An Insider's Look at Mormon Culture

I am pro-life. I not only believe fetal life is precious, I value all life. Therefore, I oppose war and gun violence. I support health care for all people. I support programs to provide prenatal care for pregnant women to reduce the risk of babies not carried full term and babies born with preventable birth defects. I also support programs to help handicapped persons have a fuller life.

I believe in lowering abortion rates, so I support sex education for teens and access to birth control for all women. I believe a mother’s life and health are as important as that of a fetus, so I oppose laws which interfere with difficult choices which women and their doctors must make in the event of risky pregnancies.

I am also a fiscal conservative. I hate seeing money wasted. I especially hate seeing special interest groups receive benefits at taxpayers’ expense because of donations to politicians. I am frustrated that neither political party wants to pass legislation to get the money out of politics. I am appalled that Congress has no interest in negotiating with pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices for Medicare recipients. I am disgusted that it is impossible to curb military spending because defense plants are located in every state and no senators or congresspersons are willing to vote to reduce a program that affects their state.

I am tired of politicians who insist that private enterprise can do everything cheaper than government—but want private schools and private prisons, with highly paid CEOs, to be funded with tax money.

According to a piece in the Spokane Spokesman-Review, for-profit online schools are making money without producing great results. The graduation rate for K12, the largest online for-profit school, was 49% in 2011. Only 19.4% of their schools tested during the school year of 2010-2011 met Adequate Yearly Progress standards. The CEO of K12 made $5 million in 2011. Profits to shareholders were $13 million that year.   Financing large CEO salaries and corporate profits is not how I want my tax dollars for education spent.

For-profit prisons have been around longer than for-profit schools, and the results are not encouraging. According to a study by the U.S. Board of Justice Statistics, for-profit prisons have not produced cost savings. For-profit prison companies also lobby for state laws to increase sentences and to mandate incarceration for lesser crimes.  A good way to increase their profits, but, again, not the way I want my tax dollars spent.

I grew up in a family of conservative Republicans. My dad voted for a Democrat for the first time in 2004 because he was so appalled at the deficit spending of George W. Bush. I find myself agreeing with my dad. The Republican Party is no longer the party of the conservative values we hold dear.

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