I am asking for your vote; you should know my assessment.
First: the Special Counsel and his investigation into the Trump Campaign’s possible collusion with the Russians and obstruction of justice. Like everyone else, the President is innocent until proven guilty. Until the Special Counsel submits a report, I hope all of us will keep an open mind. I hope for all of our sakes that the Special Counsel is allowed to continue, the report is complete, unambiguous and submitted as soon as possible.Thereafter, there is a process to be followed in accordance with the Constitution.
Second: President Trump’s personal finances. I wish the President had released his income taxes and placed all of his assets in a blind trust. How are we, as citizens, able to know if he is or isn’t using his office for personal or family gain and how his corporate ties are affecting international politics? The truth is we don’t know; we are left to speculate. I encourage the President to rectify this situation.
Third: The President’s brand – independent, tough, savvy, succesful. These are traits we all respect. The caveat is, “Are there any limits to what you, Mr. President, will do to WIN?”. I believe as much as we admire your energy and your drive, Mr. President, and look forward to you delivering on your promises, we all have to ask ourselves if we are willing to overlook breaches of acceptable behavior? I ask you, “Is it okay for President Trump to lie or distort the truth if these breaches serve his needs and by extension, we hope, our own?” Is this a moral choice we are all willing to make? If so, we have to be careful not to deceive ourselves into thinking that we are not complicit.
Fourth: Policies. President Trump is not an ideologue, he likes to make deals that he believes will further his Presidency and fulfill his promises regarding healthcare, jobs, immigration, trade, taxes, national security and reduction of the scope of the federal government and the deficit. I give Congress and President Trump high marks on all but healthcare, immigration and the debt. We still need affordable and comprehensive healthcare reform, not just insurance reform which was the basis of Obamacare, to address this huge segment of our economy that is so personal to everyone. We also need humane and realistic comprehensive immigration reform that addresses public safety and national security as well as opportunity/penalties for those already here. In 1984 President Reagan signed an amnesty bill for millions of people who were here illegally. Unfortunately, the problem grew worse during the ensuing decades due to poor enforcement. The time is now to address both aspects of our immigration laws. Lastly, we need to make tough choices on how we are going to reduce the debt. We all have to keep our eye on the effectiveness of the tax cut in stimulating growth and revenue but we have to get our pencils out and find ways to reduce costs as well.
Fifth: What I would like the President to do. One of the big arguments in favor of the tax cut was that corporations would have more money to raise employee salaries and help out middle class families. Unfortunately, the instances of this occurring has been limited. Most of the excess profits for public companies, for example, has been used to buy back stocks or for reinvestment in the corporation. My request is for President Trump to engage with Congress and for both of them to publicly encourage all businesses benefitting from the tax cut to share the benefit with their workers. To this end, I would like the President and Congress to monitor and report on this aspect of the tax cut.
Healthcare and Immigration
Unfortunately, it is reported that millions of Americans will opt out of health insurance this year and as many as 13 million will do so by 2025. As private citizens we can only hope that they are well and the costs of whatever health care they receive will be less than what they would have paid for insurance and co-pays. Wishing them well is not enough, however. Congress needs to add a new standing committee on Healthcare to bring the necessary resources to bear to evaluate and recommend new ways to deliver healthcare. The sad truth is that we, as a country, are constrained by lack of organizational focus, creativity and innovation in Congress and in the healthcare industry.
We need the same organizational reform for Immigration. These are two of our biggest issues and neither issue has its own standing committee with expertise and focus to do something that is comprehensive, transformational and sustainable.
More than Issues
As Albert Einstein was fond of saying, “The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results.” Amen, Amen.
There are many other issues of importance but I highlight these two as obvious examples of how Congress is not organized for success and how badly we need to use creativity and innovation to move forward. Where would our industries be if they did not innovate and adapt to changing competitive demands? Congress needs to look at itself honestly and embrace change, not resist it!
If you vote for John Walsh, you will be voting for a proven innovator and creative thinker.