Positions I Support and Will Vote in Favor of:
Activist judges and Judicial decisions - Radical leftist Federal judges who blatantly disregard the law need to be removed to the extent possible - and challenges to their decisions by the administration need to be fast tracked by SCOTUS - and replaced with judges that pledge to follow the law and not make the law.
Affordable Care Act and Health-Care Reform - Favor repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "Obamacare") which is a complete disaster and replacing it with a free-market system. Don’t support socialized medicine. The rising costs of premiums and deductibles is out of control rendering insurance nearly worthless in all but the most extreme cases -effectively becoming catastrophic plans at ten times the price! Allow health insurance premiums to be deducted on tax returns EVEN FOR THOSE THAT DO NOT ITEMIZE - a “top line” deduction. Completely oppose the individual health insurance mandate of the ACA. No person should be required to buy insurance unless they want to. Allow health-insurance companies to compete across state lines, offering any type of plans either they or the consumer wants,
Government should have limited involvement in health care - ideally to simply prevent unfair abuses, but at the lower end, where people have no money, helping them is the right thing to do. Working out some sort of a deal with hospitals across the country whereby everybody gets covered is possible. Make Medicaid into a block grant system for the states. Promote international competition in the drug market and removal of market entry barriers for drug providers and improved access to imported medication corresponding to safety standards. Mental health care in the U.S. needs to improve and be more available. Medical facilities should be required to charge the lowest contracted rate they charge to someone with insurance to those without insurance. They should also be required to explicitly disclose the amount of charitable care they give that they do not seek to later collect for by destroying people’s credit.
Campaign finance - Support idea of campaign finance reform, favor public financing of elections, caps on expenditures of campaigns, outside groups, and/or individuals and elimination of DARK MONEY. I realize some are opposed to this on privacy grounds but I'd prefer my opponents not be able to hide where there donations from than preserving my privacy.
Cannabis Policy - Fully support the legalization of medical marijuana for those who are suffering with a medical condition. States (even Counties) should have the right to manage their own policies with regard to medical and recreational marijuana but medical use should be regulated under the FDA the same for any drug. Recreational use should only be allowed for those 21 and over. Driving under the influence should be treated the same as if alcohol.
Capital punishment - Advocate capital punishment but not for crimes where there is a human victim (as opposed to espionage or treason e.g.) that does not involve the loss of life (kidnap, sexual assault, etc.). No reason to incentivize the criminal to murder a victim just to dispose of a witness. Four U.S. cities are in the top fifty cities in the world in terms of murder rates. We need to be OFF that list! Not good when the murder rate in a U.S. city rivals Baghdad or Mogadishu.
Child care - Support ideas such as allowing parents earning up to $75,000 individually or $150,000 as couples to deduct the full cost of childcare cost (up to the average cost of childcare in their state) from their taxable income even if not itemizing (same as for healthcare costs - especially if the federal government continues to be involved in our healthcare decisions). Lower-income families (up to 200% of the FPG) should receive refundable credits of $1,500 per child annually to offset ACTUAL childcare costs through an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit - THAT IS ONLY AVAILABLE TO U.S. CITIZENS. Mothers whose employers don't offer paid maternity leave should receive six weeks of partially paid maternity leave, to be paid for through unemployment insurance. Adding a tax-deductible dependent-care savings account allowing to $2,000 annually per child with lower-income families receiving a match dollar for dollar up to $1,000. Plans should apply to mothers and fathers.
Civil servants - Need to purge the federal government of officials appointed by Obama and would support legislation making it easier to fire public workers. Need to implement a performance based merit system.
Conducting national security activities in public settings - Anything needing to be in a SCIF needs to be in a SCIF. Period. Everyone else needs to get over the rest. I doubt there are any spies that are members of Mar-a-Lago.
Criminal justice - Rule of law must be followed and respected. Need to be tough on crime. Must support police 100%. Putting too many non-violent criminals convicted of victimless crimes in jail a waste of resources and self-defeating and amounts to no more than a transfer of wealth from taxpayers to those employed in the law enforcement and criminal justice sectors. In favor of a mandatory five-year sentence when using a gun to commit a crime.
Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines - In favor of both pipelines. Reducing delivery costs and eliminating the burning of fossil fuels - i.e. no trains or trucks needed - to transport the oil is 100% positive. They will have minimal or no impact on environment and create lots of jobs for the U.S. Support directives ordering an end to protracted environmental reviews and making environmental review a much shorter process for similar projects in the future.
Disabled people - Strengthen laws providing support and allow service animals without limit or restriction in housing and on public transportation.
District of Columbia and U.S. Territories Statehood - Opposed but in favor of having representation.
Drug policy - Number one priority must be to stop the flow of drugs into the U.S. A southern wall will further that goal greatly. Past U.S. drug enforcement policy has clearly failed. We've already lost the war on drugs. Sadly, taking the profit incentive away would work best - i.e. legalization, as if it’s not profitable no one will want to do it - but that will never happen. It is a further sad truth that fighting drugs has become a multi-billion dollar business that many people depend on to feed their families.
Education - Support school choice and local control for primary and secondary schools, letting parents choose the best school for their children. Common Core being a state choice, not a federal one, block grants to states to give poor children vouchers to attend a school of their family's choice (including a charter school, private school, or online school).
Eminent domain - Generally opposed (except in cases of national security – yes that means thin strips along the border to build the wall) but if/when the tool is used property owners must be compensated MORE THAN fairly. Some set minimum above the higher of assessed value (50-100%?) or comparable properties (25-50%?) should be looked at.
Employment - Support for tax cuts, infrastructure investment, reduced regulations, and revised trade agreements which could create 25 million jobs over ten years. A wider measure of unemployment (U-6) that includes those working part-time for economic reasons and marginally attached workers, was 9.7% - TOO HIGH!
Energy independence - Focused on promoting and accomplishing complete American energy independence. Become totally independent of the need to import energy from the oil cartel or any nation hostile to our interest. Rescind EPA regulations preventing us to achieve that goal. Improve clean coal technology.
Environmental Regulation - EPA budget cuts and overhaul of the agency was certainly needed. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service abuse of the Endangered Species Act to restrict oil and gas exploration needs to end. That would otherwise permit drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge which CAN be done in an environmentally responsible way. Let state and local governments oversee fracking in their jurisdictions. Eliminate job-destroying Obama executive actions. Eliminate draconian climate rules that, unless stopped, would effectively bypass Congress to impose job-killing cap-and-trade. Oppose a cap-and-trade system to control carbon emissions.
Ethics Regulations - Support ban on executive branch officials, members of Congress and Senate from lobbying any U.S. agency or governmental body for five years after leaving government. Support a lifetime ban for all groups above lobbying in the U.S. on behalf of a foreign government.
Federal Reserve - Support proposals that would grant Congress the ability to audit the Federal Reserve's decision making and take power away from the Federal Reserve. Generally favor the monetary policy currently followed by Janet Yellen, but need to guard against a false economy. Interest rates should change more on market forces.
Financial regulation and other regulations - Dismantle or overhaul nearly all of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, - a very negative force for business especially in how it prevents banks from lending to businesses seeking to expand. Roll back existing regulations and continue current moratorium on new regulations being implemented without eliminating two others with a specific focus on undoing environmental rules that curtail job creation. Eliminate as many as 70 percent of federal agency regulations overall.
Food safety - Lots of unnecessary regulations to eliminate while others are sorely needed. A full revamp of FDA guidelines should be undertaken.
Gold standard - Bringing back the gold standard would be very hard to do, but, we'd be better off if we have a standard on which to base our money.
Gun regulation - Oppose gun control and call for the expansion of gun rights and eliminating prohibitions on assault weapons, military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines (which are "scary sounding phrases" used by gun control advocates "to confuse people"), as well as making concealed carry permits valid nationwide, rather than on the current state-to-state basis. Concealed carry "is a right, not a privilege." Call for an overhaul of the current federal background check system, as too many states are failing to put criminal and mental health records into the system. Get rid of gun-free zones on schools and military bases. In some cases, teachers should have guns in classrooms. Supports barring people on the government's terrorist watch list from purchasing weapons. Democrats essentially want to abolish the Second Amendment. Additionally, no one should have to spend money to exercise their constitutional right.
Separately, and sort of just as an fyi, I contacted ATF in DC to ask if there were any way a regular citizen could submit a gun either to them or any other government or private entity that there were aware of so that the gun could be checked to see whether or not it had ever been involved in a crime. They said no. Seems like a HUGE opportunity as I'm sure many law abiding citizens would prefer to get a "clean bill of health" for peace of mind if something like that were available. Let's hope they don't try to make it mandatory. Hope I didn't open a Pandorra's box!!! Tweet
Income inequality - I reject the pessimism that says our standard of living can no longer rise and that all that's left to do is divide up and redistribute our shrinking resources.
Infrastructure - Support investment not only to help create jobs and stimulate economic growth but even more so because our airports, bridges, water tunnels, power grids, rail systems - our nation's entire infrastructure - is crumbling, and we aren't doing anything about it. While acknowledging this is going to be an expensive investment, as a country, we have to spend money on mass transit and fix our airports and roads. We've spent near $5 trillion trying to topple various regimes. If we could've spent that in the United States to fix our roads, bridges and all of the other problems we would've been a lot better off. Some of our airports, roads, and bridges, are like that of a Third World country. The U.S. lags far behind in high speed rail and its current rail network is vastly inferior to many foreign countries' systems. I’d support the President’s proposal to spend up to a trillion dollars to repair and improve the nation's infrastructure and to create an infrastructure fund that would be supported by government bonds that investors and citizens could purchase, similar to Build America Bonds. I’d also support a public private international partnership – as numerous countries would benefit – for the idea on a Bering Strait tunnel/causeway project, as the inevitable future that can create a multitude of jobs in the present.
Immigration - Support a variety of limits on legal immigration and guest-worker visas, including a pause on granting green cards, which will allow record immigration levels to subside to more moderate historical averages. Support building a wall on our southern border and deporting ANY non-citizen (even if a legal resident) that is convicted of a crime AND anyone in the country illegally accused of a crime (obviously depending how serious they may need to be kept here - makes no sense to allow someone to come here and commit murder knowing worst case they get deported). ALL law enforcement must abide by and adhere to federal immigration detainers. Easy to make Mexico pay for wall. Charge $10 per person for non-citizens/legal residents entering from Mexico & $10 per money transfer to Mexico - combined over $2b/year. All that said, we need to INCREASE immigration of those with skills we need and do better retaining those with the talent we need who have come here on student visas.
Internet and Computer Security - Cyber security needs to become a top priority for our country to prevent attacks against our systems and infrastructure as well as theft or destruction of government or private secrets or information. All ways to limit, restrict, or interfere with the Internet - or shut it off - in countries that have a majority of their territory controlled by terrorist organizations should be pursued.
Judiciary & Supreme Court – Fully support embracing the opportunity for a once in a lifetime Conservative shift and would look very seriously at the Hillary Clinton email controversy because it's a criminal activity. Taking account of the advanced age of three of the sitting justices, we can move the Supreme Court more rightward toward its most conservative position in recent memory if not in our country’s history.
Minimum wage – It is up to every local government to decide what is best for their community. I’m opposed to any large increase of the Federal minimum wage and believe doing so would hurt America's economic competitiveness. That said, I do believe the Federal minimum wage, if it continues to exist, needs to be automatically indexed to CPI just as other federal payments are such as for annual increases for social security. Perhaps some “one-time catch-up” can be implemented to adjust for the years since the last raise.
Those in favor of increasing the minimum wage often ignore the simple economic fact that the higher the wage the more the less skilled/experienced are impacted in terms of having the effect of actually REDUCING employment as employers, when faced with paying higher wages, will increasingly seek to obtain what they consider people more and more better suited/qualified/experienced i.e. “more bang for the buck” or the “less favored paradox”.
From a purely humanitarian standpoint, I would say $10 per hour is a fair and appropriate level. At least if there were two parents in a family that each worked 40 hour minimum wage jobs they would make $41,600 per year - just above the 2017 federal poverty guidelines for a family of (as many as) eight of $41,320 (or six in Alaska - $40,740).
NAFTA - Renegotiate it or break it. Eliminate unfair provisions that hurt U.S. manufacturing and construction employment. Give American workers a level playing field.
National Debt - Oppose a massive one-time "net worth tax" on the rich to wipe out the national debt as much I oppose higher state property taxes. Refinance the U.S. federal debt with longer and more stable and predictable interest rates and buy current outstanding bonds back at a discount whenever possible. Long-term it needs to be wiped out as it is a noose on our necks.
Native Americans - A modernization of all polices needs to be undertaken.
Property Taxes - Nothing more than a regressive form of a wealth tax (or “net-worth” tax by a different name). The downside is it affects many that can’t afford it. There are a steadily growing number of fixed income (with almost no annual increases – thanks FED) elderly and retirees and lower income people that were lucky enough to have been able to afford a home that have a hard time paying ever increasing property taxes that rise steadily not only in nominal and real terms – and almost always at a greater rate than inflation or CPI adjustments - but more so as a percent of their income. To compound the problem, some opportunistic and predatory counties sometimes offer deferment to those over 62 but charge as much as 8% (or more) interest on the amounts deferred so that there can be little or no equity left for heirs. That practice is a plain and simple form of loansharking. Also, allowing lenders the ability to IN ALL CASES prohibit deferments just so the tax lien doesn’t become superior to theirs NEEDS TO END as the taxing authority will never foreclose for unpaid taxes! Additionally, as long as the equity is greater a certain percent (10-25%?) - i.e. the sum of the loan balance and deferred taxes (plus some additional “safety margin” for the possible expenses or uncertainty of the result of a foreclosure) is less than a certain percent (75-90%?) of the property value, there is no valid reason why a lender should deny - OR A STATE SHOULD ALLOW THEM TO - those entitled to a deferment the relief they seek.
I'd like to hear others who have been involved with state government - who've had a chance to speak out against these abuses already BUT HAVEN'T - justify these predatory tactics! Why not an interest rate that is - say e.g. - 1% higher than those counties' weighted average interest rate of outstanding debt? Incentivizing seniors to defer would be a way for counties to offset their interest expense. Pricing the deferments out of the market is self-defeating and helps no one. Allowing lenders to discriminate against someone exercising their right is unconstitutional.
Renewable energy - Do not oppose the wind production tax credit although wind energy is still too expensive and doesn’t work without massive subsidies. Wind turbine blades kill about one hundred golden eagles each year. Reducing bureaucracy would lead to greater innovation. Renewable energies, including nuclear, wind and solar energy should be encouraged but not to the exclusion of other energy that is readily available - i.e. oil, natural gas, coal, and hydro-electric. Support a higher ethanol mandate and protecting the government’s Renewable Fuel Standard and the corn-based ethanol.
Social Security and Medicare - Medicare should negotiate directly with prescription-drug companies to get lower prices for the Medicare Part D prescription-drug benefit. Oppose cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits to those that have already been vested in them. Parts of the administration of it should be privatized wherever greater efficiencies can be obtained. I’m completely opposed to raising the Social Security retirement age to 70 from 67 (It should be lowered to 65). Employee directed choices need to be implemented as to investments. In favor of raising cap on social security income.
Space - NASA should recreate National Space Council, and pursue a goal of human exploration of the solar system by the end of the century, to drive technology developments to a stronger degree than a manned mission to Mars. Other goals should include shifting budget to deep space exploration from Earth science and climate research, pursuit of small satellites and hypersonic technology. A possibility of China joining International Space Station should also be considered. A stronger role of manned lunar exploration is possible in NASA's quest for a manned mission to Mars.
Student loans - Work with all students and ex-students who are drowning in debt to take the pressure off. Reduce government role in student lending. All colleges should have "skin in the game" and share some of the risk associated with student loans. In favor of having student loans able to be refinanced without needing approvals (at some FAIR mandated benchmark - many 8% loans out there are killing people financially), repayment capped at 10 percent of borrowers' disposable income, and with forgiveness of any remaining debt after fifteen years of payments. I criticize the federal government for earning a profit from federal student loans. Oppose debt-free or free public higher education or a state-federal partnership to make community college free for new high school graduates. It is up to individual counties what they charge for community college.
Term Limits - In favor of a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on members of Congress, so that members of the House of Representatives and Senators could serve for a maximum of twelve years (2x6 or 6x2).
Trade - The trade deficit with China was $367 billion in 2015. Raise tariffs to match what other countries charge our exports (for those we cannot eliminate via negotiation). Never let a tariff on our products by a country be higher than we place on imports from that country. Require tariffs to be paid before goods are allowed to enter country. Trade needs to be fair. Ideally no tariffs but if any the same on both sides. I am a "free trader," not a "protectionist". Need to avoid trade wars and harm to consumers. Saving money is almost as good as making it. Recognize that the threat of tariffs could adversely affects international trade flows by creating policy uncertainty, but still be prepared to enact them if other countries continue to treat us unfairly. Swift, robust and unequivocal action must be taken against Chinese piracy, counterfeiting American goods, and theft of U.S. trade secrets and intellectual property and illegal export subsidies and lax labor and environmental standards.
Trans-Pacific Partnership - The deal was insanity and should not be supported or allowed to happen.
Unions and right-to-work laws - My position on right to work is 100 percent.
Veterans - Get rid of backlogs and wait-lists. Veterans Affairs facilities need to be upgraded with recent technology, hire more veterans to treat other veterans, increase support of female veterans, and create satellite clinics within hospitals in rural areas. Reform the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs including provisions for allowing veterans to obtain care at any doctor or facility that accepts Medicare, increasing funding for PTSD and suicide prevention services, and providing ob/gyn services at every VA hospital. Greater privatization of veterans’ care. Legislation making it easier to fire underperforming employees, increasing mental-health resources and adding a White House hotline so veterans can bypass the VA and bring problems directly to the president. Improve the current G.I. Bill.
Video game violence - Opposed to video game violence for young children. It was reported that the Sandy Hook shooter frequently played violent video games - video game violence and glorification must be stopped - it is creating monsters and destroying innocence!
Waterboarding, Torture, Interrogation (1) & Action Against Terrorists' Families (2) - (1) The maximum allowed under the law. Anything legal is not torture. (2) Indistinguishable if they harbor those actually planning/committing the acts. Obviously not single out and intentionally target children regardless who their parents are or what they may have done.
Wildlife Conservation and Animal Welfare - Abusive industries and practices should be limited and eliminated. To differing degrees, for such activities such as trophy hunting, puppy mills, factory farming, horse slaughter, and others, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) should publish on its public website all enforcement records related to commercial animal treatment. The goal should be full transparency. Of course all wild species should also be protected and compassionately managed but rational decisions must be made when the need arises to balance the good of one species or another versus that of humans.
World Trade Organization - The World Trade Organization (WTO) is a disaster. We need to renegotiate or pull out.