2008 Vic Wulsin for Congress
This was the official website for Vic Wulsin's runs for Congress in 2006 and 2008. The content below is from her 2008 campaign.
Vic has recently announced that she will challenge Jean Schmidt again in 2008 to represent the people of Ohio's Second Congressional District in the United States Congress.
Since the 2006 election in which she earned 49.5% of the vote, Vic has been running Soteni, the non-profit organization she founded to fight AIDS in our country and around the world. She felt compelled to take time away from this work to fight for values and integrity in Congress. When Americans are fighting in Iraq, going without affordable health care, and struggling to support their families, we need an independent voice in Congress, not a rubber stamp for special interests and the Bush Administration.
Jean Schmidt has time and again been an embarrassment to our district, from name-calling a decorated veteran on the floor of Congress to publishing plagiarized articles under her own name. Shaming us yet again, Jean Schmidt was recently criticized in the Cincinnati Enquirer after she wrote that reports of substandard conditions at Walter Reed VA Hospital were “overblown”. The people of Ohio’s second district deserve better.
After winning by just 2,517 votes in 2006, Schmidt has already been placed on Karl Rove's list of the most vulnerable Republicans in 2008 because of her low approval ratings and controversial record.
Please contribute to help build essential early momentum for Vic’s campaign. Your support can mean the difference between 49.5% in ’06 and 50.1% in ’08.
Where Wulsin Stands on the Issues
Our current healthcare system is in desperate need of reform. In the richest country in the world, 45 million people live without health insurance, even though many work full-time. Those who do have health insurance pay too much for it and get too little from it: health insurance costs have risen 50% in just 3 years, and Americans are increasingly unhappy with the care they receive. The cost of health care is a massive burden on our economy – small and large businesses alike are losing their competitive edge because they must pay so much for their employees’ health.
I believe America’s health care system must place a premium on high quality, affordability, and expanded coverage. To accomplish these reforms, we must take advantage of American innovation and competition while also protecting patients’ rights and shrinking the ranks of the uninsured. We can do this by modernizing medicine in five target areas:
1) Cut costs and boost quality, especially for Medicare and Medicaid.
2) Promote the use of use of digital information technology in order to speed record-sharing, secure patients’ privacy, reduce medical errors, and expand research opportunities.
3) Expand coverage so that those who can afford to pay do pay, and those whose jobs do not provide coverage have access to affordable insurance.
4) Reform medical malpractice so that decisions are based on the best medical evidence, not made by a lay jury left to sort out testimony from dueling experts.
5) Rewrite Medicare Part D so that seniors reap the benefits of economies of scale, transparency, and access.
The Bush administration and the current Congress have turned a blind eye toward the realities of the health care problems we face today. It is time that we take action on this urgent issue. For over 25 years, I've served as a public health doctor, caring for communities here in southwest Ohio, across the country, and around the world. I know what it takes to deliver high quality, affordable health care. I have proven that I can bring together disparate groups, find common ground, forge consensus, and get results. When I get to Congress I will use the same solutions-based approach to ensure that all Americans have access to the health care they deserve.
The Bush administration misled us into war, failed to adequately plan for reconstruction, and distracted government from what should have been our top priority: protecting our homeland in the face of terror. Over 2,500 Americans have died, and over $300 billion have been spent on a war with no end in sight. Meanwhile, Osama Bin Laden remains at large, Iran has obtained weapons-grade uranium, and North Korea has tested missiles. It’s time to focus on the real threats to national security.
In Congress, I want to restore America as a beacon for democracy around the world. I believe the costs of the global war on terror cannot and should not be shouldered by America alone: we need to work with our allies, not against them. I think that military force should be applied only after diplomatic solutions have proven unsuccessful and an exit strategy has been written to keep our troops out of a quagmire. I believe in following the recommendations of bipartisan committees, such as the 9/11 Commission on Homeland Security. I believe we should listen to our military leaders rather than push out dissenting voices. I believe we must stay focused on real threats at home, at our borders and around the world--not engage in unnecessary and costly wars.
My experience working in post-conflict countries like Rwanda, Nepal, and Nigeria has taught me that strong leadership combined with smart, tough solutions is the best path to peace.
Economic Growth and Jobs
To maintain the strength of the American economy in an increasingly competitive global marketplace, we need bold leadership that recognizes and encourages the best American qualities: innovation, opportunity, and entrepreneurship.
Since President Bush took office 200,000 Ohioans have lost their jobs. My opponent has voted for the largest cut to student loans in history; she voted against life-saving stem cell research; and she voted for one of the largest budget deficits ever.
As your Congresswoman, I will bring jobs to Ohio by supporting initiatives that strengthen the American economy and create an environment ripe for growth and investment:
1) Invest in new energy industries, such as ethanol, biofuels, solar, and wind.
2) Promote American competitiveness through investment in education and research.
3) Expand opportunity in Ohio’s rural counties by bringing broadband internet access to schools and businesses throughout the district.
4) Support American businesses that keep jobs in America, rather than give tax breaks to companies that outsource jobs abroad.
5) Balance the budget, because on the current trajectory, interest on the national debt will become the largest federal “entitlement”—more than Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid—by 2030.
Energy & Environment
Our nation’s energy supply affects national security, the economy, and the condition of our environment. Skyrocketing gas prices are hurting American families and our nation’s economy. America consumes a quarter of the world’s oil, and 60% of America’s oil is imported. Under business-as-usual assumptions, the US will consume 43% more oil and emit 42% more greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.
My opponent, Jean Schmidt, has proven her allegiance to big energy companies over consumers or the environment. She voted for $50 million in subsidies to big oil companies that even George Bush opposed. She voted against making oil companies pay their fair share of royalties on drilling in public waters. And she voted against stronger protections against gasoline price gouging that would have restrained costs at the pump.
In Congress I will stand up to big oil companies and fight for lower prices and a cleaner environment. I believe we can drive our economy with Midwestern alternative energy instead of Middle Eastern oil. Our long-term energy solution must reduce our oil consumption by increasing the reliability and diversity of our energy sources, focused in four target strategies:
1) Invest in Midwestern sustainable energy, such as ethanol and bio-diesel fuels. We must also invest in wind, solar, and other renewable sources.
2) Promote conservation and energy efficiency by reforming the 30-year-old CAFE fuel economy standards and updating the efficiency standards for new appliances, equipment, and buildings.
3) Reduce the human impact on climate change, linking US action to developed and developing country commitments.
4) Clamp down on price gouging, not cozy-up to the oil lobbyists.
Finding innovative energy solutions will free us from dependence on foreign suppliers, will stimulate new sectors of the economy, and will protect our environment for generations to come. We cannot afford to wait any longer to develop sustainable strategies to meet our energy needs far into the future.
Bush inherited the largest federal budget surplus in history, but his administration quickly did away with the trend of fiscal prudence. In Jan. 2001, before the Bush budget, Congress projected a 10-year surplus of $5.6 trillion; Bush has turned it into a $3.2 trillion deficit. According to the President’s own budget projections, by the end of 2007 he will have recorded the largest five deficits in American history. My opponent voted for the most recent of these record deficits, and given her blind loyalty to Bush we can expect her to continue to support his deficits.
Our national debt amounts to a birth tax of $28,000 on every child born in this country. This fiscal deterioration cannot be blamed on September 11th or the Iraq War. According to the conservative Cato Institute, Bush increased nondefense spending by 25% in his first four years in office—more than any other president in the past thirty years.
Balancing the budget will not be easy, but we have done it before and we can do it again. We can tighten the federal belt while maintaining an environment ripe for economic growth:
1) Cut spending to stop pork projects and wasteful programs.
2) Reinvent government programs to improve efficiency while preserving quality of service.
3) Reform budget policies to encourage responsible spending.
4) Close tax loopholes to ensure that all corporations pay their fair share.
When I directed a $30 million dollar project in Nigeria that registered one million women to vote, we finished the project on time and on budget. I’ll take the same fiscally responsible approach toward budgetary management in Congress.
America’s competitive advantage in the global economy hinges on our commitment to education, as America falls behind in developing an adequately skilled workforce for the 21st century and outsourcing broadens. The key to expanding opportunity is to provide excellent schools for every child, including access to affordable post-secondary education. An achievement gap on the part of poor and minority students stifles economic growth and endangers our democracy, which should ensure that all children have the opportunity to reach their full career potential.
In February, my opponent voted to cut over 12 billion dollars from student loan programs—the largest cut of its kind in American history. She has also voted to reduce the number of credits Ohio students need to graduate. Jean Schmidt has stood in the way of better education and a stronger future.
To fortify our nation’s educational system and make American schools the best in the world at every level, I propose:
• Fully-funding the Head Start program so all eligible children will enter kindergarten ready to learn.
• Supporting the goals of the No Child Left Behind Act while correcting its design and implementation flaws.
• Providing relief from skyrocketing college tuition, through student aid programs like the Pell Grant and Perkins Loans, and cutting the interest costs for student loans.
Since 1935, Social Security has been a cornerstone of our society, protecting middle class Americans from the loss of income caused by retirement, disability, or a death in the family. Gutting the program through privatization, as my opponent supports, is the worst way to ensure solvency for future generations. Privatization would cut benefits, drain the program of necessary revenue, and add 5 trillion dollars to our nation’s debt. It’s economically reckless to keep inflating the debt, and it’s immoral to leave our most vulnerable citizens out to dry. As your Congresswoman, I will protect Social Security for our parents, our children, and our grandchildren, so that retirement will always be a period of financial security for America’s seniors.
My opponent Jean Schmidt has said that Roe v. Wade was “a flawed law made by activist judges” and would “love to see” it reversed. She believes the government should intervene in a woman’s private medical decisions.
I have practiced medicine in countries such as El Salvador, Venezuela, and Kenya, where abortion is not legal, and I have witnessed the death of women – and girls – who I could not save because their self-inflicted bleeding or infections were too far-advanced. Criminalizing abortion will not stop it but does endanger the lives of both mother and child.
Throughout my career I have worked to reduce abortions by preventing unwanted pregnancies through the proven methods of education and family planning. As the mother of four sons, I know the decision to have a child is the biggest decision a woman ever makes. That’s why it should be made by a woman in consultation with her doctor, not by the government.