The biggest current issue on the table is what to do with healthcare. They are in the midst of trying to make the "Affordable Care Act" more palletable even though until they had a President willing to sign it, they made 61 show votes of repealing it altogether. Let me tell you what I believe the Federal Government should only do in regards to healthcare.
1. Set safety standards in order to ensure treatment is not harmful to the people. In this area, they are moderately doing so already with the FDA. However they have made testing and experimentation so costly and burdonsome that only a handful of existing companies even have a hope of bringing new treatments to the market.
2. Legislate away the loopholes that insurance companies used to and still sometimes use to escape paying for the care that their customers need and if there are reasonable ones in the contract for that purpose, they should make it law that said clauses must be thoroughly explained to the customer so that customer truly understands them and must acknowledge that they clearly do understand each such clause in turn, one at a time.
3. Legislate tort reform in such a way that a medical care professional doesn't have to be afraid of being sued into poverty by any little thing that might go wrong barring errors that result in true harm to the patient.
4. Support the developement of a safe means to store medical information so that if a person travels or needs emergency care by professionals that do not know them, those professionals can obtain their current medical information as to not cause harm from misdiagnosis or prescribed treatment that would react badly to the patient.
And beyond those things, get out of the way of innovations that could save and improve lives.

With a proper application of the Interstate Commerce clause in Article 1, Section 8, The federal government could remove State barriers against insurance companies selling across State lines. So, as in the case of home and car insurence customers could buy insurance from any company that offers a plan that suites them. And as for the people that The Affordable Care Act did help; The ones who came in under the Medicade expansion could remain on it, phasing them out as they become able to provide for themselves through work and citizen based group insurance. Then, the people that are on exchange, subsidized insurance could be phased out in the same manor as to not interupt the needs of those people that the act did actually help.
Always a sore subject in Washington I'm afraid.  Do you know why?  If you've been in a tax prep place and seen the book that comes out every year, you know it's huge.  While I may be on the portly side I am still in decent shape and could get a good strength workout with that book and the writing in it is small and that isn't all of it.  The complete U.S. Tax Code is around 75,000 legal pages long.  The reason it is so long and complicated is because, much like everything else in our federal government, every special interest and lobbying group that could put some money in a politician's pocket has done so.  Contrary to what most progressives would have you think, it's not all about BIG OIL.  Quite a lot of it is simple barriers to competition so that Mr. and Mrs. Davidson down the street can't grow their business and become the next Walton family. (That's the family behind Wal-Mart.)  much of it is about qualifications to various types of business entities so that the next person with a good business idea can't qualify for a similar plan unless they have the money to start big or find some loophole that they forgot to fill in.  Most small to medium businesses never even have to look at the majority of that book because there is some small section for them, keeping them in their place.  That also helps Tax attorneys and CPA's because they have to get paid to go in and find them.
Now, to be fair, some of that mess is simply patchwork ways of balancing it out but most of it is simply ways for people with enough money to pay a legal tax firm full time to save a percentage here and there because a percentage point to these people and corporations is a lot of money.  There are a lot of groups, corporations, law firms and even government workers who's whole livelihood is based on the tax system being as complicated as it is.  They pay well to keep politicians from doing anything about it.  They do it in a lot of differnt ways so that the politicians can claim that they're not on the take and, also to be fair, not every politician is but enough are.
To the average working citizen like you and I, it really doesn't seem to matter much.  But the fact is, it really does.  If these codes were much more simple and if the taxes weren't so high, many businesses that are considered "small or medium" could grow much faster and there would be quite a few more jobs.  Some people might not find that important but look at it like this, if there were a lot more places looking for workers, you're wages would have to go up so your boss could keep you.  You wouldn't need to be trying to get the government to raise the minimum wage because your bosses would raise your pay to keep you on or another employer would offer you more.  That's been proven time and time again in places that do get a surge of new jobs.
All that being said, the best possible tax plan would be a federal sales tax.  In some ways, I like the fair tax but as it's currently written, it places too much of a burden on new purchases.  I'll grant that it would open up a lot of business opportunities in the second-hand sales but it wouldn't be as much of a friend to new manufacturing or building.  And it still continues the practice of redistribution when spreading it out a little more wouldn't make that necessary.  As for keeping such taxes low for the economically challenged, one easy way would be to make it lower for things like food, clothing and school supplies but those details would have to be worked out.

Now, the current tax plan on the table seems to be a good one for what it is but it still keeps a lot of that special interest in place.  One good thing it does is eliminate the inherritance tax and does make tax work easier for a large number of people so it would be a good place to start if the current crop of politicians don't throw in a bunch of junk at the last minute to muck it up.

If I were to sign off on or vote for another progressive tax plan though I would demand something that they've overlooked though.  That is, raising the bottom of these tax brackets they use.  One of the sides people forget about in this "fight for fifteen" that seems to be on people's minds is that even at thirty hours a week, that wage will move you up into the supposed middle class tax brachet so guess what,  YOU WOULD END UP PAYING A LOT MORE!  That's right, then they would be taking it out of the pockets of the poor as well as those in the middle.
The people that pay the least or often get back as much or more than they pay in would end up paying in at that 25% tax bracket.  Talk about a lose, lose situation for the lower end of the economic spectrum.  Raise the bottom of these tax brackets up.  There are parts of this country where an income of "$250,000" is only a moderate, middle class income because of the cost of property in those areas.  Granted, much of the country would consider that well off but not all.
Now, politics is often about compromise but I would still fight for raising those brackets.  The last time the brackets were totally redone in 1986, 250k would be equivilant to about 10 million at today's rates.  And if you compare it to when they were first decided on, the differents would be a lot more.

If the Federal Government were actually working ONLY within it's Constitutional limits, only a small portion of all taxes would be going to the Federal Government!  A VAST MAJORITY OF WHAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DOES IS EITHER SUPPOSED TO BE DONE BY THE STATES OR MUNICIPALITIES, OR NOT AT ALL!
If it were doing it the way it's supposed to, your States, Counties and Towns would be taxing for and handling most of these "federal" issues!

Like so MANY other problems, The North Korean regime is one of those proverbial cans that have been kicked down the road for TOO LONG!  I would support the president in dealing with this.  The biggest concern here is China but as long as they are taken into account, which I'm certain they are, this is one problem that should be solved decisively.  It is all too clear that this is no longer just saber rattling to get attention and it cannot be treated as such any more.
I moved this from an earlier position because the bullet point box I put it in wasn't enough for such a complex issue.
First and foremost, they are people too and fully deserve to seek their happiness right along with the rest of us.  My problem with marriage has nothing to do with them.  I don't think the government should have anything to do with it at all.  Marriage is a religious and/or spiritual rite, not a government granted right.  It was the eugenisists that started the licensing process mostly to prevent mixed race couples even though they did include insestuous coupling in the law when they wrote it.  So as far as I'm concerned, happy honeymoon!
LGBT in the military.  I've known gay and bi people that have served and never once made an issue of it.  I believe that as long as they don't cause problems with the unit and team be who you are and be proud to serve.  That being said, the Military is NOT THE PLACE FOR SOCIAL EXPERIMENTATION!  Even support staff may be called upon to pick up a rifle and fight side by side and anything that can cause problems for deployment readiness can cost service member lives!
When it comes to trans-gender service members there are two bigger issues at hand.  First is personal responsibility,  The tax paying public did not make you who you are, there is no right to expect the military or government to pay for your surgeries or lifelong hormone treatments whether you serve or not.  Second, in service, your treatments may cause you to physically be incapable of being deployed on occasion and that goes back to being deployment ready.  If your treatments and needs in this matter do not cause you to be unfit for duty, again be who you are and serve with pride.  The UCMJ may need to be adjusted accordingly and that is something I would be willing to discuss with the right people but again, you must manage your service in a way that doesn't harm the cohesion of the team.
To all my friends in, and the rest of the LGBT community, be who you are and be happy to be who you are!  I simply expect you to be responsible for yourself the same as i expect of anyone.


Article 1, Section 8, Enumerated Power of Congress 4:  To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization...
Article 4, Section 4:  The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion...
Article 1, Section 9, Clause 1: The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.
Obama's DACA was done unconstitutionally, you can hear that in his own words shortly before he did it anyway to curry some favor in his reelection campaign.  This is a simple fact.  While any reasonable citizen has compassion for children braught and raised here by illegal parents, we are a "Nation of Laws, Not of Men."  There is a Constitutional process for handling immigration and that power resides in Congress, not the Executive Branch.  This also applies to "sanctuary cities."  The power that States and cities had to grant citizenship ended in 1808 according to that same Constitution.

   Just immagine what could be done if THE POLITICAL CLASS put half as much energy into helping our veterans?
Securing our Borders is part of the role of The Federal Government and clearly building a wall is actually rather impractical.  However with today's technology, making the borders much more secure is feasible and that does not just mean the southern border.  Roads can be secured and built across much of both of our land borders with immigration station built proportionately along those routes.  As for the areas roads can't be built, drone and other syrveilance technology can and must fill the gaps with response stations strategically placed as well.  That doesn't mean that the wall can't be built or double fences with an enforcement path in between, it means that even if it did, we would still need these other things in place.  We should also provide deep ground penetrating radar as tunnels tend to get dug and go unnoticed for years.
Whether various activist groups want to hear it or not, illegal immigration constitutes invasion.  This is in fact part of the responsibility of National Defense.  Border crossings actually don't account for the bulk of illegal immigration though.  The Federal Government must work with ICE to provide a much stronger means of VISA enforcement.  Most illegals are people that get tourist and other visas but just choose not to leave when their time is up.  All of this must be addressed!  Between that and much more thorough vetting and clarifying immigration pathways can make a much more effective immigration system.
I should clarify my comment about "the wall" being impractical.  Yes, there are many places along the southern border where a wall can reduce the manpower needed to enforce the border and in those areas a wall should be built.  However, even with walls we need to set up an infastructure that makes border enforcement both easier and safer for the enforcement officers.  There are also areas on the southern border where Ground Penetrating Radar vehicles should be stationed for patrolling as well to randomly check for tunnels and those vehicles should be equipped with the means to collapse any found or at least a drill rig with the ability to call in concrete trucks to fill them.  Now, there are issues with property owners along the border that do not wish to have ICE travelling on their property.  Just build border roads and appropriate fencing to cross along the border and perhaps if necessary either buy the twenty yards or so of their property that is on this side of it.  Perhaps some of those areas can also be purchased for military desert training as well.  As for those that are afraid to station military along the border, I'll remind you that Mexico's army patrols their side and has, in fact, killed U.S. citizens on our side and attempted to set the scene to make it look like our citizens were shooting at them!  Anyone wanting to claim that these ideas aren't fair need to take a good look at Mexico's Constitution and read what they have to say about illegal immigration!


YoThe debt ceiling is no laughing matter.  It's only because the majority of the political class have made it a joke that I headlined this section the way I did.  I said in an earlier page that THE NATIONAL DEBT IS IN FACT THE SINGLE LARGEST THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY and I mean it!  There are only two things holding up the value of the U.S. Dollar.  First, the rest of the world still has faith that we can pay our debt because out of all the currency manipulating Nations, we are the least bad of a world full of bad actors!  Second, which ties into the first,  The U.S. Dollar is still the primary world trade currency.  But, between our debt and geo-political designs on power, that may not last.  Other nations are working back to trading in gold as well as bringing in other currencies.  The minute the world stops taking the Dollar, our financial system will come down like an elaborate setup of dominos.  Now, because of the size of our republic and the fact that we do export a large portion of the world's food, it may take a while but once it starts there will be NO WAY TO STOP IT!
   What always makes me laugh about how the debt ceiling is handled is the fact that POLITICIANS peg it to dates.  That's right, they peg it to a date on the calender, the limits on it have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE AMOUNT THAT IS SPENT!  Don't get me wrong, extending it for the sake of disaster relief was in fact a needed thing just because the damage was so extensive and at least today, it looks like there is more coming.  However, that does not excuse this behavior from our elected officials.
   Now, we could try something totally out there... In this day and age when government is so "Complicated." (at least according to Mitch McConnell) It would likely be beyond the comprehension of the majority of today's crop of politicians but something so simple, they would call it "wacko-bird" (John McCain) or any other choice of words they would use.  Here we go:  About four months before putting out the budget for the following year, call up the head of the IRS and ask, "How much money in actual receipts did we take in last year?  Not how much was owed, just how much we actually took in."  Then call up the Chairman of the Federal Reserve and ask, "How much is our national debt interest payment so that we are covered for interest this coming year? Just the interest alone."  Then, after getting that answer, subtract that amount from the first answer and, wait for it... Follow up that question about the interest and ask, "Is there any of that debt that has a higher interest rate than the rest of it?  If so, direct "a small amount," for example, one billion dollars, and pay that specific high interest principal down first, if it is all billed at the same rate, then just apply it to the total principal balance.  After that is done, what ever is left over from the amount in the answer from the IRS is what the Federal Government has left to spend.  I'm not done, hold back five percent of that for emergencies (perhaps something like thre hurricanes in a row hitting States and U.S. Territories or something like that) Then what ever you have left after all of that "COMPLICATED WORK" is what the Federal Government has left to spend.  I wonder, how many of us "uneducated people" have had to do that in our lifetimes?  Now, I will admit that cutting a full third out of the Fedral Budget would have some negative economic effects if it were done so suddenly but the stability that would be added to the value of the U.S. Dollar would spur quite a bit of growth on it's own with no further action.  But that's likely too complex for all of those academics and scholars that hold office in Washington, D.C.
   So, how about another proposal for dealing with this in a way that doesn't cut everyone off all at once that could be simple.  I want to start pegging this debt ceiling to dollar amounts and peg increases to it to actual spending cuts NOT PROPOSED SPENDING CUTS BUT ACTUAL, PUT IT IN WRITING DEPARTMENT BUDGET CUTS!   To give an albeit arbitrary example, let's say 30%.  So, if the government needs to increase the borrowing limit by $100 billion dollars to make it through the next three months, fair enough but they must also include in the same bill $30 billion in actual cuts.  Let's also include in this rule that these cuts must only go to agencies that are not specifically named and called for in The Constitution.  That way we have to cut things like the uncostitutional Department of Education or the uncostitutional EPA.  I'm sure there are plenty of others, those were just the first two that came to mind.  And if you think the Department of Education is so important, explain to me why the USA has fallen in world educational ranking since it began!  That way, we can insist on getting this debt under control with each step we take and eventually, the need to borrow would just stop as the spending cuts catch up to the OVER-SPENDING!
   Let's also talk about eliminating ALL non-treaty oriented foreign aid.  I'm going to take this concept down to personal, relatable terms.  Even if you like your neighbor, you don't take out a second mortgage to buy them a car just because they need one.  Sure, when in need you might offer them a ride to work and back or something along those lines but you don't pile on more debt just to GIVE them a car.  WE GIVE AWAY BILLIONS OF DOLLARS EVERY YEAR AND DON'T DO ANYTHING TO PROPOSE A RETURN ON INVESTMENT!  Sure that may only be a small percentage of the money spent but all of those small percentages add up to BIG DEBT!  And to top that off, most of the time it only goes to line the pockets of OTHER POLITICIANS ACROSS THE WORLD.  Tell me how that helps those of us who pay the bills?  They say it goes to various humanitarian causes but they often don't.  Besides aren't humanitarian causes what charities are for?  THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IN OUR CONSTITUTION THAT SAYS WE OWE THE REST OF THE WORLD ANYTHING, NOTHING AT ALL!
   I don't know about you but these things sure look like a great place to start!
   First, I have to adress something that will likely be said against me at some point.  I absolutely despise racism of any kind and from any race to another, period.  And anyone that wishes to accuse me of racism better have a working parascope because their head is so far up the wrong end of their body that they need something to see where they are going!  Yes, I am white and as far as I know I am part native-american although my mother was adopted so we have not confirmed that but even if it is true, I was raised white.  But here is an event that can be confirmed by my long time friend, Randy Jennings:  When I was fifteen and he was a little older, we were once at a truck stop in Rawlins, Wyoming and an older man with a lot of tattoos tried to recruit us into the "White Power" movement.  In unison without any doubt or word, Randy and I knocked him on his butt.  We didn't have to think or say anything about it and we walked out of the restroom that he approched us in without any regret.  I have met other racists since then, and one was a girlfriend I found out was one and left her as soon as I did.  As long as they aren't trying to foster their belief on me, bygones be bygones.  Although if they spoke to me with an open mind, I tried to help them understand that they were wrong and why.  For me, the ONLY time that your skin color matters to me is if I have to give a physical description of you to someone that doesn't know anything about you, that is it.
   All that being said, Black Lives Matter do have a genuine grievance.  There really are places and times when minorities get pulled over or questioned just because of where they are and their skin color.  When that happens, it should be adressed and consequences to the officer must happen.  Should it be an immediate firing, no but the whole context of the event should be questioned at the least.  However, that does not give you the right to disrespect or get violent with the police or other people over it.
   The first amendment confirms the right of everyone to peacefully speak their mind and assemble with others likewise.  As abhorrent as white supremecists, neo-nazis and the KKK are, as long as they are peacefully assembling, they have the same right to do so as any other group assembling and peacefully protesting does.  The first amendment says they have the right to speak.  However, it does not force you nor I to listen and it does not stop you or I from telling our kids and others that we believe they are wrong and loathsome.  So, gut-check, as long as they are not violent or trying to lynch anyone, it applies to them too.  If you're offended by them, don't give them the attention they are hoping for and that really is the best way to make them go away.
  To "antifa:"  While you might have genuine grievances too, if you are hiding your faces and gearing up for violence, you are not anti-fascist, you are the fascist.  Especially if you are doing this to defend and promote socialist or communist government because that is what the fascists were.  Fascisto means the way or the use of the stick.
   Now, about those confederate statues and statues of the founders:  Yes, the pratice of slavery was totally and completely evil and wrong.  However, most of the soldiers fighting for the Confederate States were not fighting for slavery and very few of them owned slaves.  They were fighting for their State Sovereignty.  In part this concept was left over from the previous Articles of Confederation (where the CSA got their name) but it was also retained in the Constitution.  Most of the ones that were truly loyal to the CSA truly believed that the Union was trying to take that away from them.  While this understanding is not widely taught any more, our Constitution was designed to give us a peaceful and unified Republic, not just a single "Nation."  If you read The Constitution, you will not find the word nation or national government in it.  It is not there.  We are supposed to be a Republican Union of States and the word States in the Constitution is always capitalized, meaning that each of them are supposed to be their own independant little country, only unified by the Constitutional government.  Now, if you wish to move statues and monuments to these men to a museum where those concepts can be explained, that is a debate worth having but to utterly destroy them is to erase history and that is also wrong.
I've been witness to protests around the country through the news most of my life.  The one true constant that I have found is that most of the protesters have at least some genuine grievance.  While RACISM AND HATE of ANY KIND is ABSOLUTELY EVIL, often times these groups have some genuine statement that they truly believe needs to be made.  However, that DOES NOT GIVE ANY OF THESE GROUPS THE RIGHT TO GET VIOLENT AND DESTRUCTIVE!
If your group has something that needs to be said and there is something I, as senator, can do to make things better for your group, I will honestly listen and do what I can for you but you MUST USE THE RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY AND REDRESS PEACEFULLY! IF YOU GET VIOLENT OR START LOOTING OTHER PEOPLE'S PRIVATE PROPERTY, YOUR RIGHTS ARE FORFEIT AND ALL YOU DESERVE IS TO BE ARRESTED!
Certainly my heart goes out to the victims, including their families of the Las Vegas shooting.
However jumping to conclusions and hopping on this gun control band-wagon that comes up every time there is a shooting tragedy (in an unexpected place) is the wrong thing to do.  Just like you can't blame all Muslims for Islamic Terrorism, you can't blame us law-abiding gun owners when this happens.  Blaming the NRA is no good either considering their mission is teaching firearm safety!  Quite often there is an NRA member around a gun range that will happily and freely teach new shooters safe means of handling their firearms, they won't cut in on an instructor's class unless they are volunteering to help but most members will happily help someone that might seem unsure of themselves or is doing something in error.
Did you know the NRA is actually the oldest functioning Civir Rights Organization?  YES, IT'S TRUE!  The original mission of the NRA was defending the recently freed slaves's 2nd amendment rights.  It used it's education and firearm training to fund itself but it faught States that were trying to keep "colored people" unarmed!
Those of us who own firearms and obey the law, including myself, are always heartbroken every time something like this happens just as much as anyone else that has compassion for other people.  We are also disheartened even further because we know where many public figures and politicians are going to take the conversation.  They always go straight to gun control because they know that the only time they will be able to try and impliment it is when there is heightened emotion around the subject.  The simple and irrefutable fact is that our founders put the second amendment in place for the citizens to be able to defend themselves from invasion or a tyranical government.  While the likelyhood of invasion has dropped considerably since then, that is why it is there.  And one fact often forgotten is that during World War II, The Japanese Emperor refused to invade our main land for that very reason.  I believe his words translated to "they have a gun for every blade of grass."
Sure, most of us that have them, use them for hunting or recreation now days but we do still concern ourselves with both possibilities and even if we don't, the first ten amendments are called "The Bill of Rights," not the bill of needs or wants.  NO EXPLANATION REQUIRED!