Russell Madden
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It Mattered
Russell Madden
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Hardcover, $34.95
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Cedar Rapids Gazette 2000

Congressional Questionnaire


(Questions are condensed from originals.)

Prescription drugs for seniors?

1. Congress is well on its way to ruining our health care system. While country after country is experiencing the horrors of socialized medicine and grasping for an exit from the morass they created for themselves, our own government appears bent on leading us down that same path of destruction. Government interference in the form of insurance mandates, subsidized health care, regulation and rationing of services and prices, and denial of individual choice and responsibility have been used as excuses for even more controls that simply restrict options and boost prices. Government needs to get out of health care, not become even more intrusive.

Partial-birth Abortion?

2. Abortion is an issue that should primarily concern a woman, her husband, and her doctor. This is especially true during the first two trimesters of pregnancy. The issue is not whether a fetus is living; it is. It is not whether it is human; it is. The deciding issue is whether or not the developing being is a person deserving of rights and thus government protection. The last trimester is open to discussion on this point. In any event, a mother's actual life always takes precedence over the potential life of her fetus. The former must not be sacrificed for the latter.

Government and Education?

3. The government has exactly zero Constitutional authority and zero moral right to interfere in education. Government has no right to regulate ideas as it does in our schools. Parents should decide for themselves the kind of schools appropriate for their children. That is their responsibility. They are also solely responsible for paying for that education. They chose to have children. Child-free adults should not have their wealth confiscated via taxes and transferred to others. Open competition is best for educational services as it is for each and every other service in a free enterprise society. Complete separation of government and schools is proper.

Social Security System?

4. Retirement plans should be left entirely to individuals. They should decide for themselves what to do with their money. Social security robs those most in need of money. At best, there is a 1-2% "return." Private accounts would allow even low-income people to retire millionaires and have money to pass on to their children. There is zero money in social security. Social security is nothing but a Ponzi scheme. If private companies spent all the retirement money they collected, they would be in jail for fraud. Country after country has moved towards privatization in this realm. We need to do so immediately.

Government and Farmers?

5. Farmers should be treated as any other business owners. Government subsidies lead to massive surpluses and depressed prices for farmers. Simultaneously, the money paid to farmers not to farm and the cartels and monopolies and import quotas created by government raise prices for consumers. People could afford more and better food if government ceased interfering in farming. Plus, most financial benefits of federal programs go to the bigger, corporate farms. Free competition and supply and demand are the best ways to stabilize agricultural problems. No particular occupation deserves special treatment at others' expense. All should be treated equally under the law.

Income Taxes?

6. Our country survived and prospered for over one-hundred-thirty years before the income tax was imposed in 1913. Income taxes -- especially "progressive" taxes -- penalize success and dull the motivation of our most productive citizens. Taxes at all levels of government take over half of your income. Your money belongs to you. It does not belong to your neighbor or to me and most definitely not to some bureaucrat or politician. Income taxes should be eliminated along with the intrusive controls of the IRS. Any system that threatens prison and financial ruination is not voluntary. Taxes should be decreased to zero as quickly as possible.

Challengers' Results for Voters?

8. This question presumes that the purpose of government is to take as much money as possible from one group of people and transfer it to one's own constituents. Taking my neighbor's money or property without his consent for my own use is theft. Hiring someone to take it would be just as wrong. This fact is not altered simply because we elect someone to force others to give us part of their wealth. I would work to restore everyone's freedom to live their lives as they choose. Persuasion -- not force -- is the only moral way to get what you want from another person.

State of the Military?

9. The military should exist solely to work for the defense of our country. We should not be the policemen of the world. Our young soldiers should not die for citizens of other country's who have no conception of what a free society entails. Our military should not be used as social workers. That is not their purpose. Let individual countries defend themselves. Most assuredly, our soldiers should not be pawns in every new intrusion expedition launched by the United Nations. The people in the military should be paid appropriately. More important, however, they should be treated with respect.


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