Issues, Not Mudslinging Tactics, Should Decide the Election

Recently, www.njspotlight.com ran an excellent, well-written, unbiased and informational article on the upcoming Primary and the race to New Jersey’s First Legislative District’s Republican nominees. Tara Nurin did a tremendous job of outlining the “politics as usual” and slamming of candidates by others in the race. 

As for me, I believed from the beginning that Republicans are in very good shape to take a district that our friends across the aisle have thought would be "in the bag" for them. This will be accomplished by focusing on ISSUES that concern the electorate – not on what dirt we have on an opponent. After all, it's our stands on the issues that most concern our friends and neighbors that will dictate how we serve this district. 

And taxation is one such  issue. The reality is that taxes of all kinds – income, business, property – are simply too high.

In fact, it’s the last of those, property taxes, that I believe is going to be the undoing of the Democratic party. It’s these taxes that are so out of control in New Jersey compared to the rest of the country. It defies logic - why anyone would vote for a party that continues to rob the very people they are supposed to represent and serve?  

As an example, I attended a meeting at a local township council that set to increase property taxes by eight percent. The local council members are all Democrats. From what was said that evening, I was led to believe the council couldn't care less what their decisions meant for the locals. 

Worse yet, it is our senior population who are feeling the pinch more and more. A large percentage of seniors live on fixed income, and many of these folks have lost control of their budgets. 

The federal government claims that inflation is low. But it’s critical to remember that inflation stats exclude food and energy – and it’s these that pinches seniors’ budgets so much.

And yet, taxation is just one issue. The war on jobs, lawless government, administrative incompetence at the federal level  there are just so many other issues to chose from, the list goes on and on. In order to win the General Election in the fall, candidates need to identify the issues that concern voters the most, develop solid strategies to solve those issues and share the solutions with the electorate

 Most people, whether here in New Jersey’s First District or elsewhere across the nation, want to see change for the better. They are sick about hearing about the latest business that has closed or relocated to a lower tax jurisdiction.  They are tired of the blight in their communities from neighbors, friends and family members who could no longer afford their homes. They are fed up with hearing of the seniors who cannot make ends meet and fearful of their own upcoming "Golden Years".  They are weary of wondering if the government will protect them  here at home, especially after seeing what happened in Benghazi when the federal government did not lift a finger to help others, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, as he and his staff were killed and their bodies were drug through the streets.

To the voters, mud slinging is just one example of exactly what is wrong with politics. In order to develop trust we will need to demonstrate our understanding of the concerns facing our friends and neighbors. Working together as Republicans will show the voters that we know how to solve the problems of our district and our great country.

Issues, Not Mudslinging, Should Decide the Election

Recently, www.njspotlight.com ran an excellent, well-written, unbiased and informational article on the upcoming Primary election and the race to be New Jersey’s First Legislative District’s Republican nominee. Tara Nurin did a tremendous job of outlining the “politics as usual” and slamming of candidates by others in the race.

As for me, I believed from the beginning that Republicans are in very good shape to take a district that our friends across the aisle have thought would be "in the bag" for them. This will be accomplished by focusing on the ISSUES that concern the electorate – not on what dirt we have on someone. After all, it is our stance on these critical issues that will dictate how we would serve this community.

One such issue is taxation. The reality is that taxes of all kinds – income, business, property – are simply too high.

In fact, it’s the last of those, property taxes, that I believe is going to be the undoing of the Democratic party. It’s these taxes that are so out of control in New Jersey compared to the rest of the country. It defies logic  why anyone would vote for a party that continues to rob the very people they were elected to represent and serve? 

As an example, I attended a meeting at a local township council that set to increase property taxes by eight percent. The local council members are all Democrats. From what was said that evening, I was led to believe the council couldn't care less how their decision affected the locals. 

And it's not isolated to one community or demographic. In fact, it is our  senior population who are feeling the pinch of taxes more and more.

A larger percentage of seniors live on fixed income, and many of these folks have lost control of their budgets. And yet while the federal government claims that inflation is low, it’s critical to remember that inflation stats exclude food and energy – and it’s these are that pinches seniors’ budgets so much.

but taxation is just one issue. The war on jobs, lawless government, administrative incompetence at the federal level there are just so many other issues to chose from, the list goes on and on. In order to win the General Election in the fall, candidates need to identify the issues that concern voters the most, develop solid strategies to solve those issues and share the solutions with the electorate.

Most people, whether here in New Jersey’s First District or elsewhere across the nation, want to see change for the better. They are sick about hearing about the latest business that has closed or relocated to a lower tax jurisdiction.  They are tired of the blight in their communities from neighbors, friends and family members who could no longer afford their homes. They are fed up with hearing about the seniors who cannot make ends meet and fearful of their own upcoming "Golden Years".  They are weary of wondering if the government will protect them  here at home, especially after seeing what happened in Benghazi when the federal government did not lift a finger to help others, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, as he and his staff were killed and their bodies were drug through the streets.

To these people, mud slinging is just one example of exactly what is wrong with politics. In order to develop trust, we will need to demonstrate our understanding of the concerns facing our friends and neighbors. Working together as Republicans will show the voters that we know how to solve the problems of our district and our great country.

Israel: A Key U.S. Ally

Israel has, is, and always will be one of the United States closest allies. The Middle East, where Israel is located, has been a center anti -American rhetoric, terrorism and growing hostility toward Western cultural and society. It should come as no surprise – after all, even after just a cursory glance at Mid-East politics, it’s easy to conclude that there are organizations and people bent on our destruction – the same organizations and people who celebrated the destruction of the World Trade Center in one of our countries' darkest hours on 9/11. In fact, these same organizations have referred to the United States as "The Great Satan" and Israel as "The Little Satan," and wish nothing short of the utter eradication of both countries 

Israel is has been attacked a number of times in her modern history. In 1948, during Israeli War for Independence when Israel came back into existence after well over 1,000 years, her enemies sought to destroy her. Attacks came again in 1967 during the Six Day War and in 1973  during the Yom Kippur War when Israel was invaded by her neighbors and threatened with annihilation.  As a result of these attacks. Israel has taken over lands that once belonged to the countries that attacked them.  These lands are wrongfully referred to as "Occupied Territories" in the media and by some elements within our own government, but the fact remains that these lands now rightfully belong to Israel through Right of Conquest.

There are some in our society – and in our government! – who believe giving away these lands back to the aggressors, or worse yet, terrorist organizations, will somehow insure peace in the Middle East. Let’s be clear: that approach will not work – ever. These tensions in the Middle East go back many thousands of years and I believe it to be either the height of hubris or sheer stupidity to believe we can resolve that into anything different.

Israel is our ally.  We will never have to be concerned as to whether or not Israel would stand with us. Therefore, it is in the strategic interest of the United States – and indeed our European allies – to have a strong ally, with our full support, in the Middle East, and this ally can only be Israel.

What's Fair About Fair Tax - Part 4

Today, $2 trillion is held on the balance sheets of American companies – but much of this money is held off-shore and not a part of our nation’s economy.  Why? Because if the American companies were to repatriate the money, it would be subject to a 30 percent tax, just for coming into the country. 

What’s key to remember is that this money was already taxed once when the income tax was paid in the jurisdiction it was earned.  But the way our tax law is written, it would be taxed again when coming back our country. 

If our tax laws were revised under the Fair tax, this “double jeopardy” would be eliminated, and than $2 trillion could be used as seed money for an economic boom here, regardless of whether that money was used for investments in plants, property or equipment, payment of dividends or was deposited in American banks and  made available for lending into the greater economy.

When corporate income taxes are eliminated, greater investments in the American economy are made possible. 

What's Fair About Fair Tax - Part 3

One of the problems the government has faced over the years has been the ability of folks to “work under the table”, resulting in an underground economy that thus far has been able to avoid paying taxes.  In fact, some estimates indicated that $2 TRILLION of the economy is underground in nature.

But under the Fair Tax, consumption is taxed, rather than income, meaning that the taxes “owed” by an individual are collected at the point of purchase as individuals and families by the things they want and want –and that brings that estimated $2 trillion of the economy back to the tax table with the rest of us. 

Obamacare: More Mess than Progress

The intention of Obamacare was to make healthcare more affordable and to expand health care to uninsured individuals. However, its intent is far being achievable.

In fact, to be candid, Obamacare is disaster.

With its inoperable website and less than stellar enrollment numbers, Obamacare has been nothing but a failure since its inception. But the issues don’t stop there. In addition to the embarrassing rollout, there is a fundamental tradeoff behind this law that voters across the country are finally realizing: in order for the small number of uninsured Americans to become insured, millions of those already insured have lost their private insurance or will have to pay more for their current insurance.

We all remember President Obama promising, “If you like your heath care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period.” His promises extended beyond simply keeping current coverage or doctors – he also promised cheaper premiums as well. As it turns out, these “promises” were false.

And the Obamacare that stands now is not the original plan proposed to Americans. In fact, the law has been changed more than 40 times as of April 8, 2014 - 22 of which were made unilaterally by the Obama administration.

It’s not just everyday Americans being affected by the legislation. Businesses are being hit even harder by this law. Brad Anderson, CEO of Best Buy, says that Obamacare makes it impossible to know the future costs of personnel.

"If I was trying to get you to fund a new business I had started and you asked me what my payroll was going to be three years from now per employee, if I went to the deepest specialist in the industry, he can't tell me what it's actually going to cost, let alone what I'm going to be responsible for," Anderson said.

This greatly affects how businesses will operate, especially when it comes to hiring new employees, and even keeping current ones. Obamacare advocates point to the fact that now businesses must offer employees insurance or pay a fine. That sounds great – except the fine will cost businesses significantly less than if they were to insure the employees.

Couple these problems with the violation of religious rights and the insurmountable costs that Obamacare will incur and it’s clear: the only way to end this mess is for a full repeal of Obamacare.

By restoring Medicare and Medicaid and stopping the rationing of healthcare, we can improve our nation’s health system and address the concerns of the majority of Americans. 

The Real Meaning of Community? Helping Others When They Need It Most

Today’s troubling times shouldn’t be an excuse to retreat into our personal lives without regard to those around us. In fact, I’d argue that the stalled economy, falling labor participation rate and increase need for social supports requires us to look around and really see our neighbors and the challenges they may be facing.  Being able to enter into others’ lives and make sure they have their most basic of needs met is critical to being a true part of a community.

We see commercials everyday on TV, calling attention to the increasing number of hungry people, both here in the U.S. and abroad, but our own community isn’t immune to struggles. The reality is, many of those hungry families and children are our own neighbors, as a shocking 170,000 people in Camden County alone – including 50,000 kids! – don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

But you can make a difference. Tomorrow, on May 10, the National Association of Letter Carriers will hold its 22nd Annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, the nation’s largest single-day food drive. To do your part, simply leave a bag (or more!) of non-perishable food by your mailbox, and your letter carrier will take your donation when he or she drops off your daily mail. All food stays local to help feed people right in our community. For more information on Stamp Out Hunger, visit http://www.nalc.org/commun/foodrive/index.html.

As individuals, we may not be able to feed an entire family in addition to keeping food on our own tables. But when we join together and do our part to make sure our friends’ and neighbors’ most basic needs are met, we demonstrate the real meaning of community. 

What's Fair About Fair Tax - Part 2

Imagine keeping ALL of your salary – every single penny. Sounds like a nice dream, right? 

It doesn't have to be a dream. The truth is, the Fair Tax would eliminate personal income taxes, allowing you and every other hardworking American to take home 100 percent of what you earn.  

This feature of the Fair Tax is what will help drive economic opportunity for everyone in the U.S.  With the elimination of individual income taxes  (by the way, the Fair Tax also would result in the elimination of Medicare/Medicaid, FICO and Social Security taxes), Americans would have additional financial resources because they’d be able to fully leverage their annual salary. This extra money could allow families to buy homes, invest in higher education or simply serve as additional disposable income to spend, strengthening our economy. 

But the benefits don’t stop there - another great feature of the elimination of personal income taxes is the opportunity for increased saving. Simply put, because savings would no longer be taxed, they would grow more quickly, allowing for greater pools of capital to form, which in turn would enable more investment in our economy.

And because Americans would be able to save tax-free, they would not be hit with taxes if the need arose to take money from a 401(k) or similar retirement account earlier than normal…and that means that more funds would be available throughout retirement years.

The Fair Tax opens the door to allow Americans to have greater access to their own hard-earned dollars, helping to stimulate and grow our economy.

What's Fair About Fair Tax - Part 1

Fair Taxation will transform the American economy virtually overnight.

Why?

Our nation’s corporate tax rate (nearly 38 percent) is extremely high – and when you factor in state taxes, the U.S. has the single highest tax rate in the world.

Operating a successful business requires asking tough questions – and one of the questions that businesses around the world ask themselves is, “Where should I base my operations? What location is most friendly to my business? Where will I see the greatest value and profit?” With our high tax rate, the answer to that question is clear, and we continue to push companies away from the U.S. to other countries where they can keep more of their earnings.

Under the Fair Tax, the United States would go from being the highest to the lowest corporate tax jurisdiction in the world, putting us in a position as a leader in competitiveness as well.

If businesses were encouraged to locate here rather any of our trading partners, we would immediately reap tremendous benefits from our economy, including: 

1) Reduced unemployment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, our national unemployment rate is 6.7 percent. But that number doesn’t tell the whole story. There are between 46 and 47 million Americans receiving food assistance, and the labor participation rate has been falling drastically, having hit an all-time low – and that shows a critical need for jobs in our country.

2) Increased wages.  These un- and under-employment numbers drag down wages.  It’s simple economics:  too much supply and not enough demand will continue to lead to depressed wages unless something drastically changes.  The Fair Tax will bring about those changes, by spurring an increased demand for labor, translating into better wages due to greater competition.

3) Lower government spending.  With unemployment and an increasing number of Americans relying on assistance, our social safety net has never been more strained.  The Fair Tax can reverse that trend. With an increase in the number of jobs available, the demand for social spending will quickly decline as individuals and families will have greater resources in their own households – and this will directly lead to the reduction in the current annual deficit, as well.

With these benefits, the Fair Tax will transform our economy – something that will benefit each and every one of us. 

Answering the call

Why did I decide to run?

That’s a question I have been asked by a lot folks lately.  Truthfully, running for office has appealed to me for a long time, but now,  after years of hearing friends, acquaintances and strangers alike lament, “We need new blood down in Washington!”, I believe it’s necessary to protect our country and way of life. 

Our founding fathers envisioned a “citizen legislature” but these days, it isn’t hard to see that our elected officials, of all types, are generally the exact opposite. The political class is just that: a group of people who have spent their careers in the political arena, distanced from the citizens they are expected to represent. And because of this, they have lost sight of what it means to be public servants, making it seem to many Americans that “politics” is the reason for the failure to address the needs of our country.

Since my father’s death when I was 10 years old, the value of hard work has always been instilled in me.  Getting “out there” to accomplish what needs to be done is woven into the fabric of who I am.  My finest example in life is my mother, who emigrated here from Canada.  Following my father’s death, she was forced to enter the workforce to provide for our family.

When I was 18, a man challenged me to “give back” to my community and I began serving in our town’s Little League.  As I got older, I also served at my church, continuing to work with kids in youth ministry.  These experiences taught me that life isn’t just about me, but about how I will impact others for the good.

As an adult, I had the privilege of starting my own business. As a small business owner, I learned the lessons of the corporate word: the obligation to meet payroll, the value of budgeting, the need for the correct investments, and yes, the reality of tax obligations.

When I look at Washington, I do not see these lessons learned. In the political sphere, when more money is needed, our leaders pursue one of these “solutions”: citizens are taxed more, money is borrowed, resulting in an increase of our national debt, or as is the case now, more cash is simply “printed”.  There seems to be no willingness to take accountability or make even the easy decisions to reduce waste.

I want to go to Washington to help change its culture,  to leave grid lock in favor of “economic opportunity for everyone”,  to reach across the aisle to work with folks who are not “my enemies” simply because they are members of another party.  I want to bring that urgency there to help put us back on course to a far brighter future.  When I talk to the people, they are certainly ready.  We have the resources and are ready as a nation to meet any challenge.