Health care is one of the most inflated and neglected systems in our country today. The United States does not even rank within the top 10 in the world when evaluating overall health care quality. The ranking system world wide is based on quality, accessibility, and affordability.
This has to change. The Affordable Care Act did not create an effective enough system. While the Affordable Care Act has had some positive influences, it has not met the needs of many Americans. I have come up with the "Dual Care Plan" which would have a tremendous positive influence on our current health care system.
We should not have hungry children in America. The national norm should be to ensure all children have lunches at school regardless of the parent’s income levels and that a program to provide meals for pre-school children be inititated. There have been cases of child shaming because of not having funds on school accounts and the emotional effects of these situations should not fall upon children.
We need to, at the very least, provide 2 meals a day during the week to children in America that attend school. We have a moral responsibility to take care of children.
Higher education costs are the second greatest debt within our country. We need different and better education policies to lower higher education expenses for new high school graduates. Our continuing education systems need to be based on quality, affordability and relevance and not profitability. We need to design a plan where higher education is affordable and provide solutions to former students burdened with high levels of debt. Creating more programs for medical professions can lower their educational costs and thereby decrease the costs of health care services.
Free community college is a great way to lower education expenses. Merging technical and vocational education with community colleges is a way to create more jobs. In many areas there is a shortage of blue collar workers and less availability of white collar jobs. If we provided cheaper and more easily available training and education, and develop programs with our major employers, this would help our overall economy and job market.
Pre-K programs should be available to all children. In today's world there are more educational demands and not enough school time to meet them. Allowing all children access to Pre-K helps meet these demands and also has a positive influence on our economy by helping parents lessen daycare expenses and gives more flexibility in the workforce. We need to provide for and invest in our children.
As a gun owner and someone who has a concealed weapons permit, I believe:
Access to guns is a constitutional right for self protection. The ability to form a regulated militia is infringed on if people do not have access to guns. In addition, the responsibilities of gun owners should not be taken lightly and accountability should also increase with the protection of these rights.
We are at a point in our country when we need to have better gun regulations. It is disappointing when we have businesses creating sensible gun policies faster than our government. We should appropriately categorize weapons and weapon modifications within the NFA, and require special licenses to obtain them. We should also raise the buying age of such type weapons to 21.
There are two aspects of what we need to do to make our country safer from gun violence, and I believe we need to do both. We need to make it harder to obtain weapons with high fire rates and we need to have better processes in making sure that access to any gun, is only available to those who are mentally stable.
It is very important not to attack responsible gun ownership in these regulations. Both political parties agree that we need better gun policies to help protect people and our children. My stances are a middle ground approach on how we can work together to achieve that.
Choice or Life?
All life is important and should be protected from infancy to old age. I do not support abortion as a method of birth control; however, a woman should have the right to her own body.
Freedom of Sexual Orientation
A person's sexual orientation is his/her right and that it should not affect other opportunities or rights by law. Limiting access to government programs based on sexual orientation infringes on a person's 14th Amendment right by depriving them of liberty without due process.
Freedom of Religion
Our laws must be created and enforced with religious freedom and based on more universal principles. No laws should show favoritism to any one religion.
Farmers and agriculture have been key to our nation's success and prosperity throughout history. As we continue in the 21st century toward a more industrialized and digital economy, it is important to have in place a system to ensure farmers are still able to make a sustainable living while producing crops and food to provide for our nation.
We need to strengthen regulations that protect and preserve the environment. We not only need to accept that climate change is a real problem, we also need to hold the EPA with a higher standard to protect our water sources, forests, farmlands, wildlife and communities. It is also important to continue to protect our national monuments and parks. When we take the environment for granted and exploit rather than preserve it, we hurt ourselves and future generations.
It is important to focus on new methods of creating clean energy, but it is also beneficial to continue using the resources we have available to maintain energy independence.
Pipelines are not methods of creating clean energy and waste resources that could be used towards clean energy production.
For as long as energy creation methods meet strong safety and environmental regulations, we should continue using these available resources and continue researching new ways of producing cleaner energy.
By implementing a carbon tax, we would be punishing those who are unable to afford more energy efficient products that are at much higher costs. Instead, we should be working on lowering the costs of those products and resources.
Interstate 81 and our Infrastructure
Interstate 81 is arguably the second busiest highway in Virginia. I believe it is time that we begin expanding 81 to handle the higher traffic. We need to appropriately fund programs for our roads, highways, and bridges to ensure that they are safe. We need to make better use of our railroad systems to help reduce congestion on our highways. As we continue to expand access to utilities like water and electricity, we should also expand access to higher speed internet and consider it to be a necessary utility in this day and age. If you have access to power, you should have access to high speed internet.
Immigration is the backbone of American culture and key to our country's diversity. We need to improve access to legal immigration and citizenship, while appropriately addressing illegal immigration.
If a person comes to this country to start a new life, he/she is responsible for assimilating with the goal of becoming an American citizen, learning the country's language, and having the desire to become part of the American dream.
One of the purposes of immigration policy is to assure we have a balanced work force. At present the aging of America is expected to leave a large number of entry level jobs unfilled. We need policies that ensure our economy can continue to grow. Many of these jobs are in agriculture and are important to the 6th District.
Our immigration policy needs to be compassionate. It is un-American to deliberately split up families when enforcing laws. We need an immigration policy that addresses the current large number of undocumented immigrants that have been assimilated into our economy as well as addresses sources and limits of new immigrants.
We are fortunate in the 6th District to have a number of outstanding, responsible law enforcement organizations. We need to support them with the training and equipment necessary to do their job.
Nationally, we need to support our officers that respect their authority and bring integrity to law enforcement; and better train, monitor, and hold accountable officers that do not.
There is an alarming number of police brutality cases within our country. Too often we hear of officers harming rather than protecting citizens and using excessive force.
We need to hold impulsive officers and their superiors accountable for the misuse of their authority. Many now use the excuse "I was afraid for my life" or the statement "You are not cooperating" as a default response to justify poorly made decisions. In these cases, officers should not have law enforcement amnesty.
A badge gives the authority to uphold the law, not to be above the law.
Voting is a citizen's right and needs to be protected. If a citizen is required to pay taxes to fund the government, then that person should have access and influence to representation.
Our policies and programs need to assist and encourage voting, not seek reasons and methods to inhibit registration and voting. The integrity of the voting system is important and foreign influences and hacking needs to be eliminated.
I am a supporter of the flat tax movement. We need a fair tax system. In addition, tax deductions should be available to all income levels, but should be limited. For example, while income tax rates could be at 20 percent, the deduction limit should be set at 5 percent. This would mean that regardless of income, the tax rate would be set at 15 percent.
This flat rate would only apply after a person has met the tax filing requirement.
Recently a massive new Tax Bill was passed by Congress. It primarily increases our national debt and the new money borrowed will go to reduce the tax rates for the largest corporations and richest persons in the country. I have several specific immediate changes.
One is a home and business restoration initiative that will be tax deductible. This will give all people the opportunity to take advantage of deductions while improving their current situation and will especially help persons whose property was damaged by natural disasters.
Supply side trickle down policy will not provide economic growth. Evidence shows it does not work. It is just a ruse to reduce taxes of the privileged few. I will work to amend the Tax Bill to reduce its adverse impact on the debt and to reduce the benefits to the privileged few.
It is time that lower incomes have more opportunities for deductions while higher incomes have a reasonable constraint on deductions.
International Influence and Foreign Policy
America should have more disengaging policy in regards to the military and foreign countries. We spend too much money and resources on continuous wars, when those finances could be better utilized in our homeland to strengthen our social programs and rebuild our infrastructure.
I understand the importance of having a strong national defense; however, our current military strategy has drastically increased our military spending. We should only be fighting in wars when we are asked for assistance or when an act of war against America has been committed.
We need to focus our international spending on preventing wars and maintaining American influence in troubled areas, and also ensuring our foreign aid goes where it is really needed. We also need to focus on American production, job creation, and help the struggling families within our country.
The Budget and Our Economy
By implementing a flat tax, more revenue will be available to go towards government programs to help people create more businesses. It will also give the middle class the ability to improve their current living conditions by reducing their taxes.
The Dual Care plan will be able to reduce health care costs, and will also give businesses the freedom to no longer be "forced" to provide health insurance based on the number of employees or work hours; this in turn would also give businesses more funds to hire more people and not reduce work hours.
Limiting international military spending will give our country the ability to utilize that money in our homeland to strengthen our social programs and rebuild our infrastructure.
Maintaining our energy independence while working towards more clean energy will not only preserve our current workforce in the energy industry, but also produce new jobs.
Lowering education expenses and providing easier access to trade education will help meet the workforce demands of many areas. Allowing more children access to Pre-k will lower family expenses and give more flexibility to working parents.
By implementing my platform policies, we will be able to strengthen our economy and improve our everyday lives.