(Reposted, only for exposition purposes, not to persuade anyone.)
MY VALUES RELATIVE TO FEDERAL ISSUES:
Social net - Absolute net for those who are unable to produce income for themselves. Beyond that, people must be responsible to produce sufficiently for themselves and not slack off, for self-respect. Cover the "working poor" and aid them to improve their skills so they can make enough.
Education - Vital, vital, vital. Especially in values and principles. Unemployment is very low for those who went to high school and showed some stability due to character. This is the key area to improve, for higher prosperity. Economic realities have shifted to require high value skills related to knowledge workers. There is no longer the "monopoly" of America, where cheaper wages elsewhere were not utilized. See the actual Causes for Inequality And Poverty, so one will be solving the right problem and do it rightly. The development of methods that are more effective and efficient must be allowed through freedom of enterprise and competition, and, with appropriate but not punitive or anti-competitive regulations, charter schools must be free to compete.
Higher education must be encouraged, but it is appropriate for those who are benefitting to not move any more than a reasonable burden to others - and it is dishonest and/or out of integrity to intentionally or unintentionally mislead the public about the costs of current promises and give-aways - whether for political purposes or out of lack of knowledge on the part of legislators. The costs are substantial, so it would be unethical to not inform the billpayers.
Medical insurance - At least have a system that allows for checkups with no reason to avoid and then covers the cost of those who are not capable. It should emphasize and have financial incentives for people to be healthy and for preventive care. Nobody will be without insurance and no one will go bankrupt because of medical expenses - so, to that extent, the government acts as an insuring entity where private business cannot afford it. There is a cost to this, but we'll have to figure out how to do it, but efficiently. It is dishonest not to lay out the costs clearly and to pretend that the only costs are in taxes and fees, where there will also be an increase of costs (due to shared burdens) to other insured, and to mislead young people and the middle class as to the financial burdens they will be responsible in the future - especially since the amounts are so large.
Social Security and Medicare - Absolute must for old age, reduce for people who don't need it, so pays some for others; make both solvent and solve the over $35 trillion of unfunded liabilities already incurred. (Yes, our nation in total is behind by $50+ trillion dollars, with total revenue of $2.1 trillion!!!)
The debt - Few realize that the debt consists of the National Debt to bond holders PLUS the unfunded obligations to Social Security and Medicare. The total is at least $50-100 trillion dollars (see Trustee reports for SS and Medicare) but our total revenue is dwarfed at $2.1 trillion. No rational person would not see this as horrendous if it were the ratios in his personal situation! Yet there is policitcal resistance to addressing this.
It is dishonest for politicians to not address this, even though they are ridiculed for it. Elect no person who does not swear to commit to a plan to handle the debt problem - nobody.
Balanced budget amendment - Since congress is incapable of not succumbing to various pressures to give people and special interests what they want, we must put this into law, so that only a 2/3 majority can override it in appropriate circumstances. (The "balancinmg" may be over a specified period other than one year, and might have to not start for about three years.) No one can legitimately argue against this over the long term, except politically and inappropriately.
Pro-choice: Roe V. Wade is a reasonable compromise. It makes sense for the conscious entity to choose what is right for a not yet developed potential higher consciousness, though I respect the alternative argument and the beliefs the pro-life people have. People should not be diminished for their beliefs.
Gay Rights: Absolutely, though should not trample on others, so should be called by another name, such as civil unions. Eliminate all discrimination and make rights equal.
Unions: Important where competition does not properly drive wage levels, but limit, as with corporations, abuses of power. Workers have rights that shall not be infringed upon, such as the right to work (without having to join a union), without prejudice and harm.
Special program to prevent low income and save manufacturing jobs - Invest to retain manufacturing as needed, require training while on unemployment insurance (to fill jobs going unfilled due to lack of skills, create incentive to learn and earn so not dependent on others.
Good management of the Government and its role: Sounds like an oxymoron, but an excellent CEO can make alot of progress. We cannot achieve low enough taxes and spending to have a balance budget unless we do this vital piece - othewise it is wishful thinking. Government is only to do those functions that only it can do: assure safety and an adequate social net (income and health), adequate education, jobs that can only be done by the government, responsible spending and controls
Wise regulation: Where it matters and not such that it does harm. (Not dictate, other than reasonable laws to prevent undue harm, what businesses and individuals can do. Examples of preposterous overreach are things like Dick Durbin's amendment requiring banks to only charge a certain limit of fees for debit cards to businesses using them or mandating that businesses provide certain products for free - if something is necessary for the welfare of citizens and it is in the public's overall interest, the government should pay for that itself.) Streamline these dramatically to those key items with adequate payoffs for any regulation retained.
Legal: The loser of a complainant suit should pay the fees and costs of the winner (obviously adjusted for the situation).
Taxation: It appears that the budget cannot be balanced by spending cuts alone. Recognize that taxing the rich more will not fill the gap - and it is misleading (dishonest) to imply otherwise - and we don't want to discourage investing or drive it overseas. Raise the rate above $250,000 by 4%, above a million by 6%. It is dishonest to not inform the middle class of the coming requirement for higher taxes, as the differences cannot be made up by taxing the rich.
Outsourcing of jobs. It is preposterous that businesses are made evil because of economic decisions where it is more economical to use overseas resources. However, since it is generally considered to be in the public interest to retain jobs for US citizens, financial incentives (where there is a choice) would be appropriate.
Defense: It appears to me that there are massive efficiencies and smart allocation decisions that can be made. Protection of the citizens is a key function of government - and, like the care of the poor, it is mandatory.
Illegal immigration: Lowers wages, brings in less educated (contributing less to growth and also causing more unemployment). Implement the E-Verify program, using a competent private contractor (as government is not competent in that area), so that the illegals could not get jobs and would "self-deport". This is not disrespectful of human rights, as they would be taken care of minimally, but not given benefits beyond that since they are the cause for the illegality. Self-deporting is "loose" but a fair compromise so that families aren't destabilized, but citizenship should be allowed only if educational requirements are met (or sufficient services in the armed forces). Political pandering appears to be at the expense of other citizens without fully informing them of the costs and consequences.
Campaign fund raising: Ideally there would be a fixed allowance of spending for all federal positions, with an information internet presence provided for full use by the candidates. Disproportionate contributions due to wealth will skew power too much - and that should be eliminated, as any abuse of power, intentional or not.
Abuse of power: Obviously this should not be allowed, and it is the purview of the government to pass laws that would limit that. Beyond that politicians should not be playing the blame game and distorting people's viewpoints. Abuse of power happens wherever a powerful entity exists: government, very large corporations, unions.
Environmental, climate warming issues: There are two things to be achieved: adequate safety and practical management of resources to deal with the climate warming that is built into the system. The inefficient, wishful thinking, where there is not adequate analysis (including future effects), is to be prevented. The "green" items are too costly, unless the total costs are presented to the public and they are to pay additional taxes at their vote. Keeping the public in the dark about this is not in integrity and/or represents ignorance. The use of targeted research will be much more effective, rather than the hope involved in supporting a manufacturing company that cannot sustain itself financially - and that is harmful to the economy and the taxpayers also - stupid money for a good cause where the money does not achieve the good cause does not make sense. We must have a President who can tell the difference.