NATIONAL SECURITY/FOREIGN POLICY
I believe that we are currently engaged in a world war. Radical Islamic fascists have declared war on our country and our way of life. They have sworn to annihilate each of us who believe in a free society all in the name of an impersonal god. This war is not a conventional war and these terrorists are not a conventional enemy.
The first priority of the President as Commander-in-Chief is first and foremost protecting our own citizens. While we live in a neighborhood of nations and must strive to be good neighbors, as President, my top priority must be to ensure the peace, safety and well-being of American citizens at home and abroad.
America is both a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. We must find a way to preserve the centuries-old traditions that are a part of our heritage without compromising our national or economic security.
First and foremost, it is vital that we have a secure border. I truly believe our national security is best served by reform in our immigration policy. We're currently allowing too many people to cross our borders illegally. This must stop. Further, some are entering our country and we have little real knowledge or proof of who they are, where they're going, and whether or not they have a criminal past or any serious or contagious diseases.
I believe federal tax policies should be family friendly, starting with making the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts permanent. As President, I will also push for elimination of the marriage penalty.
As Governor of Arkansas, I pushed through the Arkansas Legislature the first major, broad-based tax cuts in state history - a $90 million tax relief package for Arkansas families. I also doubled the standard deduction to $2,000 for single taxpayers and $4,000 for those who are married. In total, I cut taxes and fees nearly 100 times during my 10 and half years as governor, saving the people of Arkansas almost $380 million.
I believe that every child in America has a right to a quality public education that teaches the fundamental skills needed to compete in a world economy. We must also recognize that creative, problem-solving abilities are also necessary. For example, I believe passionately that music and the arts play a critical role in our school curriculum. Music and the arts help kids develop critical thinking skills that lead to progress in other core subjects such as math. It is crucial that children flex both the left and right sides of the brain.
The health care system in this country is irrevocably broken, in part because it is only a "health care" system. We don't need universal healthcare mandated by federal edict or funding through ever-higher taxes. We do need to get serious about preventive health care instead of chasing more and more dollars to treat chronic disease that is often avoidable. The result is that we'll be able to deliver better care where and when it's needed.