We must focus on the three original goals of healthcare reform — lower costs, maintained or improved quality, and open access. The ACA was only successful at achieving partial open access – mostly due to the political nature of the law. While there have been significant gains made in this area, there is still more work to be done. Moreover, by addressing accessibility without addressing cost and quality, there will still be massive gaps in coverage. We must readdress healthcare reform in a way that addresses cost and quality alongside access. For example, substantive tort reform needs to be incorporated into the discussion because of the way it distorts prices. Pharmaceutical advertising should also be on the table since it disproportionately adds costs without improving quality. Catastrophic insurance coverage would probably be the best starting point to begin the reassessment. From there, we could build upon to ensure operational efficiency while minimizing the potential for abuse. There is not one thing that prohibits us from delivering quality healthcare to every single American – we need to figure out how to implement the right changes best.
We need comprehensive immigration reform that views undocumented workers as assets rather than liabilities. It is not logical to suggest that we can deport 13 million immigrants in a way that would be deemed fair. It is just as illogical to suggest that we could deport the small percentage of undocumented immigrants who have committed felonies. We can secure our borders without abandoning the values upon which our nation was built. The first step to doing so begins with admission and acknowledgment of our current immigration system and its ineffectiveness. We must then create a more intelligent, effective, and efficient way of welcoming immigrants to our borders by providing them with a clear path to attaining citizenship.
The vast majority of these people are merely trying to secure a better future for themselves and their families. While they may be entering the United States in a way that conflicts with our existing laws, they are not entering our country to be disruptive or problematic. They may not even understand the rules and requirements for proper entry into our country.
We need to start from a different place. By viewing immigrants as assets, we can begin to foster intelligent, compassionate, and robust discussions on how to best go about immigration reform. We could also make progress toward the comprehensive immigration reform that almost everyone agrees needs to happen.
Today, we vilify immigrants daily. We also selectively enforce the laws as they are written in the books, which leads us to ignore how fundamentally out-of-date those laws are. Our approach is almost anti-American when you compare it to the values that have always defined our country. We need to de-politicize the issue and work toward effective and comprehensive immigration reform.
JOBS & THE ECONOMY
The government cannot create jobs, but it can influence the economic environment. We need to rebalance the relationship between regulation, taxation, and economic expansion so that the private sector can create new jobs and attract old ones that have since migrated overseas. This will expand the tax base, as well as the economy, ultimately allowing us to begin working down the debt that will otherwise suffocate our country in the years to come. It will also provide individuals with the opportunity to pursue upward mobility, which has been “missing in action” for far too many years.
Congress and the President should push for federal legislation to repair and replace infrastructure (including transportation-related projects and utility-related projects involving the electrical grid, potable water, and sewage systems, etc.). These expenditures are necessary and would proportionately inure to the country’s benefit, which is desperately in need of such assistance. Additionally, massive infrastructure projects would create tremendous job growth throughout the nation. America also has the potential to become a powerhouse for renewable energy research and the deployment of such technologies. Our country has enormous natural solar and wind advantages that we need to utilize. Not only will that approach attract high-paying jobs, but it will also reduce long-term energy costs and preserve our environment. Lastly, overregulation needs to cease immediately. Frivolous government regulation tends to stifle growth and redirect capital from jobs to compliance.
This is not to attack those regulations that are properly designed to provide for the health, safety, and general welfare of the public; rather, it is directed at regulations that are imposed for less altruistic reasons or that are relics from the past that serve no useful purpose in the present. Freeing up the related capital that is spent on compliance will kick start employment growth.
Unlike most presidential candidates, I have run dozens of businesses in the private sector. I have created thousands of jobs across the country and around the world throughout my career, and I’ve demonstrated an intelligent use of each of the tactics stated above in ways that can enhance economic development and job creation.
I would like to create an environment that truthfully supports the concept of equal opportunity, as opposed to just paying lip service to it. I would also like to see us find a way to finance education for those who need such assistance. We have created economic barriers in our upper educational system that make it cost-prohibitive for some individuals to pursue their dreams. This discourages proud learners and it also prevents our country from enjoying the full range of talent that our citizens have to offer.
Given some of the radical excesses in which our government currently indulges, we should be able to intelligently find a way to fund college and trade school education to allow everyone to have access to those resources. I would favor constructing a free education system, but we would need to identify the funding mechanisms before launching such a curriculum.
The reality is that different people express their creativity in different ways and can contribute to society in diverse manners. Having created thousands of jobs across the United States over the years, I can assure you that not everyone needs a college education, nor do some people with a college education have the prerequisite skills to effectively provide some of the vital labor talents that our nation also demands and depends on. It has become fashionable to leave skilled labor out of the discussion. However, I have too much respect for its contribution to neglect it.
We need to orchestrate an intelligent approach to approach our energy and environmental issues. They need to be considered as one, rather than treated as if they were independent of one another. We are stewards of our planet, and we carry the responsibility of preserving the environment to the highest degree that we reasonably can. We cannot disregard science, but we must recognize that it is a two-edged sword. While we cannot deny mankind’s contribution to climate change, we also have to confess that our attempts to mitigate the damage that we have caused are driven by technological realities that we cannot simply wash away and erase from some clever pieces of legislation.
We should extricate ourselves from the failed exercise of nation-building — trying to impose democracy on countries that may not choose to embrace it or may not be ready to build upon it from a cultural perspective. I would like to see us be less active in that regard, as it often leads to a poor reputation as a warmongering nation with an eye for regime change. We also must protect our citizens. If we are assaulted by a hostile entity – foreign or domestic – or if there is a clear and present danger of such an attack, then we have every right to defend ourselves. I am not in favor of championing the political rhetoric that most politicians choose to pursue; rhetoric which suggests that we should use force to intervene in the events of other nations if their cultures differ from ours or if we see an opportunity to impose our will. We should further eliminate the ridiculous amount of waste and inefficiency in our recent military budgets. There is a disgraceful relationship between our politicians and the military-industrial lobby. Our government’s authority to “provide for the common defense” is fundamental. If the threat to the United States is immediate or impending (as in the case of “confirmed” terrorists), we have the authority to address it. If the threat is hypothetical, then we must exercise well-measured restraint. Just as our country had to endure through a civil war to address the pain associated with fundamental change, we must allow other countries to find their political equilibrium without always assuming it must reflect ours. Regarding veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs is broken. Some of our veterans are dying as they wait for care, while others receive long-awaited inferior treatment. Yet, VA officials think it is appropriate to compare the “inconvenience” to “waiting in line at Disney World.” It is a travesty that needs to be approached immediately
To be clear, barring a constitutional amendment, I support the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment. However, reasonable regulations that “provide for… the general Welfare of the United States” are also part of our constitutional mandate. I support fair gun control legislation that provides a higher level of safety for the general public without violating the fundamental right to bear arms. (i.e., legislation that is limited to enhanced registration, training, logical weapons limitation by properly defined type, etc.).
Our Social Security system is eradicated and needs to be fixed immediately. There is only one solution: raise the retirement age and raise the contributions cap.
Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente is running for president 2020. Add your name below and join now. It’s time to choose someone who represent you and fight for our community’s needs in Washington D.C, someone that works for you and with you. Together we are stronger! Join now