(Click on each issue to expand the section.)
Why are you running for this office?
I’ve lived the American Dream. Not through someone else—but personally reaped the benefits of the American Dream. I want to preserve the same opportunity for future generations. I’m a citizen running for the U.S. Senate, not a career politician looking to increase my power.
Why Choose Craig James over other Candidates?
We cannot send another career politician to Washington. Nor can we send another lawyer to Washington. The U.S. Senate chamber is composed of a majority who are lawyers. We need balance in the chamber. We need citizens stepping up representing We the People.I will fight the system and be as aggressive in Washington and in the U.S. Senate as I was on the football field. I will break the furniture if necessary to make sure the people’s voices are heard. I will rock the boat when no one else will and fight for the people to cut spending, cut taxes and cut regulations and make a difference for the people of Texas. My goal in life isn’t to become a U.S. Senator, but to make a difference. Therefore, Texans can have the confidence that when I take a position, being reelected will not be a consideration for me. I’ll always do what’s right, regardless of the consequences.
The federal debt is at $14 trillion and climbing. The federal government ran a $777 billion deficit for the first six months of 2012, and as of March 2012, it had run 40 straight months of deficits. Congress should pass a Balanced Budget Amendment with a spending limitation and a super-majority for raising taxes, in addition to balancing revenues and expenses. The federal government budget should be calculated just like any family or business determines its budget: don’t spend more than you take in. Spending should not exceed revenue. It sounds too simple compared to the complex budget process now, but that’s only because government is out of control and has lost all common sense.
The Size of Government
Government has grown too big and is too intrusive. To cut government growth, we need to focus on the massive elimination of federal regulations such as the Department of Education the EPA, and major reform to Dodd-Frank, which is strangling the financial system.Coming from Real Street, I constantly hear fellow citizens express their concern over the federal mandates that cost local government so much money. Washington passes laws and rules that are passed down to the states, then the states establish additional laws and rules to pass down to local jurisdictions. Unfortunately, the buck stops with local government since there’s no one else to pass such costs onto other than their local taxpayers. They are stuck doing something that the citizens didn't even want to begin with. I understand the final consequences of imposing federal mandates on local government.
Obamacare and Healthcare Reform
Obamacare should absolutely be repealed by Congress if it is not ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. It will bankrupt our country and rob the individual of his personal freedom in selecting his own health care. We need healthcare reform, but Obamacare is the wrong way to do it. To bring down skyrocketing health costs and make insurance more readily available, Congress should replace Obamacare with
- market-based competition and innovation that allows people to purchase insurance across state lines,
- pass tort reform,
- encourage the use of health savings accounts,
- fix Medicaid by block granting it to the states, and
- fund high-risk pools to provide coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.
The U.S. tax code must be reformed by making it simpler. American workers, families and businesses need much lower and simpler taxes. I favor a flat tax in the range of 15% to 17% with two deductions: mortgage interests and charitable.
We need to spur economic growth and take the corporate tax rate to 0%. That will empower businesses to grow. The massive elimination of government regulations that are so costly to business—particularly small businesses that drive the economy—is critical. I also support a flat tax of 15% to 17% for individuals.
We’re bankrupting the American spirit with government benefits. You can’t have the feeling of earned success by getting an unemployment check from the government. The focus should be job creation, not how long we can continue to bankrupt the spirit of hard-working Americans with unemployment benefits.
Washington should immediately allow for instant job creation by approving the Keystone XL Pipeline while reducing our energy dependency on the Middle East. Congress should also remove unnecessary delays in the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf permitting process and waters in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. And Congress should open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for development and energy production.
The Environment and the EPA
We here in Texas know how to protect our environment while taking advantage of our abundant natural recourses. The EPA must be abolished and leave the states alone. We can take care of our own environment without federal government meddling.
The Constitution authorizes us to use our military might to protect our borders. We should send massive amounts of our armed forces to the 1,900 miles of our southwest border that is essentially a wide open door for anyone—including terrorists—to just walk right in. We also must not let policy debates blind us to the fact many of the people crossing the border are men and women, boys and girls, families who have come to look for opportunity and live the American Dream. But they’ve broken the law and they must go back to their own country to follow the proper immigration process. I do not support amnesty. Instead, we need to have a simple, clear, timely process for immigrants to enter the U.S. so they are properly registered and abiding by our laws.
If we adopt my position of sending our armed forces to secure the southwest border, I like our chances of keeping drug cartels from crossing the border.
The role of a judge is to interpret the law and its intentions, free from undue bias or preconceived opinions—not dictate an activist interpretation of it. That’s the essence of judicial review and when I say the Constitution is the Constitution, I mean it. Under the U.S. Constitution, Article II, section 2, clause 2 “The President shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Counsels, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the Unites States….” Therefore one of my utmost duties and roles as a Senator will be to uphold the judicial review process.
The failure of our education system bankrupts the American Spirit. The education of young people is one of my passions and it’s certainly an issue I plan to focus on as a member of the U.S. Senate. The first essential step in reforming our education system is to abolish the Department of Education and return power and money back to the states, where parents, teachers and local officials can best determine their own needs. Another reform I’m proposing is that we focus more on vocational training, or life skills development, for high school students. Many students drop out of high school because they don’t want to attend a four-year university and feel lost in the system. Let’s allow students to decide in high school to pursue a career path as a nurse, EMT, culinary chef, electrician or plumber—just to name a few options. These are lucrative careers that don’t require a university diploma.Education is an issue that’s extremely important to me and one I plan to address as a United States Senator.
Congress should make common-sense reforms to unequivocally safeguard Social Security. Above all, we must strengthen Social Security’s long-term finances. No changes should be made to individuals currently age 55 and older, but adjusting and addressing issues such as moving back retirement age for younger workers, means testing benefits and dedicating Social Security payroll taxes to Social Security would initiate meaningful improvements to save the program.
Just as Social Security’s longer-tern finances should be strengthened, Medicare should be placed on a path to long-term solvency. And similarly to Social Security, no changes should be made to individuals currently aged 55 and older.
From the outset of my campaign for the US Senate, one of the three pillars of my candidacy is the Constitution is the Constitution. The right of all law-abiding Americans to own firearms is confirmed by the Second Amendment. It is a right which must always be upheld and protected. We must appoint judges who similarly respect the Constitution. A fundamental and basic individual right is to enable Americans and own firearms for self-defense and to protect families, property and communities (I have a pistol and a shotgun between my mattresses...and an AR-15 behind my door). Americans exercise their citizenship when asserting gun safety while hunting and participating in recreational shooting. Responsible and safe gun ownership use also should extend into the lawful manufacture of firearms and ammunition. We must condemn attempts to deprive Americans of their rights through the use of frivolous lawsuits. I oppose adding more laws and regulations that penalize law-abiding citizens and are ineffective at reducing violent crime.
I believe that life is precious and must be protected—especially in the womb. Therefore, I am adamantly opposed to abortion.
I believe marriage is between one man and one woman, as ordained by God. I do not support the legalization of gay marriage.
First and foremost, we have to provide our men and women in uniform with the best equipment as they defend us. Then we need to leave military decisions to our military leaders. Regarding Afghanistan, we will never go into another country, occupy it and then successfully change its culture. President Obama has announced his intention to remove our troops from Afghanistan by 2014. I would never recommend the strategy of letting others know our military plans. To use a football analogy, it’s like playing in the Super Bowl and knowing before the game event starts that your opponent is going to pull their starting line in the fourth quarter. Just doesn’t make sense.
America understands we have a big buying audience in that market and our companies are doing business with China. But we must demand respect for our intellectual properties and that our trade agreements are fair and equitable. While China is struggling internally with its own future, we must remain vigilant.
Iran is the Central Bank for International Terrorism, funding terrorists around the world. If you add nuclear weapons to the mix, no one in the world is safe. Specifically, they are a threat to our ally Israel, and to America with their stated goal of the destruction of both of our nations. Israel is unapologetic in their support and defense of the US and we must always stand with them. This is both morally and Biblically right. Iran must know that nuclear weapons will not be allowed to develop and our strategy must be that we will stop Iran by whatever means is necessary. We must maintain our foothold around the world to launch and defend our freedom so that our nation is protected. As long as we’re dependent on Middle East oil, it will remain an issue for America. Building the Keystone Pipeline and tapping our own natural resources is key.
Craig’s Beliefs on Government
Craig’s Guidance in Making Decisions
There are two things that will guide me as I make decisions for Texas and America: the Constitution and the 10 Commandments. With those two chalk lines guiding me, I have no doubt I’ll make constitutional, moral and just decisions. One thing that will not be a consideration for me: reelection. Voters can rest assured that my reelection chances will not even come to mind when I make a decision. I believe you should always choose right over wrong, regardless of the consequences.
The Role of the Federal Government
The responsibilities of the federal government are limited and clearly outlined in the Constitution. The federal government was designed to do only those things the states cannot do for themselves. It’s the concept of Federalism. As Ronald Reagan explained, “Federalism is rooted in the knowledge that our political liberties are best assured by limiting the size and scope of the national government.”The Founding Fathers had a profound understanding of man’s selfish inclination for power and wealth will always pervert justice. They therefore established a government system of checks and balances so that no leader would have absolute power.
I firmly believe in the 10th Amendment. If the Constitution doesn’t grant the federal power to take action, I will vote against every bill that further usurps states’ rights.The Founding Fathers had experienced firsthand the tyranny of an all-powerful, centralized government. That’s why they were so careful in creating a governing document that specifically restrained the federal government while protecting the freedoms and rights of the people. Founding Father Patrick Henry explained it best: “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”
“Separation of Church and State”
When the Founding Fathers authored the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment to the Constitution, they meant to protect the church from the state, not vice versa. I believe Ronald Reagan said it best: “Now I realize it’s fashionable in some circles to believe that no one in government should encourage others to read the Bible. That we’re told we’ll violate the constitutional separation of church and state established by the Founding Fathers and the First Amendment. The First Amendment was not written to protect people and their laws from religious values. It was written to protect those values from government tyranny.”