Thoughts On Rick Santorum

Beyond all the good we hear about Rick Santorum, below we have a compilation of thoughts from some of our members.

One of the main concerns about beating Obama is that we need a large number of Independents and Moderates to vote for the Rep Candidate. With Rick Santorum as a strong social conservative, this may prove difficult.

 Some of his high profile votes  include his support for No Child Left Behind in 2001, which greatly expanded the federal government’s role in education.  (He has changed his mind) He supported the massive new Medicare drug entitlement in 2003  that now costs taxpayers over $60 billion a year and has almost $16 trillion in unfunded liabilities.   He voted for the 2005 highway bill that included thousands of wasteful earmarks, including the Bridge to Nowhere.  

Indeed, Santorum was a prolific supporter of earmarks, having requested billions of dollars for pork projects in Pennsylvania while he was in Congress.    Perhaps recognizing the sign of the times, Santorum finally reversed his position in 2010, saying that he was opposed to them , but one must remain skeptical about his sincerity.  As recently as 2009, he said, “I’m not saying necessarily earmarks are bad. I have had a lot of earmarks. In fact, I’m very proud of all the earmarks I’ve put in bills. I’ll defend earmarks.”

In 2005, Santorum gave a speech to the Heritage Foundation in which he argued passionately for this ideology of Big Government. An excerpt from the speech was subsequently published at Santorum asserted, “If government is to be effective, charities, houses of worship, and other civil institutions” have to be, not just “respected,” but “nurtured.” And because “compassionate conservatism” is “founded on an inviolable belief in humanity’s inherent dignity,” respect for the sanctity of human life means that “ending genocide, international sex trafficking and the oppression of minority groups, and promoting the respect for religious freedom around the world will always be top priorities” for the U.S. government. (Emphasis added.)     

“Compassionate conservatism” is oriented toward helping “the poor and [those] hurting for help, whether they are across the street or across an ocean.” Thus, Santorum proudly proclaims, he and his colleagues in the Senate have assembled “a domestic anti-poverty agenda” to help the poor here at home. Yet they also are busy at work to help the poor around the world. Santorum states that “AIDS has seared Africa into our moral vision.” Apparently, not only is it “morally right” to care “for the sick and dying in Africa,” it is also “geopolitically prudent; if we don’t help, someone else will and that someone else may not be friendly to our interests.” How do “we” care for “the poor and dying in Africa?” Santorum’s answer is to the point: “We need to embrace the challenge to dedicate a larger percentage of our GDP to foreign aid.” (Emphasis added.)

“Compassionate conservatism” is about “changing the role of government in our lives,” Santorum says. To this end, we should be “not only cutting old, tired programs, but also advancing new initiatives like the CARE Act.”  The latter is “a bold package of expanded charitable-giving incentives that supports faith-based and community organizations.” (Emphasis added.)

Santorum readily acknowledges that “this agenda will require a role for government that some conservatives find disquieting.” But he assures us “that [this] is a discomfort worth confronting.”

Does he still believe this is the role of Government even though we are broke?



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