Taxes: Income is income. There should not be rules favoring capital gains income (typically earned by the wealthy) over ordinary income (your paycheck, or small business profit).
Environment: This Earth is the place we call home. Let’s treat it accordingly. And it’s home for ALL of us. If you don’t want something in your backyard, don’t assume it will be ok down the road where someone else lives. Protections safeguarding our planet have a higher priority than the ability of a corporation to make ever bigger profits. And yes, I believe in science. As the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”
It’s time for a new national goal: to become a nation powered by sustainable, renewable sources rather than by fossil fuels. In the 1800s, we strove to build the Transcontinental Railroad, and in the 1960s we took pride in a national effort to put a man on the moon. This new goal must be what we rally around in the 21st century.
As we encourage STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, our clean energy revolution will provide the millions of new jobs to put those STEM graduates into great careers.
Social Security: It’s a safety net lifting 14.7 million elderly Americans out of poverty. Benefits are earned through a lifetime of work. While life expectancy has increased dramatically, the very people who are most dependent on Social Security benefits are also more likely to be working in occupations that make it difficult to continue working into their later years. So an increase in the retirement age is not the answer. Raising or eliminating the wage cap for the Social Security tax, as has been done for the Medicare tax, is what I would support. Also, applying the Social Security tax to income currently labeled “capital gains income” would net a huge inflow of funding into the program.
Immigration: No human is illegal. Yes, it’s important to protect safety, which means deporting people convicted of felonies. But we are all immigrants, and the diverse tapestry of America is made better by the contributions of all. Our economy depends on the work being done by all. Our safety relies on people being confident that they can report information to law enforcement without fear for their own safety.
Healthcare: Healthcare is a right, not a privilege. The United States should not be the only country in the Western world that does not realize that foundational idea. A single-payer, Medicare-for-all approach is probably the answer. In the meantime, we should be making improvements to Obamacare to ensure that people continue to have the healthcare they need.
Abortion: No one is “pro-abortion.” Abortions should be safe, legal, and rare. That requires easy access to contraception, and to a robust sexual education. A woman must ultimately have the right to make her own decisions about her body.
Women’s rights: Women’s rights are human rights. Gender pay equality should be a no-brainer. Affordable, accessible child care benefits everyone…men, women and children. Paid maternity and/or paternity leave are also important building blocks for families to thrive, which again benefits us all.
Equality for All: ALL citizens of our country deserve protection and equal treatment in all areas of life. If non-discrimination laws do not adequately identify a particular group to be protected, then the designation must be broadened to cover them. Regardless of Age, Gender, Ethnicity, Religion, Sexuality, ALL means ALL.
Gun Sense: It is unconscionable that the NRA has been able to use their seemingly bottomless pit of money to “persuade” Republican members of Congress to avoid even a vote on common sense gun measures endorsed by a big majority of all Americans. Those common sense measures include ensuring that a background check is conducted on all gun purchases, and banning the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Pretending to “Back the Blue” while allowing officers to be out-gunned by civilians is hypocrisy.