Our nation is divided on so many levels. Politically, so often Republicans only see red and Democrats only see blue. By that I mean the parties remain locked in their own ideological beliefs, with the extreme right or left causing polarization in Congress and ultimately, we, the people, get nowhere.
My solution: I see purple! I’ve been a lifelong Democrat, though no ideologue, who strongly advocates for economic fairness and equality for all Americans, the middle class, the working poor, our Veterans, and the unemployed. I don’t believe we should increase the deficit; I think we can find ways to create new revenue. I also believe this country is sick and tired of the polarizing effect of getting nothing done due to the incessant infighting within our two party system. Therefore, I want to create a coalition within our two parties, Democrats and Republicans who can join me to build this team and support my candidacy for the Presidency. This has never been done before. I believe its time has come!
• We can restore dignity to middle-class America by providing higher paying jobs.
• I propose a $500 Billion to $1Trillion accountable jobs program with benefits. By generating revenue, we can create a “National Infrastructure Program”, with investments in Information Technology, the Electric Grid, SMART cities, and high-speed rail.
• This program will be designed to build new highways, rebuild and/or replace bridges and tunnels, and renovate our beleaguered train systems and airports.
• Let me clarify my vision. A proposed infrastructure program should have “Feinberg-like” accountability for the projects created in order to document the numbers of people employed at all income levels. We want total accountability of the money received, the designated project, and the number of people employed to bring the project to completion. That’s where a newspaper, like The Sunshine Project or Pro Publica, would be desirable and informative, letting people know where and how their money has been spent.
• When I led Ford’s anti-corrosion program, every senior manager involved in the project was accountable to Ford’s operating committee for the implementation and use of 300 new products. We had a circulating newsletter detailing progress, beginning with a letter recommending the product and ending with a standard of manufacturing for every product used in production. The project was closely followed from conception to implementation by every manager involved in the process. No matter the size of the project, and whether we are discussing infrastructure or manufacturing, accountability for implementation and the cost of completion should always be tracked.
• The funding for these programs would come from various sources (to be discussed under Revenue Generation) and/or reallocation of subsidies.
• We all want a great education for our children, an education that emphasizes curiosity, imagination and science. Remove corporations from controlling education. Create a system wherein parents and teachers have a greater influence over curricula.
• Reduce class size to 18 maximum for elementary and 24 for secondary. What is good enough for wealthy private school children should certainly be made a priority for our public education system.
• I would provide nutritious breakfasts and lunches in all public schools. Studies have shown that children who are nourished, think better and perform better. Often, many of our children leave their homes without getting any breakfast.
• Restore arts and music programs to our public schools curriculums.
• Use nearby Libraries for Community Centers. We would not only provide books for kids but also a safe environment for community groups and activities. Social and health services should be expanded.
• I strongly support the new threshold of $125,000 income level for student eligibility for free tuition at State Community and State Colleges.
• We should consider encouraging Merit Scholarships from Private Universities with endowments exceeding $1 Billion.
• I am not a proponent of the use of public funds for the voucher system. Tax credits could be awarded to those individuals taking advantage of vouchers.
• I believe in the separation of Church and State and do not want state funding of NGO’s.
• I believe in a strong community K – 12 health and education system that begins in infancy with early childhood development books that accompany new Mothers when they leave the Maternity Ward of any hospital. In addition, soft-covered books for reading and teaching infants should also be part of the “care” package.
• Apprentice programs have been neglected in our society and they should be reinstated, providing young people with the opportunity to learn a trade.
• I would sponsor a two-year hiatus after high school, similar to Americorps, encouraging all young people to apprentice in fields when they would like to pursue their careers. This program, while not mandatory, and independent of one’s socioeconomic level, I believe could create a more cohesive society long term. Our economic growth has not caught up to global growth. Giving meaningful work to our young people immediately out of high school would better prepare them to integrate into society and would allow networking for future advancement. There are many who enthusiastically support this program. There are also many benefits; one would be removing socioeconomic silos, and another would be a stronger positioning for a college education.
• Science is right, climate and water are critical concerns. There are 11 of 33 major aquifers in the world that are going dry. The scientist who recognized the Big Short, years before the financial collapse, is now watching the world’s supply of water closely. Resources for life may be going scarce but rather than being afraid, we should look at this opportunity to create more jobs.
• Think smart, develop ways to utilize naturally generating methane on farms to capture “gas” for powering the farm.
• Bury Containers or create artificial pools on farmland to trap massive downpours for future use.
• Genetically modified plants to be drought resistant.
• Set up desalinization plants to reclaim fresh water from salt water.
• Decrease subsidies to Fossil Fuels which now total $660 Billion and shift funds to alternative energy. We have no program nationwide to use energy efficient or carbon neutral fuels.
• Tax carbon emissions to ensure we are capping their use. The revenue collected can be redirected.
• Continue to support solar and wind power nationwide.
• Investigate 4th generation nuclear power plants, using Thorium, requiring no storage facilities.
• Expand the Affordable Care Act to include every American with affordable healthcare coverage.
• Continue the use of the ACA’s Medicaid Expansion Program in all states, without imposing draconian means testing for Medicaid eligibility. The states should not be allowed to have block grants for their use. Block Grants decrease Medicaid eligibility which is further challenged by individual state’s eligibility “testing”.
• Unpaid interns are not a solution. Another draconian choice, it literally places poor people in servitude.
• Reinstate the public mandate. Young people should buy insurance because at some point they will get sick and require care. This is the kind of investment that pays off at a later date, like life insurance. And for the good of all, the more people who are in the ACA program, the lower the cost of premiums for everyone.
• Congress must allow the Government to negotiate drug pricing for consumers.
• The middle class and working poor cannot afford health savings accounts (HSA).
• Lower the age of Medicare recipients to 55 years old
FOREIGN POLICY/NATIONAL SECURITY
• Muscular Diplomacy: Be involved with the Global Community.
• Enlist the powerful diplomatic efforts of China to qualm North Korea’s unstable strategies of war, as well as our allies, Japan and South Korea.
• Be proactive, stop failed states from forming. Enlist the aid of our Global Community to broker peace in Syria.
• Use economic sanctions to curtail geo-political nation building!
• As in the Oslo Accords, I would sponsor honest brokers and groups of concerned citizens to build the necessary bridges toward an Israeli/Palestinian Two-State Peaceful Solution.
• Be active participants in the Paris Climate Policy debate. Donate funds to establish our leadership in this forum.
• Establish American Leadership by acting humane. Yes, we have Military strength, that should be used on a limited specific basis; like our first incursion into Iraq. If we go to War, we must be prepared to set up a functioning provisional government, capable of treating all citizens justly.
• Develop and maintain cyber technology defense systems to upgrade/protect the national electric grid. This is a critically urgent need that must be a top priority. A report by the National Academy of Sciences considered an intelligent multisite hacking by experienced attackers and concluded that we should expect widespread long-term power outages that could take several weeks to recover from, causing enormous economic damage. Cities like New York and Washington could cost from $243Billion to $1Trillion ( the University of Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies and Lloyd’s of London).
• The United States should not pre-emptively invade another country. When appropriate, we should not take military action unless we have an exit plan that leaves a stable government in place. Remember Iraq?
• Use military funding to promote new technology, capable of making our military nimble. By that, I mean procuring newly configured “smart” satellites, light-weight and capable of detecting global military build ups, weather and climate changes. If America controls data, we can control our destiny. We can be proactive rather than reactive
• If we do indeed act as “the World’s Policeman”, I believe it should be in conjunction with our Allies in mutual causes and shared responsibilities.
• Maintain our networking capability between our “Defense” and police organizations. Create an environment for shared intelligence.
• Maintain lines of communication between the Military, Congress and the appropriate Committees keeping policy positions transparent. We don’t want Foreign Policy to be dictated by the Military. Rather, all of our resources from our Intelligence Agencies, Congressional Committees, and the State Department should be consulted before undertaking a decision. Short term planning should be replaced with strategic thinking.
• Communicate, communicate and communicate. Maintain counter terrorism training and provide funds in the Federal Budget to those States known to be terrorist targets. Support their efforts to link up with International Intelligence Agencies. Support their efforts and recommendations to keep our citizens safe.
• Specifically, we support NATO and our Allies. Unless our National Security is threatened, we do not act unilaterally.
• We are a nation built by Immigrants. Immigrants coming to America are usually escaping poverty, religious persecution, or war in their homeland.
• When my grandparents came here in 1905 from Russia and the Ukraine, they came to escape the Russian Pograms. When asked, they said they would never return to the old country. America was there home!
• The same is true today. Immigrants face harrowing conditions in order to reach the safety of our country, the Promised Land! In NYC, I hear taxi drivers blessing America daily. When I asked my Foreman, an immigrant from Ecuador, what he thinks Immigration policy should be, we were in agreement. Perhaps that’s why we worked together so well for 20+ years in my Carpet business; we’re agreeable!
• If relatives are here in this country, family members should be welcomed. Children of immigrants born in this country are and must remain Americans citizens. If the parents are employed in America, we should welcome them. We should not deport or split up hard working families. Not only should hard working loyal citizens be welcomed, they should be given a path to citizenship. No more hiding in the shadows. No more substandard wages. As citizens, they are entitled to be part of the larger economy receiving benefits equal to their working status. No more underground cash societies. Let these individuals face the light, be counted and given a path toward full Naturalization as citizens.
• Those who have committed serious felonies should be deported. We do not need those interested in death and destruction here. We want to continue our hardworking work ethos. We want to promote family life and family values. The family unit has always been the backbone of American life and culture. Encourage it. Encourage the new immigrant and their families to see America and be proud of its beauty and Natural resources.
• What do I think of Immigrants? I came from immigrant stock! I daresay most of you have too! I grew up and worked with Immigrants. If we leave old hatreds behind us, we can look forward to a prosperous future together. I don’t fear decent hardworking people. Immigrants built our land and they will be called upon to continue to build and revitalize our land! Let’s support them and help them achieve the American Dream.
• I want to see equal opportunity and upward mobility for immigrants of all nationalities. Immigrants enhance our American Mosaic; new ideas and creativity can only make America stronger and richer!
• Propose dedicated legislation to support term limits for Congress (12 years in the Senate and 6 years in the House of Representatives).
• Propose legislation to end lobbying and the revolving door from government to big business. A seven-year hiatus was on the books in 1996. It was eliminated and our culture of greed became unleashed.
• Overturn Citizens United. If Congress is unwilling, We the People may overturn this law ourselves, through judicial recall and petition. We need 3/4 of the States or 2/3 of the Senate to amend the Constitution.
• We must put monetary controls in place to prevent another fiscal collapse. Implement a 6% tax on derivatives and high-speed trades. Let’s share profits with this risky industry, $660 Billion in profits before we put them out of business.
• In order to ensure that Bankers act in the best interests of their customers – also known as their fiduciary responsibility – we must eliminate their conflicts of interest. Reinstate Glass Steagall, using John McCain’s and Elizabeth Warren’s new legislation, Glass Steagall for the 21st Century.
• Eliminate income levels on the payroll tax = Medicare and Social Security solvency FOREVER; that is our goal. Assure that all Corporations, not just small businesses, match employee contributions. The total payroll deduction is currently 7.65% of all income up to the first $118,000 earned. This contribution is matched by employers and there are currently certain exemptions for some corporations. Of the 7.65%, 6.2% goes to Social Security and 1.45% goes toward Medicare. I propose we collect a 6.2% payroll tax on all income (no cap) and insure that corporations and small businesses match employee contributions (no exemptions allowed). The end result would be tremendous and make Social Security secure for every generation going forward!
• Support Quantitative easing of the middle class: For the last 8 years, the Fed has been” pumping” Bonds left over from the Financial Crisis into the Stock Market, maintaining Wall Street. Currently, $1.7 Trillion in bonds held by the Fed, was slated to go into the Wall Street “pool”. I propose to convert the $1.7 Trillion in bonds to a cash payment for the middle class. The Bonds can be converted to cash by the Treasury and distributed to 154 million people @ $12K /person, helping the middle class pay off student loans, credit cards, etc. Revenue would be generated without increasing our National Debt. It’s a win-win for the Country. The middle class gets a safety net and revenue is generated for use by consumers in the market place.
• Derivatives a risky financial instrument that precipitated the Crash of 2008. When I surveyed the market last year, Derivative trades were at $1Quadrillion (1000 Trillion Dollars). If we passed a tax on Derivatives of 6% on every $100.00 revenue generated would be a minimum of $660 Billion.
• Oil & Gas Co: $660Billion in subsidies paid to them annually by the American people. Why? Does it have to be so much? Can’t some of this subsidy be diverted to Research and Development of Alternative Energy efficient, No Carbon emission fuels?
• Big farm subsidies total $24 Billion in 2017. Why? This program was started during the Big Depression to help small farmers. Today, Big Business and gentleman farmers are being paid not to farm! Since no one bailed out the middle class, why should tax payers continue to subsidize the wealthy? I’m asking for fair responsible distribution of our limited Federal Budget Funds.
• For your information, based on mathematics: $1 Billion = 22,000 jobs @ $50K/year! That is a significant number to be tracked when we commit to National Infrastructure projects.
• Excessive military spending (see graph below) in America is greater than seven Nations, including Russia and China. Having been a military contractor, I know there is 25% waste. Assuming a minimum of 10% waste, there is no reason to raise funds for the military unless we are creating new IT systems and weapons. I still believe, Defense must be supplemented by “muscular” diplomacy. We know what happens when we leave a political vacuum. If you break it, you own it.
• There should be a proportional system of taxation. Taxation of the middle class should be capped at 25% It is currently paying at 36%.
• Those earning $500,000 and up should pay 40%. The revenue collected would be enormous. Tax evasion by the wealthy in America amounts to our total national debt. Shouldn’t everyone be patriotic and pay their fair share to make America greater?
• Straight from The Economist, the major corporations and the ultra-wealthy are different from you and me. They buy legislators to create laws that legalize tax evasion and fraud. If American Corporations paid their share of taxes, instead of accumulating a tax hoard of $800 Billion, the American public would benefit from a 2% decrease in prices, plus enough money to reinvigorate the economy.
• If we don’t start disrupting the Corporate grasp on America, more people will slip into poverty and drugs and suicide! The greedy self-indulgent do not give up their ill-gotten gains without a change in the rules. If the middle class and the poor want a say in their destiny, we must vocalize our discontent.