David F. Nolan's positions on current issues
Debt and The Economy
America's economy is staggering under a crushing load of debt. Decades of debt-based cheap money, created out of nothing by the Federal Reserve banking system, resulted in producers and consumers alike making disastrous economic choices. Now, we are faced with a massive financial "hangover" - and the politicians of both the Democratic and Republican parties are trying to solve it by throwing around even more money.
The Federal Government's debt is now more than $13 trillion (a trillion is 1000 billion or 1,000,000,000,000). On top of that, the politicians have created unfunded obligations of approximately $70 trillion. This madness must stop! We must return to a sound money system where our currency is backed by something of value (gold or silver) and thus cannot be continuously inflated. This will result in temporary hardship for many people, but the alternative is national bankruptcy and the complete destruction of the U.S. Economy.
Immigration and Border Security
The United States has achieved greatness by being the land of opportunity, where people have come from around the world to build, explore, and make a better future for themselves and their families. We must never abandon our commitment to this dream, but we must also realize that not all who seek to come here have good intentions. As Americans, we expect our national government to keep us safe from criminals and terrorists, whether they are native to this country or cross our borders.
We need a sane and humane plan to keep America safe, while allowing honest people to enter our country. The idea of building a "Berlin Wall" along our borders is repugnant. It will cost untold billions, and may someday be used to keep Americans from fleeing domestic tyranny. Ronald Reagan, hardly a left-winger, supported a sensible guest worker program in the 1980s. A similar program can work in the 21st century. There must be adequate safeguards to deter terrorists and other criminals from entering the United States, but we must be extremely careful that misplaced zeal for immigration-control measures do not compromise the civil liberties of all Americans and provide a back door for a national ID program.
End the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
Our government's bipartisan policy of Empire Building has earned us immense hatred around the globe, and has contributed significantly to the massive debt that is crippling our economy. Absolute pacifism is not a reasonable option in an often-hostile world, but our present policy of military adventurism is insane. We should bring home all American troops from Iraq and Afghanistan as soon as that can be done without exposing them to greater harm than they currently face. America should return to the policy espoused by Thomas Jefferson -- "Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations - entangling alliances with none."
Taxes and Spending
The Federal Government is a bloated behemoth, and must be cut down to size. Federal spending must be cut by at least 50%, and preferably more. There must be no more bailouts of irresponsible bankers and politically connected corporations. Every effort must be made to learn exactly where all the TARP funds went, and to retrieve them. American taxpayers must not be "on the hook" for decades to come, just to reimburse irresponsible speculators for their bad decisions.
The Federal Personal Income Tax should be repealed. Congress should pass the proposed Liberty Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the few
Constitutionally authorized functions of the Federal Government should be funded by use fees, excise taxes, and corporate taxes.
Encourage free-market energy solutions
The innovations needed to meet modern society's need for energy through the 21st century and beyond cannot be determined in advance by self-important legislators and bureaucrats. As oil becomes scarcer, scientists, engineers, and businessmen must be free to pursue development and implementation of new technologies such as biofuels, solar power, and pebble-bed nuclear reactors without any option being hindered by pointless restrictions or favored over others through government subsidy.
To help the market continue to meet America's energy needs and to reduce the dependence on Middle East oil which causes our foreign policy to be distorted and shortsighted, we must encourage development of oil and natural gas in North America. We can and should remove the bureaucratic obstacles to construction of new oil refineries and clean, safe, modern nuclear power plants, end tax-funded subsidies to big oil and agribusiness, and increase tax credits for solar power.
Restore Our Civil Liberties now!
Everywhere you turn, there are more restrictions on our liberty and intrusions into our lives. The Bush and Obama administrations have eroded our privacy and civil liberties on an unprecedented scale. Warrantless searches, no-knock-raids, phone taps and secret databases are the tools of a police state,
and should not be tolerated in a free society. Especially odious is the proposed "Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010" (S. 3081) proposed by Sen. John McCain, which would allow the arrest and indefinite detention of American citizens without any reason being given! This proposal alone makes it imperative that John McCain be defeated in his re-election bid.
Protect Our Right to Self-Defense
Every human being has the right to defend himself or herself against aggressive acts by others - whether those others are common criminals or despotic governments. This right means little, however, unless we also have the ability to enforce it. For this reason, I strongly support our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms, as guaranteed by the Second Amendment, and endorse the efforts of the Second Amendment Foundation and the Gun Owners of America to protect our rights in this crucial area.
End the "War on Drugs"
Drug prohibition has been an outright policy failure. U.S. federal, state, and local governments have spent hundreds of billions of dollars trying to make America "drug free." Police powers have expanded and the courts have created virtual "drug exceptions" to the Bill of Rights, yet heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, and other drugs of abuse continue to be available.
Just as alcohol prohibition brought about a golden age for racketeers like Al Capone, the black market created by drug prohibition provides the revenue source which allows street gangs and smuggling cartels to exist.
High prices drive addicts to criminal lifestyles. Prohibition turns all users into abusers, amplifies the harms of drug abuse and adds new ones of its own. We send young people-disproportionately poor or from ethnic minorities - to prison for committing victimless drug crimes and in the process create bitter, hardened criminals.
While drug abuse is bad, the drug war is far worse. As your Senator, David Nolan will do everything he can to end this vicious, destructive war on public safety and our Constitutional rights!
Make Congress Read the Bills They Pass
Many of the laws passed by Congress are pushed through without most members even reading what they are voting on. Often, they receive only a summary of a bill before it comes up for a vote - and sometimes, not even that. As a result, bills are often passed with language inserted by special interests, or granting new powers to government agencies, without anyone really being aware of what the legislation contains! This must stop. I support the proposed "Read the Read the Bills Act," which would require members of Congress to actually read or be present at a reading of every bill before they vote on it is now being considered.