October 07, 2010
Koster vs. Larsen: Their Turn

I offer my great thanks to everyone who asked questions of the candidates for the Second Congressional District last month. I think this has been a great experience, and while we could not use all the questions (there were just too many), I hope the responses to the selected questions are enlightening to all the voters. Except for the last question, they were both asked the same questions. I flipped a virtual coin to choose who would answer the first question first, and then alternated responses from then on.

Without further ado, here are the answers from the candidates, to the questions I selected.

  1. mykela writes: "I would like to hear some examples of some spending that the candidates would support eliminating."

    John Koster (R):

    Non-military discretionary spending has increased an estimated 84 percent since 2008. We should roll back discretionary spending to those levels and consider across the board cuts from that point. We need to take a close look at all programs and agencies, and eliminate subsidies and "corporate welfare" throughout the budget. For example: the subsidization of ethanol production to the tune of $6 billion/year. We are adding $3.5 to $5 billion to our Federal deficit on a daily basis and the debt we are racking up is unsustainable.

    Rick Larsen (D, incumbent):

    Deficits and debt matter. That is why I'm fighting to change the way Congress works in managing the federal budget. I've voted to reduce the influence of special interests in elections, and I support a new rule requiring all new federal spending or tax cuts to have a source of funding identified to pay for them. I also back a freeze on all general non-defense spending in the budget. I voted to suspend Congressional pay increases when the budget is not balanced. And I support extending the ban Democrats put in place on earmarks for for-profit companies.

    I am opposed to extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. It would be irresponsible to extend these tax cuts that would add $700 billion to the federal debt over the next ten years. You can't have credibility in tackling our financial problems if you take tax cuts for the rich off the table.

    I support eliminating funding for defense weapons systems that are over-cost, behind schedule and unnecessary to combat the threats our country faces. According to the non-partisan Government Accountability office, 95 major weapons programs were a combined $295 billion over budget and on average 21 months behind schedule. This is unacceptable, and I voted to cut funding for the F-22 Raptor, the Transformational Satellite, and the Future Combat System among other wasteful defense spending programs.

    I also voted to save taxpayers $68 billion by ending federal subsidies to private banks that issue student loans. I will continue to look to cut domestic spending programs that are not wasteful of taxpayer dollars.


  2. Steve Beren writes: "Over the years, the federal government has increasingly become involved in areas that were previously (in accordance with the 10th Amendment) the province of the states. If such programs as energy, housing, healthcare, and education were returned back to the states and the American people, wouldn't that lead to an across-the-board improvement - lower costs, superior results, more accountability, and increased freedom for the people to determine the scope and/or necessity of such programs?"

    Larsen:

    No.

    Koster:

    You are absolutely correct Steve. Government closest to the people governs best and usually more efficiently. I believe there should be a greater effort from DC regarding what we used to call "devolution," that is, giving rightful power back to the States and getting it out of DC. A prime example, as you mentioned above, is education. While the responsibility of the education of our children lies with the parents, the local School Board and the State are the better partners to establish schools and assist the parents to see to their children's education.

  3. Cicero writes: "I am concerned about an increasing tendency for the rules that we live under to be regulatory decisions made by unelected employees of the Executive branch, often without any input from the Congress. This means that increasingly we are living under rules decided and determined by someone who we do not elect, and so as voters have very little influence or control over. ... If you are elected to Congress this year, what steps will you take to re-exert the supremacy of the legislative branch over the executive branch in the making of law? What specific changes would you make to the process of regulatory review to prevent agencies in the future from aggressively extending their power without Congressional authorization? How would you ensure these changes in the rules are applied to both political parties regardless of which one holds the White House in the future?"

    Koster:

    The ability of Federal agencies to promulgate rules derived from general policies and laws passed by Congress is a major problem. It is an impediment to the start-up, development, and expansion of business and consequently an impediment to the creation of jobs and economic development in the US. Congress MUST take back their power and authority in this arena. Congress should pass laws that have the specific intent clearly stated, along with Constitutional authority for the law. The establishment of a required approval by Congress of regulation having a cumulative impact of greater than $100 million/year might be one way to avoid onerous regulation. Congress could consider the establishment of an oversight committee similar to one that Washington State has called the Joint Legislative Rules Review Committee. It is a Committee where the State Agencies could be called in to explain how their implementation of rules and regulations comply with the intent of law (but of course these type of committees are only as good as the people running them).

    Larsen:

    I disagree with the premise that the Legislative branch doesn't have supremacy in making laws. Congress makes its intent clear when it passes laws and uses the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct audits of the Executive branch to ensure that the Administration is complying with the requirements of the law.

    In fact, when Republicans were in charge of Congress and consistently overlooked the glaring errors of the Bush Administration, I advocated for enhanced oversight. When Democrats regained control of Congress in 2007 we at once began exercising our oversight responsibilities - according to the Brookings Institute, Congress conducted more than 1,400 oversight hearings in the 110th Congress alone. These oversight hearings led to new laws to protect against Executive branch abuses such as rules preventing any Administration from handing out no-bid contracts worth billions of dollars.

    I will continue to engage in active oversight of the Obama Administration and future Administrations to ensure that the Executive branch follows the requirements set forth by Congress.


  4. Jay Brand writes: "How do you see stabilizing Social Security for the future years? Do you favor privatization? Do you favor lifting the cap on income earned, increasing the contributions of those who make over $175,000? Do you favor raising the retirement age to 70?"

    Larsen:

    I strongly oppose the privatization of Social Security. Washington state seniors have spent a lifetime contributing to this program and they are entitled to the benefits they have earned. Social Security must remain a safety net that covers all of our seniors. While Social Security is fiscally sound for the near future, the coming retirement of the baby boom generation will severely strain the system. We owe it to future generations to keep Social Security solvent; risky proposals and other cuts cannot be tolerated.

    I support the establishment of the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. The Commission is tasked with finding ways to balance the budget, excluding interest payments on the debt, by 2015 in order to improve the nation's long-term fiscal outlook. Congress must attack the structural budget deficits and get government debt under control.

    I fought to immediately begin closing the donut hole and strengthening Medicare so seniors can count on affordable prescription drugs and better benefits for years to come.

    And I supported Wall Street Reform. Bigger banks on Wall Street gambled with seniors' retirement savings by putting profits and bonuses ahead of seniors financial security. I helped create comprehensive regulations for our financial markets, so that large banks, trading firm, or hedge fund manager can no longer recklessly gamble with Americans financial security.

    Koster:

    First of all No, I do not favor privatizing Social security. Mr. Larsen is flat lying in his allegations to the contrary. The first thing that must be done is to stop spending the money that is collected for Social Security benefits, and restore the Trust Account. While the actions you have mentioned may be considered by the next Congress, none of them will "stabilize" Social Security as long as Congress continues to feed their insatiable appetite for spending and continue to grow the debt by deficit spending. Let's remember we were promised that: The money participants elected to put into the Program would be deductible from their income tax ... it is no longer deductible. We were promised it would be put into a "Trust Fund" ... it was moved it into the General Fund and subsequently spent. We were promised it would never be taxed as income ... it is now taxed ... it was the Democrats and Democrat Administrations that ignored those promises, and it was Larsen and the Democrats took over $500 billion out of Medicare this year to pay for the Health Care bill that the majority of the people didn't want. One must ask: If we didn't have a $13.5 Trillion debt, would we be asking these questions?

  5. Curt writes: "Recently Congress passed The Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act. This is a valuable piece of legislation returning thousands of teachers to work. Do you support it?" Sandra asks, "what, if anything, you would change about the legislation?"

    Koster:

    I believe this bill was quickly passed mostly in an effort to garner the votes of the teachers in the up coming election. As for the Medicaid portion of the bill...the benefits addressed therein would not have run out before January, allowing sufficient time for dealing with any potential shortfall. This Congress has not even passed a budget ... yet can they continue to use taxpayer money to garner favor and votes, spending money they simply don't have and continuing to pass unconscionable levels of debt on to our children and grandchildren. In their haste to go home and campaign to retain their power, they failed in their responsibility to pass any of the 12 annual budget bills, failed to deal with the expiring tax cuts which will mean tax increases for every taxpaying American, and failed for the first time in many, many years to even pass a budget.

    Larsen:

    I supported the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act. The National Education Association estimates that this critical funding helped save 408 education jobs in the 2nd Congressional District alone. According to the non-partisan Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, the bill provided $338 million for Medicaid assistance to Washington state. This bill was not designed to cover the entire hole in the Washington state budget, but it did cover part of the shortfall in the budget. This bill saved jobs and protecting our state against additional cuts to vital programs and services.

    The bill was fully paid for by reducing funding for the food stamp program and closing a tax loophole that encourages corporations to ship jobs overseas.

    If I could change the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act, I would allow more flexibility for the school districts that had already made decisions for their fiscal year 2010-2011 budgets to use the funds in fiscal year 2011-2012.


  6. Jim Miller writes: "A question for Congressman Larsen: If you and Nancy Pelosi are both re-elected, and she runs for Speaker again, will you vote for her? If so, why?"

    And I add a similar question: Councilman Koster: If you and John Boehner are both re-elected, and he runs for Speaker again, will you vote for him? If so, why?

    Larsen:

    When I am re-elected and Nancy Pelosi is re-elected, I will be voting for her for Speaker.

    Koster:

    I have made no commitment regarding my vote for Speaker. It does however appear at this time Congressman Boehner is the front runner and if he is re-elected will be the Speaker. I have heard from no Congressman, Boehner or anyone else for that matter, regarding the position of Speaker and/or asking for my vote should I be elected. We are currently focused on the election and intend to continue to do so until November 2nd.

  7. Saltherring writes: "Would you vote for a comprehensive immigration reform bill that included closing (and if necessary militarizing) our southern border and also terminated ALL federally-funded benefits to illegals? This package would also include: 1. stiff fines and even prison terms for those who hire illegals. 2. Cut off of specific funds to states and municipalities that refuse to comply with immigration laws and also those that establish themselves as "sanctuaries" for illegal aliens."

    Koster:

    We must secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws. We are a nation of laws and live under the rule of law. I oppose amnesty. I believe we must have a system in place to confirm citizenship and strict laws must be enforced upon those who knowingly hire illegals. We must also have in place a functional enforceable system for guest workers to meet the needs of agriculture. The security of our borders is a serious national security issue and this Congress and this Administration, as well as past Administrations, have failed in this regard. I would like to point out that while my opponent talks a good line on this issue, he has received a "D" grade from Numbers USA for his anemic voting record on defending our borders.

    Larsen:

    If by "closing our borders" you mean closing them to trade as well, then that is something that I would not support. In Washington state, one in three jobs depends on international trade. We need to have borders that are open for trade and tourism but secure enough to stop the flow of illegal immigration. I believe that we can strike this balance with the right application of people, technology, and infrastructure.

    I am also opposed to using U.S. military personnel to guard our borders. This is a law enforcement activity that should be handled by the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. If border communities need additional support, we can use the National Guard to provide additional border security assistance to federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.

    In my view, immigration reform must include a viable guest worker program to ensure employers have the best possible opportunity to hire legal temporary workers. I have heard repeatedly from farmers and other employers in my district and across Washington state about the need to hire temporary migrant workers to ensure their businesses can continue to operate and keep our economy moving in the right direction.

    Comprehensive immigration reform must also include strict penalties for employers who knowingly and willingly hire illegal workers. And we must hold illegal immigrants accountable for breaking our laws. I do not support amnesty. If someone is here illegally, they must pass a criminal background check, and if they are found to have a criminal record they will be deported. Otherwise, they must go to the back of the line in order to become eligible to earn legal status. They must pay penalties and taxes. They must learn English. They must admit responsibility for breaking the law.


  8. Mr. Skagitonian writes: "Right now, we've got FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps coming in that are going to raise many a Skagit citizen's taxe$ thru flood insurance rates based on what our municipal bureaucrats say is questionable science. We're also tired of the Town of Hamilton flooding again and getting bailed out without a levee or relocation while we in Burlington & Mount Vernon pay thru the nose for flood insurance - with rates destined to skyrocket in a few months. What will you do about the Skagit River Flood Risk? Will you repeal the National Flood Insurance Program?"

    Larsen:

    I've worked hard with the Skagit County community to help lessen the risk of flooding and move us towards critical flood control projects. This year, I fought for $1.137 million for the Skagit River General Investigation (GI) study, which will provide the boost needed to propel the GI toward project design and study completion. This is the largest amount of funding to ever be secured for this project. I have also worked with the Skagit community to prepare for the new FEMA flood insurance rate maps.

    Regardless of the results from the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) project, rates for existing policy holders will not increase. Rates for policies purchased between when the existing flood insurance rate maps were published in 1985 to when the new final maps will be published will not see a rate increase based on the new maps - they are, essentially, grandfathered in. In July, I voted to reform the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This will help protect homes that are in newly designated flood plains as a result of the new FEMA rate maps. Homeowners in these areas will now be exempt from paying for flood insurance for the first five years and will be phased into flood insurance rates over the following five years. I do not believe we should eliminate the NFIP.

    The town of Hamilton is subjected to floods year after year. I too want to move the town of Hamilton out of the floodplain and have been working on a solution to this problem.

    Koster:

    In my opinion the Army Corps of Engineers has done a poor job trying to finish a $5-8 million (GI) study which is supposed to be the basic blueprint for a larger drainage wide flood control project starting at the upper Baker Dam and ending at Padilla Bay. The Corps seems to have had an excuse to do nothing by either not trying very hard or simply being ineffective to gain the necessary funding to get the GI finished. The solutions are at best complex and have been complicated by turnover at the corps, lack of funding, and lack of leadership provided by our federal delegation. We need to secure the funding to finish the study and bring the stakeholders together with a commitment to find a solution that perhaps not everybody with like but one that everybody can agree is the best solution. The National Flood Insurance Program offers flood insurance at a somewhat reduced rate ... and is maybe the only insurance option in some cases ... but has some "strings attached." Whether the County residents have Federal Flood insurance available depends on the County accepting standards and requirements of FEMA.

  9. And if you'll forgive the liberty, I'd like to ask each candidate a question of my own.

    Councilman Koster, you'll be hard-pressed to find anyone, including a Republican, who doesn't have serious criticisms of various Republican policies from last decade (whether or not they are the cause of the recession). You can say you too disagree with those policies, but if you're elected and Republicans win the House, many if not most of the members of your caucus will have been a part of those policies under Bush. Why should voters believe that a GOP-led Congress today won't let them down like last time?

    Koster:

    I can only be responsible for my own votes in Congress and the voters have the right to hold me accountable. The #1 question I have been asked this year is this: Can we trust you to stay true to your principles and not become part of the problem back in Washington D.C.? My answer is three fold: (1) I must find a group of like-minded conservative people who will commit to challenge one another and hold each other accountable; (2) I must get back to the district on a regular basis, to be in front of my constituents, to listen to them, inform them, and to be held accountable; and (3) and most importantly, one must know what one believes before serving in Congress, and not be trying to figure it out who they are when they get there. I want to assure you that you can count on John Koster to continue to stand strong on his principles upon arrival in Washington D.C.as well as throughout his entire tenure as a U.S. Congressman.

    Many of the current members who have been there during the Bush years did not necessarily agree with the policies you refer to. To assume they did is an incorrect assumption. I would refer you to the Republican Study Committee who have been standing strong for conservative principles and continue to do so. Let's remember that while George Bush was conservative on some issues, he often strayed from conservative principles, especially on fiscal matters. I urge you to check out the Republican Study Committee website to see for yourself what they stand for. I had the opportunity just last week to meet some of the candidates who are running this year. I can attest to the genuine conservative values we share, the resolve to get this country back on track, and their desire to get the job done and then go home ... back to their normal lives and for many, back to their small business enterprises. The people I met in DC last week have no desire to be career politicians. They simply want do what needs to be done and then go home!

    Congressman Larsen, I've been hearing a lot lately from President Obama and Congressional Democrats about how the "failed policies of the last decade" caused our current economic woes. While it's obvious that it is possible that tax cuts and high spending could have contributed to the deficit and debt, it's not clear that they caused the problems with real estate, the banks, manufacturing, and many other problems we've been dealing with. Specifically, what Republican policies last decade caused the recession, and how?

    Larsen:

    I can't speak for the President or any other Congressional Democrat, but here is what I know.

    When President Clinton left office in 2000 there was a $128 billion surplus. The last Bush Administration budget left us with a $1.4 trillion deficit. During that time, the national debt doubled from $5.6 trillion to over $11 trillion.

    The Bush Administration failed to act in the face of mounting evidence of risky activity in the financial sector. The Securities and Exchange Commission did not use its authorities to implement regulations to protect consumers from subprime mortgages, nor did Congressional Republicans apply pressure on the Administration to do so. I supported the Wall Street Reform bill to end these abuses and prevent big banks on Wall Street from gambling with our retirement savings.

    The Bush Administration supported Trade Agreements that did not include basic protections for labor or the environment, such as the Central American Free Trade Agreement. These agreements hurt the competitiveness of American exporters. I strongly support passing trade agreements such as the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement which will help U.S. companies access new markets on a more level playing field.

    Our economy was also hurt by a lack of investment in higher education and research. Upon taking control of Congress, Democrats worked hard to expand Pell grants and reduce subsidies to private lenders to help more qualified young people go to college. Further, I supported a new GI Bill for the 21st Century to help the men and women who served our country advance their education. These investments in human capital will reap long-term benefits for our country.

Thank you very much to both Congressman Larsen and Councilman Koster for their willingness to participate and for their answers. It's been a very busy time for them, and I am sure that our readers appreciate it as much as I do.

Posted by pudge at October 07, 2010 07:29 AM | Email This
Comments
1. "When I am re-elected"

hey arrogant "let them eat cake" J@#&@$$ politician, it's not your seat, it's the people's seat.

God I can't wait for November.

Posted by: Andy on October 7, 2010 08:50 AM
2. Koster seems more willing to listen to the people whom he is supposed to work for.

Posted by: Laurie on October 7, 2010 09:15 AM
3. Resoundingly reconfirms what I already hoped for, that Koster unseats Larsen.

Posted by: katomar on October 7, 2010 09:31 AM
4. A big thanks to Sound Politics for doing this, it is very insightful.

Posted by: Commentator on October 7, 2010 09:43 AM
5. I would like to respond to one of Congressman Larsen's answers, the question I asked. He wrote:
When President Clinton left office in 2000 there was a $128 billion surplus. The last Bush Administration budget left us with a $1.4 trillion deficit. During that time, the national debt doubled from $5.6 trillion to over $11 trillion.

I want specifics, and you offer some, but let me note up front that Bush inherited a BAD economy: the recession started, at its latest, only a month after Bush took office (but really, it started earlier IMO: if I remember correctly, three of the four quarters before Bush took office had negative GDP, and the tech bubble burst in March 2000, well before Bush was elected).


The Bush Administration failed to act in the face of mounting evidence of risky activity in the financial sector.

In part because Democrats blocked attempts by Republicans to reform FNMA. Should more have been tried? Obviously. But when we've all seen the video of Barney Frank and other Democrats ignoring risky activity, we can't believe that this was solely a GOP or Bush thing.

We didn't see Democrats out there saying we should do more to "protect consumers" from risky mortgages: on the contrary, every time that came up, the Democrats said we needed to get more people into homes, and continuing the Clinton-era policy of encouraging bad loans to homeowners.


I supported the Wall Street Reform bill to end these abuses and prevent big banks on Wall Street from gambling with our retirement savings.

After the fact, yes. What about before the collapse?


The Bush Administration supported Trade Agreements that did not include basic protections for labor or the environment, such as the Central American Free Trade Agreement. These agreements hurt the competitiveness of American exporters.

Sorry, but I've seen no evidence this had any significant impact on the recession. I can name lots of things that hurt our economy in this way or that way. I don't know if CAFTA had a net positive impact on American businesses, but I can say that certainly the high taxes on overseas American businesses that (I believe) you support absolutely hurt American businesses. But that doesn't mean those taxes, and similar policies, caused -- or could cause -- the recession.


Our economy was also hurt by a lack of investment in higher education and research.

Again, I don't see it. This didn't cause the collapse of the financial sector. This didn't contribute to the housing market tanking. I don't see this as having any bearing on the question I asked.


Thank you for answering the question, Congressman, but reading through it and thinking about it, I don't think you've actually shown any GOP policies that caused the recession. The closest you came was talking about inaction -- rather than actual policies -- which the Democrats are just as guilty of.

I can only come to the conclusion, at this point, that the refrain that the "failed Republican policies of the last decade caused the recession" is false. (Not that you've said this, that I know of.)

Thanks again for all your responses, Congressman.

Posted by: pudge on October 7, 2010 11:06 AM
6. Larsen: If by "closing our borders" you mean closing them to trade as well, then that is something that I would not support. In Washington state, one in three jobs depends on international trade. We need to have borders that are open for trade and tourism but secure enough to stop the flow of illegal immigration. I believe that we can strike this balance with the right application of people, technology, and infrastructure.

OK, so you spin a question about illegal immigration into a question on free trade. Fine, whatever, clever tactic. And I agree with you on trade.

Then, however:

The Bush Administration supported Trade Agreements that did not include basic protections for labor or the environment, such as the Central American Free Trade Agreement. These agreements hurt the competitiveness of American exporters.

But, now, trade is bad. Because...you can't find another way to blame Bush.

Whatever. You obviously aren't being serious. You just wnat to have your cake and eat it too.

BTW, anybody with even basic knowledge of CAFTA knows that it's almost a unilateral deal to open central American markets up to us. It's effect on labor is negligable if at all, and it CERTAINLY isn't bad for Washington state.

Posted by: Cliff on October 7, 2010 11:36 AM
7. Didn't Republicans win big time in 1994? Yet things kept getting worse.

Winning an election means NOTHING.

It means nothing if it isn't followed by a change in public policy.

And it is not enough anymore for Republicans to keep the "status quo". IT NEEDS TO RESTORE AMERICA to what it was before Obama. IT NEEDS TO RESTORE AMERICA to what it was before Clinton. And yes, IT NEEDS TO RESTORE AMERICA to what it was before the two Bush's.

And that is just a start.

If the "status quo" isn't changed that just means that Obama wins.

Posted by: CnR on October 7, 2010 05:20 PM
8. Mexico Has Invaded/Sabotage The U.S Jobs Market & Economy and Increased Border Violence… Mexican government dose not stop their population when crossing South West U.S Borders. Help Legal U.S Citizens Liberate The U.S From Mexico's Government & Help End The Worlds Largest Illegal Immigrant Invasion Of Over 30 Million People…
A Plan For A Real “American Dream Act” Bill & Counter Attack To Save Legal U.S Citizen From Silent Invasion:

First bring back our soldiers from this Afghanistan war that is costly and going nowhere. Middle Eastern and Asians love to see us waste money and go broke fighting for freedom when they don’t really want it. This is their main weapon and we keep falling into their trap. Then we need to regroup military troops and military force to invade/overthrow Mexico’s government turning it into a U.S territory.
The new land will be used as an industrial/business commerce zone. U.S citizens will be able to by property and have a dual citizenship between U.S and Mexico. Mexico will keep its current currency and there current government will be demoted to local municipal law enforcement as long as they surrender to the U.S.
The U.S will be in full control of all laws, finances, local law enforcement, military and our “Secondary Army of Illegal Soldiers/Enforcers” in Mexico. The path to dual citizenship will require the illegal immigrants living in the U.S to serve in the U.S Secondary South Boarder Military for teen years… Along with completing the invasion/overthrow of Mexican government to expand U.S lands, business, and revive our economy. For Mexico citizen requesting to come to the U.S temporary worker programs and legal paths to citizenship & residence will be granted to those who qualify.
This action is to liberate Mexico from its corrupt government that is destroying it self and the U.S slowly. It is also a test for them to redeem them selves for us to see, how much heart they have, how patriotic they are, and much they love this country including us, laws in all.
This Government, past & present, Republican & Democrat, have allowed this invasion of 20 to 30 million illegal aliens of which is the largest invasion of any Nation, at any time, by any means and in direct violation of Article IV Section IV of the U.S Constitution. Our government has failed the most basic and primary task & duty of government, spelled out in our Constitution Article IV Section IV to protect this Nation and its Citizens from invasion and enforce its laws.
We need real change and action on this now!
Give Central, South & Caribbean Americans Rights Reside In Mexico To Work
U.S. Constitution - Article 4 Section 4 Text Copy
Article 4 - The States
Section 4 - Republican Government
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.
WARNING U.S.A NATIONAL EMERGENCY REACTIVATE ALL U.S MILITIA FORCES NOW
-CITE- Partial Text Copy
10 USC CHAPTER 13 - THE MILITIA
-STATUTE-

(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied
males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section
313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a
declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States
and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the
National Guard.

(b) The classes of the militia are -

(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard
and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of
the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the
Naval Militia.

Pass It On To Congress & The President!!!

Posted by: National Emergency on October 7, 2010 05:25 PM
9. So Koster might propose ending ethanol subsidies? It did not even seem like a firm commitment of that. Twice he was given questions where he could have shown a commitment to ending government programs and that is the best answer he can give?

Wow.

Posted by: Lysander on October 10, 2010 06:55 PM
10. Travis: Koster said explicitly that he would support ending ethanol subsidies, and your comment is the best reply you can give?

Wow.

Posted by: pudge on October 10, 2010 07:10 PM
11. He said we need to take a close look at them and elliminate the ones that do not make sense. It is kinda implied that the ethanol one is one he thinks does not make sesne but he left enough wiggle room to back out later and say he only meant that we should take a look at it and see if it makes sense.

Even if my interpretation is wrong, which it very well could be. My point is he was thrown what should be an ideal question for him to begin listing all the attrocious examples of government going beyond what it should and spending trillions. Instead he suggests ethanol subsidies? That does not even begin to balance his unequivical support to keep social security.

In other words he hardly makes one feel that government would shrink under his watch.

he obviously wants people to think otherwise but I am guessing most will see through it.

Posted by: Lysander on October 11, 2010 12:51 PM
12. Travis: He said we need to take a close look at them and elliminate the ones that do not make sense.

He said "we need to .. eliminate subsidies and 'corporate welfare' throughout the budget. And then as an "example" of such subsidies "we need to ... eliminate," he offered the ethanol subsidy. The language he used necessarily means that the ethanol subsidy is an example of a subsidy that should be eliminated.

This isn't hard. He said it. There's no wiggle room.

So typical. Even when someone says what you want to hear you twist it into something else and whine that it's not enough. One can only presume NO ONE is good enough for you, except for yourself. Thankfully, that will never happen.

Posted by: pudge on October 11, 2010 01:12 PM
13. Pudge:
You are changing the meaning by using '...'

The full quote is "We need to take a close look at all programs and agencies, and eliminate subsidies and corporate welfare throughout the budget"

The part in bold is the part you changed to '...' and is also the part that led me to think he was trying to keep wiggle room. Look, I may be wrong. But regardless of my interpretation my point that he seems to have whiffed when offered a softball question for a 'conservative' candidate.

Do you really think that ending ethanol subsidies cancels out his support for keeping social security?

Posted by: Lysander on October 11, 2010 02:15 PM
14. Travis: You are changing the meaning by using '...'

Incorrect.

Do you really think that ending ethanol subsidies cancels out his support for keeping social security?

There's nothing to cancel out. Your language implies there is a possible way, given existing realities, to NOT keep Social Security, which is a fantasy not worth considering.


he seems to have whiffed when offered a softball question for a 'conservative' candidate

Only in your tiny little mind.

Posted by: pudge on October 11, 2010 03:18 PM
15. Pudge:

People can read the words and interpret it for themselves. What do the rest of you think...

1. Is Pudge right? do the words in bold in my comment @13 not give Koster wiggle room?


2. Did Koster fail to impress anyone else in coming up with very little in terms of what he would cut despite being given lots of oppurtunity?

Thanks in advance to everyone for avoiding name calling and instead laying out reasons for your beliefs.

Posted by: Lysander on October 11, 2010 03:31 PM
16. Travis: making appeals to others when you can't make your own case is ... well, typical. It's a given that everyone can have their own opinion, and that if anyone is reading along and wants to support you, they can comment. Your prodding adds nothing to the discussion.

Posted by: pudge on October 11, 2010 03:52 PM
17. Pudge:
The actual words you chose to leave out when quoting Koster make my case. You obviously chose to disagree. It is upsetting to hear that even if others point out they interpret it differently from you as well you will appearantly still chose to pretend it is not so. I will however admit I am wrong if most people say that I am not interpreting things right.

As for the second point, my case is that I personally am not impressed. You are impressed. I think we both know we are not going to change each others mind on that. I am someone who is curious what others think. If you are not interested, I am sorry in advance if my appeal results in a clutter of comments on your thread that you are not interested in.

Posted by: Lysander on October 11, 2010 04:02 PM
18. Travis: The actual words you chose to leave out when quoting Koster make my case.

Obviously false.

It is upsetting to hear that even if others point out they interpret it differently from you as well you will appearantly still chose to pretend it is not so. I will however admit I am wrong if most people say that I am not interpreting things right.

People here regularly, all the time, tell you you're wrong, and you NEVER accept their judgment. Why start now? Not that you should ... it's idiotic to change your view merely because it's in the minority.


As for the second point, my case is that I personally am not impressed.

Exactly. It is very telling that even when he agrees with you it is not good enough.


I am someone who is curious what others think. If you are not interested ...

In your nonsense? Nope, not interested.

Posted by: pudge on October 11, 2010 04:13 PM
19. My view is that our government has grown severely past teh point of being a limited government. A guy who is asked how they would cut government only comes with one specific example of cutting ethanol subsidies and even then leaves wiggle room (in my eyes) to get out of that committment is hardly someone I agree with. Add to that, he commits to keep Social Security around and you have someone that is certainly not serious about reducing the size of government.

Go ahead and be amused that it is not good enough. I would suggest you might also learn from it. But it appears you will not learn until your candidate loses.

Posted by: Lysander on October 11, 2010 07:03 PM
20. Travis: A guy who is asked how they would cut government only comes with one specific example

And since you won't even believe the one he provides, it is impossible to see how providing more examples would have made a damned bit of difference to you. He explicitly stated what he would support cutting, and it's something you support cutting. And you still don't believe it only because you pathologically don't WANT to believe it.

I lifted the ban on you (and everyone else) temporarily so everyone could participate, but you're adding nothing, so you may comment no further. If I needed a reminder of why you are not allowed to comment on my posts -- I didn't -- you've amply provided it.

Posted by: pudge on October 11, 2010 07:28 PM
21. Go Pudge go!

Posted by: Cliff on October 12, 2010 07:45 PM
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