Bryan Witt’s Platform for California’s 27th U.S. Congressional District
Medicare for All
I believe healthcare is a right and should be free to every resident of our country. Medicare already works and is hugely popular…all we need to do is expand it for everyone… period…end of story.
I will join with Bernie Sanders and others in passing HR 676 or similar bill, that expands and improves our existing Medicare system. This will save trillions of dollars per year and will make more money available for business expansion and higher wages.
Canceling Student Debt / Free College Tuition
More than 44 million people owe $1.5 trillion dollars in student loans. This is a slow-motion disaster waiting to happen and I intend to do something about it.
Recent studies have shown several ways our government could cancel this debt.
For example, the U.S. Department of Education could cancel the loans it currently holds, and the federal government could then buy up all remaining private loans and cancel those.
Canceling this debt would help 44 million Americans buy a home or start a family. Millennials and other younger generations are more likely to postpone both important milestones because of student loan obligations.
Years ago, tuition at public colleges and universities was virtually free and it’s time to bring that back. I will join Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and others in supporting The College for All Act.
Some will say that our country just cannot afford to do this, but most of us know this is not true. Our country is awash in money, but banks intentionally keep it scarce, so they can charge high rates of interest.
In 2009, the U.S. Treasury handed out over $700 billion dollars to Wall Street, after they successfully ran the entire world economy into a ditch. So, if it’s good enough for Wall Street, it’s good enough for Main Street and I will introduce legislation to cancel all student debt…no strings attached, no loopholes. All of it.
Canceling student debt and providing free college tuition or vocational training will have a massively positive effect on our economy and I will do everything within my power to make this happen.
Expanding the Middle Class and Creating Jobs
Countries in Western Europe have generated prosperity and a very high standard of living through reasonable and smart regulation that protects workers and the environment without compromising profits.
Our public policy should be crafted in a way that will motivate corporations to bring their factories back to the United States. We can do this through innovative economic incentives along with a fair and balanced tax plan.
At the same time, we must recognize that unions are very important to the stability of the middle class, so I will focus on repealing disastrous anti-union legislation like NAFTA. Creating more high-paying union jobs at home will strengthen and expand the middle class.
We also need to recognize that many of our citizens need to be re-trained so they can operate the equipment and technology of a 21st Century enterprise. Corporations could be incentivized to provide on the job training through vocational grants. This should be considered as an investment in our “Human Infrastructure” rather than as a gift or handout.
Small Business / Entrepreneurship
Our country was founded by people who owned their own tools and land, and this gave them the ability to earn an independent income. Over the past one hundred years, we’ve lost our ability to create an independent livelihood. Instead, most of us have become dependent on corporations for jobs.
Public policy should encourage and incentivize our citizens to save and invest their own money, so they can start a business. The U.S. leads the world in venture capitalism, but comes in behind Canada, Norway and other countries in Northern Europe in basic entrepreneurship. It’s no coincidence that those same countries have a sensible mix of universal public services that drastically reduces the risk of starting a business. I will focus on legislation that will bring on a renaissance of entrepreneurship in the United States.
A Blueprint for Defense
As one of the world’s great powers, the United States should maintain a very prepared and well-equipped military, but it should be used only as a last resort, and only when, or if, our vital, national interests are threatened. Oil company profits are not a vital national interest.
Our nation continues to spend over 1.2 trillion dollars per year on the military. With over 800 bases, in almost one hundred countries, it’s hard to believe that our “National Security” is really at risk. What seems more believable, is that our government has been taken over by the Military-Industrial Complex.
These powerful corporations use our military as the enforcement arm of a fossil-fuel-based, corporate empire. They kill and destroy families, wreck entire nations, accelerate global warming, create hatred and chaos all over the world and then they send us the bill.
It’s time to stop this madness.
This is not complicated, it’s common sense.
The effects of U.S. foreign policy over the past 100 years have been disastrous.
The policies of present and past administrations have created endless wars and destruction, terrorism, the slaughter of millions, mass migration and unsustainable debt.
The regime changes our government instigated in Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Chile in 1973 and more recently, in Honduras, Iraq, Libya, and Ukraine, were based on protecting the profits of the fossil fuel industry and other American corporations.
These military adventures and covert actions by the C.I.A. are dressed up in lofty platitudes like “Freedom” and “Democracy,” but nothing could be further from the truth. The corporations that own our government have been using our military, free of charge, to enforce their profit margins for over 100 years, and it’s time to stop this runaway train.
I will support a foreign policy that promotes democracy and self-determination all over the world. U.S. foreign policy should promote peace and cooperation through diplomacy, rather than protecting the profits of American corporations that choose to do business in dangerous regions. Our biggest export should be a good example.
Marriage equality was just the beginning, but it’s not permanent and does not go far enough.
In 2015, the Supreme Court used its power of judicial review to legalize gay marriage throughout the nation. This could now be in jeopardy however, with the court’s recent shift to the extreme far right.
In 31 states, it’s still legal to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in housing, employment and public accommodation.
As a gay man, I have experienced direct and indirect discrimination and persecution, so I know how important this issue is.
My goal is to introduce an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that will grant LGBTQ citizens the very same rights that the rest of our people enjoy.
My amendment will read something like this: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state because of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.”
This remains an issue that many of us are concerned about. Most Americans agree that immigration benefits our country. We always have been and always will be a nation of immigrants. I am from a family of immigrants. My grandparents came here from Holland in the early part of the 20th Century and like many of our friends and neighbors they were simply seeking a better life. I am in favor of keeping our promise to the Dreamers and creating a path to citizenship for those already here.
I would also like to allow for more people from Mexico, Central and South America to come here as refugees. Many of these people are escaping situations that were created by previous administrations, so we have an obligation to provide relief.
Expanding Medicare for all will create a huge shortage of Doctors, Nurses and other medical technicians, so we will need to allow a more liberal immigration policy for people throughout Asia and the world who have these vital skills.
Clean Sustainable Energy
I will propose a 10-year plan to de-commission all or most of our coal fired power plants and replace them with clean sustainable alternatives. Part of this plan will also seek to replace our entire fleet of private and commercial cars and trucks with those powered by clean energy, such a hydrogen or electric.
Nuclear energy should also be a cornerstone of our electric power in the future. We are currently producing 20% of our baseline power from nuclear energy and there is no other viable source for producing clean, inexpensive electric power 24/7/365.
Of course, hydroelectric, wind and solar should be vastly expanded, but they are not nearly as reliable a nuclear energy. We need to continue making it safer while learning from organizations like MIT and others about the benefits of nuclear power.
I believe we should initiate a massive public investment over five years towards rebuilding our roads, bridges, railways, airports, public transit systems, ports, dams, wastewater plants, and other infrastructure needs.
Our goal should be to build out a green, sustainable physical and energy infrastructure before the price of fossil fuels becomes so expensive that we may not do anything. Climate change must be mitigated, or we risk a greatly degraded quality of life on earth.
Some scientists have suggested that governments set aside up to 5% of GDP to mitigate the effects of climate change and I believe we can invest this money into clean, sustainable energy and infrastructure. These projects will create millions of high-paying union jobs that will greatly expand our economy and the middle class while helping to preserve our planet.
Tax and Monetary Policy
Our tax dollars are wasted on government programs that are usually ineffective and do nothing more than place a band aid on social issues that could be sorted out through better public policy.
One of the few reasons we even need income taxes is so Treasury can pay off the mountain of public debt that has increased to over $18 trillion dollars. This kind of reckless government spending will eventually ruin us if we don’t put it to a stop immediately.
I will introduce legislation that will eliminate federal income taxes for anyone making $200,000 a year or less, by massively reducing wasteful and ineffective government spending and borrowing.
How will we do this?
Nationalize our currency. Over 100 years ago, Congress ceded its authority to issue our currency to The Federal Reserve, which is a privately held banking cartel that is no more “federal” the Federal Express. So far, in 2018, the taxpayers have shelled out over $500 billion dollars in interest payments to the private banking industry when the government could issue its own currency interest free. President Kennedy was the last president to issue a national currency and ironically, he was assassinated shortly thereafter.
In 2011, Dennis Kucinich, introduced H.R. 2990 (the NEED Act) and one of the provisions of this act was to disband the Fed and create an independent monetary authority within the Department of the Treasury which would issue a national currency, regulate its value and decide how much would be in circulation at any one time. This would give the American people a monetary policy that would favor the people over big banks and Wall Street. Just remember the golden rule: “Whoever has the gold, makes the rules.”