The American dream has always been about a better tomorrow, about children doing better than their parents.
But today, Americans are spending more to buy less. Single mothers are taking on their third job because their paycheck just doesn’t stretch far enough any more to cover rent and groceries. Blue collar workers are delaying retirement and working themselves to the bone to put away enough to be comfortable in their later years. My kids’ generation isn’t going to get anywhere near buying their first home when my generation did. I regularly talk to patients of mine who thought they were about to purchase the home they had been saving for only to have a private equity or foreign investor come in with cash and take it. These are real problems causing significant pain.
We spend a lot of time talking about our broken economy and how to stop inflation, rising costs, and broken supply chains. And we need to talk about these things.
But we aren’t talking enough about growth.
It’s time to start the engine of American growth again. It’s a powerful engine and it’s been idling for too long. Here’s what I will prioritize to get us growing again and take away the sting of inflation.
First, I will support a 15% flat tax and a simplified tax code. Americans will get to keep and spend more of their money and we will limit the IRS. You don’t need 87,000 more agents when your tax return is on a postcard.
Second, we need to bring manufacturing home, and prioritize getting American manufacturers out of China. We’ve lost almost 4 million jobs to China over the last 20 years, and three-quarters of those jobs are in manufacturing. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is an enemy to American interests and we need those jobs here at home.
Third, it’s time to address our biggest spending areas and get smart. We’re spending over $300 billion a year on drug treatment and $200 million on obesity care. America is unhealthy, and we saw a boom in obesity, drug use, and mental health problems after the pandemic. As a physician, I want to work with the private sector to address the root causes, much as we did with tobacco and drunk driving. We need to stop subsidizing our ailments and start solving them.
Finally, we need transparency around the sales of property to foreign interests. When an American has been waiting and saving three decades to buy a home, they shouldn’t be beat out by a foreign interest with cash because the paperwork is easier. I support incentives for property owners to sell to citizens and residents rather than foreign interests.
Ronald Reagan once said that “peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.” Peace through strength. As the world’s great superpower, America has long taken on the responsibility of keeping peace in the world, and, with mixed results, spreading freedom beyond our borders. But today, our position in the world has been diminished by our leaders. We’ve allowed our own border to be overrun and our laws repeatedly broken with little recourse. When America is weak, dictators are emboldened and the world is destabilized. And an unstable world is a risk to our security.
The critical first step is to get a handle on our immigration system once and for all. People are getting fed up with the culture of disrespect for our national sovereignty and our border patrol that President Biden has created.
There are always calls for compromise, but history shows us where compromise has gotten us. The great Ronald Reagan gave amnesty to nearly 3 million illegal immigrants with the promise that the border would be secured going forward, and there would be a crackdown on employers who hired undocumented workers. Amnesty happened, but no meaningful border security or employer crackdown materialized. Reagan wasn’t the first or the last to fall for the “just give amnesty and then we’ll secure the border” ruse. And we shouldn’t fall for it either. No more deals. It’s time for solutions.
First and foremost, the border must be sealed. It’s the simple principle that people should knock on your door before they come in. As the son of immigrants who came here for asylum, I know that your identity and relationship with your country begins on a more equal footing when you knock first and follow the rules.
Second, we must beef up our vetting process so we know who is coming here. We did this during the Cold War. The international threats we face today are equally if not more serious. I’ve testified before Congress on how rigorous the vetting process must be for immigrants of every background. It can’t be too much to ask that immigrants coming here first and foremost understand and embrace the national social contract of our founding principles and its Americanism.
After we’ve sealed the border and beefed up vetting, then we can discuss what to do with those who are already here. In medical terms, we have to stop the bleeding before we can begin the operation.
We must strengthen America’s standing on the world stage. That starts with a prepared military that has up-to-date equipment and a ready fighting force.
Social engineering in the military is a threat to our readiness. President Biden signed an executive order forcing the military to accommodate individuals identifying as transgender, and his Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin clarified that this includes paying for gender transitions and hormone therapy. It’s simply unreasonable to force woke policies on a fighting force that needs to operate with unit cohesion and meet certain standards – and then force taxpayers to pay for it.
The number of young Americans ineligible to join our military due to obesity, drugs, and lack of overall health is also a threat to readiness. A new report, based on data from the U.S. Department of Defense data, found that 77% of Americans 17 to 24 are ineligible for military service, citing physical health, academic performance, substance abuse and criminality.
I will oppose social engineering in our military and work with the private sector on campaigns to address and improve the health of America’s young adults so they are prepared to serve at the highest levels.
I will dedicate my work in Congress to restore our military readiness to the levels commensurate with the national security and defense our citizens need and deserve. The current percent of GDP related to our defense forces is far below where we should be in order to maintain the level of strength necessary to continue to be feared across the planet.
Finally, we need a new doctrine with regards to when we engage military involvement aboard that isn’t a false choice between isolationism or ‘nation building’. We learned in the Afghanistan and Iraq war that we just can’t militarily solve the world’s problems. Short term, other countries need to fight their own revolutions. When we intervene, we need to be more surgical, when our security is immediately at stake, and cultivate human intel on the ground, and normalize minimal, lower levels of peacekeeping forces as a peaceful option trusted by the American people.
Long term, just as our enemies are advancing the ideas of Marxism, socialism and Islamism across the planet against our ideas, it serves our interests, our security, our values and the human rights of others who share them for America to be present globally in the war of ideas for liberty and freedom.
China and its threats must be our first priority. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is an enemy of the United States and they wish for our destruction. The open door policy with China was a profound miscalculation, pushed first by President Nixon and later by President Clinton. Our engagement with China has changed us more than it has changed them. Their role in globalization and its horrific corruption and lack of transparency exemplified at the World Health Organization (WHO) are a deep threat to our national sovereignty. We need to reclaim the moral authority of capitalism and sever our economic dependence and unequal trade relationship with the CCP. We need to stand clearly by our ally Taiwan and counter the information operations of the CCP against our citizenry and interests.
Iran is a global threat and the #1 state sponsor of terrorism. Iran and the global network of Shia and Sunni Islamists are the puppet masters and the Palestinians are puppets-turned-cannon fodder for their genocidal ambitions. History will look back at the six billion dollar ransom paid to Iran and authorized by the Biden administration on the anniversary of September 11th this year, a mere month ago. President Biden has also overseen the further bankrolling of Iran, which, in turn, bankrolls Hamas, which has just now turned the Mid-East into a cauldron of war. This policy must change, for the safety of the United States and the stability of the world.
We must put maximum pressure on Iran, restore economic sanctions, support Israel, keep the IRGC’s designation as a terror group, and push back on the economic opening of Tehran – a mistake that would be similar to the one we made in China.
We can no longer make deals like the six billion dollar prisoner swap overseen by Biden. A new market has been created for American hostage taking and it puts a dollar sign over the head of every American traveling to Iran.
Finally, the best anti-nuclear program is the people of Iran. They want America’s maximum pressure campaign back. They want American strength to reign in the worst impulses of their leaders. We need to support the latest anti-Islamist revolution now led by Iran’s free-thinking women. It’s the best hope for an internal defeat of the mullocracy and thus an Iranian government that is an ally rather than an enemy.
We’ve lost sight of the purpose of education in America. It’s trendy to call for the elimination of the Department of Education. But I’m a pragmatist. Public education is here to stay. What we need to do is reform it, and reground the public education system in its purpose: to prepare students academically for leadership and careers of the future, and to instill Americanism. I define Americanism – or our “political religion” – as Lincoln did: the principles of freedom and equality of opportunity. Instilling Americanism requires teaching an accurate rather than America-shaming picture of our history and founding, which had its flaws but was based on principles of freedom and equality that have created the freest country and people in the history of the world. I’m a believer in states and local governments managing education for their communities. The less control federally, the better. But the government has a lot of leverage in the direction of education nationally through the power of the purse – our expectations for how states use the dollars we grant them. Currently, our leaders are attaching those purse strings to radical wokism. We can and must change the expectations and requirements we attach.
School Choice has become a necessary and welcome safety valve for families fed up with the system, and I wholeheartedly encourage and support the movement for education options. Parents know their children’s needs and are best equipped to decide where they go, assuming they have the freedom and resources to make that choice. Competition is healthy. School choice will provide competition and encourage reform of the public school system as parents vote with their feet and hold their local schools to a higher standard.
Finally, diversity of thought in our colleges and universities is long overdue. If you were to ask most universities whether they believe in diversity, they would talk about the percentages of racial, sexual, and gender minorities enrolled and on their faculty. But that’s identity diversity, not ideological diversity. The recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down affirmative action affirmed that. America is a melting pot of diversity. We all come from elsewhere somewhere in our lineage and have the freedom to adhere to varying beliefs and identities. It’s the diversity of our viewpoints and our freedom to distinguish those that is the true hallmark of our greatness. We cannot allow that to be forever lost in our institutions of higher learning.