PETER KOPSAFTIS ON THE ISSUES
The Economy: The inflation rate and the supply chain are the greatest dangers to our economy at this time. The response to the pandemic was to throw money at a problem. The result of all of this printing of money is simple economics. If you raise the supply the value begins to shrink. When prices go up the value of your money shrinks. The inflation rate is currently at a thirty-year high.
The supply chain is the movement of goods throughout the economy. The cost of moving those goods has gone up in some instances by 1,000 percent. That means that shipping costs are at times exceeding the cost of the product being shipped. This has all kinds of impacts on the availability of consumer products as well as parts for manufacturing. The “computer chip” shortage has stalled the auto industry and dramatically increased the cost of a vehicle.
We need to bring inflation under control and we need to stop the big-spending bills that are winding their way through Congress. Congress has the “power of the purse” and we cannot allow the reckless spending to continue.
Taxes: I believe that higher taxes have a negative impact on the economy and we should be pursuing policies that will accommodate growth. Government spending is an inefficient means to stoke the economy and we need to recognize that we have a spending problem in Washington DC, not a revenue problem. The inflationary spending that Congress has engaged in has created a regressive tax by devaluing the buying power of their dollar earned.
The Culture Wars: The so-called “culture wars” have become a divisive feature of our society. Ironically those who have initiated most of this in the name of equity or equality are achieving just the opposite and we are seeing a tremendous backlash against those initiatives. Martin Luther King called on us to judge people not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
The primary battleground of the culture wars is being played out in the schools across our country. While our educational system continues to decline and our math and science performance continues to plummet, radical educators and administrators are adopting policies and curriculum that have nothing to do with preparing children for college and the workforce.
Civil Rights: Our civil rights are being trampled upon. Free speech is being limited by social media monopolies who are employing censors to police content on their platforms. School districts have attempted to limit debate over policies and curriculum and parents have been limited in their ability to have their voices heard.
The goal of equality is not a divisive issue until an equity agenda is introduced. Equality of opportunity and achievement based on your ability and your right as an individual is a basic civil right that must be upheld. Equity is an entirely different goal that separates work, skills, and achievement from outcomes. As a country, we need to praise individual achievement reward success rather than be jealous of it.
Immigration: To say that our immigration policy is a disaster is an understatement. Record numbers of illegal immigrants are flooding into our country and the Federal government is not only facilitating this but they are encouraging it with their rhetoric and inaction to protect our border.
Some politicians and activists take issue with the term “illegal alien”. Coming to the United States illegally and against our laws should be defined clearly as a crime. What kind of “citizens” would we be creating if their first act inside our country was to break our laws. I am an immigrant and I have many immigrant friends but we all came here because the United States is a nation of laws. Allowing illegal immigrants to come here makes a mockery of our immigration system.
Law and Order: What we have seen on the streets of our cities across the country is a horrible reminder of what happens when our criminal justice system breaks down. I am a strong supporter of law enforcement but I also recognize that there are bad players in every institution and they should be dealt with accordingly. I do not think that the overreactions we have seen have done any good and in fact, they have been more harmful.
The crime rate is skyrocketing because our justice system has been weakened. We hear stories every day about criminals who were let out on bond who have turned around and committed even more heinous crimes. A recent news story pointed out that as of the end of October 2021 50 murders were committed by individuals out on felony bond in Chicago. The judges and prosecutors who allowed these felons to once again prey on our citizens should be held accountable.
The safety of your home and business is a fundamental right that should not only be guaranteed by our constitution but should be a focus of our criminal justice system. Allowing looters to steal and burn down businesses or allowing gangs to control our streets is a failure on the part of those elected officials who are responsible for keeping the peace.
Foreign Policy: Members of Congress are limited in their ability to weigh in on foreign policy issues but there needs to be a consensus on some general themes. Ronald Reagan’s policy was “Peace through Strength”. He maintained a strong military and at times made use of that military sending an unequivocal message. Remember when the American hostages were released and on their way home when Reagan was being sworn in as President.
The current administration has created an environment where neither our friends nor foes internationally have any confidence in our ability to follow through on our obligations. The fiasco in Afghanistan was an exclamation mark on the view that the current administration is both inept and weak. Chinese military posturing and the Russian build-up on the Ukrainian border are two examples of taking advantage of those weaknesses.