IMPROVE: National Security and Foreign Policy
Legislators must act definitively to reinforce the leadership role expected of America. Congress has a vital role to play. Representatives must speak out in favor of sovereignty and reject any suggestion that foreign incursions on sovereign nations are acceptable. They must take actions that show support for our allies in Europe and across the world. Leaders protect freedom in words and actions. Turning inward is not a strategy. it reveals a lack of strategy.
A strong, modern American military should remain a priority for all citizens. Bi-partisan agreement on appropriate funding and realistic spending priorities will protect our country and the men and women that serve. While America modernizes its military, it also must improve the support and resources that it provides to the men and women who have retired from service. The Veterans Administration must continue to improve and provide the level of care owed to the men and women who have served.
America must restore its place as a leader in education by improving the public school system. Reducing funding for students with disabilities moves America backwards. Reducing funding for gifted programs in public schools moves America backwards. Reducing funding for lunch programs for low-income children is abhorrent. Whether or not a Sixth District resident requires a specific school program. our residents recognize that the public education system has served us well and lifts up the community as a whole. Building upon the foundation is vital.
Legislation should promote policies that improve access to affordable higher education. Sixth District residents value higher education. It is an investment that provides multiple returns. At the same time, it is frustrating to see large banks and other behemoths benefit from low interest rates while students are not offered the same rates. Legislators should be considering the variety of alternatives available to increasing college participation, restoring vocational programs and reducing costs.
IMPROVE: Technology Initiatives
In an era where knowledge is capital, technology-based businesses have the advantage. They permeate our society. This fact requires legislators to focus on technology. such as by asking whether education policies promote technology learning for all students. It also requires the federal government to inventory its technology assets with the goal of reducing duplicative expenditures, sharing resources and information, increasing privacy protections and reducing the costs of government. With a third of government employees eligible for retirement in 2019, there is growing opportunity for the younger generations of workers to make a favorable impact modernizing govemment.
Capitalism is a fundamental foundation of the American economy. Understandably. the youngest Americans may question why we promote capitalism. Many voters in the Sixth District will vote for the first time in 2018, or have voted only once or twice before. For these voters, they entered the working world at a time when taking "all the right steps" did not lead them to the open doors they expected. These voters question how the 2008 recession happened, why low unemployment figures do not translate to higher wages and why govemment priorities seem misplaced.
America should exemplify the integration of private enterprise with the rule of law and effective regulation. Competitive capital markets that finance productivity, wages that keep pace with productivity, growing small and mid-sized businesses and employee and consumer protections are indispensible standards that guided America in the past and should be upheld and invigorated.