I debated Mark Souder and Mike Montagano this afternoon. I wish I could say I did a great job, but in all honesty all I was able to do was a good job. I was not great or terrible, but just good. There were seven questions asked.
- Bail Out
- How would you represent the 3rd district? Would you vote the way you wanted or the way the voters wanted?
- Negative Campaigning
- What our my qualifications
My opponents stressed government programs, tax incentives and tax credits. Montagano stressed a program to insure children, middle class tax cuts and incentives for companies to keep jobs here.
I hope I did not come across as a broken record, but the economy is the issue. 51 years of deficit spending, legislation to make homes more affordable without addressing the ability to pay for and maintain a home and government cost shifting of Medicare and Medicaid to everyone else have led us to the terrible recession or worse we now experience.
The one question I thought was not appropriate to bring up in the debate was how the candidates felt about the negative campaign adds between Souder and Montagano. I addressed issues, but here was six minutes that could have been used to learn a candidate’s position on one more issue. I guess it is true, the more mud and negative an election gets, the more the media enjoys it. Reminds me of a bug zapper attracting bugs to their death.
Were there clear differences, yes? Souder is different from Montagano and both are different from me.
I did my best and I thank all my supporters. I am going to relax and spend Halloween with my family. Enjoy this warm Halloween, it does not happen often.
When a person says “We Earned it!” what exactly do they mean?
To me, this phrase is a righteous euphemism for making the more truthful statement: "We were snookered by this Social Security Ponzi scheme, and now we are going to snooker the next generation!" If Social Security benefits have been "earned" who is obligated to pay benefits to those who "earned" them? Workers? On a regressive tax basis? Why? Why perpetuate a fraud upon the innocent? Who is responsible for bearing the burden of a fraud? The person defrauded? Or an innocent or unborn child?
The Howey/Gauge survey shows just 35% say they would want to see Souder re-elected, while 50% say they want to elect someone new.
This year you have three choices. I would ask you to take a look at my position on issues. Make an informed decision this year. Every vote counts!
Honor, Trust and Responsibility
This election is about the future. How many want a better future? How many want a higher standard of living? How many want their children to do better? I do not know anyone who would disagree with any of these do you? Our economy is in shambles, oil prices have come down, but the unemployment rate has increased. Grocery prices are high due to ethanol consuming corn that used to be used to feed Cattle, pork and poultry. Farmers decided to switch from wheat production to corn, resulting in over $3 a loaf for bread!
Unintended consequences are the norm. Congress is so proud to say they did this and that, but in reality they were spending our money and when what they took from us was not enough, they borrowed more resulting in devaluation of the dollar. Then they decided to help us with a stimulus package costing $120 billion. Money we did not have, but they borrowed from China.
The more Congress takes from us, the less we have to pay for homes, healthcare, college for our children and save for our own retirement. The U.S. savings rate is close to zero. When do we begin to save for retirement?
I like to use the example put forth by the airline industry in an emergency situation. When the oxygen masks fall, do not help your child or other person first, but make sure yours is properly on first and then attend to others. The reason is simple. If you help your child first and then attempt to get yours on and fail, pass out, then what happens if the child knocks theirs off? Who is there to help them? The simple truth is we must provide for our families first before we are capable of helping others, for if we are unable care for our own families, how much help can we truly provide to others? It is our responsibility to pay for those program we want. If we do not want to pay the required taxes for them, then those programs must be eliminated.
It is time to just say no to more spending. We do it when we are laid off. We do it when our children want something they cannot have. We as a nation must stand up in unison and in one voice say no to more spending! It is not right for politicians to create deficits, borrow the money and give the bill to our children and grandchildren to pay.
This November 4, we all have a fiduciary responsibility to vote responsibly on behalf of our children.
Indianapolis On-line Candidate Guide
A link to a candidate's survey Indianapolis Star
This link is pretty inclusive of all candidates. The questions asked were;
1. What steps, if any, should Congress take to prevent a recession?
2. What steps, if any, should Congress take to reduce home foreclosures?
3. What, if anything, should the federal government be doing to make college more affordable and accessible?
4. What changes, if any, are needed in the No Child Left Behind law?
5. What's the single most important step the federal government can take to decrease the cost of health care?
6. The head of the Government Accountability Office has said the government is overwhelmed with obligations on existing entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare. What changes, if any, do you think need to be made to Social Security and Medicare so they don't cost as much?
8. What changes, if any, would you support to the federal earmarking process?
9. What should be done with the illegal immigrants already in the U.S.?
10. Is there a limit on the number of years you would support U.S.Iraq? If so, what's your limit?
However, it looks like neither Souder nor Montagano answered any of the questions. It may take a while to load. It also appears that the Indianapolis Star did not load any of my responses.
News Sentinel On-line Questionair
I was very disappointed in the News Sentinel's Decision 2008 insert in Wednesday's Paper. All three candidates received a survey to fill out. Only Souder and myself did while Montagano declined. What I am upset with is that the News Sentinel presented Souder's issues while informing the reader to click on Election 2008 under Online Specials. Many people do not have internet which now makes it impossible for them to read my response while they printed Souder's response. A fairer reporting would have had either responses from all candidates who responded printed or to refer the readers to the Election 2008 under Online Specials for everyone.
Below is my response:
|Name: ||William R Larsen|
|Web URL: ||www.justsayno.50megs.com|
|Office: ||United States Representative, District 3|
|Education: ||Paul Harding High School - Graduated|
Purdue University - BS Degree
|Work: ||Mechanical Engineer|
|Years lived in NE Ind: ||29|
|Issue #1: ||ECONOMY: The last surplus was in 1956. Congress has added $9.3 trillion to the national debt with nearly $700 billion in 2008. This devalues the dollar, resulting in $145 barrel oil; ethanol has increased grain prices, resulting in higher beef, pork, poultry and dairy prices; social security/Medicare taxes were a maximum of $30 in 1937 and now are $7,803; 20 million have stopped looking for work; 6.1% are unemployed. There is no energy policy. U.S. savings rate is nearly zero, Americans are overtaxed and have nothing to save while the congress continues spending billions we do not have.|
|Issue #2: ||SOCIAL SECURITY: There is no painless solution. Those born after 1985 can expect to receive 29 cents in benefits for each dollar paid plus interest. Raising taxes, retirement age or cutting benefits will not change this! Those born earlier don't fair much better. I propose the 10.6% old-age tax paid by employee/employer be directly deposited into a self-directed IRA-type account; use the current $2.02 trillion trust fund to pay a means-tested benefit based on assets of $1,214 per month to each senior in need. Taking care of those in need is not just a worker's responsibility, but everyone's.|
|Issue #3: ||SECURITY: Those who serve our country need to be trained and be provided the equipment necessary to carry out the tasks assigned to them. We need to secure our borders. I support immigration, not illegal immigration. Those who are in this country illegally are breaking our laws and taking jobs from Americans. They need to be found, identified, processed and removed from our country. We need to secure our personal data by eliminating the use of the SSN by all nongovernment entities and put further restrictions on which agencies can use it. |
|Previous political experience: ||I have no previous political experience. I am an engineer, not a politician.|
|Qualifications for this office: ||I am a mechanical engineer who has solved numerous complex problems. I deal with details every day. I understand economics very well. I have been budgeting and tracking budgets since I was very young. I listen to what people say and use their input to find the root cause of problems. I am not a politician, but a husband and father of five children. I have a dream that my children will do better than I; the same dream my parents had for me and I am sure the same dream every parent has for their children. I am a U.S. Navy veteran and understand military life and duty. I am a disabled veteran who has experienced the VA medical system firsthand.|
|Hope to accomplish: ||I want to restore the American Dream, where in a land of opportunity an individual can work hard and prosper. Every worker has within their grasp the ability for a secure retirement. A secure retirement leads to a secure economy that creates and supports jobs. To accomplish my goal, the worker must be given the opportunity and ability to save. We must face the fact social security has failed economically. We must reform the federal tax code and make it fair. We must face the fact that the U.S. is not the wealthiest country in the world and that politicians have squandered the wealth of generations. We must balance the budget not in five years, but now! We need to cut out every earmark, all pork and some programs. It isn’t painless, but the longer we delay, the more pain our children and grandchildren will have to endure because of our failure to act now.|
|Effect of property tax reform: ||This is a state issue with some impact at the federal level. Local property-tax reduction will reduce the Schedule "A" itemized deduction, resulting potentially in a higher federal income tax liability. To balance the budget, we need to first cut spending to the bone and, if necessary, raise general revenue taxes to pay for those programs we want. I will not vote to increase social security or Medicare taxes -- period!|
|How to increase public's confidence: ||Make government open and transparent by being honest with the taxpayers. Be honest about the size of the deficit and not mask its size using social security and/or Medicare, as is now done using the Unified Budget. Identify all bills on a Web site, their purpose and their cost so that the constituents of the 3rd District are kept abreast of what is happening. I know how to say no, unlike many others. I will be as frugal with your money as I am with my own.|
A Great Big Thanks to all Supporters!
It has been a long journey and in seven days we will see just what we have accomplished. The tens of thousands of emails, handouts, talking to people and helping with signs has just been tremendous. I have received more emails in the past three weeks than all my previous three campaigns. As we go into this last week, I would ask that each of you speak with two more people and tell them about my campaign.
For those who are new to this blog and like my position on the issues, you too can help. Go to www.justsayno.50megs.com. Under the heading issues is a link to my pdf position paper. Please save it and email to your friends and families.
I hear every day people say how ridiculous it is to have campaigns spending hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Obama campaign has raised over $600 million and McCain has raised $375 million! My two opponents have raised over $400,000 combined and use this not to speak out on their position on issues, but to sling mud at each other.
This campaign is about issues. It is about the economy, energy, deficits, taxes, immigration and jobs. They are all interrelated. On this blog and at my website you can find out what my positions are. Feel free to email me at LarsenForCongress@gmail.com
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I just read where the $810 Billion taxpayer bailout may now be used for something else than its intended purpose. Does this surprise anyone? When I was asked by Bob Caylor of the News Sentinel my views on the Bailout, I said it was a bad idea. I gave several reasons for it.
A major reason was that there is a finite amount of capital in the world. When the U.S. Treasury borrows money, it consumes a portion of the finite capital. The result can be increased interest rates (demand for limited capital). The world, because sub-prime mortgage backed securities were sold worldwide, is under immense capital pressure. The Congress has decided it knows best where to use that limited capital and chose it to be the mortgage industry.
Now those who may be the recipient of the bailout (taxpayer’s money) may use it to pay dividends, increase salaries, buy other banks or sit on it, building up their reserves. In a roundabout way Congress has directly competed with your needs for borrowed funds. It has decided your needs are secondary to the markets. 535 members of the Senate and House have decided they know better and have the bet the ranch they are right and the American people are wrong.
It is a coin toss. How many would bet the future of this country on a coin toss? Would it not have been more prudent to let millions of entities make individual decisions on where to use the money? If half were wrong would that be worse than if the Congress is wrong? If half were wrong, then half would be right and we would be better off than if Congress proves to be wrong.
The News Sentinel endorsed Souder, even though he voted for the Bailout. The Editorial Staff wrote:
"On this particular issue, our sympathies are more with Pence than Souder. There were other options to consider, including some good, conservative, free-market steps. This “cure” might turn out to be worse than the disease. But Souder is famous for studying the minute details on every side of complicated issues, and he might turn out to be right on this one."
This sounds like a coin toss to me, not very conservative at all.
But Editorial Staff also wrote:
"But this is not a one-issue election. Strong, clear thinking is needed on energy policy, national security and a host of other issues. The thing to keep in mind is that both Souder and Pence bring a coherent, conservative perspective to issues."
Energy is a very important topic. I brought it up in 2002. Who knows more about energy, a mechanical engineer who worked in the nuclear field for ten years, 3 years in the US Navy in a 1200 psi steam propulsion plant, one year in space power, and two publications dealing with high level radioactive waste or two politicians with a background in political science?
Souder backs Nuclear power. This is the second most expensive form of generating electricity there is. In fact with the cost reduction in solar cells and undefined cost of storing radioactive waste for thousands of years, it could easily be the most costly now. There has not been ANY spent nuclear fuel assemblies removed from commercial nuclear reactor. Every radioactive fuel assembly is still stored on site, either in a 40 foot deep pool of water or dry storage. Dry storage casks hold up to about 32 fuel assemblies (10% of a reactor core load or about 1% of 40 years worth of fuel assemblies). These temporary dry storage casks have a 40 year life and cost over half a million dollars each! After 40 years, you have to take them back to the spent fuel pool, lower them into 40 feet of water, remove the fuel assemblies, transfer them to a new cask, purge the cask of air and water, weld the lid on and move the cask to a new location. The old cask is now highly radioactive and must be buried.
We hear a lot about clean coal technology. Is it available now, no? There is still development that needs to be done. Processes have to be identified, equipment needs to be designed, permits have to be obtained, feasibility tests done and a decision to retrofit or build new plants with this technology. Why are we even exploring this alternative?
A recent coal commercial said coal was 1/3 the cost of other sources. This is correct it is cheaper than natural gas, nuclear and solar power. However, it is not cheaper than wind power! Wind power has more potential energy than all the coal in the world! It does not pollute, it does not leave big holes, does not cause black lung disease or trap and kill minors.
I wonder if Souder knows the difference between a therm, kilowatt and Btu?
Again, I ask you who is more qualified to determine our future energy policy, an engineer or political science major?
Finally, there is the last paragraph of the endorsement;
"Also running is Libertarian William Larsen. Sometimes, he makes more sense than anybody; alas, he will be a distant third."
Alas - used to express unhappiness, pity, or concern
The Status Quo Is Crumbling
Just a few of the comments received recently:
Author: Todd M
I am so sickened by both parties especially Souder. William Larsen drove clear out here to my house at 8:00 pm at night in rural Dekalb County just to chat about the issues with my family and he seemed very informed and down to earth unlike the out of touch robots running on the major tickets. I was proud to help put up his signs all around my area and if I'm considered a spoiler or a protest voter or even a traitor to the Republicans then I wear that badge proudly. I was a straight ticket republican but after the last eight years never ever again will I devote to one or two or even three parties. I will vote my belief as an American and I don't care what others call me anymore, I’m more concerned about what my children will inherit and sadly it doesn't look good mainly because of loyalty to these damn parties and little loyalty or knowledge of the constitution of this country or this state.
I have printed your platform, and am willing to share it in my government classes. As a fellow Harding grad. I wish you well. I do have several students who are not old enough to vote yet, but would be willing to volunteer to work the polls on Nov. 4th. If you have any need for volunteers that day, please call or email me.
I was a strong supporter of Ron Paul during the primary season, so naturally I'm attracted to your platform. I actually found out about you because I placed a Ron Paul sign in my sisters yard, and you stopped by with some information. I had the chance to read over a good chunk of it, and I could immediately tell that you are a great defender of liberty. Although I am a Republican, I consider myself a Constitutionalist and defender of liberty first, and a Republican second. Mark Souder's voting record is terrible, he is a major proponent in the [failed] war on drugs, voted for the bailout, voted for the so called PATRIOT ACT.. I could go on and on...
That said, I came upon your blog not too long ago. I noticed that you will be debating Montagano and Souder. I would love to attend, and I may be able to bring a liberty loving friend or two along with me. Though I may be misunderstanding the location, is it at the Fort Wayne IPFW campus? If so, I would like to request 3 tickets to the debate. If you can only give out 1 ticket, that's fine.
Additionally, how can I volunteer for your campaign? I don't think there is a Libertarian HQ is .. At the very least, I would like a sign or two to place in my yard.. I also know at least 2 other people that would be willing to place a sign in there yard. I live in Winona, my mother lives on, and another friend lives on the big intersection at Fox Farm Rd. Sorry if you don't know the roads I've mentioned, but I recall that you work at Zimmer, so you might know where I am referring to..
Good luck in your campaign, please don't hesitate if you need any help in Warsaw or the surrounding areas.
Hello William Larsen,
I have received your email stating your position on a number of issues. I understand you are running for congress in the 3rd district
"Candidate for Indiana's 3rd District U.S. Representative," which is the position currently held by Mark Souder.
I would like clarification on a few of your position statements. I will start with energy. You propose turning to alternative means of power. What informs your ideas? Are you in touch with various groups and who do you seek out for your information? Were you looking at wind power for the entire district, or mainly those areas in which the wind farms will be located? What organizations have you contacted and/or talked with regarding energy?
I would like also clarification on immigration. If you do find illegal immigrants here, how will you plan to "remove" them? As well, how will this effect family and friends here? Can you clarify your position on this?
I have to tell you that your approach is refreshing. I enjoyed reading your email attachment. I'm tired of politics as usual, of the tangled web of money that supports campaigns and interests. I have lately thought it might be better to send in a tea bag instead of my tax payment, and I say this in all seriousness.
I know this email will require time to answer. I'm copying my husband, and voting family and friends inside the 3rd district because we have discussed long and often these same issues, each have varying views on them.
I look forward to your reply.
Unitended Consequences - compiled
The U.S. economy is suffering and most and if not all is due to the unintended consequences of Congress.
Congress passed the last budget surplus we in 1957. Since 1958 our elected Congress has spent $9.33 Trillion more than they extolled from us in taxes resulting in continued deficits. The result is devaluation of the Dollar and record $145 barrel oil that has now shoved the U.S. economy into the worst recession in decades if not worse.
Congress in an attempt to reduce oil imports and fund an alternative to oil has given our money to ethanol producers in the form of tax credits. The result is they compete for corn that livestock producers use as feed. This has in turn raised beef, poultry and pork by 50% and caused farmers to switch from wheat production to corn production driving bread prices to over $3 per loaf.
Congress in attempt to increase home ownership passed legislation to increase home ownership without addressing the ability to pay for and maintain a home. The result is the latest $810 billion bailout to investment banks, $225 billion to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, $85 billion for AIG and the amount grows.
Congress in an attempt to help seniors passed Social Security and Medicare. The payroll tax has increased from 2% in 1937 to 15.3% today. The result is a U.S. savings rate close to zero, inability of families to save for retirement, pay for college, pay for healthcare, and buy a home.
The vast majority of Americans pay far, far more in payroll taxes than Federal Income Taxes. 75% of all Americans have no federal income tax liability at year’s end.
Congress passed the Earned Income Tax Credit in the 70’s to compensate low wage earners for high payroll taxes. This tax credit is paid for out of the general revenue fund, not payroll taxes adding over $1 trillion to the national debt.
Congress passed the Child Tax Credit in 1996 to reduce the tax burden on working families. The payroll tax became so high that families were struggling. This tax credit is paid out of the general fund, not payroll taxes adding nearly$1 trillion to the national debt.
Congress in an attempt to compensate for high payroll taxes Congress borrowed $120 billion from foreigners to give a stimulus check to taxpayers, adding to a $700 billion deficit in 2008.
Congress created Medicare in an attempt to help seniors pay for healthcare. The result is the finest medical technology and best treatment known to man. Engineers and entrepreneurs saw Medicare as a new customer with unlimited resources. They built MRI machines, developed new drugs, implants such as knees and hips, diagnostic tests and treatments for wide range ailments. Congress continued to pay 100% of costs until the late 70’s and early 80’s when it became prohibitively expensive to the taxpayer. Congress in attempt to control cost reduced reimbursement rates to providers to 70%. Providers then shifted unreimbursed cost to everyone else. Healthcare costs rose, administrators negotiated with providers for reduced rates, resulting in further cost shifting. Companies unable to afford all this cost shifting have dropped healthcare coverage for employees. At the same time insurance company premiums have sky rocketed. Now providers discriminate by charging different groups, a different rate for the exact same service. The result is over 45 million without health insurance.
Clearly Congress cannot budget our tax dollars. They make bad decisions resulting in unintended consequences. Even if many Americans cannot save, the U.S. would be far better off if those who know how to save were given the opportunity. Under our leadership, all of us are dependent on Congress to make the right decisions.
I will restore the American Dream where in a land of opportunity a person can work hard and prosper. It is not right for politicians to create deficits, borrow the money and give the bill to our children and grandchildren to pay.
Some want to save us from ourselves
While handing out fliers yesterday, one lady asked “aren’t you the just say no to social security man?” Who says I do not have name recognition. Ok, so they know my logo, but not the name.
She stated to me that not know how to save. This is a true statement, but guess what, in the past 50 years how many budget surpluses have our elected representatives passed? Not one, zero, nada! Since 1958 each and every year’s budget ended in deficit. They spent $9.33 Trillion more than they extolled from us in taxes.
So would it be so bad if some of us were allowed to save? Yes, a few would not save, but the majority would. Under the government method, the vast majority have nothing left to save. In simpler terms the Congress is protecting us from the sin of saving for ourselves.
Debate between Souder, Montagano & Larsen
A debate will be held at IUPU between Souder, Montagano and Larsen on October 31, 2008. The debate will be held at the IPFW Rhinehart Recital Hall . Doors open at 1:00 pm. Questions will be come from those who attend.
I will be allowed 40 debate tickets. Anyone who would like to attend, please contact me at