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Quad City Times - Candidate Thompson Touts His Plan for Iraq

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Quad City Times - Candidate Thompson Touts His Plan for Iraq

By Thomas Geyer

Presidential hopeful Tommy Thompson touted his plan for building peace in Iraq that includes splitting oil revenues between the country's federal government, its 18 provinces and the people.

"I would first ask the (Nouri) al-Malaki government to vote if they want America in Iraq," said Thompson, who spoke to about 120 people at a Quad-City Homebuilders Association dinner held Wednesday night at The Lodge in Bettendorf. "I feel confident they would and that would legitimize our presence there."

He said he then would have elections for leaders in each of the provinces. In each, Shiite-dominated areas would elect Shiite leaders, Sunni areas would elect Sunni leaders, and Kurdish areas would elect Kurd leaders.

Shiites would then go to Shiite-controlled areas, as would the Sunnis and Kurds, he said.

"I would then take the oil revenues and split that three ways, with a portion going to the federal government, a portion going to the provinces, and the rest going to every man, woman and child in Iraq," he said.

That would give each and every Iraqi a stake in the country, he said. And it also would force the expansion of oil production instead of the destruction of the oil infrastructure.

"Iraqis are great business people and are well-educated," Thompson said. "They would take that money and build houses and restaurants and small businesses. They would build the peace."

Thompson also said that health care should be affordable and accessible, but more needs to be done for prevention and healthy lifestyles.

Of what the government spends on health care each year, he said, "93 percent goes to getting people well, after they get sick. Only 7 percent is allocated to prevention."

He added that the health-care system should take advantage of information technology and become paperless. "That would save $191 billion dollars," he said, adding that it would also save lives by lessening mistakes.

Speaking after the dinner, Thompson applauded the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision Wednesday to uphold a nationwide ban on partial-birth abortions. The ban was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush in 2003.

A former four-term Republican governor of Wisconsin, Thompson said he was one of the first to sign a partial-birth abortion ban.

"I'm very impressed and very pleased that the decision came down," he said. "It was the right decision."

He said that the time to move to a flat tax is at hand, and while it cannot be done overnight, the process should be started.

"Right now we have a system in America where people figure their regular income tax, and then figure the alternative minimum tax and they are required to pay the higher of the two," he said.

He said the process should be taken a step further, and that a flat tax should also be figured and that people should pay the lesser of the three.

"That will begin moving us toward a flat tax and show that it can work," he said, adding that there are ways to cut taxes, and overhaul the welfare program that will get people to work for a paycheck instead of waiting for a handout.

Another Republican presidential hopeful will be at The Lodge tonight. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will hold a reception at 5:15 p.m. The Lodge is located at 900 Spruce Hills Drive.

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