Today’s issues are more important than ever. They represent how the country will run, and how it’s governed.
A candidate’s position on issues represents his passion for America, his commitment to his constituents, his awareness and values.
I’ve initially chosen some issues important to me and the citizens of our country and I’ll add more as they are presented to me.
Freedom works best when freedom is free to flourish and is shared.
Candidate for U.S. Congress
Open issues with the (+) icon on their right. Watch for updates.
Being a border community, the people of CD 2 are affected every day by the issue of illegal immigration. There are many reasons why the problem is so rampant, and why little has been done to stop it. To be clear, no one has a right to come to the United States. It is a privilege that should be earned. However, many of our problems regarding illegal immigrants could be easily solved by fixing our guest-worker programs, student visa programs and citizenship process.
- Guest worker Programs. I strongly support the reform and expansion of the H-2B and H-2A visa programs. The H-2A has no annual caps but provides visas to only about 130,000 workers per year, a small portion of the estimated eight hundred thousand to 1.1 million hired farmworkers in the country each year. Those jobs were primarily filled with cheaper/illegal immigrant laborers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that in recent years around half of farmworkers were undocumented.
- Green-card seekers and visa seekers. The severe limiting of visas and green cards has not allowed for the flexibility of the needs of the U.S. economy, creating a scenario where companies with low-skill labor are willing to facilitate the presence of undocumented immigrants because there isn’t enough legal citizens to fill these jobs. Things like “per-country limits” place unnecessary limits on getting more legal citizens who are sponsored even if they deserve to be here based on their merits/skills.
- S visa tracking system and fraud. Deficiencies in keeping track of who is in the country, which is compounded by the separate government institutions not talking to one another, along with systemic fraud are also a problem. We don’t even know who is in our country, or where they are! This becomes a national security issue. Two of the 9/11 hijackers were in this country illegally on overstayed student visas.
- Enforcement of E-verify. This should be enforced more stringently, but there is a dearth of available workers to fill low-skilled labor jobs such as in agriculture, construction, and the service industry from the available pool of citizens. This is because the U.S. population is getting more educated, and are pursuing other career paths, with higher incomes. This along with lower birthrates means there are not enough citizens to fill the low-skill job demand that does exist.
- Helping States deal with the cost of illegal aliens. The problem with the hundreds of billions in cost to the American citizenry in benefits Illegal immigrants cost governments more money than the native-born population. The costs are largely taken on by state and local governments that educate the immigrants’ children, and care for medical issues, to the tune of hundreds of millions annually, rather than direct benefits from say federal welfare programs, which they are ineligible for.
- Helping ease our over-burdened prison populations. The Arizona Department of Corrections estimates that 17% of its prison population is illegal aliens, and 22% of felony defendants in Maricopa County are illegal aliens. This means we are fitting the bill for criminals who are not even citizens. There needs to be a system put in place that will expedite their return to their country of origin.
- National Security. The Border Patrol has found that criminal gangs, such as MS-13, are drawn to Arizona because of the predominance of drug trafficking and human smuggling there. Fifty-one cross-border drug smuggling tunnels were discovered in Nogales, Arizona between 2006 and 2010. In fact, nearly half (47%) of all illegal border crossings into the U.S. occurred along the Arizona border with Mexico in 2012, though many moved on to California. Texas has now claimed the lion’s share of illegal crossers who were apprehended, but Arizona still saw almost 250,000 captures/year in the latest data. The threat of terrorists taking advantage of the porous border is also a major problem. From November 2013 to July 2014, officials apprehended 143 individuals listed on the US terror watch list trying to cross the Mexico border illegally. Then there is the national security risk of allowing people with communicable diseases into this country. Because our Border Agents are so strained, many people with things like tuberculosis are flooding into this country undetected. Data reported to the National Tuberculosis Surveillance System show that the TB incidence among foreign-born people in the United States (15.1 cases per 100,000) is approximately 13 times the incidence among U.S.-born people (1.2 cases per 100,000). Those statistics refer to immigrants who are legally in the U.S. There is no way for us to know the incidence of tuberculosis and other diseases carried by those who are in our country illegally and hence not subject to medical examination. This is a crisis.
- Border Fence: Border security must be a priority. This includes an effective and strengthened Border Patrol, utilizing technology and yes, a physical barrier to keep people from entering the country illegally. Our national sovereignty is non-negotiable. This is why I support the construction of a double-layer security fence along most of the heretofore open sections of the border, and along the areas where there dilapidated fencing currently sits.
A major concern for many people in CD2, and across the country, is the issue of healthcare, and what to do about. To the honest observer, Obamacare has been an abject failure. From its inception, it has done nothing to lower healthcare costs, but rather has created a more expensive, less efficient, and less patient friendly healthcare system. The greatest evidence of these realities are the high-deductible plans that are offered in the Obamacare exchanges, the long waits at hospitals and emergency rooms for services. People have coverage, but at what cost, and at what hit to quality? What else would one expect from a plan that was implement on the basis of lies and ignorance.
As a representative for CD2, I can promise I will fight for common sense legislation that loosens the power of the free-market to address the needs of the consumer of healthcare, by starting the conversation with the healthcare needs of each individual. So, what can we do specifically to fix our current broken system?
- Repeal Obamacare Immediately!
- Encourage competition among insurers in an effort to keep costs low: Obamacare has killed competition, with most state-run exchanges being dominated by one provider alone. There must be a system in place that makes insurers want to offer their plans, and a public that both wants to buy them, and can, otherwise it will not work.
- A strong economy: Creating good paying jobs, and creating an industrious people that can fill them is essential to creating a healthcare system that is beneficial to all members of our society no matter their place in the economic strata. Democrats have argued for expansion of Medicaid as a means to help get more coverage. This is foolish though. It is taxpayer subsidization of healthcare for those who genuinely cannot afford healthcare on their own. Rather than expanding the program we should look on lowering the cost of that healthcare, and getting more people better paying jobs. Those who support Medicaid expansion are not only advocating for more dependency, but also raising taxes for everyone else, because someone has to pay for those in Medicaid. Taxes also slow down the economy, as seen by the stagnation under President Obama.
- Get rid of needless regulations and bureaucracy: The mountains of paperwork to comply with all the new regulations in healthcare means physicians spend even less time with patients. It also has been a contributing factor to private practices refusing to take more clients. The more patients you service, the more paperwork. These regulations are onerous, and they lead to inefficiency in healthcare servicing, the one thing you don’t want inefficiency in.
- Tort Reform. The malpractice insurance that physicians and hospitals are forced to carry, only adds to the cost of healthcare that is passed down to consumers.
- Increase doctors and private practices: One of the greatest problems with Obamacare is the loss of private practices and doctors in general. This has created an even worse healthcare system then before the arrival Obamacare, at even greater expense to the average consumer.
- Strengthen Medicare: Medicare, like Social Security, is something that Americans pay into. This sets it apart from other kinds of federal “entitlement” programs. This program provides a measure of insurance coverage for our elderly population.
However, it nowhere is near capable of providing all the coverage needs of these people; this is why the vast majority of recipients have other coverage options. Obamacare took $716 billion from Medicare to accommodate for their expansion of the Medicaid programs. This was done by reducing Medicare’s payments to doctors and hospitals. What happens when you reduce payments to doctors? Doctors stop being willing to see Medicare patients. And if you can’t actually get a doctor’s appointment, what does it really matter what your insurance plan covers on paper? Under Obamacare, Medicare reimbursement rates are set to fall below those of Medicaid, which means even worse healthcare options for our elderly.
- Block-granting Medicaid payments to states: Medicaid is supposed to help the most unfortunate members of our society with not just access to healthcare, but to quality healthcare. In its current state, sick and injured children can’t get appointments to deal with urgent medical conditions, because Medicaid so severely underpays doctors relative to private insurers, that it’s not accepted by those doctors. What good is having insurance without access? Medicaid’s management should be turned over to the states through a block-grant allotment of funds. Block granting Medicaid to the states would add a new incentive structure to control costs while holding state lawmakers accountable for delivering quality care.
- Encourage people to enroll in Health Savings Accounts (HSA): (HSAs), which allow consumers to set aside money tax-free for health expenses. HSAs empower patients to take charge of their care — and can make visits to direct-payment practices even more affordable. Right now, if you wanted to enroll in a Direct Primary Care practice, the IRS will not allow you too also save money in a HAS. This should be changed immediately.
- Repeal Obamacare so that new, streamlined, catastrophic plans can be offered: Aside from all the hidden taxes that are driving up costs for the consumer of health care, the reason costs continue to go up is because of what is being mandated that insurance companies cover. If health insurance was being used by people to cover what the vast majority of people cannot cover on their own—a major health crisis, like cancer—the prices would drop astronomically!
- Changes to tax policy that discourages over-consumption of healthcare: Our tax system encourages the over-consumption of healthcare. Employer-sponsored insurance benefits are not taxed. So, a worker receives a full dollar’s worth of health benefits for every dollar his employer pays for insurance — compared to less than 85 cents for every dollar his boss spends on wages. As a result, health costs have grown at double the rate of inflation elsewhere in the economy. That’s not sustainable. Direct-payment could check that cost growth, particularly in the primary care realm, by empowering doctors and patients to negotiate mutually agreeable prices, free of interference from insurers or the government.
- Creating a fund to provide catastrophic care for those who can’t afford it: There needs to be something separate to provide for catastrophic care for those who can’t afford to provide coverage for themselves. Though I would prefer not to have this occur at the federal level, and would rather see states do something like this on their own, after their people vote on it, one of the things that could be done is create a pool of funds that can be drawn on when someone in the poorest economic strata is either diagnosed with a catastrophic health need such as cancer, or has a catastrophic event such as a car-wreck that leaves them a quadriplegic for example. It is these people that Obamacare advocates were constantly talking about when speaking of those with pre-existing conditions who could not afford insurance.
Economic security is national security. This has been the mantra of President Trump and it is a position I agree with. If we have a strong economy, then we are in a position to fix so many other things that are important to the people of this nation. This truism is even more poignant for the citizens of CD2, as we are a border community, and are directly impacted in far more obvious ways than most by open borders, being a border community.
A robust economy is essential to maintain a good standard of living and is a must for achieving solutions and protections for those who are working, retirees, and future generations; it will also help to arrive at sustainable and moral solutions to things like the healthcare needs of the citizenry. Unfortunately, the best ideas for obtaining strong economies involves government relinquishing control mechanisms and allowing more freedom in the economic space. There is a place for government, but when it implements tax and regulation policies that are too onerous, or actively participates in picking winners and loser by subsidizing certain industries, this creates far more problems than the positive effects intended to be produced.
The Tucson metropolitan area, the largest city in CD2, is also one of the poorest cities in the country per capita. It was ranked recently as one of the worst places to live, mostly due to its poor economic numbers. It has a poverty rate of 25%, which is far above the national average. Much of this is due to incompetent, and ineffective local Democrat, leadership. As someone who lives, and has lived my entire life in Tucson, this is unacceptable.
As a federal government representative, though limited in having a direct impact on changing the anti-business attitude of local officials in places like Tucson, there is still things that can be done to help change things there and to help continue the robust growth that many other areas in the District have seen due to the economic policies that have been fostered by the Trump administration.
Dealing with stagnation in both wages for workers and job creation need to continue to be a priority, and will be if I’m elected, as I will make every effort to see increased real wages for the residents of CD2, while also working to bring jobs into the region.
There are several things that we can and must do.
- Illegal Immigration: Being a border community, the issue of illegal immigration through the Southern border, is one that must be addressed. As the economy has roared to life as a direct result of the tax-cuts and regulating policies of President Trump, keeping up with job placement is essential. Right now, in our community, as well as the rest of the country, illegal immigration hurts both blue, and white-collar workers who are citizens. The biggest way they do this is through lost wages. Whether it is agriculture or service work, laborers who are here illegally, are not just taking a job that might be filled by an American citizen, but they are being paid a lesser wage, which is fine for the profit margins of a corporation, but does little for the rest of the economy. Higher, real wages, that are market created, always generates economic stimulation. We do have a labor shortage in this country, which has only been exacerbated by our exploding economy. There are just too many jobs for Americans to fill. This is why I am for the expansion of guest-worker programs.
Having workers here legally, also helps keep the wages of American workers from sinking, as there are rules associated with such programs that ensure fair wage treatment of those here on worker visas. The need for guest worker programs is critical. However, having people who are here illegally as members of the workforce only helps to drag wages down for everyone else. Study after study has shown this to be true. Stricter enforcement of things like E-Verify employment laws are essential to bringing up wages for the citizens of CD2 and eth nation as a whole.
- Continued reduction of regulations for businesses: One of the major reasons the U.S. economy has begun to kick into high gear is the voluminous and onerous regulations that the Trump administration has begun to rollback. This is a blessing for small-businesses and consumers alike. One of the major things that has been accomplished in much of President Trump’s deregulation efforts is a returning of power to the states to determine their own rules. This is especially true with regards to energy. Federal regulations are now at their lowest count since records began being kept in the mid-1970s. The Office of Management and Budget suspended a rule from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that would have required wage reporting broken down by ethnicity and gender, saying it was too costly to companies. This is a direct benefit to companies as they are saved the additional paperwork and cost of this needless reporting. The more time and money job creators spend on regulatory compliance, the fewer resources they have to expand their business and increase hiring. The impact of getting rid of needless regulatory burdens cannot be overemphasized in growing the economy. Along with this is the need for Congress to work on thing such as the standardization of the retention process for America’s smallest businesses, which would save them a combined millions of dollars and countless hours in compliance time.
- More tax cuts where feasible: One of the things that President Trump discussed just before the 2016 midterm elections, was his intention of an even more specific and targeted tax break for the American middle class. This is something I will advocate for as well. Tax cuts work, and when done right only help to generate economic growth. The President’s original tax cuts has seen an increase of federal revenue, not a lessening. Talk of exploding deficits is only due to the non-stop spending from Congress! In fiscal year 2018 was $127 billion higher than in 2017. As a result, deficits for 2018 climbed $113 billion, yet tax receipts rose by .5%, despite the cuts. Compare these results with Obama’s last full fiscal year in office, 2016. Overall revenues increased by about the same 0.5%, about the same as 2018, yet the deficit for that year climbed by $148 billion. In other words, the government did better on revenues and deficits in the year after Trump’s tax cuts went into effect than it did in Obama’s last year in office. Most of Obamacare’s hidden taxes and cost for the program were back loaded into the end of the Obama years, which is why deficits were kept down in much of his term, though he doubled the national debt. Trump’s first tax cut really benefits corporations by lowering the corporate tax rate. Middle America benefitted for sure, but a much bigger tax break for them is not only feasible, it will help continued economic growth as Americans will have more money in their pockets to spend.
- I support renegotiated, bilateral trade deals: On of the largest issues of the Trump presidency has been dealing with the global theft of American wealth through globalism. This is at the heart of his tariff policies. Some conservatives have even attacked such policies as detrimental and anti-conservative. They aren’t. They are entirely practical, and necessary. If we were a pre-WWII economy, then yes, getting into trade wars would not be good policy. We aren’t, and Trump’s “trade wars” to date have been beneficial to the country. Take what is going on with China. With just the tariffs that have already been placed on goods and services to date that flow from there, according to EconPol Europe, a network of researchers in the European Union, 4.5% of the tariff is being carried by American consumers, while the overwhelming cost of the tariff, 20.5% is being absorbed by Chinese producers. We are in an economic war that we have heretofore refused to engage in, while American jobs wealth has been redistributed abroad. This has lined the pockets of big multinational corporations and bank conglomerates. The biggest abuser has been China, specifically In regards to intellectual property theft; massive U.S. trade imbalances; imposed tariffs, and ridiculous non-tariff barriers put in place by China. Until President Trump, it seems members of both Parties were willing to acknowledge the reality without ever doing anything to confront it; largely because of lobbying money on behalf of these same multinational interests that prevented them from doing so. President Trump’s move to renegotiate equitable trade deals, in a win-win for each nation, has resulted in an explosion in the American main-street economy, most notably in the manufacturing arena. Median household income has actually risen, real wages are on the rise, the job market is absolutely exploding. Why? Precisely because of these America first policies. We must continue to support the President in any of these efforts to bring the stolen wealth of the U.S. back to its citizens.
The first right that is explicitly laid out in the Declaration is the right to life. This is the most fundamental right. There can be no discussion of any other right without correctly defining this one. Science is very straight forward in determining the issue of life. People can debate when an unborn child is viable outside the womb, they can debate when an already born person in a vegetative state is viable as well. What one cannot do is deny the humanity of either. When a woman becomes pregnant, she knows beyond any shadow of a doubt that if carried to term, she will give birth to a child. She won’t birth a cat! Those who advocate for abortion are advocating for the delegitimization of a human life, as are those who advocate for unchecked euthanasia. I fully support the right to life, and oppose legalized abortion, except in the cases of the life-of-the-mother, as state-sanctioned murder.
The right to keep and bear arms, as codified in our Constitution, is a fundamental right to personal security. This includes not only the right to defend oneself from individuals who would seek to do them harm, but also from the government. It is a natural right and would exist even if we come to a point where its constitutional protections are removed. Of all the rights, it is the one that helps ensure all the rest. As such, it is not to be infringed. I believe this, and will defend it.