On the Issues
Say More by Saying Less
Rather than writing entire goddamn policy essays on my 23-point plan that will fail if any particular point falls, I'm instead going to list my beliefs on these core issues and the goals I'm going to drive towards based on these beliefs.
Again, the goal of my candidacy is to present problems and the ways in which those problems can be FIXED (not delayed, not kicked down the road, not swept under the rug for 2 years).
Money & Politics
Problem: WAY too much money flows through political campaigns today. BILLIONS of dollars. And if you don't have access to that kind of money, you don't get to be a representative of the public. Is it any wonder that our representatives are forever out of touch with normal people?
Short Answer: Publicly funded campaigns when you reach a signature threshold. No or very limited private fundraising for campaigns. Repeal Citizens United.
Long Answer: The insane amount of money flowing into our politics is the core of my campaign. When wealthy individuals and companies can pump money into candidates they like, they can effectively silence anyone who dissents from the opinions of the powerful. There is another level of this issue in that getting involved in politics - whether local or national - is a very opaque process. Just doing this campaign has been quite a learning experience. Did you know it only costs $100 to be a congressional candidate? Do you know how annoying it is to find that information and how to apply? Because it's a pain in the ass if you don't know where to go. Getting involved in politics shouldn't cost an arm and a leg, and it shouldn't require a campaign specialist to navigate.
Problem: The global climate is rapidly getting warmer, and we are destroying the only environment we can live in.
Answer: Aggressively re-allocate funds from military R&D into climate change mitigation research and deployment. Climate change is a bigger threat to the average person than any military adversary. That we have jets that cost billions while states burn and people die is insane. Do not approve any more drilling permits for oil companies. Pursue aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals with 100% sustainable energy and production by 2035.
Problem: Half a million people don't have a place to live. There are nearly 18 million empty homes in this country.
Answer: Give the homeless a place to live. It's honestly an easy problem to solve, and it's cheaper than what the military spends on a lot of random crap we don't need. Literally just give people who can't afford housing a place to live. We should not wait to solve homelessness until we can solve drug addiction and mental health issues or systemic economic issues. Literally just provide the thing that the homeless don't have. It's cheaper than the time law enforcement spends tracking people down and enforcing loitering laws, emergency services spends on these folks, social workers spend trying to find and help these people. Literally everywhere they implement Housing First social policies, homeless goes down and spending on homeless services barely increases if it increases at all.
Problem: We are starving our education system, and it shows. American children have LUNCH DEBT. Teachers are paid peanuts. Students are treated like criminals in some schools. We actively sabotage our education system and then wonder why the US is falling behind on the world stage.
Answer: Money that flows into education is an INVESTMENT that has significant returns for a country in the long-term.
Pre-K: Fund pre-K programs with public funds. This will help give children access to important educational / social opportunity + allow stay-at-home parents to get back into the workforce sooner if they desire.
K-12: Use national funding to support schools across the country. The current system of local property taxes funding local schools creates massive inequalities in the education received by the poor and the wealthy.
College / Post-Secondary: Give everyone access to free, public college education like we give everyone access to free, public K-12. This allows those who wish to pursue higher education to do so without concerns about costs or debts. All students receive a moderate stipend to cover cost-of-living and alleviate economic anxieties while pursuing education.
Student Motherf*cking Loans
These things are ridiculous and predatory. They shackle kids that don't even allow to drink or a rent vehicles to shackle themselves with massive debt they may carry their entire lives. It weighs down individuals with stress / health / economic issues and sandbags our economy as a portion of people cannot participate in things like buying homes or starting families due to financial stress. Forgive all student loans and fund it with taxes on Wall St. We've bailed them out multiple times - it's their turn to return the favor.
I would be willing to compromise and allow people to repay student loans with a cap on the interest that can be charged against that loan i.e. you cannot make more than 150% of the original loan value over the course of the loan. Once you hit that percentage, all payment dollars go into the principle. The cycle of eternal debt has to stop.
Problem: A plant is somehow illegal, and we spend billions of dollars making sure that people don't have this plant. It's a dumb waste of money.
Answer: Decriminalize possession and legalize mass distribution. Basically, it's not a crime to have, to grow, or to use weed, but if you want to sell weed to others for profit / as a business, you need to go through legal channels to make sure you're selling a safe, consistent product.
Jobs / Economy
As with foreign policy, this is much more complex issue than I can cover here.
Problem: Our economy is very much rigged in favor of those who already have all the money and that shit needs to change (refer to my Money & Politics section). Over the past 40 years, taxes on the wealthy and corporations have gone down, and the middle class has been forced to make up the difference while the poor have lost access to basic social services. This whole system is a shitshow, and I genuinely don't know how to fix it given our political climate. But I do know that we've become, as a society, entirely too obsessed with money to the detriment of other meaningful metrics like happiness and longevity. But, before we can address the problems, we have agree that there is a problem and that seems to be our issue right now. The poor get poorer and work harder while the rich get richer and tilt the field increasingly in their favor.
Answer: The US economy needs a serious overhaul. We need to strengthen unions and collective bargaining, prevent outsourcing of labor and production by implementing anti-slavery supply lines, and tax corporate profits (PROFITS - not revenue). Give money to the poor and they will circulate it back into the economy and create more demand for good and services, thus we should implement a UBI or negative tax bracket system to enable this boost to the economy.
Problem: Americans are dying because they don't have access to healthcare. They kill themselves rather than saddle themselves and their families with medical debt. They are crushed under medical debt that prevents them from contributing to other sectors of the economy. The current health system is a vampire on our economy.
Answer: Everyone should have access to health care just like everyone access to the fire department and police department and the USPS.
At the end of the day, my concern is that everyone can get healthcare when they need - preferably preventative healthcare both because it costs less and incurs less suffering.
Ideally, I think we should build a system similar to the UK NHS system, but I'm willing to compromise on execution as long as we have 100% health coverage for every American that is free at the point of service.
Problem: The US is spending on the proverbial credit card. Extreme deficit spending is the norm. The wealthy are taking all the money and paying less taxes with each passing year. The poor are crushed under inflation as their wages stagnate and their taxes increase.
Answer: I want to cut taxes for most people and create a much steeper progressive income tax. I would tax unrealized capital gains (if I have to pay taxes on the unrealized gains in my home's value, why should billionaires get to skate by without paying anything?). I would implement a wealth tax on anyone with over $10 million of assets that would increase as you approach and pass $1 billion. Remember - this will include the unrealized stock options of the ultra-wealthy - an asset that they do not currently pay ANY taxes on. This should piss you homeowners off because you DO pay taxes on your unrealized gains in your home's value.
The billionaires have siphoned almost ALL of the economic growth for 40 years, and their greed is obvious when you look at your roads, your schools, your healthcare, and basically anything else that needs public funding.
Problem(s): So immigration is big, complicated, and messy as hell, but here are some of the problems as I see them.
A good chunk of our economy (especially agriculture) is built on abusing immigrants who don't have the same protections as citizens OR don't know what protections they may have.
People in DACA are left in limbo as to their future in the US.
We have an entire government agency (ICE) whose whole job is to internally profile and deport people. That's dollars that could be spent on much better things.
Deportations are expensive, cruel, and ineffective.
Border patrol and security are largely a waste of money. Most immigrants do not cross the border in this way (most fly and overstay their visa). Only the poorest and most desperate (and yes, some of the criminal elements as well) cross the border by land.
The US has a history of foreign policy (from coups to the Drug War) that have directly fueled the poverty and violence in Central and South America that people are fleeing from, yet we do not seem willing to take responsibility for our role in propping up these systems.
The visa system in the US seems intentionally designed to screw over both US citizens and legal immigrants in favor of corporate interests (cheap labor you can threaten with visa action).
Answer(s): I will readily admit that Immigration is not my strong suit, and there will be a lot to learn here. But below I present answers that are based on my principles - these reflect my stances on immigration based on my knowledge through both reading things and talking with my friends who are immigrants.
Provide protections for workers and whistleblowers regardless of their immigration status and make sure this information is spread as far as possible.
Make all DACA recipients citizens.
Disband ICE. Use this budget for like... anything else. We shouldn't be spending billions of dollars chasing down and deporting immigrants who are just living their lives. Immigrants who are criminals should be dealt with by normal law enforcement agencies based on the crimes. Undocumented residency is a civil offense - it shouldn't be treated like a damn felony.
Stop deportations. Like honestly. It's expensive and it sucks for everyone. We need to find a better way to deal with non-violent undocumented residents.
Refer to my Foreign Policy section for my stance on interventionism and the Monroe Doctrine by extension.
The visa system... I honestly don't know. It's such a convoluted mess, I think this will require a much more thorough and nuanced solution than I can provide here.
Short Answer: Pro-choice. Next question.
This isn't an issue I'm going to pontificate on here. Women have a right to self-determinate their own bodily functions even if that means a fetus dies. You can't compel a mother to give her kidney to her very born child, and you can't compel a pregnant person to give her uterus to a fetus.
Problem: America spends a boatload of money to piss a lot of people off while people in the homeland suffer and die of stupid, solvable things.
Answer: This is a more complex issue than I can cover here, but the jist is this: the US needs to quit inserting itself into everyones' business. It costs money, it kills people, and it allows us to ignore problems here at home. We also need to quit this double standard when it comes to dictatorships that we like vs. the ones we don't like.
Problem: Lots of people getting murdered by guns.
Answer: This is probably the issue that most of my lefty folks may diverge from me. I think the left expends far too much political capital on gun control / reform. I have no interest in adding new gun laws to the books when we can't even enforce the ones we have. If the goal is stopping gun deaths in the country, we would be better served by 1) allowing the ATF to used computer systems to track gun crimes and 2) address the root cause of why the hell so many people want to murder each other.
Problem: There's a pandemic still going on, and it's killing lots of people.
Problem: There's a pandemic going on, and lots of people are refusing to take basic safety measures.
Solution: At this point, it makes less and less sense to keep lots of restrictions when those who give a damn are already as protected as they can be and those who don't won't change their behavior anyway. A slow wind down of the restrictions should be undertaken with a careful eye on case/hospitalization/death statistics. Minimization of death and long-term suffering is the goal; getting sick is a part of life.
Is there another issue you want me to comment on?
Email me and let me know!