We are living in a time during which our government is overseeing the largest redistribution of wealth in the history of humankind. It is not from the “haves” to the “have nots” nor is it from the “laboring class” to the “ownership class” or vice versa. It is from our country’s children and future generations to us. We are indenturing our children’s and grandchildren’s labor to service a debt to which they did not agree. The Democrats and the Republicans alike are writing giveaways to special interest groups, lobbyists and campaign donors with checks that our federal budget cannot sustain cashing. We are approaching the point in at which the interest payment on our debt will entirely consume the discretionary potion of the budget. As your elected representative, I will vote NO on any federal budget proposal that does not result in a balanced or surplus budget.
Infringements on our inherent freedoms
Our nation was birthed from the rights enshrined in our 2nd Amendment. Paul Revere road out crying “the Redcoats are coming” as the British regulars were on the march to disarm the colonial citizens of their gunpowder. The ability to defend oneself from societal dangers as well as tyrannical oppression from the government is a natural right that we do not give up when we individually freely vest power with the government. The 4th and 5th Amendments put limits on the government from conducting unreasonable searches, arbitrary arrests and asset seizures without required Due Process. The need for Due Process at the individual state level is reinforced in the 14th Amendment. Republicans and Democrats, together, are legislating laws that infringe on these rights. Through fearmongering they are turning our nation, founded on liberty, into a autocratic government. The government is authorized its power from the people, the people do not get permissions for freedom and liberty from the government. Whether it is misconceived Red Flag laws, the discriminatory juridical doctrine of Qualified Immunity, continued renewal of the PATRIOT Act, or other attacks against any of our rights we have not consented to sacrifice, I will stand as a bulwark against the growing authoritarian state. On these issues I will not waver.
criminal justice reform
Being a democratic society, it is appalling that the United States incarcerates more people than any other country on the planet, including those with authoritarian regimes and larger populations. Adding to this injustice, are the inequalities of the application of our judicial system against our racial minority populations in both what acts are considered criminal, as well as the sentences given according to same guidelines. The number one reform I would focus on in Congress is to end the failed 49 year-old War on Drugs. As individuals, we own our bodies and should not be criminalized for decisions on what we choose to ingest. Possession of and/or use of any substance should not result in criminal charges. Persons currently incarcerated for such actions and without any other violent convictions should be immediately released to be able to return to their families. Any criminal records related to these convictions should be expunged so as not to hinder their ability to qualify for any specific work. Restitution for infringing on their lives and the inability to earn a living because of being incarcerated for a victimless crime should be made available via federally backed, community financed low-interest mortgage loans to enable these people and their families the advantages of building equity and an asset base via home ownership as well as to give stability and reduce stress on their children, removing a major distraction that has been found to keep children from making the most of their educational opportunities.
I advocate for the dismantling of the current income and asset based tax system and move to government revenues being earned via a consumption tax. I am a proponent of the FAIRtax method of taxation. We would eliminate loopholes, tax shelters, tax avoidance strategies that lobbyists pay for and the wealthy can afford to use to avoid paying taxes. Via a “prebate” provision that takes a basic level of income required to pay for food, clothing, shelter and housing making it tax free, undue burden on lower income taxpayers is removed. We will be able to eliminate the IRS as an unnecessary bureaucratic organization within Federal Government and repeal the 16th amendment to the Constitution, moving towards the goal of smaller government with limited power of each individual’s lives and freedoms.
Americans decided in 1776 that they wanted to be free from a “ruling class”. This decision was ratified by the adoption of the Constitution as the law of the land. Power begets further power and longevity in Congress changes the allegiance of the Representative from representing their constituency to representing the lobbyist benefactors that will support their next election. The only way to stop this is to limit how many “next elections” they can have. I will work to legislate Congressional term limits as three terms for Congressional Representatives and two terms for Senators. The benefits for our democracy would be tremendous. It would lessen the importance of money in elections. It would free up legislators to more often vote for their constituencies needs rather than political party platform. It would make it easier for districts to free themselves of unsatisfactory incumbents. I pledge that if elected, whether or not these Term Limits become enacted law, I will abide by them.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM
The best methods to address campaign finance reforms are to institute Term Limits and to reduce the size and scope of government reach back to its Constitutional mandate. We have an over abundance of money flowing into campaigns because we an over abundance of government influence on our lives. In addition to instituting term limits combined with returning to our small, limited government foundations, we can address breach of an elected official’s fiduciary responsibility by offering donors specific opportunities and legislation that favor them over free market transactions by codifying required tranparency as to who are the donors to PAC provided “dark” money.
When we look at the different characteristics that make America special, we cannot overlook that one of our pillars of strength is the diversity of our community. We need immigration. Without it, we cannot offer the American Dream to the world. It is what makes us unique and gives us an aura of invincibility compared to the other nations. The story of America is in itself the story of immigrants. We cannot tell the world “we are full, we don’t want you, go back to from where you came.” We need to welcome those that want to contribute their energy, passion, resources into building more prosperous communities and call the USA their home. Immigrants are our employers and our skilled laborers. They are our service workers and our consumers. They are the builders of our economy as well as our benefactors. I will work to remove arbitrary numerical quotas on those that want to visit, work, study or reside, to enable a free and fair system of immigration that will be a path to those who are hungry to build a better life and recognize that each individual, as a human being, has a natural right and expectation to be treated humanely and with dignity.
Healthcare, Constitutionally, is in the purview of the states per the 10th Amendment. There are states that have developed health care programs for their citizens and residents that satisfy their needs. Residents of other states shouldn’t force them to abandon those, but work to emulate them. But, if we do get to a point where it’s decided through Constitutional amendment that health care should be purview of the federal government, my approach would be to reduce costs by increasing clarity and competition. Insurance companies should be able to market their health care plans in any state. Doctors and nurses should have national licenses to practice in any state. Medicare can continue on as present and should be opened up as an option for all Americans as part of the competition. Medical tourism should be incorporated for those who want to take advantage of lower cost options elsewhere. Pharmaceutical buyers should be able to procure the pharmaceuticals where ever they want domestically or internationally. Hospitals shouldn’t be restricted in size by state issued Certificates of Need. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that a centrally-planned system is not the best for us. Government restricted and hindered our abilities. The best responses we have seen to COVID were from government removing restrictions and letting the healthcare system act more according to on the ground market based conditions.
Human activity has been a major contributor to climate change for about the past 50 years. The Democrats and Republicans have proven the case that it cannot be government initiative that moves society into addressing action. In fact, with the energy lobbyists buying votes in Congress through campaign donations, government action is quite often detrimental. We need to eliminate the subsidies we give to energy companies so that the true cost of energy is factored into market decisions. And, also, for energy sources that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, we need those industries to move to carbon neutral production and also include the cost of the required remediation into their products. We need to encourage private manufacturing standards organizations such as ANSI, ISO and ABS to develop standards to which factories can certify to show that they are carbon neutral, hazardous waste footprint neutral, etc., and use those as the guidelines for awarding federal, state and municipal level contracts. We would also apply those standards against imports depending upon the certification levels of the foreign manufacturer to stimulate better standards worldwide. Finally, we should continue encouraging all zero-emission sources of energy including nuclear.