Sen. Lee remarks on ‘What Conservatives Are For’

Image by Brett Barrett, St. George News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Monday, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, delivered a speech at The Heritage Foundation on “What Conservatives Are For.”

Below are excerpts from his remarks:

“In Washington, we debate public policy so persistently that we can lose sight of the fact that policies are means, not ends. We say we are for lower taxes, or less regulation, or spending restraint. But those are just policies we advocate. They’re not what we’re really for. What we’re really for are the good things those policies will yield to the American people. What we’re really for is the kind of society those policies would allow the American people to create, together.”

“Ours has never been a vision of isolated, atomized loners. It is a vision of husbands and wives; parents and children; neighbors and neighborhoods; volunteers and congregations; bosses and employees; businesses and customers; clubs, teams, groups, associations and friends. The essence of human freedom, of civilization itself, is cooperation. This is something conservatives should celebrate. It’s what conservatism is all about.”

“Our vision of American freedom is of two separate but mutually reinforcing institutions: A free enterprise economy and a voluntary civil society. History has shown both of these organic systems to be extremely efficient at delivering goods and services. But these two systems are not good because they work. They work because they are good.”

“The great obstacle to realizing this vision today is government dysfunction. This is where our vision must inform our agenda.”

“We conservatives are not against government. The free market and civil society depend on a just, transparent and accountable government to enforce the rule of law. What we are against are two pervasive problems that grow on government like mold on perfectly good bread: Corruption and inefficiency. It is government corruption and inefficiency that today stand between the American people and the economy and society they deserve.”

“In the past, conservatives given federal power have been tempted to overuse it. We must resist this temptation. If we want to be a diverse movement, we must be a tolerant movement. The price of allowing conservative states to be conservative is allowing liberal states to be liberal. Call it subsidiarity. Call it federalism. Call it constitutionalism. But we must make this fundamental principle of pluralistic diversity a pillar of our agenda.”

Submitted by: The Office of Sen. Mike Lee

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews


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  • philiplo April 23, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Some of the reasons I will be supporting Mr. Lee’s opponent when his term is up are his votes on pieces of legislation that I think were important, and that I believe he got wrong.

    Prohibit US from entering UN Arms Trade Treaty — FOR
    Continued funding for gov’t operations — AGAINST
    Refuse to pay for Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act — FOR
    Brennan nomination to Director of CIA — AGAINST
    Hagel nomination to Defense Secretary — AGAINST
    Violence Against Women Act (re-authorization) — AGAINST
    The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities — AGAINST
    Expanded TRICARE program for autism — AGAINST
    Public Safety Officer benefit program — AGAINST
    Repeal prohibition on biofuel refinery construction — AGAINST
    Bring Jobs Home — AGAINST
    Small business jobs and tax relief — AGAINST
    Limit eligibility for SNAP — FOR
    Paycheck fairness (equal pay for equal work for women) — AGAINST
    Extending existing interest rates for student loans — AGAINST

  • Roy J April 23, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Free enterprise economy? FAIL. Voluntary civil society? FAIL. The great obstacle to realizing this vision today is government dysfunction? FAILFAILFAILFAILFAIL.

  • Dave Francis April 23, 2013 at 5:43 pm



    Unlike other countries that pursue immigration, they are not fetching into that nation people who are going to leech of the rest of the taxpayers. Obviously everybody sees a calling for the highly skilled, the PhDs, scientists, engineers and many other highly educated workers and specific regulations to expedited visas. But people with no education, unskilled and who are able to sponsor old folks will add to our own seemingly endless lines of American citizens in poverty. If its so deemed we must bring across the border Guest workers for farms, agriculture, meat packing, it must be regulated properly, not the haphazard system we have today. That the owners of farms, cattle and other business must pay a living wage, and not unload the injured charges in emergency rooms and expect the hospitals and eventually the taxpayers to pay all the bills.

    Without a biometric ID card the whole revision of Immigration laws is still going to fall on the taxpayers. OUR IDENTIFICATION IS BROKEN, AS THE WORN OUT SOCIAL SECURITY CARD THAT IS EASILY COMPROMISED? Even the spotlight on the E-Verify system has its real flaws, that mandatory execution of this electronic program, doesn’t take complete effect for 6 years. Thats ridiculous and must be in force by the first year of any new Immigration reform. Any Comprehensive Immigration Reform should only be put in motion, only when the Southern border is fully enforced. Not just more agents, but with double layered fencing complete with razor wire, designated as the original (2006 SECURE FENCE ACT) covering all federal lands, Indian reservations and private lands. There was a Theodore Roosevelt easement law passed in 1907 that gave federal authority to a 60-foot strip along the international boundary with Mexico for the United States to maintain the area free from obstructions as a protection against the smuggling of goods between the United States and Mexico. In effect, the easement provided the federal government with a 60-foot border right-of-way on which it could build the fence. So why is Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano forever making excuses about building the REAL 2 Layer fences?

    I still believe that any new immigration bill should contain an amendment to BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP, that only the babies of already U.S. citizens should be able to claim that right. Just by skirting the U.S. border Patrol, or Immigration and Customs Services (ICE) at airline arrival or shipping entry ports, smuggling the unborn into the country should not be tolerated and certainly not allow the unknown numbers of progeny a right to citizenship. There was a reason for this, according to the law that after the Civil War the descendants of slaves could gain citizenship.

    There should be no rushing in revisiting immigration policies, as the 1986 opened up huge loopholes and allowed millions of none qualifying illegal aliens to gain legal status. We are feeling these consequences some 27 years later, through an epidemic of FAMILY CHAIN MIGRATION, leading to the DREAM ACT and the problem of the potential of 11 to 25 million illegal aliens having settled here, paying no taxes, but still collecting hundreds of billions of dollars in free education for their children, health care in emergency rooms and a almost bottomless pit of incredible financial assistance including cash payments for every infant and food stamps. The critics are right that the parents are not entitled to federal or state benefits, but the de facto citizenship of illegal alien children are, and states are bleeding huge amounts of money, especially in the border state?

    Whatever it costs to seal our borders, give ICE and HOMELAND SECURITY the tools they need to fight the growing plague. By paying now no matter the cost will save hundreds of billions annually into the future. The only reason its so expensive to these senile idiots in Washington, is that it doesn’t conform to the demands of the special interests and all the corporations, otherwise discount labor would have already been severed? You will find a petition at NumbersUSA to stop this sham of the illegal alien invasion. Read more about the undeveloped border fence at AmericanPatrol and the astonishing sensor called the“Sonic Barrier” that is far advanced to the regular units they have on the border. AmericanPatrol can also illustrate to you the incompetence and intentional ignorance of the risks at the border, plus daily news and views that the Liberal press is keeping masked? Here is a few websites for petitions against illegal immigration, news and reports not seen within the pages of the left wing press. NumbersUSA carries much intelligence on specific laws, with American Patrol showing ample evidence of an extremely weak border and ineffectual control at ports of entry, including airline terminals. CALL YOUR TWO U.S. SENATORS TODAY and urge them to oppose S.744! You can call the Capitol Switchboard toll-free at 1-888-978-3094.

    There is daily news also to be found here, at American Patrol and all the happenings in Washington. Corruption and abuse of all our laws, pending immigration bills and abuses in congress is available at Judicial Watch.

    April 23, the daily American Patrol publicizes the outreach media articles, which usually remain concealed, but located here all in one place.

    1. Blind Eye: Conciliatory FBI policies toward Islamic hampered probe into Boston bombers.
    2. Spokesman for RINO Rubio compares plight of illegals to slavery.
    3. Kris Kobach testifies against amnesty scheme before U.S. Senate committee.
    4. Immigration Officer: Congress heeded illegal aliens, not law enforcement.
    5. Don’t thwart the rule of law.

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