Vote Independent in the Primaries, August 5th
My Goals and the Issues
Hello, I’m Josh Ramirez, and I’m running to be your Representative in D.C. I’m a veteran, married, and have 4 kids. I have a masters degree in management and I’m a lead analyst at Hanford and faculty at Columbia Basin College.
The parties are so caught up in victory for the party, they forget they should be fighting for the victory of the people. The two major political parties are now outdated and irrelevant, and their divisive nature a detriment to those they have failed to represent. Groupthink now outweighs intelligence, and the game has become greater than the cause.
My goal is returning prosperity to America, through re-employment of about 28 million Americans. But this is only possible by restoring representation of the people that the two political parties have stolen through their unpatriotic donors who ship our jobs overseas and boost their bottom line at the expense of American middle class security.
Under my plan we can restore over half a trillion in annual tax revenues, millions will no longer need welfare programs, we can eliminate the budget deficit, and start paying off our national debt. This will be accomplished by returning the jobs to the U.S. that have been shipped to China and other countries. Without these jobs, our economy will never fully recover, and just repealing Obamacare would fix less than a quarter of the budget deficit that my plan solves altogether through job restoration.
By bringing jobs back to America our district could gain over 60 thousand of those jobs. This will add thousands of new customers to our ailing small business customer base, resulting in significant economic growth to our district. And we can start this January.
We have reached historically high poverty in our country - 47 million Americans. Poverty causes a number of symptoms that we fight on a daily basis, such as higher crime rates, less effective education, and a higher rate of broken families, to name a few. In addition, it means higher taxes to pay for programs that provide for those who cannot provide for themselves. If we can end poverty and increase opportunity, we can help solve a lot of it's symptoms.
So what is causing the decline in wages, jobs, and family wealth? At the core of the problem is the shrinking economy due to ineffective trade agreements that encourage shipping jobs overseas and cause us to buy more than we produce, resulting in an extremely high trade deficit. Every year that we carry this trade deficit the entire nation loses wealth, and there is less money available for circulation, resulting in less job retention and creation. To compound this problem and add injury to insult, more and more of us then have to rely on government programs just to survive, which in turn costs the government money, and results in higher taxes to pay for those programs.
We have to act now to stop the bleeding right at the source. We need to revitalize and restore our nation back to it's former stability, and this can begin by reshoring. Reshoring (opposite of offshoring) means bringing back production that we have lost to foreign nations, and keeping those jobs right here at home. Our long-term goal should then be to drastically improve our trade policies to eliminate the trade deficit and make permanent changes that will prevent deficits in the future.
Here are some of my goals:
- Eradicate lobbying altogether, so that every average American can have an equal voice that is not trumped by the influence of lobbyist who only have their organizations interests at heart and not the best interest of the nation.
- Eliminate private funding of campaigns. There is too much money in politics, which is counterproductive to the well-being of Americans. I will support legislation to pull private money out of politics, with all funding for elections coming from the public, because it is the public at-large that should be represented, not a handful of billionaires.
- Stability at Hanford and post cleanup planning. For anyone who works at, or is affected by the work at Hanford, you know that the ups and downs of the federal budget year to year wreak havoc on the efficiency and momentum of the cleanup effort as well as the lives of the people who work at the site. We have to plan our work and then work our plan - but this is very difficult when the funding for the site relies on the mood of Congress. Solution: lock in Hanford's funding for 5 or 10 year periods. Furthermore, Tri-Cities must start planning for our future beyond the cleanup effort, which means working closely with D.O.E. to determine phase-in periods for other industries as the Hanford cleanup wraps up.
- Economic health and prosperity of Central Washington farmers. Having grown up in agriculture, and having a deep understanding of farming and ranching, I fully support the agricultural community, and will work hard for the prosperity of farmers and ranchers both in Central Washington and throughout the United States.
Further post-partisan reform of the American political process. I support the mission that IndependentVoting.org represents, which is giving a voice to independents and other fair-minded Americans to support non-partisanship. We must empower the 40% of Americans who identify themselves as independents, and educate our fellow Americans who identify with parties the flaws in the current electoral and political processes. We have to eliminate the barriers to participation in the democratic process that have been erected and maintained by parties and partisanship. Every American has the right to vote for a candidate who should have every right to run, unobstructed by any political party. Despite the growing disillusion with political parties, 17 states still prevent Independents from voting in presidential primaries, and many more prevent independents from voting in state and local primaries." (see more data here: http://openprimaries.org/wp-content/uploads/OpenPrimary_chart-final.pdf )
Raise the average wealth of the American household. Currently we rank 17th for median wealth among the 20 advanced countries in the world. Australia ranks highest, at 4 times the median wealth of the U.S. (see the data here: http://stateofworkingamerica.org/chart/swa-wealth-figure-6q-median-wealth-countries/). This can be done by first bringing jobs back to our country, which will be my first objective. Over the last several decades we have lost an estimated 5.5 million jobs due to free trade agreements that did nothing but gut out our nation. In addition, since 1999 Americans have lost an average of over $5,000 per household due to counterproductive trade policy. Furthermore, if the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is signed we could lose another $15,000 per household by 2025. Both parties have been responsible for these trade agreements, therefore I want to go to Washington D.C. as an independent voice to represent the people who have been impacted (which is all of us). Drastically overhauling trade agreements to end our trade deficit and bring jobs home is my first goal. Fixing this will raise household wealth and address many other symptoms, including the bullet below, which is fixing the wage inequality problem.
- Fix the wage inequality issues by closing the gap between hourly wage and productivity. While productivity has grown by over 250 percent since the late 40's, the hourly compensation for production/nonsupervisory workers has grown by less than half that at 113 percent. (see the data here: http://www.epi.org/publication/ib330-productivity-vs-compensation/)
- Education that teaches the next generation about household finance and wealth retention. Implement a national program that ensures that all children are taught how to manage their finances in adulthood that will help them gain wealth and security over their lifetime through measures such as avoidance of high-interest debt (not popular with institutions that make money off high interest - but oh well), and putting their money towards assets that hold value (i.e., home ownership vs. renting).
- Implement a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Our government must not spend more than what it receives in tax revenue.
- Emphasis on American education. The U.S. "ranked 26th in math — trailing nations such as the Slovakia, Portugal and Russia. What’s more, American high school students dropped to 21st in science (from 17th in 2009) and slipped to 17th in reading (from 14th in 2009)." Public expenditure on education in the U.S. is 5.4% of GDP, ranking 60th in the world, according to the CIA World Factbook. This is horrible! No wonder we are losing ground in education internationally. The partisanship of Congress apparently isn't working. Of the education bills introduced in the 113th Congress, none of them passed. (Sources: oecd.org and nbcnews.com).
- Reform the NSA. As we all know, the NSA has overreached its authority, and violated our 4th amendment rights. I will fully support overhaul of the NSA and bringing it back within the limits of the ultimate law of the land - the constitution.
- Add job opportunities to 4th District by fully supporting TRIDEC on local initiatives such as MCEI and FABREO. The Mid-Columbia Energy Initiative (MCEI) and the Food and Beverage Retention and Expansion Opportunity (FABREO) are two initiatives that TRIDEC has been working on diligently to increase opportunity in our district. I will fully support these initiatives as part of my Reshore, Restore, and Revitalize objective. My experience at Hanford, DOE, PNNL and in agriculture and renewable energy, in addition to my education, certification, and experience in project management has prepared me well to represent and fight for our district's economic goals and projects.
On some of the issues:
- Gun rights: I am a STRONG supporter of our 2nd Amendment rights, and will do everything in my power to retain those rights.
- Gay rights: I support marriage equality for all.
- Abortion: Personally, I do not believe that abortion is right. I do, however, support birth control and Plan B. In addition, it is important to note that while I do not 'personally' believe that abortion is right, the law is already clear on this issue. The two major political parties have used this, and other issues that have been resolved long ago, as effective distraction techniques. While we concentrate on arguing over issues that have already been settled in the courts decades ago, their donors have pushed to pass free trade agreements behind our backs, and robbed us of 5.5 million jobs, starving our kids, and destroying our America. While we argue over the rights of the unborn, those that are born have been neglected and stomped upon. But you are not the only one who has been duped with this strategy, we all have. Because the marketing is so effective and so cunning. The easiest way to call people to action and get them voting is by using the anger emotion. If you want people to act, get their blood boiling. If you want to get their blood boiling, challenge their morals. Simple as that. Thus, the abortion issue, though resolved and legal, has become a marketing tool to call voters to action. I choose to not tread water on this issue. I choose to fight tooth and nail to restore America to what it once was, where we had opportunity to the pursuit of happiness and the American dream, not just the opportunity to exist.
- Affordable Care Act: there are a lot of pros and cons to the act, so my goals will be for some MAJOR improvements of the shortcomings in the law. It has been proven that this law will not be repealed, as we witnessed in the government shutdown, and I believe the continued divisive effort to repeal it is fruitless. But as we discover the issues that arise in regards to implementation of the law, we should take aggressive action to correct them.