Starting Pay for Teachers $80,000
I WANT THE STARTING PAY FOR TEACHERS TO BE $80,000 A YEAR. Our education system is falling behind other countries. We will never have the best education system if we do not attract and retain the best, highest-quality teachers, and we can only get the best if we actually pay them what they are worth. We need to pay them $80,000 a year starting. And, this will also help change the culture. In other cultures and societies, education is valued, teachers are respected. In the U.S. they’re not. Paying teachers $80,000 per year will help change that paradigm to where people will respect the profession more, respect teachers more, and value education more.
Wanna know how I’m gonna pay for the teacher raise?
I WANT TO LEGALIZE, REGULATE, AND TAX CANNABIS. Just like what we do for cigarettes, that’s what I wanna do for cannabis. Also, we’ve got a boat-load of people sitting in jail and sitting in prison for having an ounce of cannabis. And, we have to spend $40,000 a year per inmate to keep them locked up for a non-violent criminal offense. That’s ridiculous! We’re wasting all this money to keep them locked up, when we could actually use that money for things that help society get better. This war on drugs has been a failure on drugs. Alcohol is legal, cigarettes are legal. Opioids are legal. We have all sorts of stuff that is legal and available in our society that has much worse side effects than cannabis. It’s time for us to legalize cannabis. We can use the taxes on cannabis to help actually pay our teachers more. Our society is not going to fail because we have some people smoking weed; our society is gonna fail because we have a bunch of people that don’t know how to do 2 + 2.
Ban Money in Politics
Money in Politics = Corruption in Politics
I WANT TO BAN MONEY IN POLITICS. Money in politics equals corruption in politics. If you want to drain the swamp, if you want to have government working for people rather than special interests, if you want to have lower prescription drug prices, if you want a simpler, better tax code, if you want to have less government spending, you have to ban money in politics.
WE NEED TO HAVE FULLY PUBLICLY-FUNDED ELECTIONS. However, other solutions, albeit not as good as publicly-funded elections, but better than what we have now, and will curb the corrosive conflicts of interest of the current contribution/money election process, include the clean election program, a matching funds program, voting with dollars program, and the anonymous donations method.
MEDICARE IF-YOU-WANT-IT PLAN
I believe in the free market and capitalism. However, I know that some folks, because they live in a rural part of the country or because they’re self-employed, may not have access to Health Insurance. And, I know that some folks have crappy health insurance coverage from work or have to pay for those expensive COBRA plans. So, for folks that don’t like the Health Insurance that they have or don’t have access to Health Insurance, I want them to be able to enroll in Medicare (a MEDICARE IF-YOU-WANT-IT PLAN). However, I do not believe in a government mandate or handouts. This plan is just a choice for you to compare with other providers, like Aetna, Humana, Blue Cross, etc. And, you can’t get this Medicare If-You-Want-It plan for free; there’s gonna be a premium. So, if you can’t get good health care anywhere else, you can enroll in this Medicare If-You-Want-It plan but you will have to pay the premium for this Medicare plan. I think this is a good centrist, middle-of-the-road approach. I think this solution is something that Republicans, conservatives, independents, Democrats, and liberals will like.
Lower Prescription Drug Prices
Everyone knows that you’re supposed to get discounts when you buy in bulk. Well, Medicare, the largest purchaser of prescription drugs in the U.S., is forbidden by law to negotiate drug prices. Did you know that you can go to the VA (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) and get a prescription drug for 40% less than with Medicare? The same drug! So, LET MEDICARE NEGOTIATE DRUG PRICES. This solution will save seniors, and the rest of the country, so much money on the drugs they buy.
Simplify by Eliminating Estate Tax, Extra 2% on Million Dollar Income
I want to dramatically simplify the tax system. In addition to the massive tax cut from fixing Social Security listed below, I want to update and simplify the tax code by eliminating the estate tax, commonly referred to as the death tax. A lot of people that are conservative and liberal alike will not like this tax elimination, because it is a tax cut for rich people. However I’m not done with my solution yet. In addition to eliminating the estate tax, I want to increase the income tax bracket by 2% for everybody that makes over one million dollars a year. Therefore, this plan doesn’t give a massive tax break to people that are wealthy. It actually still taxes people that are wealthy, because they’ll have to pay taxes by way of income, but eliminates an entire subset of the tax code which is the estate tax. The estate tax causes all sorts of problems and complexity for taxes and estate planning, and encourages people to use tax shelters and other tax gimmicks. So, my solution actually provides reform and simplification without really giving a cut to the wealthiest families. Keep in mind, it will be hard to update the tax code without getting rid of money in politics. Now, please see how I address income inequality…
Infrastructure Spending & High-Value Research
I want to address income inequality with four steps. First, as I mentioned before, I want to increase the tax bracket by 2% for everybody that makes over one million dollars a year.
Second, I want to use the money raised by that 2% to help do infrastructure projects and high value research. Infrastructure spending creates high-paying jobs. High-paying jobs addresses income inequality. High value research creates industries, technologies, and jobs of the future. Look at what happened when the U.S. invested in the space race: all these new industries and jobs were created for decades and decades. Look at what happened when the U.S. invested in the Internet: all of these new jobs and companies were created.
Third, to address income inequality, I want to improve the education system by paying teachers a starting salary of $80,000 per year. It’s hard to get a good paying job if you don’t have the education or the skills to do the job.
Lastly, I want to lower the tax rate for Social Security from 6.2% to 3% and remove the taxable income cap, thereby, creating a massive tax cut for the poor, working class, and middle class.
Infrastrucure Spending, High-Value Research, and Population Growth
Massive infrastructure spending and high value research, as I mentioned above. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave our infrastructure a grade of D plus. Our airports suck, our bridges are a thousand years old, our drinking water sucks, our energy infrastructure and grid is outdated, our roads are pathetic. How is this acceptable? How is this exceptional? How can we have a growing economy when the backbone of commerce is broken?
Economic growth is directly correlated with population growth. As countries get wealthier, their family size shrinks and population growth slows. The best way to keep a high rate of population growth for any wealthy country is through immigration. So, we should EMBRACE LEGAL IMMIGRATION. As I say below, secure the border, and embrace legal immigration.
Environment Protection Through Economic Growth
My solution for the environment will satisfy liberals, conservatives, and independents alike. I know some people believe in global warming and some people do not. My solution below will be acceptable to both groups, and, frankly, both groups need to agree to pass legislation.
First, I believe in global warming and that humans contribute. I know that people that don’t believe in global warming still care about the environment and don’t like pollution.
So, let’s try to find common ground.
People that don’t believe in global warming still believe in having a good economy, still want to have good paying jobs (just like the people that believe in global warming). Both groups want the U.S. to manufacture products and goods.
Therefore, part of the infrastructure spending & high-value research that I outlined above for income inequality and economic growth should be used so that we can beat other countries to the technologies of the future, like solar energy panels, like battery storage, like a more efficient energy grid. China manufactures 60%-70% of the entire planet’s solar panels. Whether you believe in global warming or not, don’t you want the U.S. to have that market share? The largest wind farm just started in Africa; whose building the turbines? Denmark. Shouldn’t we be building them? Whether you believe in global warming or not, have you heard of electric vehicles? Where do you want the batteries for those cars made? I want it to be the U.S.
Fix Our Dysfunctional Political System
Ban Money, Move Election Day to Saturday, Ban Gerrymandering, STAR Primary, Term Limits Commentary
First, I want to BAN MONEY IN POLITICS. Because money in politics equals corruption in politics.
Second, I want to MOVE ELECTION DAY FROM TUESDAY TO SATURDAY. Having election day still on Tuesday is so antiquated! Also, I want to have Election Day a national holiday. Many people can’t take time off from work to vote. The poor, the working class can’t afford to take a day off to vote. So, by having election day on Tuesday and not a national holiday, we have basically prohibited millions of fellow Americans from voting. Genius! (That’s sarcasm.) We always brag that we have the best democracy in the world, time for us to prove it by making it easier for people to actually vote and let their voice be heard!
Third, I want to BAN GERRYMANDERING. Gerrymandering is a practice used by politicians and political parties to give them an election advantage by manipulating district boundaries. Sometimes, it’s referred to as politicians picking their voters instead of voters picking their politicians. IT’S CHEATING, BASICALLY. Gerrymandering is anti-free market. Therefore, if you believe in the free market & competition, you should hate gerrymandering. THE BEST SOLUTION FOR GERRYMANDERING IS PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION. However, other solutions, albeit not as good as proportional representation, but better than what we have now, include an independent redistricting commission, an open-source computer program, and a statewide competition of submissions from universities.
Lastly, we need to change the primary system. Currently, primaries are separated by political parties, thus creating a system where we only have 2 political parties and other political parties and independents can’t participate in the system in a substantial or equitable way. We should have a single primary, not separated by political party. And, THE PRIMARY SHOULD USE RANKED-CHOICE VOTING OR THE STAR METHOD.
Term limits only addresses the symptom, not the disease. If we ban money, ban gerrymandering, and have a STAR primary, we won’t have to worry about term limits. Term limits keep politicians from being there for life. So does banning money, banning gerrymandering, and having a STAR primary. Congressional terms should be limited to 10 years if we can’t ban money and gerrymandering, and if we can’t get STAR primary.
Secure the Border, Embrace Legal Immigration
WE NEED TO SECURE THE BORDER, AND WE NEED TO EMBRACE LEGAL IMMIGRATION. I want the Federal government to spend more money to have more border patrol agents and to use technology like drones, cameras, robots, etc. to help prevent illegal immigration and to capture illegal drugs and criminals. I do not believe in building a full physical wall; some remote, flat areas would be fine for a physical wall/barrier. However, these strategies for a technology virtual wall that I have outlined are more effective than a physical wall, cheaper to implement, faster to build, and don’t have eminent domain issues with property rights.
I also want the Federal government to spend more money to have more judges to help process legal immigration and legal asylum cases. If their cases are good and meet the required criteria, those people should be welcomed into our society so they can start to contribute, serve, and pay taxes. That’s a wonderful thing. Legal immigrants are not criminals. If they don’t pass the criteria for asylum or immigration then they should be denied entry and sent back to the countries from where they came.
We should process these cases quickly so that we don’t have all of these families in detention centers. We should not have all of these children separated from their families. This is a disgrace and is preposterous.
To help our economy, we should reform the system for temporary and permanent work visas and transfer the Diversity Visa Lottery quota to immigrants with advanced skills.
Lastly, undocumented immigrants already in the country, including those affected by DACA, should be given a pathway to citizenship. They are already working in our communities but not paying into the system (taxes, Social Security, etc.), because they are undocumented. Giving them a pathway to citizenship allows them to start paying into the system and provides for the population growth that I mentioned previously to help our economy.
Studies have shown that this kind of comprehensive immigration reform reduces the deficit, improves the finances for Social Security, because more people will be paying into the system, and grows the economy. My solutions fix these problems and are a good centrist, middle-of-the-road solution. Republicans, conservatives, independents, Democrats, and liberals should all be on board for this.
Change the age for people under age 40 & LARGEST WORKING/MIDDLE CLASS TAX CUT EVER
I have the GREATEST SOCIAL SECURITY FIX IN THE HISTORY OF THE PROGRAM. First, I want to change the age for Social Security eligibility for everybody under the age of 40 by one year. That’s right, just one year. Second, I want to change the age for Social Security eligibility for everybody under the age of 20 by two years. That’s right, just two years. Then, thereafter, I want the age for Social Security eligibility to be updated based on people living longer, so basically inflate the age limit based on average life expectancy. That’s it! That’s all that is needed to solve Social Security. It does not affect benefits for people currently receiving Social Security or for people that are about to get Social Security.
Now, if you want to have your eyes glaze over, I have one last final solution that’s AWESOME. There’s the tax for Social Security. It is 6.2%. It comes out of your paycheck. However most people don’t know that there’s an income limit to the tax. It’s 6.2% up to approximately $140,000 of income. Why do I bring this up? Well, if you make $50,000, you pay 6.2% on all $50,000. If you make one million dollars, you only pay 6.2% for the first $140,000. Did you know that?! So, for people that make over $1,000,000 per year, the amount that they pay for Social Security is actually 0.9%! (($140,000 * 0.062) / $1,000,000 = 0.9%) That means the poor, the working class, and the middle class pay much more for Social Security as a percentage of their income than people that are super rich. That’s horribly unfair. So, what I want to do is actually lower the Social Security tax for EVERYONE from 6.2% to 3% and remove the income limit. This will be the biggest tax cut in the history of the U.S. for the poor, the working class, and the middle class. And, it will also make the system much more fair, because everybody pays in the same percentage.
This is a great centrist, middle-of-the-road solution. Republicans, conservatives, independents, Democrats, and liberals should all be on board for this.
Biggest Specific Spending Cut in History
I want to cut government spending, but unlike other politicians that don’t actually have the courage to mention what they wanna cut, I will. I WANT TO CUT $100 BILLION A YEAR FROM THE BUDGET FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE. Keep in mind there’s a difference between the Department of Defense and the military. The Department of Defense’s budget is $750 billion a year; the troops get $150 billion of that a year. That doesn’t include the $270 billion for Veterans Affairs. So, where does the remaining $600 billion ($750 billion total – $150 for the troops) go? Obviously, some of it goes to bases, research, the war on terror. However, a lot of it goes to a huge bureaucracy. A lot of it goes to contractors, special interests, and private companies. This is what President Eisenhower called “the military-industrial complex” and warned the country about in his farewell address in 1961. Did you know that George Washington in his farewell address in 1796 said that an overgrown military is a threat to liberty?
Do you think politicians keep spending this money because the Department of Defense wants it? No, the Department has actually told Congress to cut many programs. So, why do the politicians continue: because they get money from the defense contractors from lobbying! Aren’t we tired of these endless wars? Aren’t we tired of being the policeman for the world? Instead of spending all of this money on combat jets we won’t use, tanks we don’t need, a larger than needed bureaucracy, we should use that money for cancer research, for Alzheimer’s research, for reducing the deficit. Therefore, my plan supports the troops and doesn’t reduce how much money they receive, improves our priorities, and reduces our deficit. Keep in mind that this solution will be hard to implement unless we ban money in politics.
College Funding & Student Loans
No to Free College, But Yes to Cost & Payment Solutions
I don’t believe in free public college, because subsidies create poor incentives for students and will cause runaway inflation. Also, people that go to college should have some skin in the game for the costs of their education. We should address the administrative bloat in our universities. We should require financial literacy in high school to help educate people on loans & compounding interest. Lastly, many occupations don’t require a 4-year university program. Trade/vocational schools are also excellent education choices for students. Our society needs plumbers, HVAC specialists, electricians, auto mechanics, etc.
I want the government to offer more loans at 1% interest, thus helping provide money at low interest rates to help pay for university. Furthermore, the payment for student loans should be limited to 4% of income until the loans are paid off, making repayment affordable. And, lastly, I want debt forgiveness for certain professions, like military service and teaching.
Separation of Church & State
Everyone is Welcome Here. Thrive!
RELIGION AND GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE SEPARATE. The U.S. is a representative democracy, which is Greek for rule by people, not a theocracy, which is rule by religion. People should follow the laws of their country. Simultaneously, politicians should be respectful of other religions and inclusive. I’m not voting for a politician to be a preacher, I’m voting for them to be a legislator. I’m voting for them based on their solutions for education, health care, economic growth, and political corruption.
The First Amendment has freedom of religion, so you can be whatever religion you want to be and you are welcome here. Just follow the laws of the land. We want you to thrive, regardless of religion. If you’re thinking of immigrating to the U.S., you are welcome here, regardless of religion. We want you to thrive. 23% of the country doesn’t even have a religion. And, they are welcome here, too.
Keep Your Guns, But...
I respect the Second Amendment & don’t want to take away your guns. However, people that are on the terrorist no-fly list, people that are convicted criminals, and people that are convicted domestic abusers should not be able to get guns. Currently, there are transactions allowed where they can buy guns. I want to prohibit that. Second, we should have a better health care system that covers mental health care.
Same-Sex Couples Should be Allowed to Marry
I BELIEVE IN MARRIAGE EQUALITY. Therefore, same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. I believe in a small government. I believe that the government should not be involved in people’s private lives.
Ideally, Zero. Realistically, Rare, But Legal & Safe
Ideally, I’d like for the U.S. to have zero abortions. However, I believe abortions should be rare, but legal and safe. I don’t believe a woman should go to jail for having an abortion and I don’t believe a doctor should go to jail for performing an abortion. The best way to reduce the amount of abortions is to have condoms and birth control readily available. The second best way to reduce the amount of abortions is to improve the socioeconomic condition of society. Higher employment, lower poverty, help for the poor all lower abortion rates. Therefore, improving the education system by paying teachers $80,000 a year and massive infrastructure and high-value research spending to grow the economy will help with employment, poverty, economic growth, thereby reducing abortions.
Lastly, prohibition doesn’t work. The U.S. banned alcohol in 1920; it didn’t work. It just drove alcohol underground and into organized crime. The U.S. has also banned cannabis; same result, it’s just driven cannabis underground and into organized crime. If people can’t stop drinking alcohol when it’s illegal, how do you expect to stop a woman who was raped from getting an abortion?
Better Health, Better Job Transition
I want veterans to be able to use other health care providers if they don’t have a VA provider nearby or if the wait time is too long at the VA provider. Therefore, they should be able to use their VA benefit to pay for a non-VA health care provider. The VA should also improve its technology and use virtual health care delivery or telehealth which will help improve access for all veterans, especially those that live in rural areas.
Veterans should have access to alternative health care. That is another reason why I want to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis.
Lastly, there should be automatic civilian certification for certain jobs that veterans have done in the military that can be transferred to a similar civilian job. For example, a military medic should automatically get certified for a civilian EMT job.
Agriculture & Rural Solutions
Less to Industrial Agribusiness, More to Local & Small Farmers
First, rural areas of District 17 and the rest of the country will benefit from my economic proposals listed above, including making the starting pay for teachers $80,000 a year, massive infrastructure spending, and high value research.
Second, I want to shift some subsidies that currently go to large scale industrial agribusiness to local & small farmers. We should also shift some purchases for low income Americans (SNAP program) from industrial agribusiness to local and small farmers.
Third, we should re-enter the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. The Asian countries in the TPP trade agreement have 500 million consumers and account for 40% of the entire planet’s economy. We got out of the TPP trade agreement and hurt ourselves, because we reduced our access to those consumers. Other countries have stepped in to fill the void. Furthermore, getting out of the TPP increased the power of China in the region.
Lastly, to help farmers and the agriculture sector of our economy, we should legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis.
Permanent Daylight Savings Time, Switch to Metric, Require Civics & Financial Literacy
I want to have permanent Daylight Savings Time. It should have a positive effect on health and productivity. Isn’t it about time to ditch this antiquated system?
I want the U.S. to move to metric. As of 2019, the only other countries not using metric are Myanmar and Liberia. Really?! Is that the company we want to keep? Science, health, engineering, and the military use the metric system. Why is the country still on an outdated system of units? There is global competition for technology and people. We’re just giving ourselves a disadvantage.
I want to have required courses in High School for civics/government and financial literacy. So, many people are unfamiliar with how our government works. And, so many people are unfamiliar with financial concepts from doing your taxes, to compounding, to debt management. We have to change this deficiency!
Political Correctness has Gone Too Far
Political correctness has gone too far in our society. I think we’re changing our society into a bunch of over-sensitive, entitled, participation trophy wusses. Adversity breeds success. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. We need to bring these values back into our society. I don’t know how to accomplish this task through legislation, but I want you to know where I stand.
If You Want to Vote for My Opponent
Go right ahead. But, if you see your health care costs rise, see income inequality get worse, see who you voted for just blame the opposing political party, see them take care of their donors and not you, don’t say I didn’t warn you.