Nall Answers Debate Questions
These are my answers to the gubernatorial debate questions presented to the two Command and Control candidates during last night's debacle....I'm sorry...I meant debate. I am missing a question between Immigration and a Constitutional Convention. APTV went black for a few minutes. I do not know what the question was. If anyone else does please pass it along to me so I can include it in my answers.
You'll notice that I actually attempt to answer the questions, which is something I didn't see either of my opponents do last night. It was more like an 'I Love Lucy' episode with Lucy acting the part of a chiding wife because she didn't get invited to any press conferences and Riley saying, 'Awww...Lucy you just don't understand', but with a Bubba accent instead of a Ricky Ricardo one. They are both a POX on our state and I hope to provide you with an alternative candidate to cast your vote for on November 7. You'll have to write me in.
What are your top goals for public education? What will it cost to implement them and where will you find the money?
My top priority for public education is to opt out of No Child Left Behind and any other unfunded federal mandates we do not like or that do not work for us. I have traveled this state for the last year and I have yet to meet an educator who believes that NCLB is useful in any way. It will not cost anything to implement opting out of unfunded federal mandates and will actually save us money that can be better used according to the needs of teachers in the classrooms because they are the ones who know best the needs of their students.
I also support teaching foreign languages in our public school system. If we started in first grade then in a little more than a decade we would have a bi-lingual workforce. If we ever hope for our children to be able to compete on a global scale we must teach them to communicate in other languages.
Additional funding for public education could be provided by cutting a huge piece from the bloated prison budget. Alabama spends only $6,000 per child on education but $12,000 to lock up someone for smoking pot. We spend $134,400,000 a year to incarcerate non-violent drug and alcohol offenders. That is just to house them. That is $134,400,000 that could be saved and used for things that make people's lives better instead of worse...starting with a good education. We should also have legal lottery and casino gambling run by private enterprise in this state with the state collecting the taxes and earmarking some of it for education.
2. General Fund Budget
Plans for the general fund budget. Prisons, state trooper shortage, congested highways, gas and social services. What are the highest priorities for the GF budget? What will it cost? Where will you get the money?
We have 28,000 prisoners in a space built for 12,000. 40% of them are people who we are simply mad at but who are not really dangerous. Releasing all non-violent drug and alcohol offenders from prison would save our state $134,400,000 a year in housing costs. Passing laws that bring the illicit drug market under regulation would prevent many of these people from returning to prison and continuing to be a burden on society. It would also reduce the cost incurred by the taxpayers to fight disease and health problems associated with drug use. Drug and alcohol addiction are health and social problems not criminal justice ones. Dealing with it from a criminal justice standpoint creates more problems that taxpayer’s foot the bill for. We are spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year and getting negative returns on it. If someone gets a criminal record for smoking marijuana that person is barred from financial aid for higher education, decent employment opportunities, public housing and food assistance. With no way to better themselves they usually become a life-long burden on taxpayers. That is a negative return on our investment. The failed war on drugs is an un-funded federal mandate just like NCLB and I say we opt out and replace it with something that makes basic common sense and works for Alabama.
As for state troopers...if Governor Riley wasn't so intent on federalizing them and ordering them to double as Immigration officers maybe they would have the time and resources necessary to make our highways safer.
Gas - I support the research and development of alternative fuel sources. I am of the mindset that gas prices will rise again after the election and with no peace in sight in the middle east I don't really ever see them dropping down to under $2 a gallon again and holding at that price. Our environment will also benefit from alternative fuel development and once we become self-sufficient in the production we will no longer have to sacrifice our children in illegal wars for oil.
Congested Highways - Its a good time to bring in the private sector to fix the problem if feasible. Public transportation in our major cities would also help to alleviate congested highways but I would prefer we leave any development to the private sector.
Social Services - I support returning as many social services as possible to the private sector. Comparing Red Cross to FEMA during the Hurricane Katrina aftermath taught me that private charities can do a much better and more efficient job that the government will ever be able to provide.
What are your proposals pertaining to the taxes paid by individuals? How would they effect the revenue required to fund important public services?
I propose that we eleminate sales tax on food, prescription and over the counter medications. I also propose that we do away with annual property tax reappraisals. It's almost like you can never actually own property. You buy it but then have to pay rent on it every year to the government. I support lower taxes, the more uniform the better. I would stop Riley's yearly property tax increases and threaten to veto all bills that even hint at new taxes. I will not threaten business in any way, especially with taxes, and I would prevent any new taxes or burdensome regulations on business. If you protect property rights, businesses will create the new jobs.
To make up for this loss in revenue I propose that we regulate the marijuana market and allow lottery and casino gambling run by private enterprise which would fatten state coffers.
4. Economic Development Plan
Creating good job climate. How will you approach economic development? What are your proposals to increase the number and the quality of jobs for Alabamians. Please tell us if they include major tax incentives, spendature of state funds and what the revenue sources would be?
One way to increase the quality and number of jobs in Alabama is to begin teaching our children a foreign language as soon as they enter the school system. If we start foreign language in the first grade in a little more than a decade we will have a bi-lingual workforce . I say we start with Chinese, due to the fact that the bond debt to them is so high that they almost own us now anyhow. Might as well be able to talk to them.
In order to attract businesses to Alabama we must provide a consistent, stable and certain business climate with no threats of higher taxes. That encourages businesses to settle, invest, and expand and that brings jobs.
5. PAC to PAC transfers and Lobbyist spending
Do you think Pac to pac transfers and spending by lobbyists should be fully reported? Please tell us what proposals you have on these issues and any related issues.
Yes I think PAC to PAC transfers and lobbyist spending should be fully reported. The voters have a right to know which corporations are controlling the candidates. For the record I have accepted no PAC money nor have I accepted any lobbyist money. Every donation I have received in my campaign has come from individuals who believe in what I say and wish to see me elected Governor of Alabama. I have no corporate ties and if elected Alabama will not be a corporate controlled government.
6. Government Accountability
What do you think are the most important issues related to improving accountability in government and what proposals do you have to address them in the next four years?
Competition in elections is the best accountablity we can hope for. The reason there is so little accountability is because voters often have only the two command and control party candidates to vote for. So, many of those interested in liberty often don't even go out to vote. Remember, Libertarians set a record in the last election because those who actually knew there was an alternative came out and voted... still those eligible to vote that DIDN'T totaled 40%.
Proposal: Ditch all the anti-competitive ballot access laws so the Republicans and
Democrats have to run with the Black Panther, Green, Libertarian, Natural Law, Reform, Constitution and other parties. Then at least elections will convey some information about the electorate. Votes over Turkey Poop v. Chicken poop do generate a winner - just not much information.
Additionally, the government becomes more unaccountable when it gets its hands on more money. I would propose that Alabama adopt that Colorado law that limits spending increases and returns any additional money to the people or lowers tax rates. I haven't studied this much, but it seems like a good band aid.
What additional state laws and enforcement tools will you propose to deal with the immigration issue in Alabama?
No additional state laws or enforcement tools will be used under my administration for immigration. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 10 million jobs will be unfilled in 2010, when the first wave of boomers retire.
Immigrant labor contributes to the economy. Many industries would struggle and some would even close were it not for immigrant labor.
Building a wall is a stupid idea as the vast majority of illegal immigrants come across the border by automobile. It is a 'feel good' piece of legislation that does nothing to address the issue and truthfully I am more afraid of being walled in than walling Hispanics out.
Deporting immigrants is also a stupid and fiscally irresponsible idea. Until we gain control of the border and have the ability to inspect every automobile that comes across all of the people deported would just come back.
Imprisioning immigrants who are breaking no law other than being here is inhumane and the most fiscally irresponsible proposal of all. Why take someone who is contributing to the economy, cage them and add them to the taxpayer tab at $12,000 a pop?
My plan is naturalize immigrants and add them to the tax base to increase state coffers. When the labor shortage hits in four years Alabama will be prepared.
8. Constitutional Convention
I support removing the racist language from the Alabama Constitution. I worry that a constitutional convention would not be proportionally represented by third parties, independent thinkers and average citizens. I fear that it would be controlled by special interest groups much like everything else in out state government is. If someone from the private sector presented a plan that would make it fair I would support a convention. If that can't be done then I am open to other ideas to remove the embarassing racist language from the constitution.