Guess who's got my vote?
Describe briefly your vision for the nation’s energy future and the region’s. What new energy sources should the federal government promote/subsidize? Do you believe it’s possible for the U.S. to wean itself from fossil fuels? Regarding the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, what steps, if any, would you support to hold BP accountable, repair the environmental and economic damage in the region, and strengthen federal spill prevention rules?
Answers by David W. Hedrick, Republican
Any nation that lacks the ability or political will to provide for the energy needs of its own people is a nation that will find itself at the mercy of foreign governments.
The U.S. has a tremendous amount of untapped oil, coal and natural gas resources as well as the potential for the use of safe nuclear power. New discoveries of plentiful supplies of energy providing fossil fuels and minerals are being found at an accelerated pace. By some estimates, the U.S. has more unused natural resources capable of producing energy than any other nation in the world, and larger quantities of oil than even the Middle East.
For our country to wean itself off foreign supplies of energy, we must increase the use of resources found right here at home. Burdensome government regulations based on phony science has prevented our nation from achieving energy independence for far too long. As a Congressman, I will fully support an energy plan that greatly eliminates restrictions on U.S. energy exploration and production.
Companies, including energy companies, have an obligation to pay for damages in the event that they injure or damage a third party. These damages should be determined and assessed in a court of law, in the light of day and not in back-room meetings at the White house where unlawful pressure is put on leaders of companies to conform with political agendas. In the specific case of BP, they have the responsibility to cover any and all damages caused by their corporation permitted under law.
What is your plan to protect American consumers from a recurrence of the abuses committed by Wall Street investment banks that led to the Great Recession? Do you favor reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act or something similar?
I find this question to have an inherent bias. Wall Street did not cause our recent economic problems. These problems were caused by our Federal government whose regulations and subsequent actions created an environment where risky investments were encouraged and often rewarded.
Politicians within our government are well known for this kind of circular strategy that increases the size and scope of government at the expense of individuals and small businesses. First, they create a problem through excessive government regulation and then, attempt to solve the problem with yet more government regulation causing an even larger problem.
To end excessive risk-taking in the markets, companies must be allowed to succeed or fail based on their own merit. The recent string of government bailouts where government chooses winners and losers at the expense of the American taxpayer must stop. This only serves to encourage the next round of poor decisions by business leaders who make the judgment that there is no risk for poor decisions.
I agree with Ronald Reagan. Government is not the solution to the problem. Government is the problem.
As a member of Congress, how would you work with other House members, the Obama administration and Washington state leaders to help small businesses and create jobs in Southwest Washington? Please be specific.
I disagree with the premise of this question. It has never been the prerogative, obligation nor expertise of House members, the Obama administration or Washington state leaders to create jobs. The majority of those in government, including the Obama administration and even Obama himself, have little if any experience in the private sector. I find it absurd that a President, who has never spent a day of his privileged life working in the private sector, would arrogantly assume that he has any understanding of the job creation process. Government officials have proven time and time again, that the only thing they can grow is the size of government.
I agree with one of our great founding fathers, Mr. Thomas Paine. Government, in its best state, is but a necessary evil, and in its worse, an intolerable one. When government makes any attempt to “help small businesses” or “create jobs,” the wisdom of Pain’s words becomes transparently clear.
To create jobs in this nation, we must unshackle our citizens and our businesses from the intolerable chains of government control and free private industry, small businesses and entrepreneurs to peruse their own ambitions.
Government’s proper role is not as a creator of progress, but rather a silent witness to the affairs of its citizens and an impartial guardian of the rule of law.