- What in the nature of mankind caused America’s Founders to carefully define, separate, and limit powers in the Constitution?
- Do you support expanding the current border wall between U.S. and Mexico? Why or why not?
- Do you support raising the federal gas tax to improve the national transportation infrastructure (for example roads, train tracks, and bridges)? Why or why not?
- What programs or legislation, if any, would you support to help Americans of all ages secure affordable health care?
- Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?
- Do you support requiring states to adopt federal education standards?
- Do you support repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare")?
- Do you support the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes?
What in the nature of mankind caused America’s Founders to carefully define, separate, and limit powers in the Constitution?
Our founding fathers recognized that government is a force that continually expands, progressively impinges upon freedoms, and if left unchecked, predictably devolves to dictatorship. They recognized that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The division of power into legislative, executive, and judicial branches, and safety mechanisms such as the power of impeachment and the convention of states were designed to ensure that freedom will forever prevail over tyranny.
The border between Mexico and the US is unique in the world as it separates two countries with the greatest economic disparities of any other international border. Building a wall is a convenient concept, which on the surface seems like a straightforward way to solve our illegal immigration problems by physically blocking immigrants.
But we already have walls erected in strategic locations along the border. And spending billions of dollars on a bigger, stronger wall is pointless when advanced technology like drones could effectively expand the existing wall at a much lower expense. Removing economic incentives to immigration, like sanctuary cities, and moving to a merit based system of immigration, will do far more to curb illegal immigration than a physical wall, at absolutely no cost whatsoever. Rather than building an expensive wall, I would prefer to see our precious federal tax dollars invested in more urgent needs such as maintaining critical infrastructure (for example roads, sewage, and water ways), feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, and protecting our environment.
Do you support raising the federal gas tax to improve the national transportation infrastructure (for example roads, train tracks, and bridges)? Why or why not?
I am a fiscal conservative. My position is that our current government has grown too large, has impinged upon our personal and economic freedoms too much, and our federal and state taxes are too high. Infrastructure, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, and protecting our environment are all areas need to receive a higher priority in our federal budget, but cost cutting, not increased taxation, is the best way to fund these vital public projects.
We need a leaner government with better spending priorities. Where can we find the money? The Portability Of Our Professions act that I have proposed, for example, would effectively eliminate 98% (49 out of 50) redundant state licensing boards by allowing the nearly 30% of our work force who are licensed professionals to freely practice their professions in any state. This simple act would increase personal freedom, decrease consumer prices, decrease redundancy in government, and free up revenue for infrastructure that currently is being wasted on bloated government agencies, at absolutely no cost to the federal government. California alone has over 150 state licensing boards!
What programs or legislation, if any, would you support to help Americans of all ages secure affordable health care?
I support free economic markets, and health care is an economic market. Economic markets worst best when they are free to self regulate, with a minimum of government intervention.
Government intervention into free market systems always causes unintended consequences that run CONTRARY to their original intent, and currently there is extreme government intervention into health care. For example, about 20 years ago our federal and state governments pressured physicians to increase opiate use. In California, all physicians were mandated to take 12 hours of "end of life care", at their expense, and for 12 hours, over 2 weekends, we were told that we were under-prescribing opiates. 20 years later we find ourselves in an opiate prescription epidemic.
The physician patient relationship is at the core of all health care decisions, and at the core of all health care expenditures. By lifting medicare price controls on physicians, physicians would become economically empowered. By depositing your medicare and health insurance dollars into Health Savings Accounts under your name, with your control, patients would be come economically empowered. If your health care dollars were under your direct control, you would price compare and scrutinize every health care dollar spent, and free market forces would optimize the entire health care market, driving down costs.
You also might decide to use your Medicare dollars to buy glasses, or fix your teeth, things that our government has arbitrarily determined are medically “unnecessary”. And if you could pass your health care dollars onto your loved ones, or convert them into cash in the event out your death, you might not squander them in the last few weeks of life as we currently do with and estimated 25% of all medical expenditures. Economically empowering you, the patient would also ensure that life and death decisions always remain entirely under your direct control. Health care is an economic market. Making health care an economic FREE MARKET will make health care more affordable.
Government price controls are also limiting the quality of health care. Knee implants cost between $1,800 and $13,000. Surgery centers currently get reimbursed $9,000 for knee replacement surgery, and that includes all costs of parts and labor, so no one gets the highest quality implants! You don't discuss the full range of knee implants that might be best for you with your physician prior to knee replacement surgery because your physician can't choose the implant. Your knee implant is chosen for you by a hospital administrator based upon its costs.
Health care is an economic market. Making it a free economic market will optimize quality and expenses. Economic markets work best when they are free from government intervention.
Another simple, innovative proposal of mine is that private insurance companies should be non-for-profit. Profit in the private health insurance market should be reimbursed to policy holders, not distributed to share holders.
By the way, these proposed changes to health care can all be implemented at zero costs the federal government!
Running for office as a third party candidate has made this very obvious to me. The Supreme Court Decision in Citizens United, allowing unrestricted campaign donations from corporations, while individuals are currently restricted to $2,700, will undoubtedly go down in history as the Supreme Court’s greatest blunder since Dred Scott.
I believe it is safe to say that I have more education than any other congressional candidate, ever. (BS in Biochemistry 1981, MS in Physical Chemistry 1982, PhD in Biochemistry 1990, MD 1990, not to mention 1 year Internship in Internal Medicine 1991, and three year Residency in Ophthalmology 1994). Education was my vehicle to prosperity and my fulfillment of the American Dream, so I am a stanch advocate for education. But I am a fiscal conservative, and I am opposed to federal regulation of education. Education occurs on a local level. Education is an economic market, and the skyrocketing price of education is a product of well meaning, but harmful government intervention. The relatively free availability of student loans has distorted the educational marketplace with the unintended consequence of skyrocketing costs.
Elimination of the "pre-existing condition" insurance exclusions, and allowing children to remain on their parents' insurance policies to age 26 were positive changes. However, as a practicing physician working with patients every day, Obamacare was a complete failure in every other way. Our physicians lost their catastrophic health insurance. Our employee insurance plan more than doubled in cost. Patient deductibles went way up, and patient co-pays were higher than what we had been previously charging. I support a free market based alternative with Medicare dollars deposited into personal HSA accounts, under your control, that you could pass-on to your heirs.
Federally, marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 controlled substance. According to our Federal Government, that means that marijuana is considered to be highly dangerous, with no medicinal use, and a high potential for abuse leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. None these assertions are true for marijuana ! Marijuana is far safer than alcohol, and marijuana regulation in this country needs to be changed. I support legislation to reclassify Marijuana under federal law; taxation of marijuana sales would bring a windfall of government revenue and free law enforcement to work on more urgent priorities.