The reason for my position on taxation is predicated upon prioritization. I believe we should first try to eliminate fraud and waste from our current government programs before we assess any increased level of taxation upon the people. If we ultimately determine that we need additional tax revenues or should decrease military spending, I would not be opposed to considering it.
ON CAMPAIGN FINANCE
Having experienced the inequities of our current campaign finance system, I strongly support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions because of the undue influence they often exert.
I am supportive of finding alternatives to jail and prison for nonviolent offenders, such as mandatory treatment or counseling. I am also against mandatory-minimum sentencing, especially for first-time, nonviolent offenders.
ON THE ECONOMY
Unlike most candidates, I have run dozens of businesses in the private sector. I have created thousands of jobs across the country and around the world over my career, and an intelligent use of federal spending and tax incentives can enhance economic development and job creation.
ON ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
We need to orchestrate an intelligent approach to address our energy and environmental issues. They need to be considered together rather than discussed as if they were independent of one another. With respect to the Keystone Pipeline, we need to look beyond the near-term and consider its potential repurposing in the future (i.e., as a potential pipeline for the transport of biofuels, etc.).
ON THE SECOND AMENDMENT
To be clear, barring a constitutional Amendment, I support the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment. However, reasonable regulations that “provide for… the general Welfare of the United States” are also part of our constitutional mandate. I support reasonable gun control legislation that provides a greater level of safety for the general public without violating the fundamental right to bear arms (i.e., legislation that is limited to enhanced registration, training, logical weapons limitation by properly defined type, etc.).
ON HEALTH CARE
I do not support repealing the Affordable Care Act. However, I would push for a “course correction” of the legislation. The original goal was to expand access to healthcare, lower its cost, and improve the quality of care delivered. Unfortunately, the bill became politicized and only modestly delivered upon one of those goals: expanded access. We need to simplify the legislation, remove the special interests that were embedded in it to get it passed, and refocus on the original three goals. There isn’t any reason we cannot deliver quality healthcare to every American.
We need comprehensive immigration reform that recognizes undocumented workers to be assets rather than liabilities. It isn’t logical to suggest that we can deport 13 million immigrants any more than it’s logical to suggest that we cannot deport the small percentage who have committed felonies. We can secure our borders without abandoning the values upon which our nation was built. The first step is to admit that our current system of immigration is broken. Then, we must create a more intelligent, effective and efficient way of welcoming immigrants to our borders and providing them with a clear path to citizenship.
ON NATIONAL SECURITY
Our government’s authority to “provide for the common defense” is fundamental. If the threat to the United States is immediate or impending (as in the case of “confirmed” terrorists), we have the authority to address it. If the threat is hypothetical, then we must exercise well-measured restraint.