hal bidlack on the issues

  1. The Economy

    The American Dream, the ability for anyone to succeed through hard work, is based around the ability to take a risk, to take advantage of entrepreneurial spirit. Increasingly, the lack of a foundation prevents this vital energy from being harnessed. Instead of planning for the future, far too many hard working Americans worry about how to make ends meet from week to week. We must find solutions to the overwhelming burdens felt by so many. We should ensure that any American who is willing to work is able to find a job that pays enough to support a family.

    We must make sure oversight and regulation structures are effective in protecting the most endangered individuals from predatory practices. From Enron to our current home mortgage crisis, corporations have been allowed to persist in practices that endanger average Americans and the stability of the economy for their own profit. A middle ground can be found between complete deregulation and absolute government control.

    Global trade has great potential to benefit everyone, rich or poor, but too often the terms of trade are simply not fair. When China pays Intel to move manufacturing away from Colorado Springs, they are not participating in a free or fair system. American enterprise can benefit from expanding global trade, but we need to ensure that US companies are able to compete.

  2. Fiscal Responsibility

    Having the federal government spend more than it takes in on a yearly basis weakens our country and unfairly burdens our children, mortgaging their future. If “don’t spend more then you make” is a good rule for a family, surely it is an equally good rule for our government. We must exercise the full menu of responses to bring our fiscal behavior back under responsible management. Deficit and debt management is crucial to returning vigor and strength to our economy.

    We can be more responsible with our spending. Nothing will do more for fiscal responsibility than finding a reasonable end to the War in Iraq, and its huge allocation of resources. We must also address our inefficient health care system, which left unchanged, will continue to put a huge strain on both our national and personal budgets. We must also avoid saturating the budget in wasteful pet projects and bridges to nowhere. And corporate subsidies should be decreased. American business is at its strongest when individual companies are forced to rely on itself and not government largesse.

  3. Energy Independence and the Environment

    Everyone is feeling the burden of increasing gas prices and utility costs. Though it may be attractive to search for easy gimmicks to bring down the price of gas, the best long term way to lower gas prices is through decreasing demand. We must seek ways to loosen the grip that oil-rich countries have on America. We can do this by both developing new ways to produce energy and finding ways to use less energy in the first place.

    Colorado should stand at the center of innovation both in renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal as well as finding ways to utilize our stores of oil, gas and coal in a more environmentally aware manner. We must also consider the role nuclear energy can play in promoting energy independence and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. All of these approaches can combine to boost national security, promote a cleaner environment and strengthen the economy, especially in Colorado, by keeping our money inside the country rather than sending it to Saudi Arabia or Venezuela.

    In doing this, we must reject the false choice between a sound economy and a healthy environment. This choice is ignores the real costs of our current unsustainable activities, which are not borne by companies. The market can only succeed in addressing our problems if it is operating properly. This requires pricing the cost of carbon emissions through a carbon tax or cap and trade system and the removal of direct and indirect subsidies that provide inflated incentive to use gas.

  4. Foreign Policy

    President Bush dealt our national security a major blow when he made the mistake of diverting our attention from Afghanistan to Iraq. I was in the Pentagon on the morning of September 11, 2001. What I saw that day makes me personally outraged that we have not put the full force of the US military behind the task of finding, capturing, or killing Osama Bin Laden and defeating the real terrorists. While the US military has performed magnificently in Iraq, we are now stuck in the middle of a three sided civil war. The Iraqi government must make real progress toward peace, and soon.

    Iraq has shown the fallacy of thinking we can solve all of our problems on our own. Engaging with the international community is essential to our continued security. Following the advice of the Iraq Study Group, we must do more to involve all the groups and countries involved to create lasting stability in the Middle East. We must work more aggressively with Pakistan to clamp down on Al Queda and the Taliban. Only by continuing a dialogue with all involved parties can we hope to move towards our goals in foreign policy and increase our security.

  5. Veteran Care

    There is little that is more shameful than our failure to provide for our veterans. As a nation, we have made a sacred promise to those who put themselves in harm’s way. President Bush and Representative Lamborn have both broken that promise by failing to support returning combat veterans, retirees, and the military community in general. While we must reduce deficit spending, we must also honor our pledge to these American heroes and fully fund the care these brave warriors need, and we must do that now. These men and women did not hesitate to serve when America asked, and now we as Americans must not hesitate to stand with them in their time of need. We can do that by providing top quality medical care to treat the physical and emotional scars that come from serving in a time of war. We can do that by repaying their service with education so they can continue excel as civilians, just as they excelled while they were in uniform.

  6. Privacy/Civil Liberties

    Members of Congress take an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Too often of late the President and members of Congress have failed to uphold that promise. As a student of the Constitution, I am committed to restoring the government’s respect for privacy rights of all Americans. Unlike Rep. Lamborn, I support the Supreme Court’s ruling protecting constitutional rights for detainees. We must also oppose torture in all of its forms, because it is wrong, because it is ineffective, and because it puts our soldiers in greater peril abroad.

    Defending the Constitution means defending all of it. It means defending speech, even if one disagrees with it. It means defending one’s right to believe or to not believe in God. It means defending one’s right to bear arms, even if one is not inclined to own one. It means demanding warrants for searches of all types, including wiretaps. It means demanding due process, even for those who seek to do us harm. It also means maintaining a balance between the branches of government and reserving as much control as possible for the state governments.

  7. Immigration

    I do not support amnesty, period. A well-regulated “guest worker” program is part of the solution. I support letting each state, within an overall federal umbrella, propose guest worker programs that serve to advance the economic, security, environmental, and educational goals of the states. It is crucial that we maintain a secure border, but my experience as a military officer, and in particular my work as a military policeman, tells me that a fence can never be effective enough to truly stop illegal entry. Proper support for border guards, as well as aiding the states in securing their borders, is a better investment than a symbolic fence that does not really work.

  8. Health Care

    Health care is a major concern for many families. Health care costs are a leading cause of bankruptcy. The least we can do is make sure every child has tremendous care, as a healthy child tends to make a healthy adult. I propose that we provide families with a stipend for each child to cover a basic comprehensive health plan with an emphasis on prevention. We also need to address the rising number of individuals who have no insurance. When they end up in the emergency room, taxpayers end often end up with the tab. By working to allow all citizens access to preventative healthcare, we will ultimately save money that would have otherwise been spent on much more expensive emergency care.