PBS Interview

Watch my interview with NM PBS 

Full Video Here


Reducing Government Spending

In 2008 the federal government spent $2.988 billion. In 2018 the government is projected to spend $4.1 trillion, an increase of 37% in only 10 years. Over that same period the national debt has increased from $9.210 trillion to $20.492 trillion, an increase of 122%. The federal government has a massive spending problem, and we need to cut government spending. I’m not talking the D.C. version of cuts, which are really just reductions to increased spending, but actually reducing spending. Our average deficit over the past 10 years is $795 billion. The treasury recently announced they expect the deficit to exceed $1 trillion in fiscal year 2019. This is unacceptable. Congress is recklessly spending us into another recession, or worse, default. Eventually, the world will stop supporting our debt dependence. When other nations have defaulted on their debt, it was the public who suffered the most.

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True Income Tax Reform

The current tax code has become so complex and rife with so many credits, deductions, and exemptions that it must be completely overhauled. I propose a simplification of the tax code which will make our government more efficient, and keep more of your hard earned dollars in your pocket. Before reforming the system we must first answer a few basic questions.

What this tax reform will accomplish?

These changes to the tax system will increase the tax base. It will simplify the tax code for both individuals and companies. It will keep more money where it belongs, in your pocket. This will make filing taxes easier. This will help to balance the budget and eliminate deficit spending to ensure future generations do not suffer because the government can’t pay for everything it promised today. But taxation is only one side of the coin, without spending cuts tax reform is meaningless.

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Addressing Marijuana Legalization

The United States should decriminalize the use and possession of marijuana. According to a survey released by Pew Research in January 2018, 61% of Americans support legalization. An October 2017, poll by Gallup has that number at 64%. Fox News released a poll in January 2018, which showed 59% support. And finally, 74% of individuals in NM CD3 support legalization. You would think with that level of support across the country, Washington could get something done. So why don’t they?

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Health Insurance Reform

On March 23, 2010, then President Barack Obama, signed into law the Affordable Care Act. This program completely reshaped the personal health insurance market. The Affordable Care Act moved this country even further away from a free market solution for our health insurance needs. While the objective of this act was noble the attempt to reduce the number of uninsured Americans, the idea that the federal government could force citizens to purchase anything is completely unconstitutional, and I believe history will show the Supreme Court’s decision as improper. While this act decreased the number of uninsured Americans, it did so at an unsustainable cost, both to the taxpayer and those who purchase their insurance in the individual market. In 2016, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the 10 year costs to taxpayers for the ACA would be $1.34 trillion. This was an increase of $134 billion from their 2015 projection. It is likely with each passing year the 10 year cost will increase, because government programs are nearly always the least efficient and most expensive solution. And what has been the cost to those who have purchased the insurance on the individual market?

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Education Policies

Reforming Education in New Mexico

 

By nearly every standard and metric the state of New Mexico is one of the lowest performing states in education. If a student fails to obtain at least a high school diploma the probability of living a life above the poverty level is greatly reduced.

  • In 2015, NM had the lowest graduation rate in the nation at 69%
  • Only 26.9% of 4th graders and 20.6% of 8th graders are proficient in math
  • Only 22.9% of 4th graders and 20.1% of 8th graders are proficient in reading
  • Education Week ranked NM last in the nation for chance of success, 50th of 51 for K-12 achievement, and 49th overall across all its education standards.
  • Of the 100 largest school districts in the country APS ranks 99th in their 2015 average cohort graduation rate at 62%.

New Mexico has several challenges to overcome:

  • We have a very high poverty rate
  • Overall, 20% of our population lives below the poverty line
  • 30% of children live in poverty. This is the highest rate in the nation
  • 27% of students are English language learners
  • A large rural population
  • Only about 25% of the population has a bachelor’s degree or higher

All of these are challenges that the State must confront. We can’t continue to do the same things over and over again and expect a different outcome. We need to reinvent public education or we will continue to have multi-generational poverty, high unemployment, large welfare needs, and budget crises every time there is a small dip in energy markets.

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