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I believe in America!

Oregon Senator Doug Whitsett, R-Klamath Falls District 28, 10/24/12

I believe in America!

I believe in the American free market economy. In fact, our nation was established on the principles of the free market. It is indeed what has made the United States exceptional and what has sustained the our nation for more than two hundred twenty five years. In my opinion, a great deal of what is wrong with our country today can be traced to our governments’ attempts to control and regulate our free market economy.

I believe in American capitalism! Our ability to fairly, openly, and freely compete is what makes the free market economy prosper.

Our government does not owe success to anyone. However, it does have the obligation to provide its citizens the opportunity to succeed in business, as well as the opportunity to fail.

However, it is certainly not the role of government to determine the success or failure of a business. That success or failure must be driven by the free choice of the consuming public.

No government should be allowed to pick business winners and losers. It is not government’s role to favor one business over another by skewing the playing field through the selective application of tax deductions, tax credits, guaranteed loans or accelerated depreciation. Neither is it government’s role to influence the development of business and industry through the application of punishing regulatory burdens, punitive fees or retaliatory fines.

Moreover, it is not governments’ role to encourage consumers to pick the products of one manufacturer over the products of another. And it is certainly not the role of government to dictate what product, or how much of a product, its citizens should purchase and use. Governments’ only regulatory role in a capitalist free market economy should be limited to insuring that competition is fair. No more-no less.

I believe in the American Constitution! The Constitution is really an agreement, or covenant, between our government and our citizens. It is a covenant wherein the people grant limited authority to their government to control their lives. That authority is limited to preserving civilization, supplying services necessary for the common good, providing for the national defense and maintaining a fair and equitable system of justice.

The founders worked long and hard to craft a document that would insure that the United States government would never exceed the authorities granted to it by the people. Their system of checks and balances was carefully designed to maintain the ultimate power to the people that consent to be governed

The first ten amendments specifically spell out certain rights and privileges that are retained by the people. But those are not the only rights that are preserved. The Constitution clearly states that government authority is limited to only those powers specifically conferred to it by the people. All other rights and privileges are retained by the states and by their citizens.

Every legislator is required to swear, by oath or affirmation, to defend and uphold that Constitution. I believe that the primary obligation of every legislator is to determine whether the constitution confers the authority to enact a law, administrative rule, or regulation. It is our first duty to vigorously oppose any law, rule or regulation where that specific constitutional authority cannot be cited.

Unfortunately, the last few generations of Americans have not done a very good job of controlling government growth and power. We have allowed ourselves to become complacent during several decades of relative prosperity. We have failed to teach our children either how our government works or the critical importance of those Constitutional limits.

Meanwhile, our governments have succeeded in incrementally eroding away our Constitutional guaranteed rights, privileges, and freedoms.

Government has intruded into virtually every facet of our once proud and productive free market economy. That intrusion is regulating several of our natural resource industries virtually out of existence. Many of our manufacturers have been forced to move their businesses over-seas as the direct result of labor, consumer and environmental regulations.

We have allowed our constitutionally protected property rights to be redefined. Governments, now limit what we can and cannot do on our own property. Even more onerous, our government now tells us what we must do on our own land.

We have allowed our right to freedom of speech to deteriorate to generally include language that our political elite consider to be correct and acceptable. Free expression has been displaced with the concept of creating social justice and our political elite are determined to define what is just.

Our Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. Separation of church and state is imperative to a free people. That is undeniably demonstrated by the chaos and persecution rampant in many of the Muslim controlled countries today.

Governments must not be allowed to impose their selected religious beliefs on their citizens. But that does not mean that free people should not be permitted to express their religious beliefs whenever and wherever they choose.

Finally, the right to own and bear arms is the bedrock of the foundation of a free society. That right is under siege in the United States. Our citizens’ response to that dire threat is encouraging. The current rate of purchase of firearms and ammunition is unprecedented.

Freedom has never endured in any nation where its citizens have given up the right to own firearms. If we the people fail to draw a line in the sand on this critical issue we surely will lose the ability to protect any of our other constitutionally guaranteed rights and privileges. Like most Americans, I believe in and love this great nation.

I believe that this election is the most critical in the history of our state and nation. It is past time for we the people to stand up and take back control of our governments. It is past time that we the people demand that governments be once again constrained by their constitutional limits of authority.

Our governments have always been directed by the vote of their people. This time, apathy and indecision are not an option. The future of our state and nation, as we know them, are at stake.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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