I Believe

Fundamentally, the government should focus on guaranteeing freedom for its citizens.  I love this country and have a deep respect for who and what came before us.

I believe The American Dream is equality of opportunity.  During my military career, I traveled often and lived in many different countries.  Living in these diverse cultures, I developed a profound admiration for our country and the unique opportunities it affords its citizens.

As an American, I believe in empowering individuals not government.  Those closest to any problem have the insights into the causes and the incentives to solve those problems better than some distant Washington bureaucrat.  

The federal government has grown too large and more often than not gets in the way of progress and freedom.  The federal government should not act to command and control our lives.  Instead, it should create and foster an environment that allows American creativity, diversity, individuality, and problem solving to prosper.  In this environment, American ingenuity will take over.  Our representatives will unleash the American people instead of trying to control and restrict them.     

Culture Of Corruption 

The most significant risk we face in Washington is the career politician.  We need term limits.  These terms limits should apply to elected officials and staff.  We need to close the revolving door from the public to the private sector.  In its place, we need to improve ethics regulations that require individuals to remain away from federal government employment for the amount of time they held elected office or were employed as a staffer.

Government Spending And Budget 

The federal government funds itself in only one of three ways: taxation, debt, and money creation.  Anytime government takes money from its citizens – in one of the three ways listed above – individual Americans have that much less to use.  Federal government spending is out of control.  Our budget and our debt continue to grow regardless of the political party in power.  Elected representatives must cut spending and pay off the debt.  

Federal Government Pay

Our elected officials receive compensation above and beyond their value and contribution to society.  We should immediately enact a 33% cut in Congressional pay.  We need to eliminate pensions for federally elected officials and appointees.  In its place, we substitute the retirement model of the private sector as we do with all the other benefits of government officials.  We must incentivize public service instead of public enrichment.  The same laws that govern American citizens govern public officials.  These laws include bans against things like insider trading.  Under current law, Congress is authorized to conduct insider trading. American citizens would go to jail for the same insider trading.

It also includes drafting laws that Congress is exempt from following.  The Affordable Care Act is a perfect example of this.  Congress passed a law that forced American citizens to purchase health insurance.  Simultaneously, Congress declared that they are not required to buy health care in the same way.  This double standard needs to end.    

Regulations

Too many regulations hurt Americans, our families, our livelihoods and our way of life.  The Federal Register as of 2016 was over 80,000 pages.  Each one of these rules and regulations results in the law of unintended consequences.  Congress needs to immediately review each and every regulation and determine the consequences of the regulation.  If the regulation causes more harm than good to Americans, we need to eliminate it.

Corporate Subsidies/Welfare 

We should end corporate subsidies.  When I use this phrase, I merely mean businesses (usually always large) that receive discounts, payments or other compensation to encourage behavior or to offset costs.  When our elected officials provide corporate subsidies, American citizens, through their taxes, provide benefits to some companies at the expense of others.  Not all companies have access to subsidies.  The result is that elected officials use American taxpayer money to support some businesses while other businesses are left to fend for themselves.  Government officials should not pick winners and losers. 

Welfare 

The goal of welfare needs to always focus on getting individuals and families off of welfare and into the workforce so they can provide for themselves and their families.

Social Security 

Our elected representatives have misled Americans too long on this program.  Social Security does not work as it is advertised.  The money we Americans believe is saved for our retirement is actually spent by Congress.  Money that working Americans send to Washington is used by Congress to pay the Social Security payouts to individuals who are retired and drawing Social Security.    

Americans paid into a system with the expectation that they would receive income in retirement.  They should not feel like those in power will break this commitment.  If your retirement planning includes Social Security then America needs to maintain its commitment to you.

However, we do need to introduce individual choice to this system.  Younger generations, who may not want to pay into Social Security, can choose to do other things with their money for retirement.  Social Security should be voluntary.  If you want to draw Social Security when you retire, you can.  If you want to invest your own money for retirement instead of the federal government taking 12.4% of your paycheck, you can.  The principle of individual freedom needs to drive this process.

Medicare

As with Social Security, Medicare is failing.  It provides a lot of challenges to seniors.  Our seniors need not suffer in retirement due to lack of quality care.  The mark of any great nation is in the way that it treats the most vulnerable – its infants and elderly.  If individuals expect to receive health care covered under Medicare during their retirement, then they should receive it.  America will not break any commitments to anyone retired, close to retirement, expecting medical care or who want Medicare in retirement.

As we look to the future, individual freedom needs to drive Medicare.  No more should our elected representatives force an individual to pay 2.9% into a program for the duration of his or her working life, without any control over how elected officials spend that same money.  Instead, we need to open up access to other programs that allow the individual to save, invest and plan for medical care during retirement.  At the same time, we also want to drive down the cost of medical care so that the patient receives the very best care.  It is not enough merely to have insurance.  What we want is excellent care.  No one wants to see their loved ones suffer in their golden years because of inadequate care.

For those who do not want to rely on Medicare for healthcare in their retirement, our elected officials need to change the system to allow these individuals to keep the 2.9% and put it in a type of healthcare retirement fund.  Our current tax code contains policies under which individuals can plan to save for their medical needs in retirement.  Individual freedom and choice shall drive this system as well.  The individual knows best because he or she is closest to the problem.

Medical Care

Career politicians at the federal level have utterly destroyed the medical system in this country.  We have the greatest medical professionals in the world.  To fix our medical system, America needs the government out of it.  The focus of the medical system should always be quality medical care at an affordable price.  We need to rediscover individual choice in our medical care and return this choice to the most local level.  The individual and the doctors are the ones closest to the problem. We need to create our medical system so that it is focused on freedom and returns the rights to the individual to decide how they want to use and pay for their care.

Pro-Life

I am pro-life.  Life is extremely precious.  My wife and I struggled for a long time to conceive.  When our son was finally born, we knew we were blessed.  I respect and empathize with individuals that struggle with an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy.  We must protect the most vulnerable in our society.  Observing my wife during her pregnancy and labor, leading to the birth of our son, humbled me.  It provided me with a remarkable respect for women and the toll that a pregnancy will take on their body.

Immigration 

We should encourage individuals from all over the world to come to our country and contribute to our society.  Career politicians created the current immigration system that is burdensome, confusing, broken and rewards lawbreaking.  Our immigration system needs to encourage individuals to come to this country legally and protect American citizens.  We have a right to secure our borders. 

Second Amendment 

This amendment is clear.  American citizens have the right to own firearms.  Americans have the right of self-defense.  

Military/National Security

Eight overseas deployments.  Eleven plus years of military service.  US Army Green Beret.  I love this country and love the military.  Our military protects the freedoms and our way of life.  Our nation requires a strong military and intelligence community to remain free and safe.

Education

Individuals need to have the freedom to choose how to educate their children.  Whether a parent chooses public or private education, they should have that right and have the ability to pay for it.  Our schools are failing our children.  There is too much command and control from the federal government.  We can only fix education at the most local level.  At this level, individuals – parents and teachers – are closest to the problem and have the best solutions to provide the best education to the next generation of Americans.  Our children require us to prepare them to lead when they come of age.  

Family

The family is the nucleus of our society.  It requires representatives to protect it and nurture it so that our nation will benefit from healthy supportive families.  

Taxes 

Every dollar the government takes from its citizens in the form of taxes is one less earned dollar that our American citizens can use to take care of his or her own family.  Taxes on individuals and business should be as low as possible.  The money an American earns while working is his or her money.  The money does not belong to the government.

Leadership 

The mark of a great leader is not how many people follow but how many new leaders he inspires and creates. 

America is the greatest country in the world.  The American dream is alive and well.  I want to unleash the creativity, passion, hard work and greatness of the American citizen.

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