- Infrastructure Revitalization
- Energy Independence
- Fiscal Responsibility
- Health Care Reform
In the following pages, you will find my positions on many of the debated issues of the day. I have been developing my views over a lifetime, looking at each one periodically with an open mind and careful research. I have a strong belief that civilization is becoming better and that there is significant hope for the future of humankind. Fundamentally, I am a scientist and an economist, and I use these two lenses to sharpen my views as we launch ourselves into the new century.
We all wish this subject were as benevolent as the whimsical scarecrows seen in a Central Coast festival:
However, in the past few years, I have watched the quality of healthcare go down while the cost of health insurance goes up - this trend must end. I know people who must spend half their income on health insurance alone. This cost has a devastating effect on their confidence, purpose and activities, taking away their dreams and stealing from their quality of life, sometimes even ending it completely. I also know people who struggle with their medical needs even when covered by Medicare and the VA. I have personally experienced severe financial hardships when needing medical services, even while having allegedly “top rated” insurance. Along the campaign trail, Medical Care is the topic that comes up most often among conservatives and liberals alike.
Keeping and developing readily available cheap and clean sources of energy is the greatest challenge facing our modern economy and civilization itself. Americans have enjoyed an ever increasing use of energy from both renewable and non-renewable sources. Unfortunately, what is often marketed now as clean energy, such as solar panels, actually risks further pollution from rare earths and metals, short useful product life, breakage and the sale of hazardous broken panels in vast numbers to countries such as China. Moving the pollution of our waste products to less developed countries is not advancement at all, it is dangerous abuse. America has the scientific know-how to lead the way in achieving a balance of energy use while protecting the environment. But we must fund the necessary research to achieve this goal. In the meantime, we still must acknowledge our economic dependency on fossil fuels and refine safer methods of dealing with nuclear waste rather than eliminating all nuclear power. We cannot afford to throw the baby out with the bath water, clean or not. Passing laws that ignore or obstruct the development of this sector will threaten our lives at both the local and national levels, to say nothing of the effect on the environment of the earth itself. To keep seagulls soaring over safe and spectacular seas, we must be tough on ourselves and step up all necessary research investment in clean energy sources.
A lot of people are wondering if our roads and highways have become a little worn out!
Our communities rely on a well maintained transportation infrastructure. Our economy is dependent upon it. We need to make sure California receives its fair share of federal support for this infrastructure maintenance and improvement. Taxpayers are also entitled to know when local city governments don't spend road monies on intended improvements. I have spent twelve years as a Senior Civil Engineer designing and constructing transportation infrastructure. I am well aware of the funding available and the funding actually spent on maintaining and building infrastructure projects. One of my objectives in Congress will be to verify that California is spending federal transportation money properly.
In my travels across the state, I see the quality of our roads. We all know the gridlock caused by an antiquated system. Transportation is vital to our economy, it is crucial to our health, and it is critical to our advancement of society.
Changes to the Federal tax laws have caused considerable financial distress to the average Californian. Every representative in Congress should find ways to keep the federal government efficient and allow people to keep more of their own money.
The average American spends the first three hours a day at work to pay federal, state, and local taxes. The government takes money from us in two ways - one with taxes and the other through the hidden results of inflation. Our Congress needs to focus on lowering the tax burden and striving to maintain low inflation.
The thirst for knowledge began well before the monuments of antiquity.
Classical education is the hallmark of the American mind. Unfortunately, its balance of science, history, and the arts has now been pushed aside by often dogmatic emphasis and funding for just the STEM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Yes, I have advanced degrees in Engineering, but that represents a level of vocational training rather than knowledge of history, culture, and the human spirit, the essentials of responsible citizenship.
2020 marks the 200th year of a tuition-free high school in the United States. Learning the history of education is essential if we want to come up with legislation to improve it. Yet our model for education has not changed that much since the 15th century, all while new technologies increase our ability to learn by exponential factors. Our system of schooling currently serves only around 20% of the population. Again, many administrators are now pushing the supposed virtues of studying the STEM fields while neglecting the Humanities and Arts. We need to reverse this trend. Yes, the STEM programs teach us the how's of life, but they cannot show us the why's of life or its meaning. Americans are known worldwide for their ability to be creative and innovative. Our educational system must address the whole person and whole communities rather than favor just the logic that is taught in the STEM programs. It is in the humanities that students rise from the robotic motions of life to truly embrace the human spirit. Schools cannot provide an integrated graduate by lopsided funding for the Sciences at the expense of the Humanities and the Arts.
As well as enhancing the beauty of our environment, water is critical for life, agriculture and industry. The Central Coast experiences droughts as well as years of plenty brought about by El Nino. Government policies often exacerbate our water shortages, putting money into expensive projects that fail to meet demand. By increasing funding to Water Infrastructure, we can avoid harmful water rationing that forces families and businesses to suffer needlessly. This involves far more than simply keeping our lovely fountains flowing.