Education is the cornerstone of a free people. A people steeped in the scientific method and the Bill of Rights are the critical thinkers of tomorrow. By learning math, science and American history, they learn the skills necessary to do great things, to cherish the nation and the freedoms they have and to build a better tomorrow. Science and math are very important because the technologies that we build today and in the future require them. American history is as well, because if our younger Americans do not understand the world they live in, that the nation that is great because of their parents, and that the rights that they enjoy come with responsibility and sacrifice, the future is lost.
In my years at Little Cypress Mauriceville High School, I have seen students that want to learn, but cannot. I have seen teachers that want to teach, but cannot. In a race for No Child Left Behind, we have left students behind. Left behind in the learning curve since they now spend most of their time preparing for tests that will not prepare them for life. We have taken innovation away from teachers and attempted to turn the education process into an assembly line. We must allow teachers to be free to innovate in the classroom.
Innovation is only possible to those that can think freely and critically; critical thinking is only possible through freedom. The Founding Fathers felt that an educated nation was a nation that would preserve their freedoms. They were right.
Decades ago, it was not impossible for a son to go to high school, even drop out, and still enter the trade of his father. He could count on the on-the-job training as the jobs of industry did not require the high tech education that the jobs today require.
We cannot hang on the jobs of the past. None of us can. To be competitive in this new century, we must create the jobs that will allow us to out-build and out-innovate the rest of the world.
Social Security is an enduring promise we have made to our seniors. Generations of Americans have faithfully paid into a system with the understanding that when they reached a certain age, a retirement pension would be there. Now that promise is in danger of being broken by those that would give tax breaks to the wealthy on the backs of hard working Seniors.
The system does need reform, but that reform should not be at increasing the age of eligibility, cutting benefits or putting the trust fund into risky market investments. With a simple change in how we Social Security, we can increase the life of the program by 75 years without taking a single benefit away from seniors.
I pledge to support the promise of Social Security that keeps so many of our seniors out of poverty and work to reform the system so it will stay strong for generations.
The Economy and Jobs
The American Economy in the last hundred years has won two World Wars, put men on the moon, created innovation and luxury that the world has never before seen. We have all prospered in this wonderful country of ours. Now, greed by a few has threatened the prosperity of the many.
We must make all efforts to restore the economic miracle that is the American Industry. We must create the atmosphere where innovation and hard work are rewarded. We must invest in our infrastructure and we must ensure that prosperity for another generation. This will best be done, not by creating tax breaks and tax havens for some; not by creating minimum wage jobs; but by creating secure high paying jobs for as many people as possible. Our business laws should allow small business to flourish, not shrivel up in favor of Corporate cronyism.
The future of business requires a strong infrastructure. We must bring money to expand the Ports of Houston and Orange. Not only will this create jobs for this industry, but with greater access to new markets, exports to other nations, we can create a market for new jobs here at home.
We need a comprehensive energy solution that includes domestic drilling and alternative energy research to resolve the crisis America is facing. The situation is urgent and requires immediate action to alleviate gas price stress for consumers. I believe that we can construct the Keystone XL pipeline in a responsible manner. We must act now.
The high price of petroleum not only strains family budgets at the pump; it’s driving up the price of groceries and basic household goods. High energy prices force some families to re-think or cancel summer vacations which negatively impact communities that depend on tourism revenue – many right here in Texas.
We can’t just flip a switch and be free of our need for oil. Personally, I want the oil we’re using to power America to come from America. That benefits our economy, not other countries.
Women and their rights
Very few issues invoke more debate or passion than the reproductive rights of women. We are given the question of who controls the right to choose, the state or the woman. America was founded on the ideals of individual liberty and the freedom of choice, we will not always agree with that choice, but the option to choose must be there. Nobody seeks an abortion but should the need arise for what ever reason the government is not in any kind of position to make that hard moral and spiritual choice for anyone. its a healthcare decision that should not be litigated or legislated. One can not come close to the pain and consternation that a woman must go through to make this decision. its is always a tragedy. but clean safe medical access shouldn't be an issue to consider.
Women comprise a large and integral part of the work place. They perform the same tasks as their male counterparts, are held to the same if not higher standards; but yet, they are not compensated at the same rate as men. Our dedication to equality must mean that wages should be paid based on ability, not gender.
We are a nation of immigrants and we are a nation that respects family, that respects community. However, now there is a push by the Tea Party that would have armed troops invading our homes at night, to seize family members, tearing apart communities and leaving devastation in their wake... all in the name of immigration reform. Immigration reform that WILL NOT WORK, that is at best invasive and wrong and at worst racist and fueled by prejudice and hate.
I understand that we are a nation of immigrants, and I respect that part of our heritage. We must also make sure that people who come to this great country seeking better opportunities for themselves and their families do so legally. While I sympathize with people who come to America looking for better jobs or to escape political oppression, we cannot turn a blind eye to those who break the law. I will work hard to secure our borders and end illegal immigration.
It is time that we reform our immigration laws to make it easier for hard working individuals from around the world to make the American Dream a reality.
First and foremost, we must secure our borders. If we cannot protect our borders, we cannot protect our country. That’s why I support measures to hire more border guards, put better technology along our borders such as more unmanned aerial surveillance (aerial drones), and build a stronger physical barrier where it is cost-efficient and effective.
We must also crack down on employers hiring illegal immigrants. For too long we have been turning a blind eye to businesses that break the law and exploit the labor of undocumented workers. As your Congressman, I will continue to support laws to toughen penalties for employers who hire and exploit undocumented workers.
Legal immigration is a part of our heritage, and as the great grandson of immigrants, I will always respect that. But the laws of this land must also be respected. As your Congressman, I will work to secure our borders and get illegal immigration under control.
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