The Issues

There was a time when the people of this country could be fooled into thinking that all of the various single payer systems around the developed world were all horrible, but the internet has made available countless studies, statistics and examples that prove the better outcomes and lower costs of those systems. We need Medicare4All because it would save us $17 trillion over ten years. Most sources put the cost of the healthcare system we have now at $49 trillion over the next ten years, and the highest estimate that Medicare4all will cost is $32 trillion over that same time period. That kind of cost savings is astronomical and with rigorous negotiations over things like drug prices, disposable medical supplies and standardizing the cost every procedure, the cost will only continue to drop even further over time.

The best reasoning for implementing Medicare4All is that it will cover not only medical issues, but it will also cover dental, vision, mental health, home health care, glasses, hearing aids, will cover pre-existing conditions and will cap drug costs at $200 a year. Premiums, deductibles and copays will also be a thing of the past. There are virtually no private insurance plans that can cover all of those things without costing thousands of dollars a month in premiums, not to mention deductibles, copays and ever rising drug costs.

The United States has the most expensive healthcare system in the world and we rank #37th for efficiency and outcomes. We also need to re-evaluate the way we care for elderly patients, people with mental health issues, and the many other treatments we use for diabetes, high blood pressure and numerous other conditions. Another factor that we need to consider is that small businesses will never have to worry about how to provide quality healthcare for their employees and no employee will ever have to stay at a job that they hate just because that job had good healthcare benefits.

I believe healthcare is a moral issue, especially in a country with the resources that we have. We can no longer have working and middle class families going bankrupt, simply because they cannot afford mediocre private insurance. Not to mention, the millions more with insurance that has a deductible in the thousands of dollars, in addition to the hundreds of dollars more a month they spend on premiums. Let’s finally get away from this for profit system and build one where health and positive outcomes are the highest priority.

The one thing that reliably enables people to rise out of poverty is education. At all levels education prepares youth, from the time that they first learn to speak to the time they first enter the workforce, for all the challenges they will face in the 21st century. I will fight for legislation that guarantees tuition free public college, which includes universities, community colleges and trade schools. Most sources put the annual cost of the plan at $75 billion, which could have easily been covered by the nearly $80 billion military budget increase for the 2018 fiscal year.

We cannot continue to allow working and middle class families to have their children go deep into debt, sometimes to the tune of over $200,000. When a person is loaded down with that much debt, they can’t really get on with their lives and do things like buy a home, start a small business or start saving for retirement. I will fight for total student loan debt forgiveness…no strings attached.

I will also fight for universal pre-K, increased federal funding for after school programs and for working/middle class parents to receive significant aid towards childcare, because in pursuit of a good education for their children, working parents should not be eaten alive by childcare costs.

We also cannot forget to better fund K-12 public education and not divert already low funding towards private charter schools. I especially will do everything in my power to prevent public schools from transitioning into charter schools.

This country needs to have a completely renewable energy production system by 2028. While the goal may be bold, it will happen with large amounts of public investment in the research and development of a national system of renewable sources, and it’s something we desperately need to start now.

The world of existing renewable energy technology is already on the rise and is getting cheaper to produce and more efficient in its generation of energy, when not being hampered by corrupt officials who are usually paid off by fossil fuel interests. We have got to continue to further develop solar and wind projects, but also invest heavily in the research and development of technologies based on geothermal energy from deep below the earth’s surface, on algae-based biofuels and on capturing tidal and wave energy.

Renewable energy solutions are also front and center in how we defeat climate change. For it is fossil fuel energy sources that have provided the overwhelming amount of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions over the decades and transitioning from those sources to renewable, clean sources is our only hope.

All across this country, we have desperate needs to repair and replace infrastructure of all types. The different attempts this administration has proposed to address this very serious problem, have been made worse by the knowledge that a significant amount of those projects, both planned and existing, will be farmed out to Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms so that they may recoup their investments with tolls for decades to come. The cost of this will be borne on the backs of the working and middle class families of this country who use these roads for almost every imaginable aspect of life.

I believe that it is a top priority for this country to do two things: 1) Repair or replace the worst affected roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, drinking water systems, sewer systems and storm drain systems. 2) Plan and implement the next level of infrastructure projects like a state of the art electrical grid that is almost impervious to a cyber attack, constructing a rural broadband network across the neglected parts of the country, and building a national high speed rail network for passengers and freight trains.

I feel infrastructure is a necessity because it will generate millions of jobs nationwide. The effect of having millions of well paid workers throughout the country, spending their money in local establishments, will lead to the economic explosion that we have been waiting for. Those businesses will hire people because of the increase in customers, those people will spend money on some of the same things everyone else does and before you know it…new small businesses are created to fill the niches in those communities. This is the vision I’m going to bring to Washington.

Trade deals, primarily, have been the reason why American workers haven’t had a genuine wage increase that has kept up with inflation since the 1980’s. All but the strongest of trade unions also started their major decline around the same time as wages started to stagnate. This is why I will fight for a living wage for working families and no less than $15 an hour for a minimum wage. I will also empower unions to ensure workers are consistently paid a fair wage, have meaningful benefits and are provided a safe/pollution free workspace to get their jobs done.

There will of course need to be some exemptions for certain small businesses that only have a handful of employees and have the ability to prove a razor thin profit margin and/or high overhead. There will also need to be oversight to make sure businesses that can easily pay employees at least the minimum wage, aren’t allowed to cheat their workers out of their hard earned money.

Only beneficial outcomes are derived from putting more money into the pockets of the working class for all the hard work that they do, sometimes at two or possibly three jobs. No one will get rich off of a living/minimum wage, but it will give people the opportunity to work one full time job and still live a good life. Not to struggle to get by, but actually pay bills, maintain some long term savings and still have money left over for taking a vacation for a few weeks out of the year. There are still enough people alive that remember a time when this country used to do just that very thing for its workforce and it’s time we brought it back into existence.

Even though I am not taking corporate or big donor money, that is not how most representatives and candidates operate. Most of these politicians are bought and paid for by major monied interests and it directly correlates to the votes they take. With the current election financing system we have in place, the working and middle class people of this country can never expect that their representatives will actually stand up for them. I will not only fight for getting money out of politics, but will also set the example by only accepting small dollar donors. Since the working and middle class people of this country overwhelmingly make up the bulk of small donors, this insures that I will be working for them and their interests above those of the mega rich and multinational corporations.

I will also fight to make sure we have a constitutional amendment that bans the private financing of elections and only public funding is necessary, to ensure that the working people of this country are being represented and not just the big monied interests.

While this country has come a long way in its acceptance of cannabis as a medicinal product and as a cash crop, we still have a ways to go. There are a multitude of reasons to legalize cannabis on a federal level and all of them have either a revenue generating or money saving aspect to them.

Criminalization, as well as, mass incarceration has created a moral failure that also serves to drain away much need financial resources. Whether held in private or public prisons, each person who is there for just cannabis infractions is tens of thousands of dollars spent every year, not to mention the years lost of an otherwise productive life.

Interstate transportation of cannabis products, banks not having restrictions on doing transactions with those businesses, medical breakthroughs made by researching positive aspects, freedom for a large percentage of people in custody for use or sales, all of this and more are possible once we finally legalize cannabis. The amount of job creation, small business creation and tax revenue on all government levels are limitless. While there will always be a need to have regulations preventing children from obtaining those products, I will always fight to protect the people and legitimate businesses from the ignorant and outdated forces that still seek to portray this plant as the deadly thing that it is not.

I believe immigration has always been a positive and progressive thing for this country. Virtually every American today has immigrant ancestry and many extraordinary Americans throughout our history came directly from another part of the world. I will fight for immigration reform that not only covers Dreamers, but that will drastically reduce the time it takes to become a citizen to three years and no more than five years. I will also encourage legal migration from EVERY part of the world.

I have ancestors from throughout Europe, as well as from Mexico, some of native origin, and my background is not alone in this district or even this country. We do not need to fear people from outside of our country and, in fact, we have a far better chance of that person being our lifelong friend than our enemy. Entrepreneurial spirit is very high in many immigrant communities and this country always benefits from their ingenuity. I will also fight for members of a legal citizens’ family to continue to emigrate here as well.

It cannot be overstated just how important to our society a free and open internet is. Free to search virtually any site for information on practically any subject, their points of view, emerging ideas and even a place to stand up for what we believe in. Open in the sense that the views of the people should be heard and it should not be up for censorship when their message is not corporate friendly or politically correct.

Over 80% of the people in this country wanted to keep net neutrality as it had always been. There needs to be legislation, in the form of a constitutional amendment, that makes the internet an essential utility and heavily regulates broadband providers for abuses. I will also fight for municipalities to have the right to establish their own broadband networks for their community’s residents.

It also cannot be overstated how important the internet is to daily commerce, and small businesses in the 21st century will live and die based off of their internet connectivity. Which is why we can never allow fast and slow lanes to be created for the benefit of large corporations that can pay the ransom, while everyone else that can’t afford it is stuck in the slow lane…possibility losing customers or going out of business.

There is no argument that major, multinational corporations have gotten all of the breaks and benefits of the latest rewrite of the tax code. Wall Street firms and giant multinational corporations have made it so that they pay that same or less in taxes than a mom and pop establishment. Every party has rosy rhetoric about what they think of small businesses, but none of them have offered policies that seek to alleviate this unfair situation. I propose that we repeal the parts of the tax plan that went to multinational corporations and the millionaires and billionaires, because they clearly don’t need them, and to make the tax code much more fair towards legitimate small businesses.

It must be said that most businesses didn’t see the recent tax cuts, primarily for the rich and major corporations, as an opportunity to invest in expanding their businesses, hiring new workers or raising wages. The reason for this is because a business has to, first and foremost, have more customers and when half of the country earns less than $30K a year, the likelihood of small businesses continuing to struggle is high. The real engine for economic growth is not trickle down theory, but one where working and middle class families have more to spend in the countless small businesses located throughout their communities.

I will also be very aggressive in advocating for programs that aid small businesses in transitioning to worker co-ops and programs to assist in creating worker co-ops from scratch.

Small businesses also need an advocate to consistently fight for a competitive playing field, someone who will call out and then breakup legalized monopolies in whatever sectors they exist. The large, multinational corporations have concentrated so much power at the top, that they can unilaterally decide to ship all or most of our jobs overseas, they can price fix to drive Main Street businesses under and then they can collude with the establishment politicians to make their tax burden shift to small businesses and the working and middle class families of this country.

While I have always been in favor of laws that enable people with disabilities to live the best life possible, I have become acutely aware of just how important these laws are to ensuring that people like my grandmother can do important things like doctor visits as well as having a good life outside of the house.

Unlike the incumbent, I will fight to ensure access to virtually all places both public and private. There should never be a situation where a commercial property owner or manager has the ability under the law to discriminate by not enabling access for people that cannot just simply walk up to the front door. Great strides have been made so that people with disabilities can enjoy a night out at a restaurant or movie theater or just to get around town for work. I want to keep it that way and not go back to a time when we were far less empathetic to the needs of people with disabilities.

My primary opposition to all eight conflicts and the over 800 overseas bases is because they waste money that should be going to education spending, infrastructure development and repair, renewable energy development, increased small business development aid on a federal and local level and increased funding/additional programs dedicated to childcare and senior home healthcare.

At almost $800 billion a year, most of the defense department’s budget goes to contractors and then is promptly wasted on cost overruns, on selling us vehicles that we already have too many of and on dream projects to replace different weapons platforms that end up costing many billions over a ten year period. I will fight to make it a regular occurrence to have the defense department audited, so that we can effectively determine the fraud, waste and abuse that have happened for decades.

We spend more on the military than the next ten countries combined and a lot of these countries are allies. I believe the military budget needs to be cut to around $300 billion a year and the savings be used to help the working and middle class people at home.

I also strongly oppose the use of our troops to secure far away natural resources, as well as, getting them purposefully entrenched in regions where those resources or geographical choke points reside. This maintains an instability in these regions that keeps those resource prices high, but more importantly makes our troops have to occupy an area where we have no business being in because none of those countries attacked us…and the country that did, we have been in for almost 20 years with no end in sight. Our veterans deserve far better than this. Which is why I will fight to end the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AMUF) that began way back in 2001. This allows war to be declared without congress even having a debate about whether or not it’s really in the national interest.