Jim has a political mindset, based on a cooperative, non-partisan, pragmatic approach to problem solving. Our campaign reflects this ideal. We believe in working together to find practical, ideologically-neutral answers for national issues that benefit everyone including the people of Southwest Missouri.
We may be criticized for tackling controversial issues and for reaching across the aisle to bring a diversity of ideas into the conversation, but we make no apology for adopting this approach. We believe that being forthright, honest, and cooperative is the American ideal.
1. Build local community involvement in representation.We will network the people of the district using local offices and the Internet to encourage and maintain constant dialog with our constituents. This network and local open meetings will be our primary decision making resource. We will not solicit or accept money from lobbyists or special interest. Conflict is the problem; cooperation is the solution.
2. Expand rights and freedoms. The bill of rights demonstrates that our founding fathers were sensitive to securing freedom for all people. Over time we have continued to broaden our belief that “all men are created equal” by extending freedom and rights to many who were once not allowed full participation. We must continue this tradition of inclusion avoiding the urge to code discrimination into law and instead learn to accept and love our neighbor because of, not in spite of, our differences. The role of government is to protect liberty, not infringe on freedom. A government, of the people, that is too weak or too compromised to defend liberty is a threat to individual freedom.
3. Strengthen middle-income families and working class America . It is well understood that the nation prospers when middle-income America prospers. Our economy is suffering because there is too much emphasis on risk-taking and political gaming and too little reward for hard work and responsibility. A friend once lamented; “I’m too busy working to get rich.” The 30-year erosion of inflation-adjusted incomes for working people, while the wealth and incomes of a small minority skyrockets has to come to an end. Government policy, regulation, and tax-code steer the economy. Today, the economy favors investor gambling over productive hard work. We have a diverse history of government management of the economy. Studying this history to find the best economic solutions should be our goal. The economy worked well in the 1950s and pretty good in the 1990s. History, not rhetoric or theory, is the best guide to a better future.
4. Build an energy self-sufficient economy. The economy is fueled by energy. Fossil fuels are an important energy source for today’s economy, but fossil fuels are a diminishing resource that is becoming more difficult and more costly to obtain, thus increasing economic uncertainty. While U.S. oil imports are declining, we still rely heavily on foreign sources. Nationally, evolving extraction technology is providing short-term improvements in the domestic energy supply, and advancements in efficiency are helping reduce demand. But Southwest Missouri has no fossil fuel reserves, so we are totally dependent on outside suppliers, and the increasingly volatile markets, to meet our energy needs. Fortunately, we have abundant energy available in the form of wind, solar, hydro-electric, and plant resources. A national effort to build a more energy-efficient economy while developing alternative energy resources would stimulate economic growth and set our country on the path to energy self-reliance. Southwest Missouri can lead the way to this energy self-reliant future.
5. Fix the national health care cost crisis. Our health care system is unsustainable. We spend 17% of our GDP on health care while most modern nations spend less than 11%. Yet other nations achieve better results. We could insure ALL of our citizens and cut costs by up to $900 billion per year using an equally efficient system. It is morally and economically indefensible that our politicians and Courts engage in partisan brinkmanship while the healthcare crisis erodes our economy and destroys our neighbors’ lives. The “Affordable Care Act” is a step in the right direction and the “mandate” moves us closer to the holy-grail of a single-payer system. But, the PPACA does not go far enough in addressing the enormity of inefficiency, fraud, and profit-taking that permeates our system. We need a total restructuring of how we pay for health care. Medicare is a popular efficient national health insurance program that has served our seniors well for over 45 years. Expanding Medicare to all Americans is a proposal worth exploring. “Medicare for all” (HR 676) is a sensible way to provide all citizens the health care coverage they need with the added bonus of reducing the budget deficit. “Medicare for all” is a solution that should appeal to cost-minded conservatives and socially-conscientious liberals, alike. It is the sensible compromise for fixing a broken system.