Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

U.S. House, District 21

Primary Election: March 6, 2018Early Voting: February 20 - March 2, 2018
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
  • Ivan Andarza (Rep)

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    Eric Burkhart (Rep) Retired CIA Operations Officer

  • Francisco 'Quico' Canseco (Rep)

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    Derrick Crowe (Dem) Communications director

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    Mauro Garza (Rep) BUSINESSMAN

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    Foster Hagen (Rep) Oil & Gas Investor

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    Jason Isaac (Rep) State Representative, Small Business Owner

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    Joseph Kopser (Dem) Business Consultant

  • Ryan Krause (Rep) Business Owner

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    Matt McCall (Rep) Owner of McCall International Medical

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    Elliott McFadden (Dem) Non-profit CEO of Austin B-cycle

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    Susan Narvaiz (Rep) HR and Business Consultant

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    William Negley (Rep) President and Founder, Sound Off

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    Al M. Poteet (Rep) Retired

  • Autry J. Pruitt (Rep)

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    Chip Roy (Rep) Lawyer

  • Jenifer Sarver (Rep)

  • Robert Stovall (Rep)

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    Samuel Temple (Rep) Statistician

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    Peggy Wardlaw (Rep) Engineer, Small Business Owner

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    Anthony J. White (Rep) Defense Contractor, Cyber/Strategic Planner

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    Mary Street Wilson (Dem) Minister

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

Explain your position on immigration to the U.S. Please address DACA, a pathway to citizenship, and border security.

What would you do to ensure affordable healthcare access for all citizens?

Identify three measures you would support that reduce gun violence.

What policies would you pursue to address safety and inequalities facing women and people of color?

Do you believe the government has a role in reducing student debt? Why or why not?

What are your legislative priorities for responding to our changing climate?

If spending cuts are necessary where would you cut the budget? Please be specific.

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Background Retired CIA Operations Officer Former INS Immigration Agent Author, "Mukhabarat, Baby!" Retired Urban Planner, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Education Bachelor of Arts in Geography/Urban Planning- Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas US INS Immigration Academy, Glynn County, Georgia
Our nation is only as safe as the weakest part of our border. As a former Intelligence Agent and honor graduate from the Immigration Academy, my experience with Immigration issues has proven invaluable during my careers in both INS and the CIA. One of the most pressing and emotional Immigration issues needing resolution is the question of status for undocumented persons brought into the US by their parents. I support the option of providing Legal Permanent Resident status, but only if the option to petition for parents is removed. We must never reward people for breaking our laws.
I support Rand Paul's proposal to replace Obamacare, which includes a tax credit of up to $5000 per person to be used as a Health Savings Account to pay for care. Paul's plan would abolish many of the elements of Obamacare, including the mandate for minimum standards, which allow for cheaper, less comprehensive plans. This plan proposes a two-year period where people with pre-existing conditions can get coverage; afterwards, those persons would be protected as long as they kept coverage. It keeps the exclusion of employer sponsored plans from taxation, and adds a tax deduction for insurance.
As a society, we need to identify the root causes of violence, not just aggression that involves the use of a firearm. A vehicle, a knife, or a baseball bat can be just as deadly a weapon. How do we reduce violence in our communities? We must aggressively promote the idea of responsibility to young people, and the value of the family unit. We must do a better job supporting both Law Enforcement and First Responders, so that honest, caring, dedicated folks continue to get involved with these dangerous jobs. We need to stop supporting Hollywood and its endless stream of violent movies.
The issue of discrimination and inequality is not limited to race and gender. Persons of a certain weight, appearance, and socio-economic background can also be subject to dangerous work environments and discrimination. The key to this issue, and others that burden our country, begins at childhood, and directly involves the obligations of both parenting and good schools. We need to spend less time focused on "inequalities" and celebrate the things we share, especially our faith. We must unshackle the power of faith, because it is the ultimate equalizer. We are all equal in the eyes of God.
Currently, the government provides a number of options to address student loan debt. These include Teacher Loan Forgiveness, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Income Driven Repayment, Military Service and AmeriCorps. These programs are worthy, well-meaning opportunities for the government to assist with this problem. While I support the programs already in existence, I don't believe we need to add any additional options. I support the government creating programs that assist with eventual repayment in full. The taxpayer deserves a good-faith effort to repay borrowed money.
Congress should convene a study of this issue, and include only US scientists, climatologists, meteorologists, and related specialists and researchers. To date, although American researchers have been involved, the climate change data that gets disseminated originates in Europe, or is sponsored, funded or controlled by the UN or European sources. We must address this issue from a national perspective, involving our universities, our research facilities and our renowned academics and climatologists. I believe in an American definition of the problem, and an American solution.
During my government service, I saw a tremendous amount of waste. We must convene a CIVILIAN audit of the GSA. Each time we assign a government audit of any time, we end up just wasting more money. We must make Congress more transparent, so Members are shamed into giving up pork and the never-ending list of entitlements. Congress must have the courage to say no to taxpayer-funded gender-reassignment surgery for convicted traitors. Every government agency should be given the opportunity to cut spending, otherwise the cuts will be made for them. DC must re-learn how to respect the US taxpayer.
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Background Progressive organizer, former senior Capitol Hill staffer for Democrats & nonprofit professional. Ex-small-business owner. Proud husband/father.
Education 2002 Texas Tech University graduate with a B.A. in political science
I strongly oppose the Trump administration's attack on DACA protections for Dreamers, and support a clean Dream Act. I support whistleblower visas to allow workers to report abuses without fear of retaliation and expanding parole-in-place policies. I am a firm supporter of a pathway to citizenship. I strongly oppose President Trump's outrageous plan to build a wall on the southern border as well as attempts to tie local law enforcement to immigration enforcement. We need increased funds for Customs and Border Patrol oversight and training and a stronger internal affairs office at CBP.
I am a firm supporter of Medicare for All, single-payer health care, and the right of all Americans to health care, so much so that I went to jail in protest the last time the GOP tried to kick millions of people off of insurance by repealing the ACA. Congress must also reauthorize CHIP immediately and reject the Trump administration's plan to tie work requirements to Medicaid. I'd fight to bring drug companies to the negotiating table using the buying power of Medicaid while also pursuing anti-trust enforcement against health care conglomerates to ensure pricing competition.
1) I support universal background checks for all gun sales. 2) I would undertake vigorous oversight regarding Defense Department reporting systems that failed to flag the Sutherland Springs shooter for his prior offenses--which under current law would have prevented him from buying the weapons he used. 3) I would push for legislation to ensure shooters cannot obtain high-capacity magazines far in excess of the clips carried by law enforcement.

I would add a fourth measure to this list: I would push for a federal law making "straw man" transactions a federal offense.
I support equal pay in the workplace among genders and would push a federal law to that effect. I also support paid parental leave and paid sick leave, period. I would fight GOP attempts to defund women's health care and VAWA programs.

Much of the injustice visited on people of color is found in the war on drugs, which I want to end by decriminalizing possession of small amounts of illicit substances (less than a gram). Drug addiction is a health crisis, not a criminal issue, and it should be treated as such. I also support the demilitarization of law enforcement and an end to money bail
The government absolutely has a role to play in reducing student debt given that Congress has allowed profiteering to take place at student expense in the first place. The crushing debt loads carried by graduates today represents a huge boondoggle for Wall Street and a huge drag on individual economic freedom. I support College for All (tuition-free public colleges and universities) paid for by a Wall Street financial speculation tax. I would end the government practice of making billions in profit off of student loan programs and allow the renegotiation of interest rates.
We must immediately take action to reduce our carbon emissions to net-zero by 2035. That means we must affirm our commitments to the targets set in the Paris Agreement, commit to a national carbon budget, require federal agencies go carbon-free by 2035, impose a carbon-fee-and-dividend system and a green transition carbon fee to fund electric vehicle technology; assist states in preparing for the onset of climate change while helping them and local municipalities get off of fossil fuels; end fossil fuel subsidies and convert them to electric vehicle incentives; and ban fossil fuel exploration.
The first step to assuring responsible budgeting is to return to regular order budgeting and end Congress' reliance on continuing resolutions and omnibus legislation. The breakdown of regular order has allowed a growing number of programs to operate with expired authorizations, a sure sign that Congress is failing to ensure efficient and effective use of taxpayer dollars.

Second, I would end emergency funding for so-called "overseas contingency operations" and put Pentagon spending firmly back in the regular budgeting process.
Background Mauro Garza, Native, 4th Gen, President/CEO of two Companies. Resident(San Antonio) of TX21 for 27 years is a Republican Conservative.
Education Master of Science, University of Texas @ San Antonio, emphasis Neurophysiology.
My position is to enforce Immigration Laws and border security first . My position is to phase out to the point of elimination a program such as DACA that has occurred because of Immigration Laws not being enforced. We do not want our future generations to have to deal with an issue such as this. The path to citizenship for those in the current DACA should also include the consequences for those that are not currently or do not currently identify as DACA. If, and only if, there will be a compromise for the DACA ,it must be with the end in mind.
I would introduce a Prevention Health Care Act that educates on how to limit the insurmountable amounts of preventable diseases. I would be for a Free Market system with limited Government Regulation to allow competition so that premiums can fluctuate. I would be sure our Veterans and our Elderly will also be afforded healthcare access in an equal, free-market, high-quality healthcare arena.
1. Allow responsible individuals the freedom to bear arms. 2. Ensure visitors, Non-US residents do not bear arms in our country and 3. Educate and increase programs for the safe and responsible use of weapons.
The policies I would pursue are largely in terms of Education. Those behaviors just do not need to be taught. I pursue other policies to address safety and inequalities when it applies to ALL Americans. One group should not have more protections than another. We all have the exact same protections. But, we may need to do a better job in terms of Education.
No. It is a contract. I also feel, that individuals have a choice to travel a vocational path. We have a great need for those that choose not to attend college. This would be where the future small businesses of America will come from.
My legislative priorities for responding to our changing climate is for the US to balance its budget first. Just like in Texas, we require a balanced budget. Then, we can explore, renewable energies to keep a balanced budget and to reduce our impact on our climate. This will allow us to respond better to disasters whether due to climate change or not.
I would first seek to cut budgets with the Department of Education, the EPA and many others to streamline them and make them more efficient.
Background - New breed Thomas Jeffersonian conservative - Believes in the liberty of constituents in this district - Created many jobs in the oil & gas industry
Education Petroleum Land Management University of Texas at Austin
I think we have to secure the border, but I don’t automatically think that immigrants are bad people. I think quite the opposite. I think that most immigrants come to this nation seeking the American dream.

Immigrants already in the country would be required to register with the government, pay a fine, and after 10 years of registration as a provisional immigrant, apply for a green card status for three years and then apply for citizenship.

“Dreamers“ DACA would all be phased in over five years, 20% each year, years one through five.
I would dramatically expanded health savings accounts with a larger tax free contribution to those accounts.

I would also greatly expand competition and choice in the healthcare arena and expand association health plans and allow individuals to purchase insurance through non-traditional groups. In theory, any person who wanted to purchase group insurance would have the opportunity to do so.

I would also legalize the purchase of insurance across state lines, challenging the insurance cartels and overzealous state regulators.
Existing laws must be enforced. There are approximately 80,000 background check denials every year and only 500 prosecutions.

I’m an advocate of shifting the prosecution of illegal gun possession to federal court. This enhances sentencing to 5 or 10 years depending on federal law.

Prosecutors across the country when negotiating a plea agreement often drop gun violations in lieu of prosecuting the drug crimes associated with the charges. This must change.
I’m a feminist, in the sense of being an advocate of equality under the law for all men and women. Sexual and domestic violence are still too common. This is unacceptable. I’ll do anything I can to stop this abhorrent behavior towards all women.

The wage gap between men and women and people of color is narrowing. With my input that gap will continue to narrow.

I believe it is imperative that our Republican Party be a part of bringing about criminal justice reform. Criminal justice should be applied equally and any law that disproportionately incarcerates people of color needs to be repealed.
I am for making student loan repayment more manageable and replacing the complicated array of loans with a single streamlined repayment plan. Student loans will be capped at 10% of a borrowers net income, as well as making those repayments tax-deductible over their working career.
Natural gas is the backbone to any climate strategy. The increased use of natural gas will result in a significant reduction of carbon omissions.

The climate is always changing. You can’t argue about that. I wonder why our friends on the left amended that term instead of using the phrase global warming.

The earth is 4.5 billion years old. Geology knows that over long periods of time, that our climate changes. Earth has been much warmer than it is today. We have real data for the last 100 years. Comparing that data versus 4.5 billion years is inconclusive to say the least.
Government needs to shrink in size. We can eliminate the Departments of Commerce, Education and Energy.

Foreign aid must end to countries that receive millions of dollars while chanting "Death to America". Not one more dime goes to these haters of America.

We have 800 military bases in 70 countries across the world. That must end.

We can balance the budget in 6 years by reducing the budget 1% per year.
Background Jason Isaac is a fourth-generation Texan, husband, father, man of faith, and small business owner. He has served in the Texas Legislature since 2011.
Education BBA, Marketing from Stephen F. Austin State University
Texas has seen firsthand that a porous border creates a pipeline of criminal activity into our communities. The border may be hundreds of miles away, but the ripples of transnational gang and cartel activity are here in the Hill Country. As a state representative, I voted to ban sanctuary cities, and to crack down on human trafficking, and send more resources to secure the border when the Obama administration derelicted its duty. I’ll continue fighting for a secure and safe border in Congress. I am against any proposal that grants amnesty and undermines the fundamental rule of law.
We must repeal Obamacare and burdensome regulations that drive up the cost of health care. My mission is to Make America Like Texas, which means cutting back red tape. Unleashing the power of the free market, innovation, and personal responsibility by getting government out of the way will ultimately benefit the most Americans.
Concealed carry, open carry, and constitutional carry.
I will work to end abortion, which is the leading cause of death for black Americans and kills as many as 1,000 black children every day. I will support school choice and educational opportunity for all Americans and end the “soft bigotry of low expectations.” I’ll work to strengthen families and reform criminal justice to stop the cycle of recidivism that is particularly devastating in minority communities. Above all, I will roll back burdensome regulations that disproportionately affect those who are already struggling to make ends meet.
Yes. For every dollar made available in taxpayer-funded student loans, tuition has increased nearly as much. The loans intended to make college more affordable have backfired, making higher education more costly for students and for taxpayers.
Global warming is a sham. While I am an advocate for cleaner air and water, the facts simply do not support man-caused, apocalyptic global warming.
There can be no doubt that spending cuts are necessary. Our national debt has skyrocketed to nearly $21 trillion. It is simply immoral to impose this burden on future generations, jeopardizing the futures of our children and grandchildren. The lack of financial leadership in D.C. threatens our nation’s stability and long-term growth and our own well-being. We must balance the federal budget by reducing frivolous spending, just like Texas does. I am eager to cut spending in any programs that are not part of the federal government’s constitutionally enumerated powers (which is most of them).
Background Joseph Kopser is a 20-year Army veteran, technology entrepreneur, and father of three daughters running in the Democratic Primary for TX-21.
Education United States Military Academy, 1993; Harvard Kennedy School of Government, 2002
I will be a strong supporter of comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship. In the short-term, I remain hopeful that Democrats in Congress will stay resilient and united in getting a clean DACA bill passed. In the long-term, I will focus on being a part of a solution that keeps families together, streamlines the immigration process, creates a pathway to citizenship, and addresses the needs of both low-skill and high-skill employers that cannot currently find enough employees to fill available jobs.
I will fight to ensure coverage for all, regardless of employment status or income level, and I’ll work to close the disparities in both the system’s costs relative to the quality of care Americans receive and the vast gap in coverage that separates the wealthiest Americans from everyday citizens. You can see specifics at www.kopserforcongress.com/my-values/health-care-for-all/
The leadership of the National Rifle Association has developed into little more than a hired bully for gun manufacturers. NRA lobbyist Wayne LaPierre and his ilk bully Republican members of Congress into a corner, and it is unacceptable. In Congress, I will work towards common-sense solutions like re-instituting the assault weapons ban, universal background checks &no-fly/no-buy, and protect state-supremacy on gun safety laws. You can read more specifics at https://kopserforcongress.com/my-values/gun-safety/
For too long, too many politicians in Congress have treated the constitutional rights, economic opportunity, access to healthcare, and societal status of communities referenced in the question as a bargaining chip in negotiation. In Congress, my bedrock support for these communities: their health, their opportunity, their choice, and their freedom will never be a bargaining chip. It will be a foundational principle on which I base my representation of Texas 21 and my votes on complex legislation. You can read more specifics at https://kopserforcongress.com/my-values/womens-health-opportunity/
Absolutely. A system is which a college degree is a prerequisite to enter today’s economy - and thousands of dollars in student debt is a prerequisite to obtaining the degree - is immoral. Americans should have universal access to a post-high school education without it leading to five-figure debt accounts, and graduates who already have amassed this debt need viable options for loan forgiveness or discharge.
Climate change is real and scientists globally accept that emission of carbon dioxide through human consumption of fossil fuels is its principal contributing cause. A stable climate is a critical underpinning of quality of life and sustaining that stability—while exploring leadership solutions for a less stable climate—are at the core of my energy policies. These include: investing in wind/solar, following the Pentagon's lead in investing in energy efficiency; carbon pricing & rebates; and 3rd party financing. You can read more at https://kopserforcongress.com/my-values/climate-energy/
I would start by seeking cuts to defense spending. In particular, I would look for places to innovate by engaging the Department of Defense to propose cuts in areas that have proven redundant or unnecessary in the context of today's national security landscape. This emulates work I did building the Defense Energy Summit - https://events.techconnect.org/DTCFall/. Further, I would look to areas where the federal government is subsidizing large corporations that no longer need federal investment - such as oil and gas exploration tax credits, for example.
Background Small business owner. Executive Coaching and Leadership Development. Former Executive Pastor of a large non-denominational church.
Immigration needs to be reformed. There needs to be a clearly defined path to citizenship that must be adhered to. I do not support amnesty. We should define a temporary, expedited path for those currently living here (including DACA) in order to legalize people who are active, contributing members to our society. This is a one-time shot at expedited citizenship. Our borders must be secured in order to provide for a safe, effective, and managed means of immigration. Immigration needs to be limited to protect the American culture and values.
Get the Federal Government out of healthcare. Government should secure our borders and protect our freedom, not tell us what Doctor to go to. This is not the role of government. I believe healthcare should be a free market system. I have yet to see a socialized medicine program that provides good healthcare to everyone.
1.) easy access to guns for law abiding citizens 2.) removal of gun rights for those that limit the rights of others (criminals) 3.) strong, expedited penalties for anyone using a firearm in an illegal manner
I would support a free market enterprise that rewards hard work and success. A free market does not recognize color or gender. Capitalism rewards success regardless of color or gender.

I can not see how segregation would ever create unity. Anytime a specific people group is targeted, good or bad, it creates segregation and disrupts unity.

Any business that chooses to limit a specific race or gender is limiting its potential for success, We are in an age of information where race and bigotry will be made known and found to be detrimental to the success of anyone harboring these views.
No, The Federal government is not responsible nor should it be involved in reducing student debt.

Education should be handled at the State level.

Again, I believe that a free market system in education would be the most productive and effective means of education.

I support free choice, homeschooling, and less government involvement.

We currently spend over $10,000 per year to educate the average child in school. I think we can do much better.
Global warming, Global cooling, Climate change - or whatever it is being called today is not fact. The earth goes through cycles to replenish and restore itself. God's creation is much more resilient and capable than we give it credit for.

God did provide an amazing planet for us to utilize during our time here and we should be good stewards of his possessions, but the scare tactics employed to scare us into submission have gone way too far.

Our children are being taught myths as fact and this needs to stop.
Common sense must be employed when it comes to the budget. We cannot afford to continue spending more than we are bringing in. It is a simple economics issue that we are encouraged to use at home, but our government does not follow the same principles.

Where do we cut? Entitlements Entitlements Entitlements

We do not leave the retired, elderly, or veterans out in the cold. They should and must be taken care of, but we should not be paying a healthy 25 year old to sit at home on the couch.

In 2015, 25,000 families that made more than the maximum limit for HUD lived in government housing.

Background 20 years in the medical industry, contracting with the U.S. Military and exporting American-made products to distributors in Europe
Education Bachelors in Business and Economics, Westmont College
I believe in legal immigration. I believe in nationhood and that it defines us. The border is not an artificial line. However, as a country we are grappling with justice vs. mercy. Justice calls for exportation and a wall. Mercy knows that families and livelihoods are at stake. So, I believe in strong borders and nationhood. I believe in building a wall, physical or high-tech, so long as it works. I do not support any new path to citizenship. Once those things are settled, we need to redo our entire immigration system so it is fair and also takes into account the on-the-ground realities.
Republicans owe their constituents a full repeal and replacement of Obamacare and should follow it up with a free market. Women and men should decide for themselves what is adequate, affordable, and accessible. Free markets always drive value up and costs down. Interstate competition between insurance companies is a great place to start. In addition, the product approval process in the U.S. creates huge costs ultimately borne by the U.S. taxpayer. We must streamline the approval process and provide clear price signals so Americans can shop for the best value for their families.
First, we should get rid of all gun-free zones for licensed gun carriers (with the obvious exception of bars). When was the last time you heard about gun violence at a gun show or at a police station? Mass shootings only occur in gun-free zones. Second, we should recruit law-abiding citizens to take concealed gun classes. Third, we should encourage the NRA to offer free gun safety courses in high schools. Liberals want to teach 10-year olds how to use condoms, which I believe is entirely a family discussion. Gun safety is as much a social issue as sex education and just as practical.
I'm writing this on Martin Luther King Jr. day, and I'm reminded that we should judge by the content of character, not the color of skin. I reject racism in all forms. I reject sexism, and I believe in equal pay. I believe in equal opportunity. However, I do not believe in quotas or institutionalized favoritism. Just because an organization or company is predominately white or black, male or female, does not make it inherently racist or sexist. Everyone is privileged in some way compared to someone else. But all citizens deserve equal treatment under the law, and that is what I support.
The government has no role in reducing student debt. I believe America needs to get to a place where graduating high school means something. In today's world, a college degree means what a high school degree did thirty years ago. It is unfair to our youth to have the societal pressures of having to go to college to get a job that high school should have prepared them for. On the other hand, students freely choose their degrees and focuses of study with costs clearly being laid out to them beforehand. It is not the taxpayers' burden to rescue them if the financial cost-benefits don't add up.
Climate change happens, and humans clearly affect environments, but whether humans are causing world-wide temperature-based cataclysmic global warming is unclear at best. Ten years ago it was, "global warming," and now it is, "climate change," because the scientific models for warming didn't pan out and anything that happens can be categorized under the heading of, "climate change." I believe the environmental movement has been highjacked by socialists. I fully support clean air and clean water. I also fully support safe offshore drilling and the judicious use of our natural resources.
The current government report says there is $450 billion in waste, fraud, and duplication in the federal budget. If we eliminate that, it's a great start. America is currently $20 Trillion in debt. That the budget needs to be cut is self-evident. We need to get rid of entire departments of the government to change the narrative back to, "what do we really need?" Do we really need a Department of Education? America survived until 1978 without it. What else can we get rid of? It has to happen for us to be solvent.
Background - Former Executive Director of Travis County Democratic Party - Leader of efforts to create Healthcare District and pass housing bonds
Education Bachelors of Arts in Government, University of Texas at Austin
I believe our highest priority on immigration is passing a clean Dream Act so the 800,000 American and 124,000 Texas Dreamers can have the security of a certain future. These undocumented immigrants brought to America as children only know the U.S. as their home and are contributing to our communities. On a broader scale, I would like to see a pathway to citizenship for law abiding undocumented residents. I oppose the building of a border wall and want to see our border security focus on proven, effective measures to control immigration.
I am proposing a Medicare for All program as one of my key initiatives to address access to healthcare. I believe healthcare is a right, not a privilege. I have personally seen too many families and individuals bankrupted by unexpected healthcare costs, a reality over 4 million Texans face. I want to see eligibility to enroll in Medicare opened up to all Americans and expand access to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program for all Americans who cannot afford the Medicare premium or private insurance.
There are three policies with wide public support I will fight for to reduce gun violence. First, we have to close background check loopholes including requiring background checks at gun shows and personal sales as well as reinstituting the ban on sales to the mentally ill. We also need to ban high capacity clips, bump stocks, and assault weapons. Finally, we need good science to understand the problem better, and I support the use of CDC research dollars in finding the effective solutions to gun violence.
I want to make sure our Justice Department pursues any cases of racial profiling in policing, and profit should never be a motive in taking away someone’s civil rights so we have to get out of the private prison business. We also need to reform our drug laws which, disproportionately affect people of color, by decriminalizing drug use and focusing on treatment instead. One of the ways I want to see us address pay inequity for women is to require paid family leave so women have the flexibility to work and advance while being able to deal with family illnesses.
Yes, I believe crushing, life-long student debt is one of the greatest economic challenges of our generation, and I support debt relief programs for those to take on highly needed jobs like teachers and nurses as well as debt restructuring for everyone. We need to expand our investment in public education to meet the 21st century demand. One of my signature programs is to provide free tuition at public universities, community colleges, and trade schools, and I have provided a way we can pay for it with our current education budget and small increase on the tax on the top 1% of earners.
Climate change presents one of the greatest threats to our way of life and wellbeing. We must first commit to following the science wherever it may lead and stop the corporate funded attacks on legitimate research. I am proposing a real infrastructure bill that focuses on investment in green energy and transit, and I support carbon cap and trade proposals that allow us to realize the indirect cost of carbon on our environment.
One of the areas of spending I want to see reprioritized is our massive defense budget. I do not think the need to fight two WWII size theaters of war simultaneously nor is a massive nuclear arsenal needed in our current world. We must avoid wars of choice that drive this spending, and defense spending should be reduced to focus on a more nimble force to face the threat of terrorism. We should focus our dollars to influence foreign policy by investing in development projects with other countries so the world sees us as partners, not invaders.
Background Former three-term Mayor of San Marcos, Small Business Owner, Community Volunteer, Wife, Mother, Grandmother.
Education Attended South San Antonio High School
There is no question that our immigration system and border security policies are broken and for far too long Congress has failed to address this critical issue as a matter of national security. As a nation founded by immigrants, we must find ways to prevent people from overstaying their visas, secure our borders, and producing a common sense policy that allows non-permanent immigration legal for temporary highly skilled workers or students who graduate from American universities with advanced degrees – this is another avenue and innovative approach to growing our economy.
America has long been known as the land of opportunity - and our nation’s health care system should be no different. American’s should have more choices, lower costs, and greater flexibility in their health insurance options. A one-size-fits all solution is not the answer. It currently costs billions of dollars and over a decade to develop new prescription drugs – driving the costs to all Americans higher and higher. We must reduce the red tape and find sensible solutions that benefit all.
The bottom line is that we must keep our families safe. I am a supporter of our Constitution and the Second Amendment. I believe that to reduce the number of gun related deaths we must first enforce the system that we have in place. Many states fail to put criminal and mental health records into the current national background check system. We must also find solutions to keep violent criminals off of the streets and find real solutions to our mental heath system. There is no easy solution but I know that if we work together there is a path to finding a safer America.
I believe deeply in the American Dream. It was the American Dream that allowed me to rise from a teenage mother who dropped out of high school to work multiple jobs in order to provide for my family, to starting a successful small business, and representing my community as Mayor. I support measures that allow all Americans the opportunity to find success, live in safety, and maintain our individual liberties as outlined by our Constitution.
I do not believe government has a role in reducing student debt. I do believe an investment in all types of lifelong learning from technical training to apprenticeships to on-the-job training will prepare our students for success in the workforce. Having served as Mayor of San Marcos, home of Texas State University and working with many college students, I understand the skyrocketing cost of college tuition. There is certainly an opportunity for a path forward if we partner to address these and other issues.
I support measures that would balance conservation and stewardship with common sense environmental policy solutions that work for the people, our economy and our beautiful natural resources, not against them. I support an “all of the above” energy policy that relieves our reliance on foreign oil, develops American-made energy sources that also protects the environment. It is so important that we expand oil and gas energy exploration, develop clean energy sources such as renewable and nuclear, and invest in technology that will allow us to use other sources of energy.
Government spending is out of control and we must address this immediately to reduce our national debt. I support measures to review duplicate federal programs, assess current agencies and departments for effectiveness and efficiency to cut spending, and find innovative ways to streamline services to our citizens. We must also reform our archaic budgetary rules to restrain unnecessary government growth and stop excessive spending. Through this, we will reduce spending and the overreach of government into our daily lives.
Background I served for seven years in the Central Intelligence Agency as an undercover officer; I subsequently launched Sound Off to provide support to veterans
Education BA (History and Political Science) @ University of San Diego MA (International Relations) @ University of San Diego EMBA @ UT Austin - McCombs
I agree with President Trump’s decision to allow DACA to expire. President Obama ignored the rule of law and our Constitution when he used an executive order to extend rights to those here illegally. Any future action on DACA must come from Congress. Additionally, I will not support any immigration reform until we have fully secured our southern border. Criminal illegal aliens, human traffickers, and drug smugglers continue to pour across our border - this poses a clear and imminent threat to our national security.
We have not yet attempted to create a marketplace with broader opportunities for access to affordable and quality health care that is run by a free market. We have seen how expensive premiums have become under a federally run system like Obamacare. I believe the federal government can be effective in three main areas: ensure that you can stay on your parents insurance up to 26 years old, allow anyone with a pre-existing condition to buy insurance, and prevent insurance companies from placing caps on health care.

The Obama Administration abandoned harsh prosecution of federal gun crime. If you use a gun for criminal activity and violate federal law, you must be prosecuted. Second, we must enforce the laws on the books that prevent felon’s and those who have been deemed mentally unfit to own firearms. Third, we must have better local policing of the major metropolitan areas of our nation that have high rates of gun violence.
I will vigorously support pro-growth policies that help expand opportunities for everyone. For the nearly a decade prior to 2017, our nation endured both a recession and stagnated growth which kept wages down, reduced opportunities in the job market, and stifled the ability of workers to earn higher wages. Lower income workers felt this most profoundly. We now have an opportunity to drive the kind of growth that will allow people to earn more, move to a new/better job, and help empower the upward mobility that lives at the heart of the American Dream.
Much like the issues that faced the housing market leading to the 2008 financial collapse, the government backing of student loans through Sallie Mae and other federal programs has driven the cost of college to unacceptable rates. If we get the government out of the business of administering student loans and allow the free market to operate, we can have an affordable university system once again.
The United States has never been in a better position regarding the use of clean and renewable energies based on the technology developed by the private sector. We must continue to allow the private sector to innovate as we focus on the major global polluters in emerging economies like China. Furthermore, if we are going to become a nation that is less dependent on fossil fuels, we must expand American nuclear energy which has the potential to transform clean energy in the 21st century.
We must stop kicking the can down the road. Entitlement and mandatory spending in the Federal Budget is over 60% of the budget that Congress has ceded control of over to unelected and unaccountable federal bureaucrats. Until we can have real reform to the mandatory spending, we cannot hope to have a much needed balanced federal budget.
Background Conservative Rep; decorated combat Cobra pilot; former private/public sector Sr Exec; CEO Humana Veterans HC; Deputy Ass't Secretary Regan Admin;
Education Bachelor of Science Major Poly Sci earned under G.I. Bill
I support legal immigration. Our borders must be strong, applicants must be fully vetted for eligibility & able to work as productive individuals. Automatic “chain” migration & immigration “lottery” must be discontinued unless comprehensive vetting is instituted. DACA--I do not support any changes to Immigration & Nationality Act permitting reclassification of millions of illegals as “lawfully present” providing entrée to state and federal benefits. Each applicant must be fully vetted and then offered an earned pathway to citizenship that does. The"wall" must be built 1st to secure our border
The current U.S. healthcare system is imploding and is not sustainable in the long term. Congress must work with the private sector HC providers develop market-based programs that don't bankrupt businesses--especially small businesses--to provide affordable, meaningful coverage. Accommodations/sacrifices must be made by all parties to create a sustainable program. VA HC system must be reorganized to provide vets high-quality, timely HC. I am unalterably opposed to any action to gut Medicaid. States must not incur the full financial burden of providing quality care to lower income citizens.
Gun violence is a manifestations of society's ills. Curbing these senseless acts requires: 1. Enforce existing gun laws; 2. Thugs/felons must be precluded from owning/using firearms; 3. Conceal/Carry permits for law abiding citizens; 4. Support NRA's efforts to teach firearm safety, training, & mentoring programs; 5. Follow 2nd Amendment; 6. Bolster citizens' right to own/possess/use firearms used for protection, hunting, or sport; 7. Do NOT limit the legal sale of firearms or ammo to honest, law-abiding citizens; and, 8. No gun-free zones--they invite gun violence against the defenseless.
It is not the responsibility of Congress to pass laws to address every social issue facing every segment of our citizenry. Sufficient laws exist (civil rights act, 14th Amendment"equal protection under our laws, etc.) that provide safeguards to virtually everyone as guaranteed under the Constitution. Strong moral values will ensure these protections are applied fairly, evenly, & without prejudice. Judges must not "legislate" from the bench--the judiciary must interpret the law as written by the Legislative branch & signed by the President. Ensure freedom of religion--not freedom from religion.
Caveat emptor--the most expensive post-secondary education may not be the best. Exorbitant tuition costs should be brought under control by consumers of education. U.S. citizens have the opportunity to secure post-secondary education. Consumers of education must approach college as a business--do NOT take "fun" classes that will NOT lead to a good paying job. Work to pay back all debts/loans. It is NOT the taxpayers responsibility to pay this debt. Possible solution: debt to be reorganized & paid back. Taxpayers should NOT be on the hook. Another option--join the military & use the G.I. Bill.
Weather changes as has the climate for millions of years--warmer/colder periods occurred & NOT man-made. Cumbersome regulatory processes do not improve weather outcomes. I favor a clean/protected environment to sustain life--legislators should NOT blindly pass legislation that fosters political agendas instead of working men/women. Questions abound about the veracity/integrity of many so-called scientific studies re: Climate Change. Dire climate predictions have failed to occur--in the 1950's, scientists predicted a new Ice Age was coming--not so much. It's time for common sense to prevail.
I favor across the board cuts to all discretionary programs (funded at $1.244 trillion FY 2018) except DoD & VA. Fed bureaucracy is bloated & often ineffective. Modest spending cuts will lead to a balanced budget & start cutting the national debt. Washington has a spending problem—not a taxing problem. Fed gov't must learn to do more with less using zero-based budgeting to stop budget growth by compounding affect each year. Many Fed programs are redundant & obsolete. A thorough review of all gov't programs is req'd to weed out obsolete & wasteful programs need to be eliminated.
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Background Senate Judiciary Committee under Sen. Cornyn, Chief of Staff to Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Attorney General's Office, Texas Public Policy Foundation
Education B.S. and M.S. from University of Virginia, J.D. from University of Texas School of Law
Establish a truly secure border and immigration enforcement system first (border, visa overstays, workplace enforcement). Second, reduce legal immigration and overhaul it to focus on America’s needs (re-focused on labor/education/assimilation rather than family chain migration). All other questions should be addressed after these things have been met.
1) Repeal virtually all federal healthcare regulations that are prohibiting affordable healthcare in the first place. 2) Block grant Medicaid to the states and reduce the Medicaid expansion that is straining the system.
1) Enforce the gun laws on the books – but focus more heavily at the state level than the federal level. 2) Reduce government involvement beyond its core functions – and leave more money for safety and security (more resources to combat crime at the state and local level). 3) Continue to keep dangerous criminals in prison and off our streets (criminal justice reform should be focused on first-time, non-violent offenders).
We should encourage a government that focuses not on the color of skin, but on opportunity and equal justice under the law.

The best way to increase safety and opportunity for prosperity is to create a climate for strong economic growth, encourage the strong enforcement of our criminal laws, and take as many steps as possible to maintain the nuclear family. It is also in the interest of taxpayers and those who end up in trouble with the law to focus on reentry and rehabilitation, so that generally non-violent and non-repeat offenders are given a pathway to being productive members of society.
Yes – by no longer subsidizing them. Student loans should be competitive in the free market, not heavily regulated by the federal government. Too many students have been trapped underneath crushing student debt because the cost of tuition has artificially risen as credit and low interest rates have become readily available. If student loans were treated as other types of debt, there would be more caution before borrowing and, as a result, tuition rates would likely decrease as students became unwilling to borrow more.
We need to restore the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the limits set by Congress and return its focus on addressing actual measurable pollution that has a tangible negative impact on human health and the environment. I would support making permanent the reforms proposed by EPA Administrator Pruitt to permanently ban “sue and settle” practices and to eliminate conflicts of interest between citizens appointed to independent advisory boards caused by them also being dependent on federal funding. Finally, I would support delegating more environmental regulatory authority to the states.
They are necessary. We have $21 trillion in debt and no solution in sight. We have a spending problem not a revenue problem. I oppose restoration of earmarks in the appropriation process. I would support implementation of a “Sunset system” type process similar to the one in Texas. I would support block grants to the states. I favor automatic across-the-board cuts to spending to force decision-making to allocate spending. I would not vote to increase the debt ceiling without significant spending reforms associate with the increase.
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Background Psychology, research, and statistics..
Education B.A. Texas Tech - Psychology M.S. Texas A&M - Statistics
There seems to be no evidence that DACA has any negative impact on the county and I find that the major flaw was that DACA did not provide a path to citizenship, leaving those individuals in a quasi-legal vulnerable state. Thus, I believe dreamers should be given a path to citizenship. I generally hold the belief that it is immoral to expel someone from the only country they have ever known, and on top of that, it's generally bad for the economy too, as we have invested in the education and health of these people.
The U.S. spends more on health care than any other country. We must not stop working on healthcare until our country has healthcare for everyone with outcomes and costs inline with other developed nations. The complexity of bringing costs down is difficult to express in a short time, but one excellent example would be to allow the government to negotiate drug prices for medicare as we see that drug prices are much more expensive in the U.S. than in other countries.
Generally speaking, there are any number of practical regulations that enjoy widespread support among all elements of the U.S. population that would help reduce gun violence: universal background checks, mandatory loss/theft reporting, ban of sales to mentally ill, etc. The problem is that politicians won't do anything. The NRA lobby is a powerful force, and as a gun owner and concealed carry permit holder I will say that the NRA does not speak for me, and is far too rabid in its lobbying, IMO. As a grass roots candidate, I am not beholden to anyone, and can support common sense reform
As far as safety is concerned, I support mandatory body cameras for police, with the footage controlled by a neutral 3rd party and stiff penalties for tampering. I also support tightening of stalker and harassment laws. Economic inequalities are much more abstract and challenging to approach, but one good example is the Fair Calculations Act. which I would support.
The government has a role in reducing student debt as it is vital to have an educated and skilled workforce along with a workforce that is not encumbered with debt in a consumption driven economy. I have suggested that student loan repayments be fixed at 4% of salary above $40,000/yr. This will reduce the debt load on new graduates and allow them to invest in housing and retirements earlier in life, greater benefiting the economy.
1. Incentivizing carbon capture, use, and storage. Allowing a tax credit for companies that capture and store carbon in declining oil wells is an excellent option to reduce our carbon footprint with a solution that is available today. 2. Increase nuclear energy capabilities. While it comes with it's own set of concerns, nuclear power is carbon emission free, and an excellent option in fighting climate change. 3. Increase federal energy efficiency standards. Federal standards are the main driver of energy efficient which reduces demand from power plants.
The first place I would start is to end the war on drugs, which has been an utter failure. Instead of the cost burden of enforcement, prosecution, and incarceration we can gain an economic benefit by taxing former contraband substances.

Is was estimated that the cost of marijuana enforcement alone was $20 billion in 2013.
Background I am a lifelong Texan. My husband and I have 6 children who all grew up working in our business, have college degrees and successful careers.
Education BA in Political Science and Master's in Petroleum Engineering from UT Austin. I founded & successfully ran Engineering and Real Estate Companies.
I believe that DACA should be extended and that qualified immigrants should be given a pathway to citizenship. I am in favor of a policy that allows immigrants who meet certain requirements to obtain work permits. Requirements include employment, children in school and out of gangs, insurance, clean criminal history, and to pay back taxes and a fine.. We need immigration policies that allow immigrants to come in legally to fill necessary jobs We need technologically advanced, cost effective border security focusing on the needs of American citizens who live on the border and criminal activity
As a Small Business Owner, I know the problems with our healthcare system. Americans pay almost twice as much for healthcare as any other country and have worse outcomes. Insurance companies have become the gate keepers between us and our doctors. I propose Radical Transparency. Healthcare businesses including pharmacies must post both cash and agreed insurance prices online. In agreement with AARP, I want legislation allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices and I will vote against legislation allowing large premium hikes for people over 50. I will propose allowing ages 55-65 on Medicare
I believe that we should use commonsense measures that will ensure the rights of law abiding citizens to own guns while keeping automatic weapons out of the hands of terrorists and criminals. I would support legislation that would be supported by the police such as the restricting the sale of silencers, bump stocks and and "cop killing bullets".
As a woman in a traditionally male field, I was able to be successful with the help and support of the men and women I worked with. I believe in equality of pay and programs which help female students and people of color get moral and monetary support to pursue their education. I support women who report sexual harassment and would support programs to help women enter traditionally male dominated fields such as engineering. Also, mentoring programs to bring women and people of different ethnic groups together in professional settings to help each other.
Yes. This is a problem I know personally. I paid for most of my college expenses and a portion of my kid's costs. Our economy and our Democracy need educated citizens. Middle class families are paying 7- 8% interest and 4.3% fees on government backed loans when home loans are at 3.5% The government borrowing rate is 2.5%. The government shouldn’t be making money on student loans and should allow consolidation of loans when the interest rate goes down. I believe the government should lower interest rates on student loans and more funds should be available for Work-Study and Pell Grants
I have worked on the economics of wind and solar energy and believe in the future of that technology. The cost of wind turbines has decreased every year. Texas went to free market energy pricing and that has aided the growth of wind energy in the state. In the first qtr of 2017, wind accounted for 23% of the electricity sold. I will vote to continue the current incentives for wind and solar. I want the United States to be the leader in green energy technology.
I would require all government agencies to cut their budgets so that the most cuts would be where the most money is spent. Government employees at all levels should be rewarded for saving money. I believe that Veteran's healthcare agencies should be fully staffed.
Background 32 Year Military Service Veteran Retired U.S. Marine Corps
Education Bachelor of Arts, Communications - California Lutheran University Post-Graduate Certificate, Strategic Intelligence National Intelligence University
We are a Nation of immigrants. We are a Nation of Laws. My mother immigrated to the United States from Mexico, following the laws & regulations. She was given a Green Card and worked hard to raise her family. She eventually became a US citizen. My position reflects the example of how my mother followed the legal pathway to legally immigrate to our country, and eventually become a citizen. And, I would advocate for this if elected, in this specific order: 1. Secure the Border, and end Chain Migration. 2. Allow immigrants under DACA, with clean records (no felony convictions) to be affor
Reduce the tax burden on all Americans and limit spending (Balanced Budgets). Get the Federal Government out of managing healthcare. Support this at the State level. Find & support Marketplace solutions that make common sense. Reduce regulations that limit Free Enterprise to provide health insurance to sell policies across state borders. Require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions.
Enforce the current laws on the books. Strict penalties for any crimes using a gun. Support National Concealed Carry Reciprocity in all states*. * To qualified individual must: (1) be eligible to possess, transport, or receive a firearm under federal law; (2) carry a valid photo identification document; and (3) carry a valid concealed carry permit issued by any state or be eligible to carry a concealed firearm in his or her state of residence.
The second paragraph of the United States Declaration of Independence starts as follows: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Enforce the current laws on the books.
Yes, by reducing the tax burden on all Americans and limiting spending (Balanced Budgets), so that Americans can keep more of what they earn and use their money to invest in their own education. Dollars spent on your or a close relatives education would not be taxed or would be taxed at a lower rate. Get the Federal Government out of the Student Loan business. Encourage Americans to use tax free college savings plans from the time of birth, so that the students can attend college without going into debt
I believe that we must be good stewards of our lands & resources. I support energy independence. The United States has the natural resources to provide what we need to power our industries and our home. I would support commonsense legislation to help ensure that we reduce air & water pollution, by funding science and technology research that would allow the discovery and smart transition to cleaner fuels, or the use of natural power. However, I do not support legislative efforts that harm our economy or force industries to close before we can transition.
As referenced previously, we must be good stewards of our financial resources. First we need to prioritize spending requirements and achieve Balanced Budgets, LONG TERM! Second, we must change the mind-set and practice of spending revenue annually under the practice of "Use it, or Loose it". Tax dollars that are not spent should be used to pay down the National Debt. Follow this link for some examples:http://www.nationalreview.com/article/427891/ten-most-ridiculous-ways-government-wastes-your-money-jillian-kay-melchior. I will not support deficit spending.
Background Mathematics professor and educator for 20 years. Currently, I pastor a small congregation in Cedar Park
Education BS-Mathematics, Ok. Bapt. Univ.; MA-Mathematics, SUNY-New Paltz; Mdiv-Austin Pres. Theological Sem; Doctor of Ministry- in progress, Brite Divinity
I believe congress should pass a clean DACA act immediately. I also believe we need a complete revamping of our immigration policies. When a person attempts to immigrate here legally, following our system is nearly impossible, and those who succeed often persevere for 15-20 years. For those who can afford to wade through the process, I applaud them. For others who do not have the financial means or who come here in fear of their lives or their children's lives, we need to find a better way.
We have models that are already in place - medicare, healthcare for govt employees, the military. We have the knowledge and means to implement a universal healthcare system and we should. There is freedom and security in knowing we will not face bankruptcy due to medical bills. When I was in college I worked at a local emergency room. Everyone was treated, but not everyone could pay. The hospital, as hospitals continue to do today, simply raise rates for those who can pay to make up the difference. We all pay for health care, but right now we do it in the most inefficient manner possible.
1. Close the gun show loophole 2. Background checks 3.1. Ban bump stocks 3.2. Waiting period. In Texas, a shotgun wedding would require a three day waiting period, not because it takes three days to apply to get a gun, but because it takes three days in order for the wedding certificate to become valid. If we can require couples to wait 3 days to get married, we can require people to wait at least 24 hours before receiving a gun.
1. Vote for women. 2. Hire women. 3. Prohibit those accused of domestic violence from purchasing a gun without a background check.
I think we need to end the "for profit" nature of student loans. They have become an albatross around the necks of graduates and prevent them from participating in the larger economy. To that end, we need to implement a debt forgiveness program and at the very least put a cap on the interest rate of new loans.
1.On a local scale, promote sustainable resources - wind and solar are particularly viable for the congressional district 21. Texas currently produces the most wind energy in the US. There's no reason we shouldn't continue to take advantage of this natural resource. 2. On a global scale support UN-REDD. According to their research "Deforestation and forest degradation account for approximately 17 per cent of carbon emissions, more than the entire global transportation sector and second only to the energy sector. " Clearly, we need a multi-faceted approach and we need global cooperation.
Although cutting the budget sounds appealing, we also have to remember we want good roads, bridges, schools, healthcare, educated diplomats, etc. More than cuts, I would like to see us examine where money is being left out of the current tax system. For instance, we know from the Panama papers that off shore accounts are a means to evade taxes. The New York Times estimates the loss is near $70 Billion in tax revenue. Secondly, salaries and wages are taxed at a higher rate than investment income. I would like to see a graduated tax rate increase on investment income.