America faces a crossroads, and the choices we make today will be the difference between our future success or failure. Success, in my opinion, is measured by having the world’s highest standard of living, and we currently do not enjoy that standing. Our success in this realm should be gauged by whether it reaches our entire population, and this serves as a lofty yet attainable goal.
The path to achieving this goal only will be followed by leaders in government willing to legislate with character, honesty, integrity and a willingness to treat all Americans with equality. Legislation that benefits everyone and favors no one sorely is needed. This philosophy drives my campaign and desire to help America live up to our potential and promise.
Congressional leadership is an honor. I take this responsibility seriously and think that my background as an electrical engineer and Stanford University Fellow provides a unique set of problem-solving and managerial skills that can help lead America into a renewed and sustainable period of prosperity and peace.
The first step in problem solving is to define the problems. The list of problems facing our country is extensive, and I focus here on what I feel are the most pressing issues. The federal debt and lack of spending control, the inability of Congress to manage the federal government and our current “war mentality” are major issues that I feel must be addressed in order to move our country forward.
The federal debt has reached $16 trillion and is climbing at an alarming rate. Add in the future costs associated with entitlement programs, and the total is estimated to be more than $100 trillion and as high as $200 trillion. Our debt-to-gross domestic product ratio is approaching the levels of other countries that have experienced bankruptcy and fiscal demise. If the federal government were a publicly traded company, it would be bankrupt.
Balancing the budget and eliminating the debt are my top priorities. They can be achieved in part by eliminating federal giveaways, foreign and domestic. We need to eliminate the debt and the associated interest payments that total approximately $500 billion per year. Along with a restructuring of the federal government to increase efficiency and reduce costs, these steps comprise a road map to addressing our current fiscal irresponsibility.
Our financial problems are compounded by the fact that Congress cannot control spending because of the political environment. Lobbyists and special interest groups control the two major parties. It is imperative to increase the diversity in Congress to avoid the disastrous majority that leads to partisan politics. Elected legislators from outside the major political parties will lead to new ideas and collaboration instead of gridlock.
We also need to “declare peace” around the world. A declaration of peace is needed for our national security. A strong military is required for national defense but should be used with discretion. Our current foreign policy creates hatred toward Americans. This is evidenced by recent protests and attacks from within joint security forces in Afghanistan. Our priority should be protecting our homeland and taking care of our own.
The future of America is at stake. Help me shape the federal government so that it reflects the goals of the middle class: living within our means and enjoying peace with our neighbors. I respectfully ask for your support in my efforts to ensure prosperity for all Americans.
Gregory Gilman is the Libertarian candidate for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. He lives in Westcliffe. He does not have a campaign website.