The federal government has slowly taken the States' Rights from them. Now, each time the federal government grows it erodes the individual rights and liberties we were granted by the Constitution. Our country, state, and by default, District 11 here in Texas, is full of amazing people hoping to make a better life for themselves and their children. No one here in District 11 is a "cookie-cutter conservative." Each one of us is multi-faceted, unique, and more capable than our federal government will ever be.
THE ISSUE: Representatives are to Constitutionally REPRESENT their constituents, not force political agendas down their throats!
First and foremost, this is the most amazing country there has ever been on the face of the Earth, period. Not because of where we are today, but because we have the power to fix any issue in this nation. The "issues" as presented by the media and politicians are simply political theater. The only way to address any political problem in the U.S.A. is by following the Constitution, not destroying it.
As a 4th generation cowboy, I have always been taught and believe that those that make their living from the land are the best stewards of the land. The United States is home to hundreds of thousands of farmers and ranchers who make a living by producing goods from their land. These goods are the resources that not only other Americans live off of, but people all over the world. These products include everything from cattle and sheep to corn and cotton, and the families right here in the 11th Congressional District of Texas know this all too well. But to sustain this type of living, we have to be aware of our environment and the problems we are facing.
Agricultural products are as important to our way of life as fossil fuels. Any technology that can help our country remain resource independent of other nations is vital for self interests. This could include updating farming practices to green/renewable energy. To accomplish this goal, we must fully support and assist our farmers and ranchers. As our climate continues to change, so do the struggles of living off the land and it is our duty to make sure that everyone in the agriculture industry is setup for success.
As the greatest country in the world, we do have to hold ourselves to a higher standard. Lets quit fighting whether climate change exists and put our efforts into researching advances; for example, drought or flood resistant crops could help current industries as well as our children in the future. Arguments over the issue of climate change are a waste of time and tax payer dollars. However, we can utilize our imaginations, technology, and "good ole American know-how" to make advancements in all aspects of life. If we can do this, we as a nation can be best prepared for any changes that come, expected or not.
Our federal government is sucking the citizens dry via federal taxes. Congress must listen to the citizens of the United States and rein in it's business practices. We must identify solutions that do not destroy the financial security of a generation. WE WILL NOT ALLOW the Baby Boomers to be written off and cast aside, Generation X to have to work until they die, Millennials to be stuck with this debt alone, NOR the financial prospects of today's children to be ruined due to political pandering and promises. WE WILL work together, for United We Stand, divided we fall!
I constantly hear politicians promise to help the middle class. However, none that I can recall define the middle class. So what exactly is the middle class? Is the middle class in Midland/Odessa the same as in Eden? Is the middle class in Hood County the same as it is in Irion or Mitchell Counties? Why do politicians refuse to accurately define the middle class they constantly promise to help? The empty promises by politicians had their chance and continue to fall short of helping the taxpayers of District 11. The way to help taxpayers is to quit bleeding them dry with taxes! The way to achieve tax reduction is through a reduction of government on the national level, not lofty campaign promises.
As a proponent of the free-market, the federal government has to quit regulating small businesses to the point of closing their doors. Additionally, the premise of "too big to fail" cannot be part of the federal lawmakers thought process. If the U.S citizens, whom the federal government represents, cares about a specific company's well being, they will purchase that company's products/services.
American citizens are often advised to live within their means, but we see our government fail to regulate it's excessive spending continually, increasing our national debt trillions of dollars. At what point do they have to be held accountable as every citizen is? Our federal government is supposed to be representative of our society. The families and small businesses across District 11 are able to self-regulate their spending; it is time our federal government follows suit.
The solution is simple; a reduction of the federal government, both size and scope, is the sure fire way to lead to long term reduction in spending. This would then reduce taxes for all of us, including the middle class (whoever that is...). With responsible spending, this will lead to finally curbing the unforgivable debt the congress has caused this country to have.
Each time an elected official votes for continued spending, regardless of the bill, he or she is voting for federal debt. Budgeting is not difficult to understand, but it can be hard to do. Current members of the U.S. Congress often voice that "the government does not have a blank check to keep spending." However, actions speak louder than words. To put it plainly, each time an individual votes "yes" to anything that has any dollar amount attached to it, it is a vote for more spending.
Undeniably, the federal government does need to raise funds; the protection of our nation via our military and maintaining our postal system are two examples. However, there is no valid argument for the amount of taxes that occur in our nation. We, the private citizens, are more equipped to handle problems than a large government. Look at the way the communities of Texas helped those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Our society is full of great people that are more than capable of helping those in need. In our neighborhoods and communities, we raise funds at churches and outreach centers. We buy and wrap presents to help those in our communities that need help. We donate food and have public lunches at churches. We even banded together and helped our community members that went without pay during the recent shutdown. We did that! The federal government couldn't because it has become so overgrown that it is now dysfunctional.
4 Mental Health/Criminal Justice/Substance Abuse reform:
There are people in our society that were dealt a tough hand and as a past employee in the mental health field, I have seen it directly. Life is not fair, and the U.S. Congress can not force legislation on us with the promise to make life fair. It will not work.
The federal government does not care about this though they preach it. They say they do, but their actions show that our elected representatives on the federal level are not worried about these problems in our society. However, Congress can adopt strategies and remove barriers that improve local government control of regulations and promote self-governance. Then and only then can we as a society enact swift changes on the local, and perhaps state level, that will truly benefit our friends, families, and communities. We can help those we care about that are stuck within "the system." Federal politicians have countless resources and experts at their literal beck-and-call. Unfortunately, our representatives keep politicizing our citizens' suffering and pandering to special interest groups. We need our representatives to be willing to look at any and all solutions that science and research are showing to be beneficial even if the solution seems counter-intuitive.
Issues in our society are complex and interrelated, yet our officials speak of them as one issue versus another. Again, they have countless resources to learn from and investigate these problems via their committees and hearings, but little has changed. WHY? The federal government can not get out of its own way. However, they can reduce and remove federal regulations, restrictions, and overall "red-tape" to allow states and cities to address these issues on a community level. It is our friends, neighbors, and family members that get stuck in the system and can not get the help that they need. The solutions will come by working together to get members of our communities from a point of them being a "burden" or a "menace" to being viewed as contributing members of our societies.
5 Consistent federal government expansion/Fight for States' Rights:
The Government of the United States of America has grown and expanded consistently since our government was agreed to by the states. West-Central Texas and the Permian Basin are filled with people that will fight for individual liberties and freedoms. We work hard to provide for our families and play even harder when we get the chance. It is time our representative embodied the fighting spirit of where we live and fought tooth and nail for our right from government overreach.
Overall, our government continues to grow, expand, and by default systematically reduce our liberties. Their practices promote waste and mismanagement of spending. Their efforts to improve oversight are simply a expansion of government. It is only by returning the power of government back to communities, towns, cities and states that many problems will be addressed. We, a unique and amazing nation of 50 diverse states, are full of diverse people. The founders recognized the strengths of our diversity and differences. Issues in Minnesota, California, and Virginia can not be the basis for federal laws in Texas. If the federal representatives can not find common ground, it is likely a state or local issue. We are not a nation of micromanagement. The promise of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" still includes the right to be free of government interference in our everyday lives.
Whether, it is the schools in our communities, public welfare programs, or the criminal justice system, federal laws, restrictions, and even the attempts at reform fail. Our teachers must be freed up to teach material and truly educate the youth of our country, not forced to teach test taking skills due to government standardized tests. Our communities need to have the freedom to reward quality teachers, and the teachers can then be accountable to the parents and communities in which they work. These men and women are directly working with the future of our country. Let's untie their hands so that they can be the capable instructors they are.
6 Firearms and the Second Amendment:
There are individuals that wish to regulate firearms from the federal level and that is wrong. I offer a simple solution. Step 1: The right to bears arms is firmly established and literally written in the Constitution. If one has questions regarding that issue: Step 2: Google "second amendment of the constitution." Step 3: See Step 1...
I can understand those statements may be interpreted as overbearing or obnoxious. However, my goal in writing the statements are to demonstrate the futility of censoring gun ownership from the federal level. Undoubtedly, we all need to work together and have an honest dialogue about real solutions to the problems plaguing our nation when it comes to mass murder and the alarming trends involved in this issue. (Please see Mental Health reform for more specifics.)
The first ten amendments to the constitution address, specify, and clarify limitations to the federal government. Therefore, the second amendment addresses the protection of our rights and liberties regarding firearms from actions or laws enacted by the federal government.
Preamble to the Bill of Rights:
The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
I believe the framers and founding fathers used language that was understandable to the common man at the time. They wanted the citizenry to be able to understand, desire, and remain willing to fight for the liberties that our country earned during the Revolutionary War, even if that meant limiting their own powers in government!
All-in-all, simply put, any law or actions taken by congress to reduce OUR right to own firearms is unconstitutional.
7 Internet Security/Privacy in the 21st Century:
Our society had changed immensely since the advent of the internet, smart phone, and countless other technological advances of the past 20 years. However, we have the right to privacy in our own homes, neighborhoods, and businesses. It is not through more and more and more AND MORE laws from congress that these issues will be resolved. It is from us, the citizens that change will stem. We can no longer idly sit by as the federal government, massive technological corporations, and the media manipulate us into giving up our privacy.
Corporations, like all people, have responsibilities to respect our privacy.
NEEDS MORE WORK!
First off, it is apparent that established politicians do not want health care fixed in the United States. Otherwise, they would have quit having petty arguments and addressed real problems in our society. Secondly, I have difficulty believing it was ever the federal government's job to "fix" health care. To my knowledge the VA system has been in shambles for years, why would the government attempt to fix the general public's healthcare system when they continue to short change the men and women defending our country. Congress should be concerned with the well-being of our soldiers and leave the private sector to the private sector!
However, we are now stuck with a system in which the government has forced it's way into our healthcare system. NEEDS MORE!
The men and women that have fought or are currently fighting for our country are the individuals' healthcare first and foremost the federal government must focus on. The consistent disregard by congress for our veterans and active duty soldiers is unacceptable. There simply is no excuse.
According to veterans I have spoken with
Regardless, of the quality of care at on specific VA clinic or hospital
Our elected officials do not have the right to authorize sending troops to a location half way around the world only to turn around and second guess every action and decision of our soldiers fighting for their lives abroad and our safety here at home. If the men and women of our military need more training or equipment, then our federal government needs to allocate the appropriate funds to produce the greatest professional military force known to Earth. And our government should not be short changing these men and women fighting for the protection of the United States