The weak economic recovery is leaving too many people behind. Young people cannot find work after college, millions are employed part-time despite needing full-time work to sustain their families, and wages are stagnant across the board. Unfortunately our economy is the victim of self-inflicted wounds like the 30 hour work week under Obamacare, increased regulation, and an unsustainable fiscal policy which relies on deficit spending to fund the government. Every day, it seems like there is less incentive for people to work in our country. This must change If we want to get America growing again we must:
1) Reform our tax system, reduce taxes on working families, and reward hard work.
2) End the chronic budget deficits that threaten our economy and our national security
3) Reform higher education, so that our colleges and universities better prepare our young men and women for the jobs and opportunities of this still new century
My neighbors in District 26 want a quality healthcare system at an affordable cost. The President’s Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, has increased the cost of healthcare for millions of Americans and is threatening our economic recovery. A law that gives the IRS an outsized role in our healthcare system, considers 30 hours a full work week, and cuts funding for Medicare is at best, deeply flawed. Our community and our country deserve a world class, consumer-driven healthcare system. Only by empowering patients to make rational choices in their health care will we reduce the cost of care for all Americans and preserve the best healthcare system in the world. A new healthcare law should include consumer-centric reforms, demand more transparency in the healthcare market, facilitate high risk pools for those with pre-existing conditions, and keep the promise of Medicare for our seniors.
We must reform our tax system. We need fewer and lower marginal tax rates for all Americans and a reduced corporate tax rate which lead to more job creation and a dynamic recovery. We should close all special interest loopholes and increase the child tax credit for working families raising dependent children.
We must keep the promise of Social Security to current beneficiaries and begin reforming the program, so that it can serve younger generations of Americans. Beginning in 2021, program costs are projected to exceed income, shrinking the trust funds. This threatens the future of Social Security and the quality of life of future retirees. As Baby Boomers enroll in Medicare, it too is facing serious challenges. The program’s hospital insurance trust fund will be insolvent in 2026. That’s just twelve years away and means an uncertain future for younger Americans. These programs require bold decisions and innovative reforms that will guarantee their existence for rising generations of Americans.
Every day the world is more unstable. The Middle East is in chaos with Israel under attack by Hamas terrorists in Gaza, and radical Islamist extremists seeking to form a new country in which they will be able to operate freely. Syria continues disintegrating and Iran is only buying time in order to continue their nuclear program. Meanwhile Vladimir Putin is invading countries in Eastern Europe and was obviously involved in the downing of a commercial airliner, killing almost 300 innocent people. Putin is also rebuilding old Soviet-era alliances.
Closer to home the Cuban government continues to hold an American hostage, and was caught sending arms illegally to North Korea. In Venezuela Nicholas Maduro, with the support of the Castro government, is viciously repressing dissent and aggressively exporting anti-Americanism. When the United States shows weakness, bad actors become emboldened and make the world a more dangerous place. The United States cannot afford to serve as the world’s police, however, we must lead with a clear voice, support our allies, and oppose our enemies. The Obama Administration has failed in this regard. The President appears uninterested, disengaged and ineffective. We need Members of Congress who will embrace the concept of smart power, and who understand that peace is only achieved through strength.
Our nation like any other nation has the right and the duty to secure its borders. We must know who is coming into and who is leaving our country, and we must insist that all border traffic be legal. The recent influx of unaccompanied children has exposed the challenges we face at the US-Mexico border. This must be addressed. We also have to reform our visa system. Nearly half of all the people living in our country illegally have overstayed their visas. It is unacceptable for a great nation like ours to be incapable of tracking visa holders. Our immigration system also requires an expanded guest worker program to help fill the jobs Americans do not want (especially in agriculture), and an earned path to legalization for the undocumented who have abided by our laws and contributed to our economy. This last cohort must be held accountable for their illegal entry into the country. A fair solution is also warranted for those who were brought to the country by their parents as minors. American meritocracy tells us that these children should not be judged by the actions of their parents.