January 30, 2008

The following is a transcript of a speech given by Scott D. Feldstein on January 30th, 2008 at his home in Waukesha Wisconsin before an audience consisting of mainly a dog, a six year old and a teenager who was kind of listening but mostly playing World of Warcraft.

My fellow Americans, our nation has suffered greatly over the last few years. Our faith in the electoral process was shaken badly during the presidential election of 2000. Horrific tragedy struck on September 11th of 2001. We inexplicably went to war with a country which we now know posed no threat to anyone. Adding insult to injury, after initial military success, that country sunk into chaos and civil war–and we watched our sons and daughters die, trapped in a situation from which we could not extricate ourselves. Our leaders have instituted policies of torture, secret detentions and of spying on American citizens without judicial oversight. Internationally, we struck a tone which enraged our enemies–but also alienated our allies. Our health care system is edging ever closer to complete collapse, serving many of us poorly and some of us not at all. Finally, our economy has taken a serious downturn. Americans are rightly concerned about their futures, the futures of their children, and of our country as a whole.

I mention these painful facts not merely to tell you how bad things have become, but because righting our ship of state and steering it in a saner more prosperous path must begin with an honest assessment of what has gone wrong. Only after acknowledging these things can we set our sights on a genuinely more optimistic future. It is in the light of this realistic assessment that I say to you: America’s best days are not behind us–they are just ahead.

Charting this new course will not be easy. It will require sacrifice, hard work, and above all, the right kind of leadership. I am offering you that leadership today. I am running for president of the United States of America.

There are many things I will do as your president, and tonight I will briefly discuss six of them. Item number one: I will find and bring to justice the man behind the terrorist attack of September the 11th, 2001. I will find Osama bin Laden. To achieve this goal, I will utilize every tool and technique available, be it military, diplomatic, economic or intelligence-gathering. I will enlist the help of our allies–and make new ones. Our enemy will find himself on a shrinking base of support and safety, and eventually he will face justice for his crimes. I will also tell you what I will not do. I will not alienate the international community. I will not employ policies which only serve to increase global sympathy for bin Laden and his cause. I will not lie to you about who is responsible for 9/11, nor will I cynically try to harness American outrage for the purpose of pursuing unrelated and ill-concieved foreign policy initiatives. Focusing with laser-like intensity on the goal, without these other dubious distractions, will ensure that bin Laden’s days are numbered, and that long delayed justice will finally be served.

Item number two. I will aggressively engage all the major players in Iraq and in the surrounding region in an effort to find a political solution to the problems we have been trying in vain to solve militarily. Our men and women in uniform have done everything we have asked and more. But they aren’t diplomats or negotiators. That’s MY job. With me as your president you will at last have someone in the oval office who understands this. With this fresh, bold push toward a peaceful Iraq, we will finally begin to bring home our fighting men and women. I do not know how long this will take, but I do know this: we will no longer tolerate a policy of making our soldiers hold their fingers in the bursting dyke that is a broken Iraq. Part of the diplomatic pressure I will bring to bear on the various factions is the fact that we will not be there much longer. We will use every tool at our disposal to help them and encourage them, but the solution is not ours to achieve. Peace in Iraq will not be American made. The idea that it can be is an illusion. The idea that it can be achieved militarily doubly so. We will break our costly holding pattern and move forward.

Item number three brings us to domestic issues. There simply is no larger domestic problem than the sorry state of American health care. Our leaders have been told that one in six Americans have no health insurance. They have been told that those of us who do have insurance are paying double what citizens of other western democracies are paying. They have been told that American businesses are groaning under the burden of providing health insurance to their employees and that they are becoming less and less competitive every year. Our leaders have been told all of these things, and still they have done nothing. That time is over. My goal is simple: affordable, comprehensive health insurance for every citizen of this country. This goal is not impossible. Far from it. We only have to look at how everyone else has solved this problem, pick the best elements of those systems, and implement them here. No longer will the citizens of the United Kingdom, France or Canada have better access to health care than Americans do. The goal will be nothing less than tax-funded, single-payer health insurance. Let me level with you about this goal: it may have to be achieved incrementally. There are large and well-financed interests who will fight this goal every step of the way. But I want you to understand that with the will of the American people behind me, I will take them on and win–every step of the way.

Item number four concerns tax fairness. Unfortunately, our national debate focuses solely on federal income tax–the most progressive tax there is. When viewed this way, poorer Americans pay not tax at all. But that’s an illusion and we all know it. When you consider federal, payroll, state and local taxes, there is little difference between the rate of taxation for the poorest Americans and the wealthiest ones. Today those on the lower end of the economic scale are paying over 19% of their income for government services. This while millionaires pay about 32%. It’s time to have a real discussion about the issue. As president I will appoint a special commission to find ways to work with state and local governments to get the wealthy paying their fair share–so that middle-income earners can have the relief they deserve.

Item number five concerns the education of our children. Here again we find the debate in Washington is too far removed from reality to be of any help. Listening to politicians you would think that the problem of low educational achievement among some American students was the fault of teachers, curriculum or bureaucrats. The real reasons for low academic achievement are outside the school. I’m talking about poverty, crime, drug abuse and the other social problems that too many of our students are bringing to class with them every day. If anyone doubts this reality, I challenge you to uproot an underperforming school–building, teachers, curriculum, administration and all–and place it in an affluent community with low crime. I think everyone knows what would happen: academic achievement in the school would skyrocket, thus proving the fact that the real problem is in the community, not the school itself. Instead of demonizing teachers, let’s find ways to deal with the real problems. Let’s find ways to bring economic prosperity to impoverished communities. Let’s find ways to reduce crime and bring hope to the hopeless pockets of America. Only then will the schools in these areas achieve their true potential for greatness. Again, this will not be an easy fix. Nor will it happen overnight. But focusing on the real problems–no matter how hard they are–will achieve better results than pursuing false solutions.

Item number six. It’s time to end the so-called drug war. This ill-concieved policy has done nothing to alleviate the problems of drug abuse in America. What it has brought us instead is street crime, a burgeoning prison population, and an astronomical price tag in dollars. It is time not only to legalize the use and possession of these common street drugs, but also to legalize and regulate their manufacture, import and sale. Some may worry that legalization may invite more use, especially among children. But illegal merchants don’t check IDs–legal ones do. Instituting these kinds of policies will result in an immediate and dramatic drop in crime as well as an immediate drop in the prison population which will no longer be forced to house people whose only crime is drug use.

Before I conclude my remarks I want to acknowledge that America does not elect presidents on policy positions alone. Before I ask for your vote, you have a right to know who I am as a person. I am the dedicated and loving father of Paige and Dan, both of whom are in high school. I am the fiance of Karen Farra, and the soon-to-be stepfather of Kristopher, Kahra and Nicky. All of us live in Waukesha, Wisconsin. I have for the last ten years worked in the technology field at Marquette University. As for my religious views, I am a committed and steadfast atheist, and I do my best to pass on this tradition to my children. As a younger man I did in fact inhale–but come on, so did you.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends and fellow Americans, I humbly ask for your vote in November. I ask you to support my candidacy for president of the United States. As I move forward in my campaign, I will be issuing several more detailed policy positions for you to think about. And as I travel around this great land of ours I hope that you will share with me your concerns, your hopes and your dreams for a better America. Together we can make that vision a reality. Thank you and goodnight.


No comments yet

  1. […] and IF Larry is right and it becomes an Obama/Mcain election, I’ll probably just vote for Scott this time around… Unless one of you Hobos decides to jump in this race… anyone… […]

  2. Man…and I was all ready to throw my support behind Obama.



  3. p.s. submitted to digg: http://tinyurl.com/37xrhl

  4. Do something to derail agribusiness too, while you’re at it.

  5. Sounds reasonable enough. My biggest thing with the legalization of drugs, is how to properly do it I guess. Me, I think the hard core drugs like heroin, etc which we know are damaging, should not be legalized yet. We know those and crack and such have serious toxic effects to the body, no matter the usage (and yes, I know this can be also pointed to alcohol too, but I think you know where I’m going). Otherwise, some of the other ‘safer’ drugs I don’t mind, but I would say the should be something like a behind the counter drug as we do already for certain cold medicines. Not that it’s not publicly availible, but then it’s one more step of verification of age and such. That, and like tobacco, tax the heck out of it.

  6. The making heroin legal doesn’t mean we need to make it widely available. One should have to go to a doctor, establish that you’re an addict, get a prescription, etc. I’m not talking about putting bags of it in the checkout aisle at Walgreens. Marijuana you could just put behind the counter same as tobacco. Everyone checks for ID and we’re good.

  7. I figured that would be where you were going with it.

    Most people assume that it’d just be on a counter/shelf with everything else.

    In reality though, through legalization, taxation, etc, the government could potentially (and this is a slim potential) stand to make out decently from it financially. Would be a decent amount of overhead, but the resulting fees/taxes/etc could absorb a good chunk of that.

  8. I clicked on your Google Adsense ads in order to generate some revenue for your campaign. Please let me know if I need to fill out any campaign contribution forms.

  9. When it becomes discovered that you not only set fire to Hummers but that you were are behind a Wisconsin push-poll insinuating that Mitt Romney is a robot, I’ll have to distance myself from you and give the money to an orphanage anyway.

  10. Under your plan, we should just rename our country “New France” and live under the socialist, cradle to grave security of big government. The government will solve all problems and manage our lives. Let’s legalize drugs (just like some European countries), let’s have national health care (just like many European countries) and let’s go down the tubes in terms of economic and world power just like most of the European countries since they have adapted their “enlightened” socialist approach to a better society through government entitlements funded by a crushing tax burden.

  11. If it’s government intrusion into people’s lives that troubles you, Bill, then I don’t see why you’re against legalizing drugs. After all, it’s the government telling you what to do when they’re making it illegal, right? Right. As far as “crushing tax burden,” I’m not really sure what you’re getting at. These other countries spend less on health care than we do. Spending less for health care would mean more money for other things, right? Our economic situation will take a distinct upturn when our businesses and citizens are no longer squeezed by the high price of our current system.

  12. Health care is only one part of their cradle to grave security system. Nothing is for free, so you transfer the cost of the our “high price..current system” to the government from the private sector. Who is still paying for it – you are, and we all know how efficiently the government runs programs.

    European countries are just economically making it and their ability to compete in global markets has slipped tremendously based on their regulations, employment policies, tax rates and government entitlement programs. The EU was and still is a feeble effort to regain strength in the global market. Their basic economic system is weighted to heavily towards government and worker security and less towards productivity and competitiveness. The taxes and money to support these system are going to the government rather to individuals and corporations to support the GNP. That’s why newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy is trying to undo a century of entitlement programs and government security programs in France.

    Each time you point out how France or other European countries are ahead of the US in certain areas through government managed programs, I view it as becoming one step closer to the European socialized system and one step closer to the downward economic slide.

  13. and we all know how efficiently the government runs programs.

    Yes, we do. The overhead costs of medicare are about 5%. The overhead costs of private insurance is at least 15%.

    Less is still less, Bill. We’re paying double on average what these other countries are paying. I don’t care if you call it taxes or insurance premiums or copays or whatever. I’ll take the system that costs less. If for some ideological reason you’d like to pay more just for the privilege of having it not called taxes, that’s fine for you. Me, I’ll save a buck and call it taxes.

    The high taxes in Europe are the result of a whole host of decisions that the people of those countries have made, only one of which is to have national health care. You’ll notice I’m not proposing a whole host of new social spending here–just health care. Therefore, it’s not all that reasonable to say I’m trying to give us tax rates like they have.

    Besides, say what you will about the terrible plight of the people of France or the UK. I’ll bet you that on average we don’t have a higher standard of living than we do. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that they’re doing better than we are.

    I view it as becoming one step closer to

    Well it is one step toward being like them, sure. But one step doesn’t mean we need to take second or a third step. The slippery slope argument is a logical fallacy.

    And anyway, I’d like to see the conservative plan for dealing with our health care crisis. So far, I see either a) nothing, a la Bush, or b) a plan like Romney’s which basically is the same damned thing as Democrats are proposing. You guys have no idea how to solve it because free markets won’t work and ideological reasons prevent you from adopting any other solutions.

  14. Scott, your focused on health care, some other liberal wants the government to intervene for a cause they believe is important and still another wants something else for the government to oversee and protect us from. Before you know it, you’re on that slippery slope of creeping entitlement socialism – not as illogical or unreal as you may think. Contrary to your belief, free markets will solve most issues but you may not like the harsh reality of the transition. Past actions are an indication of future behavior. The government has screwed up Social Security and Medicare with tremendous waste, red tape and raiding of the funds, what logical argument would cause you to think they can do any better with health care – other than purely wishful thinking.

  15. your focused on health care, some other liberal wants the government to…

    Bill, that’s not an argument. If you want to tell why my health care idea is a bad one, you can’t bring in other people’s ideas on entirely different things to show it. You have to deal with the idea on its own merits.

    Contrary to your belief, free markets will solve most issues

    Actually that’s not contrary to my belief at all.

    The government has screwed up Social Security and Medicare with tremendous waste, red tape and raiding of the funds, what logical argument would cause you to think they can do any better with health care – other than purely wishful thinking.

    Screwed up? As I pointed out before, Medicare is a model of efficiency compared to private insurance. Do you need proof of this? Documentation? I can provide it.

  16. I have written in length in your past blogs of why I think government managed health care is the wrong the solution, so I’m not going to speend more time reiterating the same things.

    And yes – I can bring other people’s ideas and issues into the GENERAL argument against socialistic government programs of which health care is one potential program. It wouldn’t stop at health care if many of the liberals had their way.

    Apparently you have no first hand experience in dealing with Medicare. They are worse than any private health care insurance I have ever dealt with in terms of arbitrary rules, waste , inefficiency and red tape . This is based on overseeing my parents and in-laws health care through Medicare for 18 years. You can read about Medicare’s “model of efficiency” or you can experience this “model” like I have and really see how the government runs a large program.

  17. Bill ,didnt you know scott is allways right ,I mean left. see you in class

  18. […] Feldstein announces for president. Then withdraws and throws his support behind […]

  19. […] who was kind of listening but mostly playing world of Warcraft&quot is exactly the speech our nexhttp://www.scottfeldstein.net/blog/?p=1902TravelWisconsin.com Article – Old World Wisconsin Video GuideImagine history that comes alive every […]

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