Questions and responses from Jonathan D. Ellis, Vice-Presidential Nominee, America's Party:
1. Wasn't the assassination of the U.S. Ambassador in Libya a massive intelligence failure?
Was it appropriate for Romney to criticize President Obama during Libya crisis?
The assassination of Ambassador Stephens was a tragedy and a national disgrace. The debacle in Libya clearly demonstrates the result of the “soft power” foreign policy and negligence of the Obama administration. And Obama’s lack of a response is a clear invitation for our enemies to attack us elsewhere in the world, without fear of any military or other repercussions from the U.S., whatsoever. What happened in Libya was the instigation of a state of war. By refusing to engage our enemies, even when they attack us, Obama is projecting weakness, and an inability, under our current representation, to protect American interests, or even American citizens, abroad. It is disgraceful.
The primary role of government is to protect the lives, liberty, and property of its citizens. The current administration is utterly failing--not even trying--to do that. The Obama foreign policy is putting us all in jeopardy. Our enemies need to know that our foreign policy is a threat to them, if they would dare to violate the rights of American citizens. Currently, our foreign policy is a threat to us; and our enemies know that.
2. How effective would a military strike against Iran be? What's worse: another war in the Middle East or a nuclear-armed Iran?
Iran has to be stopped from developing nuclear weapons. When a foreign power says they want to destroy us, we need to take them seriously. Iran does not want nuclear weapons for defense purposes--they want to use them against the U.S., and against our allies in the Middle East. We cannot let that happen.
However, under rules of engagement similar to those currently in operation in other actions in the Middle East, a strike against Iran could not be effective. If we send troops to Iran, we need to let them do their jobs. We are wasting military resources, and more importantly, putting the lives of our American soldiers in far greater danger than necessary, when we send them abroad only to prohibit them from doing what they were sent to do. Our forces must be allowed to accomplish their objectives, and to defend themselves in the process. Again, the “soft power” policies of the Obama administration are literally killing us. Americans are dying because of the ineptitude and weakness of our current representation. Iran has to be stopped; and the men and women whom we send to do the job must be free to do it.
3. Can you get unemployment below 6% and how long will it take?
There are three things that we must do in order to get unemployment under control. First, we have to close the borders. There are millions of illegals here, taking jobs from American citizens. We need to close the borders to illegal immigrants; and we need to stop rewarding those who are already here. We need to remove the incentives for them to cross our borders, or to stay here illegally. This alone would open up millions of jobs for American citizens.
Second, we must cut taxes and spending. New jobs are not being created, because this economy is stifling business. Small business owners are not able to expand; and entrepreneurs are not able to start new businesses. It is small business in a free market that produces jobs. We need to remove the heavy tax burden that is keeping private businesses from hiring.
And third, we need to remember that it is not a legitimate function of government to create jobs. We need to stop interfering and regulating, get out of the way, and let American businesses grow. If the government will simply do its job of protecting our territory from illegal immigration, and protecting our people’s assets from overtaxation, then unemployment will take care of itself.
4. Will benefits for Americans have to change for Medicare and Social Security to survive?
Medicare and Social Security cannot survive. They are socialist programs. And as Margaret Thatcher famously said, the problem with socialism is that, eventually, you run out of other people’s money. Aside from being unsustainable, Social Security and Medicare are also without Constitutional authority, and should never have been enacted. We need to end these programs, and return to personal responsibility for our own retirement and our own health care, and to the freedom to keep, save, and invest our own money.
Mr. Hoefling and I do not claim to have all the answers on exactly how to end these programs. But Tom has already announced his intention to convene what he is calling an “Economic Manhattan Project.” It would be one of his top priorities to get as many of the best economic minds as possible--people like Alan Keyes, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Norm Kurland--into one room to work on the best way to end programs that are unconstitutional and unsustainable, but upon which millions of Americans have become dependent.
But we do know that Social Security and Medicare must end. This is not just our policy, but a logical and economic reality. American citizens are paying in more on the front end, only to receive fewer benefits at a later age at retirement. And there is no way to turn that around--that is simply the nature of socialism. There was no Constitutional authority to initiate these programs in the first place; and no reason to think that they would work. History shows that socialism never works, and is showing that American socialism in the form of Social Security and Medicare are no exceptions. These programs are bankrupt; and they will eventually bankrupt our citizenry, if we continue trying to prop them up on the backs of the taxpayer. The sooner we can end them, the better it will be for America’s economic stability and prosperity.
5. If your ticket is elected, who will pay more in taxes, who will pay less?
We believe that every taxpayer should be equal before the law. We will continue working toward fundamental tax reform and the elimination of the income tax, and seek to replace it with a national retail sales tax, such as the Fair Tax. Under that system, every citizen will have the power to give themselves a tax cut, simply by controlling their spending. The current system taxes income, which punishes productivity and hard work. (Couple that with an array of entitlement programs, which reward apathy, laziness, and personal fiscal irresponsibility, and you have a recipe for ensuring that the American people become more dependent on government, less willing or able to provide for themselves, and increasingly less productive. Our economy cannot survive that forever.) Instead of punishing productivity by taxing income, we need to tax spending, which would encourage thrift and investment, instead of consumption. We must give the American people back the first use of every dollar, rather than perpetuating a slavish system under which government claims an increasingly large share of the taxpayers hard-earned check.
A retail sales tax will also be much simpler, and will no longer require volumes of tax code, armies of IRS agents, or hours spent by American citizens itemizing deductions and trying to understand the tax implications of their investments. A percentage will simply be added to the total on all retail transactions, at the point of sale, so that, politically, all the taxpayer will have to focus on is that percentage, which will be plainly visible, at the bottom of every retail receipt. It will be an equal percentage for every American, so that there are no more tax cuts or increases for the rich, the poor, or the middle class--only one rate for all. This creates one unified tax base, all telling their representatives the same thing: “Keep the rate low.”
6. Why not leave Afghanistan now?
What more can the U.S. really accomplish?
What conditions could justify U.S. troops staying in Afghanistan?
What was the military reason for bringing surge troops home from Afghanistan?
I believe an American military presence is justified anywhere radical Islam threatens us or our allies. Unchecked Islamic terrorism is a direct threat to American freedom and American lives. We have largely brought that threat under control in Afghanistan. But this is a threat that is not contained within national borders. It will re-establish itself wherever it can, especially in the Middle East. A continued U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, if deemed necessary, can help ensure that radical Islam does not regain a foothold there.
7. The U.S. assisted rebels in Libya; why doesn't the same logic apply to Syria?
What happens if Assad does not fall in Syria?
What is your criteria for intervention in Syria?
Any U.S. assistance provided to a Syrian faction could eventually be turned against us or our allies. U.S. intervention in any country should, of course, be avoided if possible. But our first priority is to protect American lives and freedom, both at home and abroad, and to protect our interests, and our friends and allies.
8. What role has your religion played on your personal views of Abortion?
If the Romney-Ryan [Hoefling-Ellis] ticket is elected, should those who believe abortion should be legal be worried?
The word of God tells me that life begins at conception, and that hands that shed innocent blood are an abomination before the Lord. Science, which is simply man’s attempt to better understand the physical laws set in place by the same God Who reveals Himself to us in His written word, undeniably confirms that a new and unique human life is created at the point of fertilization.
Although God and His word are the ultimate authority and law on this, we are blessed in America, to have been Founded by men who understood these principles, and incorporated them into our Founding documents. The Declaration--our national charter--is based on the premise that all men are Created equal, and endowed by our Creator with an unalienable right to life. If life begins at fertilization, then the unborn are human persons, intrinsically endowed with the same inherent worth, dignity, and rights as all other human persons. And if those rights are given by God, then only God has the right to take them away. It is not in our authority to create laws, regulations, or conditions upon which the right to life will be either acknowledged or ignored. An unalienable right to life cannot be denied by human courts, or by a “democratic process” at either the federal or state level.
Like the Declaration, our Constitution also contains protections for the unborn. In fact, the crowning purpose of that Document is to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to…our Posterity”, which quite obviously precludes murdering them in the womb. The Fifth Amendment, too, is very clear: “No person shall be…deprived of life…without due process of law.” The Fourteenth Amendment further clarifies that abortion is not an issue for the states to decide: “…nor shall any State deprive any person of life…without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” If the states are required to provide equal protection, then Constitutionally, it is just as illegal, and just as punishable to murder an unborn person as to murder any other person. The states are Constitutionally obligated to provide that level of protection.
This is all part of a Document that Mr. Hoefling and I would be required to take an oath to defend. We would take that oath very seriously, as a solemn obligation before God and the American people.
9. Closing Statement.
Thank you to Examiner.com for publishing my answers to these questions, and to their readers for taking the time to consider them.
We, the American people, must reject dependence on a money- and major-media-driven political process, and remember that elections are meant to represent us--not the political parties or the corrupting influence of wealth. In the age of the internet, we need not rely on biased and exclusive media outlets for our election coverage, when there are thousands of citizen news sites and blogs willing to give a fuller picture. We must change the way we do politics, putting the power back in the hands of the people, where it belongs.
We must stop giving our votes to people who do not represent us, simply because the major media and major parties tell us that we have no other choice. Such coercion and manipulation is un-American--it is Soviet-style politics, in which we are free to vote for anyone, as long as our choice has the approval of a cadre of elites. We will never have a representative government as long as we lack the simple faith and courage to vote our convictions.
We must refocus on an understanding that Almighty God is the Disposer of nations, and that America cannot be blessed by His generous hand while we continue to flaunt His will. He has told us what makes nations great, and what makes nations fall. America was Founded on those principles, and prospered as long as we remembered them. As we have forgotten them, we have paid the price. Our only hope for saving America is to remember them once again.
God’s institution of government can be what it was intended to be, only when His other institutions of the church and the family are what they ought to be. We must protect religious liberty, and the traditional family. Killing our children through abortion; ripping apart the two-parent home through homosexuality, divorce, and pornography; and otherwise marring God’s design for the family have proven destructive to America, and must be opposed if we are to maintain our place in the world.
If you agree with the principles defended in these answers, please consider Tom Hoefling for President. Visit the following websites, or look us up on facebook, for more information. Thank you.