I’m Barry Michaels and this is what I believe:
I’m running for Congress because I love this Country and I know what I can do. I have over forty years of business experience and the education to match. Whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Conservative or Liberal let’s not forget we are all Americans.
It’s easy to criticize others for what they have or have not done, but harder to do what needs to be done. Too often, political candidates run attack campaigns for lack of their own originality. Our country needs leaders with vision, not followers. I pride myself in being just such a leader, one who deals in solutions not generalities.
Our Country is undergoing through an economic downfall the like’s we’ve never seen before. Unlike years ago (prior to the Internet) when corrections were easy to make, we live in an age that is interdependent on global issues and those quick fixes are no longer available. The answer is simple: we need to create jobs in the private sector, anything less is just a bandaid on an open wound.
What follows are my ideas to begin this course of correction:
OUR ECONOMY & JOBSOur country doesn’t need tax increases, nor does it need major cuts, what we need is to increase revenue by putting Americans back to work.
I don’t believe in bail outs or stimulus funds. These funds should have been used to fund the Small Business Association (SBA) and provide loans to small businesses. Small businesses are the lifeline of this country. They create new jobs and often turn into big businesses. Today more than ever, we need to encourage American entrepreneurship.
I plan to sponsor a bill that would create a new savings bond which would be used to fund small business loans. The maximum loan amount would be based on the number of jobs created. The entire process would be administered by the nation’s current banking network with actual funding coming from the SBA in the way of a line of credit to be drawn upon as needed.
As unemployment and foreclosures reach an all time high and credit scores continue to fall, banks find fewer clients who remain qualified to borrow. If banks don’t lend, more and more will go out of business. Banks continue to raise rates and fees to compensate for their lack of lending. For this reason, these loans would based solely on the merits of the business plan rather than one’s personal credit score. They would personally guaranteed by the responsible party and not dischargeable in the event of a bankruptcy.
IMMIGRATIONI believe immigration represents a very complex issue. It consists of protecting our borders, enforcing current laws which prevent employers from hiring undocumented workers, creating a legal work program and dealing with the millions who are already in this country.
With over 7,500 miles of open borders and another 5,000 miles of coastline, it’s impossible to control all the borders, all of the time. It makes little or no sense to erect expensive fencing when intruders can go under, over or around them at will. Employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers need to be held accountable. Documents should be encrypted into a national database and easily verifiable through an ordinary telephone or smart phone.
For those millions already here, (they’re not going back) we need a voluntary registration program which includes fines and penalties which lead immigrants down a path towards legalization and eventual citizenship. From a practical standpoint, there is no way of processing them, nor are there funds to do so as our constitution forbids us to brand them as criminals without first affording them their constitutional rights to due process. It is far better to know who and where they are then to ignore them and pretend they don’t exist.
DRUGSIllegal drugs are like a cancer on society. The only way to curb traffic is to take the money out of distribution. Lets legalize, tax and regulate all drugs. Taking the profit out will result in no sales incentive which in turn leads to few if any new users along with limited distribution. The result would be a great reduction in cost to law enforcement, our court and prison systems.
HOMES & CONSTRUCTIONI’m a firm believer that we need to put people into their own homes (and keep them in), rather than become a notion of renter’s. From both a business and an economic stand point it makes all around good sense and would amount to the largest creator of jobs in this country. Taken into consideration, not only the construction industry but also the finance, real estate along with all the industries associated with new construction. With interest at an all time low, the cost of owning a home today is less than the cost of renting. Let’s look at creating home ownership programs that include 100 year mortgages based on the property value rather than one’s personal credit score.
OUR MILITARYOur military is the finest in the world, but I see no reason for them to be stationed in 132 countries around the world. This does not make us any safer and certainly adds to our economic hardship. Our first objective should be to keep our forces safe and out of harm’s way. We can send shuttles to the moon, fly unmanned drones with satellite launched missiles, equip aircraft with smart missiles so it is time to replace boots on the ground with computer buttons wherever and whenever possible.
Let’s make sure we never forget them for their service to our country, nor should their benefits be of lesser value than those provided to our members of congress.
HEALTH CAREAs the greatest nation in the world our citizens should be entitled to the very best affordable health care available, regardless of their current health condition or their economic status.
If it were up to me, I would modify the Medicare bill to allow anyone to “buy” in. This would reduce the overall cost of the plan since the it would now be subject to a younger and healthier pool. Those over the age of 65 would be subject to the existing terms and conditions.
SOCIAL SECURITYLet me begin here by saying I have firsthand knowledge of this subject as I am over the age of sixty-five, on Social Security and Medicare. Although the system is vastly under-funded, I am not overly concerned since it is no longer in a trust account but a part of the general fund. So, if you believe in this country as I do, you need not worry.
The maximum social security withheld today is $6,826 based on a yearly salary of $110,100. Anyone who earns more is not taxed further but removing the lid will increase revenue and help correct the deficit.
GUN CONTROLI personally dislike guns, but I know tougher gun control laws are not the answer. What we need is to improve education in the safety and handling of all firearms. New laws would just make it more difficult and more expensive for law abiding citizens.
EDUCATIONOur country’s education fails to be included in the top 25, while Nevada remains the lowest in the Country.
Teachers are the key to our nation’s future. Attracting professional teachers requires better pay and benefits. To insure our country’s future, the federal government needs to allocate a greater percentage of the national budget towards education. These funds should be provided in the form of specific block grants and administered by local school districts. When elected to Congress, I will propose a federal program in conjunction with state programs geared to raising the teaching profession to a much higher standard and thereby attracting a larger percentage of professional teachers. Without good teachers in our classrooms, our children will surely fall behind.
Educational loans should include a debt forgiveness clause, providing that the original degree sort was completed and the individual was employed in his or her profession for a period of time (to be determined). My theory is; the greater one’s education, the greater their earnings and therefore they will pay more tax over a lifetime. The end result is the student receives a free education, society benefits while the government receives an excellent return on their investment through increased tax revenues resulting in a win-win situation.
THE NEVADA ECONOMYThe State of Nevada has a unique economy, first relying strictly on the mining industry than moving quickly to the gaming and tourist industry. They built and built, seemingly with no end in sight, going from a casino with a hotel to a hotel with a casino. In the ‘90’s the new resorts were measured by the millions, they are now known as mega resorts and measured by cost per the billion.
With the recent opening of City Center, the Clark County area has approximately 165,000 rooms that need to be filled each and every day. Rooms that were built to generate three to four hundred dollars are now generating a hundred a hundred dollars or less per night. However the real problem is the type of tourist now occupying the room is no longer a gamer but tourists but tourists interested in acquiring a cheap vacation. They are no longer filling the gaming tables, utilizing the new high end restaurants and entertainment.
I hate to be the bearer of doom and gloom but unless we do something to change our present status I predict Las Vegas will become one big retirement community. With gaming revenue down and property values continuing to plummet, the State’s revenue is currently near a billion dollars short. The State of Nevada’s Constitution calls for a balanced budget with no personal or corporate income tax. What helped build Las Vegas, now threatens to destroy it.
YUCCA MOUNTAINFor now this project seems to be dead, I will do my best to see that it remains that way. This policy is not only unsafe for Nevada but for all the states in which the material must be transported.
CIVIL RIGHTSAll people, regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, gender or sexual orientation deserve the right to the pursuit of happiness. I believe this includes, but is not limited to, the right to equal pay for equal work, the ability to decide who to marry and the ability to decide when to have children.
OUR CONSTITUTIONOur Constitution is a living document and one of the greatest ever written. The Constitution written in 1787 was a starting point. Over the next two hundred plus years of court opinions, it has grown into the constitution of today and will continue to grow over the years to come.