I answered the League of Women Voter’s questionnaire tonight. I’d started filling it out a couple days ago but kept getting interrupted. They asked a series of momentous questions which a serious answer requires an expert and a book but gave us a 50 word limit. I was considerably shorter. I will not make a habit of filling out questionaires in this campaign but this one wasn’t from one of the mindless “I’ll give up when you pry my cold dead fingers off the trigger” type organizations.

Its lengthy and some of my answers are pretty flip but I’m no expert on many of the querries:

What is the role of the federal government in encouraging exploration and innovation for future energy needs?  (50 words)
Its regulatory role is preeminent to assure that there is minimal environmental degradation.  Only the government can be trusted to enforce the reduction of carbon and methane.  Its role in fostering energy conservation is also critical but it must not place unnecessarily burdensome requirements on private industry.
Are market forces sufficient to ensure a clean environment?  If not, what regulatory actions would you support?  (50 words)
No they are not. Environmental degradation is a hidden tax on the future.
How should the costs of maintaining national parks, historic sites and national forests be paid?  (50 words)
The national parks are natural treasures that should be primarily dependent on taxpayers for support. User fees should only augment their upkeep.
How can immigration policy balance US economic needs, the interests of US workers and security?  (50 words)
 Not easily
What are the long and short-term impacts of the deficit on the economy?  (50 words)The short term impact has been to prime the economy for the political benefit of incumbents. The long term consequence is a great burden placed on the shoulders of the next generation which is already facing huge demands from the increasingly geriatric baby boom population.
If Social Security and Medicare place significant burdens on future budgets, how would you make up the balance?  (50 words)
By a combination of raising the age for payouts and raising the taxes to pay for the promises made and the sooner the better.
What steps, if any, should the government take to make health care more accessible and affordable?  Explain.  (50 words)
There should be a greater national role in providing health care so that there is less effort by the medical community to shift costs.
How can we ensure effective response to disasters and/or pandemics?  (50 words)
For one thing by making sure that competent professionals take over the agencies that oversee this responsibility rather than political cronies.
How can civil liberties be preserved while giving our government necessary tools to fight terrorism?  (50 words)
By not criticizing the motives of people who are pointing out the continuing erosion of long established rights.
How best can elected officials foster separation of powers as laid out in the US Constitution?   Explain.  (50 words)
By honoring that separation rather than denying it.
Does the current system in Congress allow for fair and thorough review and judgment of ethics charges brought against its members?  (50 words)
Probably not.

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