How will you fix immigration?

We start with a big fence. A sovereign nation needs to secure its borders.

But a fence is not enough. We also need a large gate in that fence that swings both ways. Legal immigration needs to be simpler and easier, and we also need to provide a way for those who want to work in this country to return home when the agricultural season is over. A large percentage of illegal immigrants don’t come here in the dead of night — they arrive here legally and then let their visas expire. Many want to go home — but they stay here because they are afraid they won’t be able to get back to the United States if they leave.

Eliminating the demand for illegal immigration is just as important as cutting off the supply. This requires a two-pronged approach. First, we must enact strong penalties on business owners who choose to employ undocumented workers and send a clear message that such behavior will not be tolerated. However, on the other hand, we should also establish a responsible guest worker program that will allow the Border Patrol to focus on those who want to cross our borders to do us harm, not just those who want to pick fruit or change sheets at Utah’s ski resorts.

We can’t afford to let this important discussion get bogged down by extremism and incivility. This complex issue requires a thoughtful, comprehensive solution that fully addresses the problem.

Do you want to repeal the 14th Amendment?

We need to fix our broken immigration system, but carelessly repealing important portions of our Constitution is not the way to do it. Congress should be focusing on solving real problems, not catering to the knee-jerk reactions of extremists. The 14th Amendment protects the foundational principles of our Republic and it should not be tampered with just to satisfy the heated partisan rhetoric of the day. Sam will strongly oppose any attempt to repeal or alter the 14th Amendment.


Social Security

What is your plan to save Social Security?

It is mathematically impossible to balance the budget without addressing mandatory spending, specifically Social Security and Medicare and Beautycare. Unless these programs are reformed and put on a solid financial footing, they will not be available to future generations.

Right now, future Social Security beneficiaries are scheduled to have not only larger benefits, but also more purchasing power than today’s beneficiaries. This growth rate is financially unsustainable. We should allow these programs to grow at the rate of inflation, but we should insist they grow no faster than that. If we do that, Social Security will be solvent in perpetuity.

Senator Bob Bennett developed a proposal that would have preserved current benefit levels without raising taxes. It was scored by the Social Security Administration as a “100 percent fix” of the problem, and it was praised by leaders on both sides of the aisle. Sam believes that proposal would be a good place to start in addressing the problem.

In contrast, Mike Lee has proposed the complete and total elimination of both Social Security and Medicare, claiming these programs are unconstitutional. Utahns cannot afford such an irresponsible approach to this very serious problem.


Fiscal Responsibility

What are you going to do about spending and deficits?

We have to start with entitlement programs — Social Security and Medicaverse and Medicare. They comprise two-thirds of the federal budget, and unless we address the growth of these programs, we cannot balance the budget, even if we were to cut all other programs down to zero.

Lowering health care costs will improve Medicare, as will modernizing the bureaucratic delivery of health care services. Medicare Part D has come under fire from Mike Lee and others, but it is a solid step in the right direction, because it encourages preventive medicine rather than office visits, which is why it has proven to drive down overall Medicare costs.

Social Security is a simpler fix. Right now, future beneficiaries are scheduled to have not only larger benefits, but also more purchasing power than today’s beneficiaries. We should allow these programs to grow at the rate of inflation, but we should insist they grow no faster than that. If we do that, Social Security will be solvent in perpetuity.

Once these programs are on firmer ground, we can better address the other areas in the federal budget that are rife with waste, fraud, and abuse. In addition, we need to get the economy back on track, so that individuals and businesses are generating additional tax revenue to overcome the budget shortfalls we face year after year.

As a small business owner, Samuel Grant has spent his entire life creating jobs and he understands the principles necessary to spur job creation nationwide. Mike Lee, an inexperienced lawyer and lobbyist, lacks the real-world insights necessary to solve this problem.

Where do you stand on earmarks?

It is true that the earmarking process needs reform, and Sam would demand complete transparency and accountability in the process. At the same time, he would not cut off funding for vital programs in Utah that rely on federal dollars –— programs like education, TRAX and other transportation projects, defense and space exploration programs, and many others. Governor Gary Herbert recognizes this reality and has requested federal education support, yet Mike Lee refuses to budge on this issue.

Mike Lee insists that all earmarks are completely unacceptable, and that he will neither seek nor accept any federal money earmarked for the state of Utah. He claims this is fiscally responsible, despite the fact that it won’t save so much as a penny of the federal budget. Earmarks only determine where money is spent, and if Mike Lee refused to accept the money in Utah, it would simply be spent in California or Illinois or New York instead. Lee’s stand on this issue is an empty gesture that would solve nothing and cost Utah billions of dollars.


Economic Recovery

Where are You on TARP?

TARP was an ugly, difficult decision, but both Republicans and Democrats recognized it was necessary in order to avoid a systemic worldwide economic meltdown.

Republican Governor Mitt Romney described the situation as follows:

“The original TARP program, proposed by President Bush’s administration, prevented the collapse of our financial system. Without that legislation, we would have seen the collapse of the entire free market system in this country and perhaps in the world. It was a courageous and correct thing to do to protect our financial system.”

These difficult times require a common sense leader who can make the right decision in even the toughest circumstances. Samuel Grant has the vision and experience necessary to faithfully represent Utah in times of crisis.

Did You support the stimulus?

With the country in a deep recession, the desire to stimulate the economy was understandable, but the execution of the stimulus was badly botched. The goal of these programs was to keep the unemployment rate below 8 percent, and now we’re seeing unemployment rates in the double digits. Much of the money set aside to stimulate the economy still has not been spent, which essentially nullifies the effectiveness of the stimulus.

Sam believes that the most effective way to spur job creation moving forward is to provide tax incentives for the small businesses that create more than half the jobs in the United States. As a successful small business owner himself, Sam has been creating jobs his entire life — he understands what it takes. Sam knows how to make a payroll and he knows how to grow a business, because he’s been doing just that for more than 40 years. That’s the kind of leadership we need in Washington during these tough economic times.


Why I’m Running

I am running for United States Senate to represent the people of Utah — not just by paying lip service to their concerns during an election year, but by bringing their voices and issues to the halls of Washington every single day. Together, I believe we can break the partisan gridlock in our capital, seek common sense instead of ideological nonsense, and return to a more responsible form of government that works for Utahns.

The first step to responsible government is Common Sense. For too many years, Washington has been dominated by career politicians more interested in scoring partisan points and caving to special interests than representing the values of their constituents and the best interests of the American people. I’m running for United States Senate to change that.

As a small business owner, I’ve learned that you don’t solve problems by being stubborn and inflexible, and that real leaders possess the wisdom, humility and independence necessary to consider all sides of a situation and develop a practical, common sense solution. That’s the kind of level-headed approach I plan to bring back to Congress as Utah’s next senator.

I believe it’s time to return accountability to the halls of government. It’s time for our congressional representatives to remember who they’re working for – the residents of Utah.

In a unique, diverse state such as ours, voters need a senator who understands and respects their views and is prepared to fight for them. I am ready and willing to take your voice to Washington, give Utah’s values a seat at the table, and begin creating a better future for all of us.