Skimming my hometown newspaper today, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, I found this Q&A with Sen. George Allen and James Webb, dealing with domestic issues such as Social Security, federal deficits, making Bush’s tax cuts permanent, No Child Left Behind, illegal immigration, manned space flights to the moon (huh?), and various federal and state constitutional amendments. I won’t bore anyone, most of all myself, with a recap of each position. Neither candidate is one I’d happily support. I know I won’t support Sen. Allen, but I can’t believe the Virginia’s Democratic Party can’t do better than Webb. I can’t believe I have to vote for this if I want to cast a lesser-of-two-evils protest vote. On immigration, courtesy of James Webb:
I do not support guest-worker programs. I do not believe the myth of the tech-worker shortage. Our priority as a society should be to invest in and improve domestic technical and scientific education programs so that there are enough qualified job applicants available from the pool of domestic labor. Until our borders are secure, and the status of the 12 million illegal immigrants already in America is resolved, guest-worker programs are counterproductive.
If the tech-worker shortage is a myth, then why does society (i.e., the federal government) need to “invest” in domestic technical and scientific education programs? There are either enough qualified domestic applicants or there aren’t. You can’t deny the latter and propose a solution to correct it. This is what Republicans mean when they complain abouot Speaker Pelosi. It’s crap, because a vote for Democrats this year is a vote to have the hacks bicker with each other rather than continuing to increase spending and reduce civil liberties. But, good lord, this is why I am not a Democrat.
Of course, Sen. Allen’s answers were no better, as a whole. That didn’t stop the Times-Dispatch from announcing its predictable support for Sen. Allen. But, really, shouldn’t they at least use facts as support?
On taxes, Allen supports making the temporary federal tax cuts permanent, including repeal of the federal estate tax. He says: “I trust free people with free enterprise.” His opponent says we cannot have permanent tax cuts in time of war (meaning he would let the temporary tax cuts expire, thus raising taxes). And he is on record as favoring higher state taxes for transportation.
That’s his famous self-proclaimed “libertarian” streak, I presume. So, that explains his support for an increase in the federal minimum wage? And why he voted for the port security bill without trying to strip out the anti-free enterprise internet gambling ban? And what about this?
The most important institution in our society is the family. For the raising of children, the ideal is to have a mother and a father. I strongly believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman. In our representative democracy, the will and values of the people should be determined by the people or their elected legislatures, not activist judges who superimpose their elitist point of view legislating from the bench. I support passage of the Virginia definition of marriage to uphold the views of Virginians against activist judges. I’m a sponsor of a Federal Marriage Amendment.
And the rights of individuals should be protected by the Constitution. We can’t always get what we want, I guess. But wouldn’t civil marriage, which is a pre-defined contract blessed by the Commonwealth, be a form of free enterprise? Virginia’s proposed marriage amendment would adversely impact me, if interpreted as some believe it should be since we’re going for the whole “no judicial interpretation of something not mentioned by the words” thing?
Contrary to Sen. Allen’s belief, not all Virginians believe we’re in a cultural war with our judges. Okay, that’s not true, we are. But Sen. Allen’s side fired the first shots. That’s not the mark of a man who cares about free people, let alone free enterprise. I can do better than that with my vote, even if it’s James Webb.