Indiana Third District US Representative Mark Souder visits Government class

Posted on April 7, 2008 by

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Last Friday US Representative Mark Souder spoke to students in Matt Furfaro’s (US Government teacher) first hour Honors Government students. During the period he spoke to students about a variety of topics.

Preface: Souder noted that the issues that he was going to discuss were very complex; there are no easy answers.

“If you want easy answers, then get another politican,” Souder said.

Because of this, he elaborated greatly on these issues. During the class period, only approximately five or six questions were actually asked.

Oil: Souder noted that although oil profits are higher than ever, not all the money goes to the CEOs. Many people depend on oil profit being maximized because they have invested in oil for their retirement funds, Souder said. Taking away an oil company’s profits means that people will lose retirement money.

He then noted that the Saudis are some of the biggest liars. In fact, there are more reserves now than when we started trading with them, so the potential that they are lying about how much oil is left in their reserves.

Then, he said that there is possibly more oil in the North than in the Middle East and that there is also oil in the North Sea. Overall, Souder said, oil companies “need profit to reinvest” and for stockholders.

If consumers want the price of oil to decrease, then they need more competition to break up unfair monopolies and oligopolies and to create true capitalism.

“Capitalism eliminates profit,” Souder said.

Social security: The problem with reforming social security is that eliminating social security would eliminate funds for the elderly, which makes up a large portion of his constituents. Younger people want reform, but a larger percentage of older people are the ones who get out to vote, Souder said.

Souder also noted that there is no political strategy for this issue since the government will never address the social security issue. For example, US presidential candidate Barack Obama, who has the support of many young people, voted against social security reform. Ultimately, citizens should not depend on social security unless they want to live a low-income lifestyle after retirement.

Democrats vs. Republicans: Souder said that the notion that Congress fights over everything is false. In fact, the average Democrat will vote with the average Republican at least 80% of the time, and the vice-a-versa is also true. Souder compared the Republican and Democratic party to Christian denominations in that in both instances, the core beliefs are primarily the same, but there are key differences between the different groups. One example is the new No Child Left Behind bill. According to Souder, 90% of the bill is bipartisan, but the parties will fight over the last 10%.

Healthcare: One of the biggest problems with healthcare is that not enough competition exists.

“We have not applied classic economics to health care,” Souder said.

In addition, the fact that “consumers are disconnected with the spending decision” and that the cost of defense in medicine also hurts consumers.

Iraq: “Things are so dismal that the British couldn’t pull out,” Souder said, acknowledging an opinion contrary to President Bush. Another piece of bad news Congressman Souder shared with the class is that a Chinese agent has been inside the defense department for 20 years.

In addition, China hit one of our satellites. China claims that it was on accident, but Souder said that he thought it was “for fun.” This development is a serious threat to the security of the US.

“If you can hit our satellites, then we’re in big trouble,” Souder said.

Globalization: Another complex issue, Souder said. It cannot be reversed, so the US will need to deal with it. He compared the globalization issue with the television.

“People say that TV is bringing evil into the house, and it does,” Souder said. “But you can’t stop it.”

One example is when Souder originally supported calling French Fries by the alternate name of American Fries after the French refused to support the US invasion of Iraq, but he then learned the extent of France’s relationship with Northern Indiana. For example, Indiana is the third-largest seller of products to France in the US. In addition, his district has the most people employed to French companies in Indiana, and an Eli Lilly plant in France is the second-largest in France.

The Roger Clemens steroids hearing: Souder defended it, saying that it is not out of the ordinary. On average, the Oversight committee has 20 hearings per day. The meth issue warranted 12 hearings, and out of the 30 hearings on narcotics, having a couple on steroids are ok, although he did tell me that the Democrats called the hearing.

In addition, Major League Baseball is only regulated by the Federal Government, Souder said, so government intervention on baseball issues is necessary.

Term limits: Souder was criticized by the media by running for a seventh term in 2006 because according to them, he promised to serve no more than six terms. However, Souder said that while he supports term limits in Congress, he never promised to step down after six terms unless a Constitutional amendment sets a limit, and he does not want to voluntarily step down from his position and put his district at a disadvantage.

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