Thursday, May 18, 2006

Collins targets Democratic Party

Collins targets Democratic Party

Lori Glenn

MOULTRIE — Mac Collins, Republican candidate for the new U.S. House District 8, addressed the Moultrie Rotary Club with a wary eye on the Democrats’ pursuit of control of the House.

If Democrats assume control in that chamber, he reminded the group, leading Democrat Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, will call for an investigation into President Bush’s push for war with an aim at impeachment.

Collins hopes the tide doesn’t turn to wipe out Republican control in the House and threaten control in the Senate. Collins served with Pelosi for 12 years in the House. He said he doesn’t relish the idea of Pelosi advancing to speaker. Since Bush came into office, she has never seen a tax reduction bill she liked, he said, nor has she seen an environmental regulation proposal that she liked.

With Pelosi at the helm, the House agenda would turn 180 degrees, he said. Bush’s tax cuts wouldn’t be made permanent, and the estate tax won’t sunset in 2010, rather it will come back the next year, he said.

Just as disturbing to Collins is that New York Democrat Charles Rangel would be made chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, which sets tax policy and, among other things, oversees Medicare. Rangel was among those not in favor of the Medicare prescription drug bill but wanted something twice that size when this program is expensive enough, Collins said.

“It just wouldn’t be a good day for the United States of America,” he said.

As to his Democratic opposition, Rep. Jim Marshall, Collins said the difference between the two will become more clear to the public as the campaigns advance. Marshall supports the death tax while Collins supports a repeal, he said. Marshall voted against tort reform, while Collins supports it, he said. Marshall voted down the Energy Bill that included tax incentives for oil companies to build more refineries here, which Collins supported.

“He supports Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi supports a resolution to bring a president to his knees, and I don’t agree with that,” Collins said.

Collins said he was proud to hear President Bush admit Monday night that U.S. borders are not secure. He also is hopeful the president will stick with his declaration Monday night of no amnesty for immigrants here illegally, that they must get in line behind the those who are seeking U.S. citizenship.

Skipped by Bush in his address, Collins pointed out, is how he stands on a House proposal by U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Gainesville. Collins said he supports Deal’s idea to no longer grant automatic citizenship to babies born in the U.S. to noncitizen parents.

“We’re the last developed country that still allows that,” Collins said.

The U.S. must stay the course in Iraq and keep its resources — namely, oil — out of the hands of terrorist enemies of the U.S., he said. Further regarding energy, Collins continues to beat the same drum, advocating independence from foreign oil. He supports drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and increasing offshore rigs in the Gulf and off California, which he believes can be done without impacting the oceans. Collins noted that China has plans to drill off Cuba, which is a stone’s throw away from Florida.

Increased use of alternative fuel sources — biofuels, in particular — must be supported, he said, and farm policy must reflect that. In addition, the candidate supports the use of the nation’s large repository of low-sulfur coal, much of it currently out of reach in a national park in Utah, but he thinks the big push will be toward nuclear electricity.

Threats to the U.S. republic come from within as well, he said, noting the continuance of deficit spending and the large number of programs the government continues to support.

“What’s the definition of democracy? A democracy is indefinite, because those who govern under democracy will learn of the benefits they can receive from this treasury, then they have a tendency to elect people who will enhance those benefits leading to the demise of the democracy. And what follows? — a dictatorship,” he said, noting the $9 trillion national debt thanks mostly to defense, entitlement programs and interest on the debt itself. Only 15 percent of the national debt is discretionary spending, he said.

To fund entitlement behemoth Medicare, which is predicted to be funded through deficit spending in five to 10 years, he said, taxes either must go up or the program must be truly changed.

“I am not a tax increaser,” he said, adding that government’s problem isn’t lack of revenue but overspending.

Collins also expressed his worry over rising interest rates, which in his opinion increases the risk of economic collapse and recession.