This morning I had the opportunity to celebrate mass at my home parish with Bishop Wall as the celebrant. Sacred Heart Catholic School is celebrating 100 years educating leaders in the Farmington community. I enjoyed seeing my daughters. God, Family, Country. Yesterday, their annual Harvest Festival fundraiser occurred which successfully allows for the tuition to remain affordable at approximately $ 2,500 per year per child. Compare that with the cost of public education in our nation, or in New Mexico where costs approach $ 10,000 per year per child.
We should not fear competition in the private sector. When parents choose to send their children to a private school, it frees resources and reduces the class size for those who remain in the public school. Public schools have been shown to excel where vouchers have been implemented. In New Mexico, vouchers are a tough sell, but a tax credit should offend no one, not even the power teacher’s union. I attended public schools my entire life. The difference that I have seen is with the expectation level that parents and teachers now place on performance because of mandatory testing.
I believe in empowering parents to make the best decisions for our children’s education. The Federal Government has performed poorly in its attempts at improving education. I believe we must return educational power and choice to New Mexico and our local communities.
Tom recently toured Ellis Island in New York harbor, the immigration gateway for many in our nation’s history. The Statue of Liberty remains a beacon of hope to citizens around the world. Tom encourages everyone to tour this museum and learn about our diverse culture. The American dream can still be realized through hard work, determination, and persistence. If you are here illegally, you must come into the legal light of day. We have numerous laws that are not enforced and New Mexicans demand better from our Federal government regarding enforcement.
Legal immigration, with proper medical screening and documentation, is one of America’s best assets toward a bright future. Tom does not agree with amnesty, and believes we need to have illegal immigrants pay both a financial penalty as well as time penalty for breaking our laws.
The federal system utilized to check upon worker immigration status is handicapped by political correctness. Private industry has demonstrated accurate and cost effective administration of drug testing policies, so immigration status verification is clearly possible, without infringing upon citizen rights. Tom believes the policy of bestowing citizenship upon the children of illegal immigrants warrants discussion in the public square. The anchor baby philosophy encourages additional illegal immigration; while legal immigrants’ children should receive US Citizenship, we must question the generous award of citizenship to those who break our laws.
Tom is a proponent of legal immigration. If you follow the rules, you should be able to obtain US citizenship. We must remain compassionate to the plight of immigrants, who are seeking that shining city upon a hill.
One of the constitutional duties of the President is to be commander-in-chief. The government’s constitutional responsibility is to protect its citizens from threats both foreign and domestic. On September 11, 2001, our nation was attacked by radical Islamic terrorists. On September 12th, Americans had a different view of the world. President Bush rightly labeled the Axis of Evil to include Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. We will continue to deal with these countries and their surrogates in the future.
Tom believes that we must aggressively defend our freedom. Our soldiers and their leaders do a fine job under difficult circumstances. We must supply them with needed munitions. Tom understands that the battle will be fought somewhere, and it must end in victory. There are many definitions of victory, all of which require the expenditure of blood and treasure. We will pay the price for our Freedom, and we should support those around the world who clamor for their freedom.
Today, we have a volunteer military that is professional and under great stress. In Korea and Vietnam, America had a conscripted military. The American public has little stomach for prolonged conflict and nation-building is not the role for our military. If we are nation-building, then politicians owe it to the American people to say just that and suffer the political consequences.
Going forward from today. We must leave Iraq to its own people, Sunni, Shia, and Kurd, to govern and secure. The sooner we can remove our troops the better. Commanders in Iraq recognize this and we are leaving. We must assist the Afghan people in creating security, but we cannot do this with our military alone. We have assisted Afghanistan for more than eight years militarily, without a political solution. We must support our commander’s decisions on the ground in their request for resources. If we deny their requests, we must understand that the objectives will not be achieved. All actions have consequences. A frank public discussion of the potential consequences of troop removal from Afghanistan should occur.
Tom does not believe the United States should be the world’s policeman. Nor should we attempt to occupy land and build an empire. Tom believes that we need to let other nations take the lead and focus upon our domestic security. The nuclear threat from both North Korea and Iran will affect America in the coming years.
The United Nations is an ineffectual body that survives upon the largesse of the American people, while simultaneously criticizing our values. We must support our friends and affect our enemies economically. We cannot let our guard down and we should not apologize to our enemies. We must proactively engage terrorists on their soil before they attack us. We must take them at their word that they wish to destroy our way of life and our freedoms. We cannot waver in defense of Liberty. Please keep our soldiers and their families in your thoughts and prayers.
Tom is a pro-life Catholic conservative. The Constitution protects life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. How can our government condone murder?
The United States has the finest health care in the world. Our nation’s wealth has allowed us to be innovative and develop miraculous life saving techniques, replacing worn out body parts, and fighting (even winning) the battle against cancer in some of its many forms.
We must recognize that there is a difference between Health Care and Health Insurance. The heated discussion today boils down to how we individually and as a society pay for care. The argument includes wondering what standard of care should be provided to those who cannot afford to pay, and how the majority of Americans should pay for care. Of those without insurance, some choose not to have it, while others are restricted by financial circumstance or position.
Despite the debates, one thing is clear: government-run health care is not the solution. New Mexicans who rely upon Indian Health Service and Veterans Health Administration entirely can testify to that. We are a compassionate society and we must remain so. Government mandates toward private insurance providers will effectively raise the cost of care and limit the accessibility of insurance. A government bureaucrat must not be allowed to determine how your personal care is to be administered; this is you and your doctor’s role.
We must recognize that when politicians use the term Public Option the funds will inevitable come from the taxpayer. There is no level playing field where a private company can compete with a government who sets the rules and requirements and does not have to make a profit. The government will merely raise your taxes if there is a shortfall.
Tom believes that improvements can continue to be made regarding Health Insurance options. Specifically, Tom would like to ensure individual ownership and portability of insurance rather than having insurance options tied to a particular employer.
Private businesses that sustain losses will soon be out of business, but new businesses will arise to provide care/insurance. If there is no profit motive, there will be no business and this will result in rationing of care and higher costs for everyone.
Cap & Trade
This is clearly the largest tax increase and attempt at control of our lifestyle in our nation’s history. Don’t be fooled by the harmonizing names of Green House Gases, Global Warming, or Climate Change. Our health, wealth, and future security are dependent upon affordable carbon. Carbon is organic. Carbon is life. Our standard of living is directly related to the level of our carbon use. Control of your use of energy by government dictate is clearly unconstitutional.
Stimulus Bills and Bailouts
We’ve all seen the advertisements: “No Job, No Credit, No Problem.” In reality, there is a big problem with this kind of attitude. Simply put, bailouts should not occur.
The Economy and Jobs
New Mexicans are worried about their jobs and their family’s economic security. These are challenging times. Tom recognizes that New Mexicans would rather have a job than a subsistence check from a bureaucrat. Good high-paying jobs in the private sector allow for tax revenues to fund needed government operations. Simply put, private industry jobs allow for public sector jobs to exist.
Tom believes that the American economy will continue to grow once the taxation, regulatory burden, and federal involvement in our daily lives is reduced. It is difficult to understand the complex interactions of the global economy, but simple common sense financial principles can accelerate our recovery.
First, don’t spend money you do not have. Second, property or land is the key to our nation’s wealth and everyone should focus on improving the value of the assets they do own. Third, save and prepare for a rainy day or difficult time. Do not depend upon government to rescue you. New Mexicans understand that family values and relationships bring security, not a government bureaucrat. The privileges granted by government can disappear tomorrow.
Remember that the talking heads and politicians are frequently wrong. The American economy has grown for more than two-hundred-twenty-two years through difficult times and it will continue to grow if our federal government will allow it. Tom will be listening to your economic concerns as he travels the district.
Tom supports the 2nd Amendment and has been an NRA member for nearly 10 years. He supports the right of all law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. We the people are the security against both foreign and domestic tyranny. Tom believes we have an obligation to defend ourselves and our community from aggressors.
Firearms are of little value if access to ammunition is restricted. Tom will protect law-abiding citizens’ access to affordable munitions and will not support any taxation levied upon this industry.
Tom designed and acted as general contractor during the construction of his home in Farmington, which incorporates passive solar design. He supports conservation and net metering provisions and encourages all home owners to install photovoltaic solar power. Tom believes it is more cost effective and appropriate to utilize homeowner’s roofs for both solar thermal and solar electric installations.
Tom does recognize that we cannot conserve our way to prosperity as our population grows. Our per capita ‘carbon-footprint’ may go down, but collectively our energy usage will rise. Affordable abundant energy is required for New Mexico’s future.
Tom believes that our nation’s wealth has allowed us to continue to improve our environment. Our air and water resources are cleaner today than 30 years ago. Tom will work to modernize our Federal environmental regulations to reduce interest group litigation and allow for common sense economic development. Environmental regulations must be balanced with realistic economic analysis to ensure that wealth creating business is not driven to China or other foreign lands.
Tom believes that the timber industry in New Mexico is staged for growth in the coming years. We must allow for common sense logging operations upon state and federal lands in New Mexico. Environmental policies have created the overgrowth situation which has resulted in catastrophic forest fires. We can actively manage our forests and have high paying jobs in rural New Mexico in this industry.