last year.
Generally, what’s your view of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution? What was its intent? Is it applicable today?
Ultimately, the Second Amendment was designed to protect and preserve the individual right of self-defense in all forms. However, the lead-in clause, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,” emphasizes the most critical reason for the Amendment.
The Founders recognized that the biggest threat to the individual was not from wild animals or the common criminal; it was from an organized army coming to take away the rights of the people and with the people being prevented from defending themselves. And the Founders were keenly aware that the army might be acting on the orders of the domestic government. Thus, in order to maintain a free state, the Founders knew there had to be a mechanism by which individuals could band together to defend themselves with short notice. This is the intent of a “militia.”
Whereas the body of the Constitution gives Congress the authority to control and fund the Army and Navy, Congress has no such authority over militia. The militia is intended to be a self-armed fighting force that answers to its individual members and thus is able to counter a government that tries to violate the will of the people. The Founders realized that this right would always be necessary to protect their Constitutional Republic, even 235 years later.
Is the right to keep and bear arms protected from infringement by all levels of government?
As initially written, it is debatable; however, the Fourteenth Amendment removes any debate on this subject. “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; … nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Thus, the modern Constitution is clear. No state has the right to “abridge the privilege” of an individual to “keep and bear arms.”
Ken Vaughn understands the Founders’ intent. He gets the reason they included the right to keep and bear arms in the Bill of Rights. And he understands the concept of said right.
See the difference?
Next is the budget.
From Chris Perkins’ website:
Reform the Budget Process. The future of our economy, government and security depend on reforming the budget process that will allow the federal government to spend and tax only as much as it needs. This means developing a balanced budget and expenditure renewal process that will eliminate waste and limit the overall tax burden. Under the new process, every government department and program will be accountable to the American taxpayer.
Eliminate Waste. The federal government wastes billions of American taxpayer’s dollars each year through waste, fraud and abuse. I would build on the successes of independent watchdogs and work with both sides of the aisle to eliminate duplicative programs through effective and efficient operating policies.
Transfer Responsibilities to the States. There are a number of programs and responsibilities that should be shifted to the states. An audit of government services will identify overlapping programs or ineffective federal government involvement that can be terminated while transferring that responsibility to the states.
End Corporate Welfare. We need to restore competition and private-sector innovation as the keys to improving our economy. I will work to get the federal government out of the business of picking winners and losers. I will help put an end to corporate bailouts, and instead work to ensure that the marketplace is fair and transparent, and I will hold accountable those who violate the rules.
These are admirable goals, but once again, they’re general platitudes. How would he reform the budget process? Which redundant programs would he eliminate? Which programs should be shifted to the states? And how would he cut the budget? What reductions would he make?
I don’t know, and you don’t either. It’s tough to support a candidate when you don’t know details about his views.
Ken Vaughn, on the other hand, explains in detail how he would cut spending and carefully describes his approach.
If revenues are likely to be in the range of 18% of GDP, we cannot claim to have a responsible budget unless expenses, including interest on the debt, are less than 18% of GDP – with the remainder given to debt reduction. While I would like to see us eliminate the debt within 20 years, this would require devoting roughly 3% of GDP to debt reduction. At a minimum, I believe it is our responsibility to pay off the debt within “our generation.” In other words, those who have benefited from the 30 years of deficit spending should pay it off before retiring (at roughly 70), which means no more than 40 years to eliminate the debt. Currently, this can be achieved by devoting about 1% of GDP to debt reduction. Thus, at the extreme, federal government spending can be no more than 17% of GDP, if we are to claim that our plan is fiscally responsible. In fact, even if we are able to increase revenues to 20%, I would still believe that we should not spend any more than 17% of GDP; the additional revenue would simply allow us to eliminate the debt in the time frame recommended by Thomas Jefferson.
Our current spending is roughly 25% of GDP, 2% of which is devoted to interest payments, which we cannot cut without destroying our credit rating. Therefore, we need to cut the remaining federal budget by 35%.
This is not a right-wing perspective or a left-wing perspective. It represents an honest look at the math while holding firm to the principle of integrity.
This is a major reason I support Ken. Integrity. He understands the math and is willing to honestly look at the numbers and come up with a solution. With courage. With conviction. Without making promises he cannot hope to keep.
Chris Perkins supports a balanced budget amendment. While I appreciate the reasons behind such an amendment, it needs to be accompanied by a firm spending cap. Otherwise we are giving free license to Congress to raise taxes in order to balance the budget and continue their irresponsible spending sprees. What would be a spending limit Chris Perkins would support? I don’t know. Do you?
And finally, let me address entitlements. I don’t even like the word! Entitlement implies that somehow we all have a right to a benefit – that we can lay claim to others’ earnings. Government has spent the money it forced people to pay into their social security and now we all are paying for those who contributed. It’s bad enough when a bank spends your money and has no revenue to pay you. It’s worse when the government does it, because you have no choice but to contribute. Your money is taken by force and spent, and you are guaranteed nothing.
Chris Perkins wants to save Social Security. He wants to reform Medicare. Any way you couch it, these programs are not just a huge drain on the economy, but they are an expensive, inefficient waste of our tax dollars.
Advance Social Security Reforms. Starting in 2011, Social Security will pay out more in benefits than it collects in associated taxes. This is not a problem we can solve by simply raising social security taxes. We have to build a pro-growth, economically sound solution that will protect the system for those in or near retirement while ensuring the sustainable solvency of the continuation of this program for decades to come.
I realize there are needy people out there who have fallen on hard times. Like Ken Vaughn, I believe in charity. Not mandatory charity forced upon us by government force, but true willingness to help our fellow man. It is true that the more money the government takes from the taxpayers, the less charitable giving grows. Even so, Americans are some of the most generous people in the world. We are always the first to help and the most willing to give, whether to the victims of the 2005 Sunami in Indonesia or the needy in Haiti after the devastating earthquake. Do politicians honestly believe we would let those among us starve? Apparently so.
It is not up to the government to take care of the needy. Ken has a deep understanding of this fact. And he puts his money where his mouth is in his every day life – as a businessman and a church member. He understands the nature of entitlements and will work to fix the problem.
Charity is not the responsibility of government; in fact, the government is incapable of being charitable. Government, by its nature, is coercive; therefore, true charity cannot flow from government because it is not voluntary. Any “charity” offered by the government must be established under a set of rules to prevent gross abuse. As a result, these programs immediately transform into entitlement programs rather than charity programs. With these programs, personal judgement is no longer allowed as to whether it is wise to give assistance to an individual; everything is reduced to whether the candidate meets certain qualifications. Everyone becomes a set of numbers and is de-humanized. As a result, we give entitlements to those who are able to work, while those going through truly difficult transitions are ignored.
I’m sure Chris Perkins is a good guy. I appreciate and honor his service to his country (although I do find the “Join the Colonel” portion of his site with the photo in full military uniform questionable), and I have nothing against him personally. There are issues with which I disagree, but there’s no one I would agree with 100 percent.
I have explained why I believe Ken Vaughn has my support.
Go ahead. Bring it.