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U.S. soldiers and the American people have achieved an amazing victory for freedom. Saddam Hussein was a tyrannical dictator that needed to be removed. We have achieved our objective and provided funding and support to rebuild the Iraqi government. However, due to the rapid decrease in value of the U.S. dollar and critical needs in the U.S. infrastructure, we can no longer continue costly large-scale operations in Iraq. The United States does not need 100,000 troops in Iraq to capture a few hundred al-Qaida terrorists. This is a job better suited for tactical Special Forces operations that are both more effective in Iraq and more affordable for the U.S. taxpayer. We have given the Iraqi people billions upon billions of dollars to rebuild their government and paid countless death benefits to victim's families. It is now up to the Iraqi people to take control and govern themselves. The U.S. needs to increase support for small-scale tactical operations in both Afghanistan and other countries to remove hardliner fundamentalist Islamic terrorists.
With soaring fuel prices, the burst of the housing bubble, predatory loan scandal, and the rapid decline of the U.S. dollar's value, the U.S. economy is heading in the direction of a recession. The American people are extremely resilient and have strong initiative; we can bounce back from this economic downturn. The key to improving the US economy is to not make short-term economic gains that will only temporarily boost economic growth indicators. The popular economic stimulus package is short-sighted solution voted for by politicians during an election year. The plan to borrow $150 billion dollars from Chinese investors, so that each American can spend $600 buying lead-containing Chinese toys and products, does not boost the U.S. economy. This is a $150-billion-dollar debt that our own children will have to repay. The United States needs long-term economic planning such as tax incentives for corporations and individuals. The American people can bounce back from this economic downturn, but not with short-sighted politicians in office.
Agricultural Labor Supply, Immigration Reform, Secure Borders:
In terms of agricultural labor supply, a guest worker program needs to be enacted such that farmers can continue production and provide food at reasonable prices for consumers in the first district. A guest worker program would provide taxation of Mexican migrant workers to fund increased border security and pay for the program administration. If Mexican migrant workers have a safe and secure way of crossing the border for temporary work, it will decrease the need for illegal border crossings. This is a great first step towards dealing with illegal immigration while maintaining the agricultural labor supply needs of American farmers. The Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (H.R. 2413) was introduced on May 21, 2007. While this bill improves border security, it does not solve the problem of illegal immigration. Vast majorities (50-70%) of the nearly 10 million illegal immigrants do not desire citizenship in the US, and are here only looking for work. The first step in dealing with illegal immigrants is developing a Guest Worker Program that will also satisfy US labor needs. This will greatly reduce the scale and severity of the illegal immigrant situation.
Klamath and Trinity Rivers:
The unprecedented water usage agreement between Indian tribes, farmers, fishermen, conservation groups and government agencies is a great achievement. Government funding for Klamath River restoration is a great first step. However, this just touches the edge of what is needed in terms of the billions of dollars need in financial support. Another crucial factor is including PacifiCorp (Pacific Power) in the Klamath Basin agreement and addressing the energy needs. More government support needs to be provided for this project.
While Indian tribes, farmers, fishermen, and conservation groups want all 4 dams on the Klamath river removed, it is not a practical solution. Pacificorp will will not agree to front the billions of dollars needed for dam removal and the building of a new power plant for the 1.6 million people that depent of the hydroelectric power generated by the dams. Government intervention is needed in the agreement process and in the funding of the project.