To compete in a global market, our children need the best education possible. It is the key to their future – and America’s. Washington can’t make the decisions for our schools – we need to. I support returning control of education to local leaders, parents, and teachers. We know best what we need for our children and a one-sized-fits-all solution from Washington or Sacramento won’t prepare our children to compete in the global economy.
Energy & the Environment
California’s natural resources are what make it one of the best places to live in America. We all want to protect the environment, protect habitats, and our quality of life. We also need to utilize available energy resources and work to increase supply so that we can drive down prices for working families struggling to make ends meet. Natural gas, oil, coal, and nuclear are all traditional sources for our energy needs but we need to invest in renewables which will not only improve the environmental impact but also create new jobs for Californians.
The new federal health care law is proving to be unworkable. What was promised by many to be “free healthcare” will actually force people into insurance exchanges that impose high deductibles and fees costing families thousands of dollars each year without improving the quality of care. In California alone, there are projections of premium increases of as much as 146%. We need to reform health care in a way that increases access and quality of care while reducing costs. A government-controlled program isn’t the answer.
There is no country in the world more welcoming to immigrants than America. As we debate a national immigration reform proposal, we need to balance border protection with the plight of immigrants here illegally. We need to pass immigration reform that strengthens control of our borders so we know who is entering the country; we need immigration reform that creates a guest worker program that strengthens our economy; and we need to address a permanent population of people here illegally.
Jobs & the Economy
As our manufacturing base continues to erode and our economy becomes increasingly dependent on technology and the service sector, more and more Californians find themselves left out. We need to rebuild our manufacturing sector, which still provides better quality than any other country in the world. We need to continue to invest in new technologies and biotechnology, which provides good-paying jobs and an important economic engine.
The number one priority of the federal government is to keep us safe from foreign threats. The American military has been spread thin across the globe in the War on Terror and as we draw down those foreign entanglements, we need to right-size the military to fit the needs of modern warfare. We need to reprioritize our military spending and refocus our national security interests to real threats to our homeland.
Social Security & Medicare
If Social Security and Medicare are to survive for future generations, changes need to be made. We can no longer afford to ignore the structural problems facing the systems. Reform must guarantee that current and future retirees receive what they have been promised and also allow younger workers more flexibility in how their money is invested.
For the last decade, the federal government has been running trillion dollar deficits. While Congress has made progress bringing it down to $900 billion in 2013, we have now amassed a $17 trillion debt – more than $40,000 for every man, woman, and child. Just the cost of servicing that massive debt costs taxpayers thousands of dollars. Both parties are responsible but finger pointing won’t fix it, making common sense decisions about our spending priorities will.
It is time to reform our tax code. The recent abuses of the IRS are troubling but our tax problems are larger than the poor decision-making of government bureaucrats. We need to eliminate loopholes in the tax code that allow corporations to avoid paying their fair share and create a fairer system for individuals. We need to incentivize job creators to invest in America, expand their businesses, and create jobs for Coachella Valley families.