Michael H. Frese
POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
OCCUPATION: Scientist, small-business owner
RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Engineer, professor of mathematics, defense scientist, small-business owner. 36 years in the 1st Congressional District.
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s in mechanical engineering, master’s in mathematics, New Mexico State University; doctorate in applied mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: VoteMikeFrese.com
1. What can Congress do to help spur job creation?
Restore America’s future! Stop overregulation of productive activities to unleash economic growth. For example, Obamacare is strangling job growth by making the cost of hiring young workers prohibitive. Employers should be free to offer health insurance as a benefit or choose not to. You should be free to buy health insurance tax deductibly or choose not to. Insurance companies should be free to sell policies you want to buy. Unfortunately, Obamacare is only one example of job-killing federal interference in private-sector economic activity. We must trim federal regulation to restore a strong, growing economy that creates jobs.
2. How should Congress address the budget deficit and national debt?
We should reduce the deficit – the annual debt increase – to a small fraction of the nation’s total economic production without increasing tax rates. To do that, we must reduce federal spending over the next 10 years to its historical average of 18 percent to 19 percent of production. There are many ways to do this: the Ryan Budget, the Mack Penny Plan, and original Boehner requirement to cut the 10-year budget by any increase in the debt ceiling. As government competition with the private sector declines, the economy will again soar, increasing tax revenues and easing the spending cuts required.
3. How would you propose to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws?
Sympathy for citizens of other countries saddled with poverty and lawlessness should not blind us to illegal immigration’s burdens on our working families. To secure our border we must stop rewarding illegal entry with jobs and benefits. A secure ID, illegal for use anywhere but at workplaces and benefits offices, containing encrypted fingerprint and facial identification data can give us the control we need over who immigrates to our great nation. Only then will we be able to secure our borders. Only then will we unburden our working families.
4. How would you propose to change the nation’s gun laws, if at all?
The Second Amendment asserts an individual right to keep and bear arms. It protects the individual’s natural right to self-protection. It specifically prevents both state and federal governments from infringing on that right. Only the most modest regulation of guns is tolerable. All who swear to uphold and defend the Constitution, as I will, must recognize and accept that, as I do. What is really needed, along with vigorous enforcement of existing laws against gun crime, is more effective mental health programs and laws.
5. Do you approve of the president’s actions in Syria and Iraq?
The time for action has passed, time after time. He failed to negotiate an agreement to stay in Iraq and withdrew. He drew a “red line” at Assad’s use of chemical weapons and then ignored its crossing. When ISIS captured much of Syria and Iraq, he drove them off a single dam. Now they behead Americans, and he offers an undefined “we” to destroy them without U.S. combat troops? We can only hope.
6. What is your approach to foreign policy and especially armed conflicts? Do you envision more U.S. involvement in crisis spots around the globe or less?
We must restore the world’s faith in America. Without our leadership, the world tends toward chaos. Our friends must trust us, and those who would be our enemies must fear us. Our will to destroy those who attack us must be clear to those who threaten us. We must be flexible enough to help our friends threatened by others. We must recruit and retain the best fighting force, and so must care for those who fought before. New Mexico’s national laboratories, alongside whose engineers and scientists I worked for 35 years, have a vital role to play in this future.
7. New Mexico’s economy is heavily dependent on federal spending. Is this a good economic model for the state? If not, what should be done in the alternative?
New Mexico’s federal receipts are only 21 percent of state production, only 3 percent above the national average, but they are over twice the federal taxes we pay. Is it a problem New Mexico’s national laboratories generate 5 percent of state production in service to the nation? No! The problem is that our state Legislature stifles growth of private sector jobs, individual incomes and, hence, federal taxes paid. Eighty years of Santa Fe-style government has destroyed our state economy. My opponent touts her Santa Fe government experience, but the very last thing we need from Washington is Santa Fe-style government.
8. The U.S. is producing more oil and gas than ever before. Do you support or oppose hydraulic fracturing for natural gas? What energy policies should be implemented with respect to domestic oil and gas production?
I support the use of any low-risk, job-creating technology for natural gas and oil production, including hydraulic fracturing and directional drilling, which has dramatically reduced the footprint upon the land of roads, pads, etc. Nobody produces more energy with lower environmental impacts than the American oil and gas worker. I support the approval of pipelines for transport and facilities for the export of natural gas. It is especially important that we do all we can to ramp up quickly the export of natural gas to our allies in Europe, threatened as they are by their dependence on Russian imports.
9. How should Congress respond to issues of global climate change?
Measured global average surface temperatures increased modestly through the 20th century. Computer models of the effect of increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere on average weather show such a temperature increase, too. However, those models do not show the cessation in surface temperature rise observed over the last 15-20 years and they don’t predict the current increases in Antarctic ice levels. In my judgment, based on 35 years of experience doing computer calculations of similar complexity, we should not act rashly to force reduced use of fossil fuels based on such flawed models. Bad models make bad policy.
10. Has the federal government and the Department of Education gone too far in its oversight of local schools and state education policies?
Yes. Unified control of the economy from Washington has been a national disaster. Why should unified control of education be different? The Constitution does not empower Congress to grant control of schools to the president. The Department of Education, originally a clearinghouse for information, has become a source of strings-attached funding. The competition for federal Race-to-the-Top dollars required the states that applied to adopt unified standards, prompting many to choose flawed implementations of Common Core, a bad idea.
11. Do you think President Obama has overstepped his authority in the use of executive orders, such as creating national monuments in New Mexico, deferring immigration enforcement against children brought to the U.S. illegally and establishing new environmental rules to limit greenhouse gas emissions?
Absolutely. Article I of the Constitution begins, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.” Article II begins “The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.” Thus, the Constitution grants the President only the power to execute law, not make law. Congress should use its power of the purse to rein the president in by preventing the expenditure of funds to enforce rules written by executive branch agencies unless Congress explicitly passes and the president signs them.
12. Describe your position on abortion.
I think the federal government has no authority over abortion under the Constitution. Thus, I oppose federal regulation of abortion other than to deny federal funding for it. Personally, I believe abortion is wrong, wrong for women except in extreme cases such as rape, incest or peril to the life of the mother. The Supreme Court should return this issue to the states so that the moral debate over the definition of life can go on in state houses across the nation.
13. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?
14. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?
15. Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state? If so, explain.