Law Enforcement Police brutality is a symptom of a larger disease. Diversity workshop attendance, better psychological testing, and individual liability insurance of all officers is needed. This will make families feel safer knowing that the officers protecting and serving them are brothers and sisters of the same humanity.
Education Our public school system has moved from a system of knowledge and education into another state run behavioral enforcement program. Parents should have the right to choose between sending children to either public schools or private institutions such as charter schools, which I why I support vouchers. By giving parents a choice, it offers the best possible opportunity for education and brings forth benefits stemming from competition.
Incarceration Rate African Americans and other minorities are incarcerated at an alarming rate unjustly higher than those of whites. One method of reducing that incarceration rate is by ending the war on drugs. Drug prohibition causes the cost of drugs to increase (without quality control) and makes the free will use of them an underground crime, strengthening gangs.
"War On Drugs" What right could be more basic, more inherent in human nature, than the right to choose what substances to put in one’s own body? Whether we’re talking about alcohol, tobacco, herbal cures, saturated fat, or marijuana, this is a decision that should be made by the individual, not the government. Drug-related crime (which is over 85% of all crime) is caused not by drugs but by drug laws that make the it expensive and a monopoly of criminals.
Over a million and a half Americans were arrested last year on drug charges, and nearly 40% of those arrests were for marijuana possession alone. Does this make sense? A recent Gallup poll reports that 58% of Americans now agree that marijuana should be legalized, a dramatic increase in support that reflects Americans’ increased knowledge and understanding of the issue.
Legalization of marijuana would instantly and dramatically improve conditions on our southern border. Marijuana is Mexico’s #1 illegal export; legalizing it would result in dramatically reducing the power and wealth of the drug lords, and instantly helping to restore stability in a nation whose stability and sustainability is truly vital to our economic and national security interests.
Abuse of hard drugs is a health problem that should be dealt with by health experts, not a problem that should be clogging up our courts, jails, and prisons with addicts. Instead of continuing to arrest and incarcerate drug users, we should seriously consider the examples of countries such as Portugal, the Netherlands, and Uganda, and we should ultimately choose to adopt policies which aim to reduce death, disease, violence, and crime associated with dangerous drugs.
Honest, effective education will be key to succeeding with this transition. America has cut teen cigarette use in half, not by criminalizing possession and use, but through a combination of honest education and sensible regulation. We can never totally eliminate drug addiction and drug abuse. We can, however, minimize these harms and reduce the negative effects they have on society by making sure drug abusers are able to access effective treatment options (jail is not an effective treatment option).
Drinking Age Under the federal constitution, determining the legal drinking age is a state matter and Congress has no authority. On July 17, 1984 the National Minimum Drinking Act of 1984 was passed by Congress. Many productive, civilized countries manage with a lower drinking age: no minimum in China or Portugal, 14 in Switzerland, 16 in most of Europe.
By lowering the drinking age to 18, people could learn about alcohol long before they turned 16 and get their driver’s license. We should prepare young adults to make responsible decisions about alcohol in the same way we prepare them to operate a motor vehicle; to exercise the full privileges of adulthood so long as they demonstrate their ability to observe the law.
Jobs & Unemployment Minnesota needs a plan to encourage new businesses to move here. We can achieve this will less bureaucracy and intervention from city, county, state and the federal governments. This includes lowering taxes, reducing or eliminating business license requirements, provide easier access to capital and scaling back crippling or expensive regulation.
One specific measure I would introduce is to reduce the business tax to bring more jobs to Minnesota. Our corporate rate of 9.8% business income tax (which ranks top 5 nationwide) should be cut in half to 4.9% immediately, to better compete for jobs with neighboring states.
Minimum Wage The Fed’s inflation of the money supply is the root cause of the sinking value of wages and savings. Minnesota’s DFL officials should press their Democratic colleagues in Congress to repeal the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. The economy should be liberalized (i.e. made more free).
Repealing wage controls, restrictions, bureaucratic barriers to entrepreneurship, and welcoming high-paying industries (such as mining) with minimal hurdles, can help low-wage workers by creating ample opportunity for them to move up to better positions.
Reducing or repealing taxes would give individuals more breathing room at their existing income levels. While some may feel that tobacco is not the best use of one’s earnings, people should be free to buy this product if they choose, and it’s nobody’s business to tell them they should not.
Foreign Policy The military budget of the United States, conservatively measured at around $700 billion (but probably closer to $1 trillion once all security measures and veteran benefits are considered), is approximately equal to all of the military budgets of all other countries combined.
Indeed, when the Department of Homeland Security was created, this was a virtual admission that the Department of Defense had goals other than homeland security. The best form of anti-terrorism insurance is to remove all troops from the Middle East, stop attempts to either preserve or change their current governments, and end all government-to-government aid.
It is time for American troops to come home, not just from the Middle East but from Europe, the Pacific. At the same time, let’s drop all barriers to trade and travel and turn enemies into friends. We have a great opportunity now to bring both peace and prosperity to our country and the world by restoring that reputation.
Environment Pollution of other people’s property is wrong. Strict liability, not government agencies and arbitrary standards, should regulate pollution. I advocate repeal of the laws that prevent full ownership of the air and water above and below land, thus denying individuals protection under the law against polluters.
Private property rights must replace public property. Governments are the biggest polluters of the environment worldwide. From war, their militaries and the creation of the corporation. If an oil rig cannot get insured to drill then that activity does not happen. If a pipeline cannot be laid by the company negotiating with private property owners then it does not get laid.
Reform the patent system. The patent system has become a system of corporate protection against competition as patents are bought by the rich and locked away. As patents can be worded so vaguely that years of lawsuits and or threat of lawsuit from patent trolls stifles new businesses, new innovations and the economy.
Poverty + Welfare We should eliminate the entire social welfare system. This includes eliminating food stamps, subsidized housing, and all the rest. Individuals who are unable to fully support themselves and their families through the job market must, once again, learn to rely on supportive family, church, community, or private charity to bridge the gap.
America is the most generous nation on earth. We contribute more than $125 billion annually to charity. However, as we phase out inefficient government welfare, private charities must be able to step up and fill the void. To help facilitate this transfer of responsibility from government welfare to private charity, the federal government should offer a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for contributions to private charities that provide social-welfare services.
Someone starting a business today needs a battery of lawyers just to comply with the myriad of government regulations from a virtual alphabet soup of government agencies: OSHA, EPA, FTC, CPSC, etc. Zoning and occupational licensing laws are particularly damaging to the type of small businesses that may help people work their way out of poverty.
In addition, government regulations such as minimum wage laws and mandated benefits drive up the cost of employing additional workers. I call for the repeal of government regulations and taxes that are steadily cutting the bottom rungs off the economic ladder.
Wealthy and middle class parents are able to send their children to private schools, or at least move to a district with better public schools. Poor families are trapped — forced to send their children to a public school system that fails to educate. It is time to break up the public education monopoly and give all parents the right to decide what school their children will attend.
It is essential to restore choice and the discipline of the marketplace to education. Only a free market in education will provide the improvement in education necessary to enable millions of Americans to escape poverty. We should not pretend that reforming our welfare system will be easy or painless.
Gun Rights I want our Constitutional rights protected, to guard against the erosion of our civil liberties. In particular, I want to see all people treated equally under the law, as our Constitution requires. America’s millions of gun owners are people too. Law-abiding, responsible citizens do not and should not need to ask anyone’s permission or approval to engage in a peaceful activity.
The primary victim of these misguided efforts is the honest citizen whose civil rights are trampled as frustrated legislators and police tighten the screws. Banning guns will make guns more expensive and give organized crime a great opportunity to make profits in a new black market for weapons. Street violence will increase in new turf wars.
I agree with the majority of Americans who believe they have the right to decide how best to protect themselves, their families and their property. Millions of Americans have guns in their homes and sleep more comfortably because of it.
Interviews with convicted felons indicate that fear of the armed citizen significantly deters crime. A criminal is more likely to be driven off from a particular crime by an armed victim than to be convicted and imprisoned for it. Thus, widespread gun ownership will make neighborhoods safer.
They ignore the fact that only honest citizens will comply; criminals will still have them. Such a ban will only increase the criminals’ ability to victimize the innocent. If he or she acts responsibly, without attacking others or causing injury negligently, no crime or harm has been done. Leave them in peace. But, if a person commits a crime with a gun, then impose the severest penalties for the injuries done to the victim.
Healthcare As recently as the 1960s, low-cost health insurance was available to virtually everyone in America – including people with existing medical problems. Doctors made house calls. A hospital stay cost only a few days’ pay. Charity hospitals were available to take care of families who could not afford to pay for healthcare.
Since then the federal government has increasingly intervened through Medicare, Medicaid, the HMO Act and tens of thousands of regulations on doctors, hospitals and health-insurance companies. Health insurance costs are skyrocketing. Government health programs are heading for bankruptcy. Politicians continue to pile on the regulations.
I will work towards establishing Medical Saving Accounts. Under this program, you could deposit tax-free money into a Medical Savings Account (MSA). Whenever you need the money to pay medical bills, you will be able to withdraw it. For individuals without an MSA, I will work to make all healthcare expenditures 100 percent tax deductible.
We should replace harmful government agencies like the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) with more agile, free-market alternatives. The mission of the FDA is to protect us from unsafe medicines. In fact, the FDA has driven up healthcare costs and deprived millions of Americans of much-needed treatments.
Civil Liberties Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. No individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government. My support of an individual’s right to make choices in life does not mean that I necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices.
I am committed to restoring and protecting civil liberties. I will: protect freedom of religion, speech, press, and assembly. Reverse the militarization of law-enforcement agencies. Reform asset-forfeiture laws. Restore Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. Restore voting and gun rights for those convicted of non-violent drug offenses. Fight against federal overreach and government spying programs. Restrict law-enforcement use of general surveillance technologies. Protect internet freedom & privacy.
Social Security Politicians in Washington are stealing your future. Every year, they take 12.4% of your income to prop up their failed Social Security system – a system that is heading toward bankruptcy. I believe you should be able to opt out of Social Security and invest your money in your own personal retirement account. An account that you own and control – one that politicians can’t get their hands on.
Countries like Chile, Mexico, Britain, and Australia have successfully made the transition from their failed Social Security systems to healthy systems based on individual retirement accounts. In Chile, over 90% of workers have opted out of the government-run system. It’s time America did as well.
The federal government owns assets worth trillions of dollars – assets that it simply doesn’t need to perform its Constitutional functions. By selling those assets over time, we can keep the promises that were made to today’s retirees, and to those nearing retirement, while freeing the rest of America from a failed Social Security system.
Government Spending State and local government costs Minnesotans about fifteen cents on every dollar earned. That means if you work a forty hour week, six of those hours go to support state and local government before you ever punch the clock for the feds. Since 1960, our state budget has averaged double digit growth every biennium and it’s grown by about $15 billion in just the last decade.
I believe most government spending is very foolish and wasteful. In the federal government politicians spend millions of dollars to urge people not to smoke, while spending millions more to subsidize tobacco farmers. They send billions overseas for foreign aid while the federal deficit swells. They spend millions to subsidize public art while working families struggle to pay their taxes.
Politicians also run trains, bail out banks, construct houses and buildings, sell insurance, print books, and build basketball courts, the government tries to do everything! But the fact is, every service supplied by the government can be provided better and cheaper by private business in a competitive marketplace. The bulk of your welfare tax dollars goes to pay the handsome salaries of well-educated welfare workers.
Taxes I believe that if government’s role were limited to protecting our lives, rights and property, then America would prosper and thrive as never before. Instead of tending to the basics, government has grown into a bloated conglomerate of political services that gets larger every year — with no end in sight.
They send billions overseas for foreign aid — while the federal deficit swells. They spend millions to subsidize public art — while working families struggle to pay their taxes. Politicians also run trains, bail out savings and loans, construct houses, sell insurance, print books, and build basketball courts.
Before 1913, federal income taxes were rare and short-lived. America became the most prosperous nation on earth. The U.S. Government did not try to police the world or play “nanny” to everyone from cradle to grave. People took responsibility for themselves, their families, and their communities.
In Minnesota, we are over-taxed, and we need to reduce the burden immediately. We currently rank 4th highest in terms of top income tax rate, and in the mid 30’s out of 50 states for tax fairness, which includes our current 4-tiered income tax system that some call ‘progressive’ (charging the wealthy a higher percentage). However, even the Minnesota Revenue Dept. website explains that our overall tax system is actually ‘regressive’ in fairness (meaning low- and middle-income families pay higher effective rates).