I stand for a government that serves the people, guided by the Federal and State Constitutions, lowering taxes, and eliminating wasteful spending

Taxes
I am in favor of property tax relief for seniors. Especially those on fixed retirement incomes. Each year there are numerous bond measures that adds hundreds of dollars to our property tax bills but the increases in social security and personal retirement plans never keep up with those tax increases. Many of our senior citizens are at the brink of being forced out of the homes they worked a life time to obtain. Instead of living in the comfort of their homes in retirement they are being forced out to seek other living arrangements. The tax burden is onerous even if the home is mortgage free. A moderately priced Oregon home often has tax bill that can be as much as 50% of a seniors monthly social security check which leaves very little for food, health care, utilities, and other typical bills. I am a conservative and as government continues to grow in size and scope it has become a glutton for money and its demand for new taxes is insatiable. The best place for the money that people earn is in their own pockets.

Government Accountability
The government is a servant of the people and all of its operations must be transparent. There is never a need for government at the state level to hide it activities and spending from public scrutiny. The government and all of its agencies must account for its programs, methods of operation and spending. A smaller government is a better government. Each legislative session hundreds of bills and laws are passed. Since 1999 the state legislature has passed 9,392 new laws. Each time the government imposes those laws our freedom is nibbled away.

Education
The future of our state and our country depends on the quality of education of our children. Schools should have a curriculum that prepares children for a successful transition to adulthood. Those areas of study should include our national and state history, reading skills, and above all our rights and liberties under our state and federal constitution and Bill of Rights. Class size should be at a manageable level for teachers. All schools should be funded equally. The money should be directed at the classroom and teachers must be given tools and materials needed for instruction. Discipline in the class room must be maintained if teachers are to create a learning environment. Oregon spends a lot of money on education but ranks close to last among the 50 states in the quality of education and the percentage of graduating seniors. More money needs to be dedicated to the schools and not toward a top heavy bureaucracy of administration.

The Future of Jobs and a Sustainable Oregon Economy
Oregon has an unfunded mandate of $27 Billion Dollar for PERS. The government keeps juggling money from one source or another to maintain it payments at current levels. The cost of PERS, health care, and the impact of the minimum wage for small business is a burden that cannot be sustained. The government needs to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse of our social programs while maintaining a safety net for those in need. It's time for government to be reduced in size and tighten its belt just like they expect our middle class families to do. Oregon must promote a healthy and welcoming environment for new business in order to have a strong growing economy and that includes manufacturing, the high tech industry, agriculture, small business, and the timber industry.

Our Constitution
Our 1st and 2nd Amendments to our Federal Constitution must be upheld. Our Founding Fathers lived under European tyranny and they realized how easily freedom and liberty can be taken away. Our 1st amendment provides freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press and freedom of association must be maintained for all people. That means allowing people the right to express themselves openly and without fear of retribution. The 2nd amendment allows people the right to bear arms and that right SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. It is not the governments business to invade the privacy of law abiding citizens and demand to know what we own, how much ammunition a person has, the size or capacity of those magazines or to impose a license on gun ownership or gun registry. The right to oppose tyranny, to protect our families and to protect our liberty and freedom from enemies both at home and abroad cannot be challenged or taken away.

Immigration
The concept of sanctuary states and cities endangers all Americans regardless of race, nationality, skin color or culture and allows a 2 tiered system of justice. Illegal Aliens should not be entitled to government programs that were created as a safety net for our citizens in need of help. The cost is overwhelming and cannot be sustained. Our compassion as a people starts by ensuring our own citizens can be helped first. That the American people are not unnecessarily burdened by taxes to provide free services to illegal aliens. Some of those services are not even afforded to our own working people. The Oregon government must listen to the voice of the people. Oregonians voted to NOT issue drivers licenses to Illegal Aliens by over a 60% margin just a few years ago. Now the democrat super majority has passed legislation to give Illegal Aliens driver licenses anyway. This is not serving the people it is ruling the people. Many people who are here illegally are bringing drugs into our country that kills and destroys the lives of our children and our people. Some commit horrible crimes including rape and murder. Sanctuary status to those who violate our laws is an insult to our justice system. Justice denied cannot be condoned. Immigrants will always be welcomed to America and to Oregon but there is a legal process that must be followed and the door must be closed that allows Illegal Aliens from all around the world to flow into our country by the millions.

Human Rights
Speaking as a conservative and a Republican we must continue to forge ahead with equal rights for all. Political correctness is about labeling and attacking anyone who speaks out openly but does not adhere to their PC ideas. It's unfortunate that we live in a time when differing ideas and associations can result in violence and personal attacks. Sometimes people are attacked with gang violence just for wearing a hat or a shirt that expresses a different political opinion. It's time for this to stop and bring civility back to public discourse.

(c) 2019-2020 David Smith for Oregon