California is home to 2,000,000 veterans. President Trump’s Forever GI Bill was enacted in 2017 and supported by every member of Congress. In other words, both the major parties, Republicans and Democrats, agreed unanimously to support our veterans nationwide in all arenas of life: healthcare, housing, employment, education, to name a few. We must ensure the proper enforcement and efficiency of this bill in order to serve the ones who have served us. The VA has made significant improvement since the Trump Administration; nonetheless, there are some key areas where we can improve.
Mental health disorders such as PTSD and depression are among the top contributors for decline in overall well-being of a veteran. Suicide rates have increased among the veterans and non-veterans at the same level, i.e. approximately 22 suicides per day. However, the suicide rate increased among the veterans who failed to receive quality healthcare compared to the veterans that did receive healthcare.
To properly help the veterans assimilate back into civilian life, we must hold our government accountable to do its job. We must hold ourselves accountable by allowing a smooth and effective transition for all veterans. If we believe that healthcare is something that should be made a priority for all Americans, then certainly, veterans should not be alienated from the top-level healthcare.
California taxes its residents higher than any other state in the nation. This year alone, we have given $419 billion to the state of California and now this blue state wants even more money from us! Since the 2018 election, taxes have gone up in Orange County cities by 3%. While 3% may not seem significant, it adds up for not only an average family of four but also for our young millennial graduates and the booming aging population.
A majority of the tax funds go to healthcare and education. While we want to achieve optimal levels of healthcare and education, the biggest problem that Orange County faces is a housing shortage. The last thing an average middle-class family needs is an increase in taxes. We must help families stay out of poverty or becoming homeless. By resolving the issue of shelter and finances, we can be assured that we are we are setting up our people towards a path to a better quality of life. We must STOP TAX HIKES.
The last Congress lowered the corporate rate while also removing unnecessary special-interest deductions, resulting in wage and job growth. These free market principles have allowed small and medium sized businesses to expand industry, employ Americans and grow our economy. In order to lift the poor from poverty and increase middle class wages, we must stand for pro-growth policies. I will push to raise the state and local tax deduction to $20,000 from the current $10,000.
The elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about is that Social security is on its way to complete collapse. The Congressional Budget Office projects the Social Security trust fund to become insolvent by 2029. Without increasing revenue, benefits will be cut by 29% in 2029.
As the population continues aging and the ratio of workers to retirees decreases, the funds necessary to support Social Security face the threat of depletion. It is vital for Congress to address these issues with a solution that does not unexpectedly cut benefits for seniors, while also not placing an unnecessary tax burden on workers.
Our national debt has doubled since 2009 and is projected to exceed annual GDP by 2026. It is unacceptable to borrow from future generations. If our debt continues to increase, we face higher interest rates that will reduce investment and damper economic growth.
Our credit will also significantly suffer as foreign investors will be less likely to purchase our debt, causing the value of the U.S. dollar to collapse. It’s time to start making some common sense decisions about our nation’s financial obligations before it is too late.
Border security leads to better immigration laws. Only once we have secured our border, can we address immigration reform.
America is still the beacon of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and we need legal immigrants who are assiduous, skilled and virtuous to come into our country. We also need immigrants to come to our country legally, and we should welcome them with open arms. Many of our nation’s greatest achievements have been done in conjuncture with those who have come to call the United States their home.
The United States is the only nation on earth that allows anyone from any background, to be welcome with open arms to join our American family. While that is true, it is also imperative that we must not let our welcoming spirit be infringed upon by those who seek to change our values, customs and traditions. When Democrats refuse to address concerns at the border, they are hurting legal immigrants who seek to enter our country and assimilate into the American family.
Politically motivated tactics such as “sanctuary cities” are an affront to our law enforcement and national security. It is common sense and should be encouraged for law enforcement agencies to cooperate with one another. When illegal immigrants commit crimes, it is our obligation to enforce criminal and immigration laws.
It is time to enforce our immigration laws, build infrastructure that prevents border crossings, and ramp up tech-savvy investments to secure our border. My background in national security makes me uniquely qualified to assess different proposals and find sustainable solutions.
I understand all too well the experience of being a patient in socialized medicine, both in the military and the VA. When no one is held accountable, there is no competition. When there is no competition, quality of care drastically suffers and prices skyrocket.
The same rings true for our nation’s healthcare system. We need a free market, patient-centered healthcare system. Obamacare was a massive government takeover of the healthcare system and it has failed the American people tremendously. Government takeover of healthcare has caused an increase in costs affiliated with healthcare, kicked millions of Americans off of their health insurance plans and increased taxes, all of which have been catastrophic to our healthcare system.
Medicaid also continues to grow exponentially without actually improving the health of Americans. Under Obamacare, Medicaid enrollees increased drastically, reducing the quality of care for our poor and the patients who need it most. The federal government may mean well, but it doesn’t perform well.
We must look at the insurance market from a new perspective. We must change incentives for hospitals and pharmaceutical companies so that free market forces can effectively reduce drug prices. We need more transparency in research and development costs, and we need the FDA to assess the effectiveness of new drugs compared to existing drugs.
This encourages free market forces to drive down costs. We should also seek solutions that get Emergency Room patients without real emergencies into primary care facilities instead, which would reduce overall costs. We also must remove regulatory barriers that discourage doctors from opening up their own primary care practice.