Please see below for Denny's position on the following issues: Economy, Healthcare, Social Security, Equal Rights & Immigration, Gun Control, Pro-Choice, Agriculture, Pro Union, Drug Policies, Campaign Finance Reform, Education and Military & Veterans.
My dad always said “when republicans talk about cutting taxes you better cover your pockets because they’re not talking about tax cuts for the working man”.
For too long our economy has been rigged to transfer wealth from the working class to the wealthy.
Since “trickle down” economic policies have been in place over the last 40 plus years, worker wages have barely kept up with inflation, while CEO pay has increased as much as 1200%. I will work to get back to a fair tax rate, as well as close loopholes and off-shore bank accounts so we make sure the wealthy and corporations pay their share of taxes.
We need to bring manufacturing back to this country instead of allowing large corporations to outsource our jobs so they can make more profit. If wages were the cause of high prices, why do American car companies charge the same for a car produced in this country as the one made in Mexico?
We need stronger unions with more workers unionized. We need to raise the minimum wage so people don't have to work two or three jobs just to survive. We need to fund the IRS so they can go after the billionaire tax cheats. We need to expand government research and development so we can once again lead the world in innovation, like we did when we built the interstate system and sent man to the moon. These type of investments lead to good paying jobs and more tax revenue.
As Harry Truman said “socialism is their name for anything that helps all the people”. Republicans have always fought tooth and nail against anything that helps the working class. They fought social security, labor unions, bank deposit insurance, farm price supports and now they use the same scare tactics with healthcare.
Why are we the only industrialized nation on earth without national healthcare? We are the only nation that bankrupts or kills its citizens because they can’t afford healthcare. To all the people who say "we don't want socialized medicine like in Europe" I would ask "why not?"
Do you ever wonder why, if our system of healthcare is so good, other countries aren't dropping their "socialized medicine" and going to a system like ours. If you talk to people from other countries, and I have, they don't understand why we tolerate the healthcare we have. If every other industrialized country can make it work, why can't we? Why can't we do it even better?
All the scare tactics about not getting in to see a doctor is nonsense! If you have a medical emergency in another country you get care immediately, just like we do. If it's not an emergency, you may have to wait to have a surgery, just like in this country.
We currently pay a 1.45% tax to fund Medicare. That is to fund medical care for the most expensive age group. Why not increase the tax a little and fund healthcare for everyone? Add up your premiums, deductibles, and co-pays, dental and vision and see how much you spend per year. Wouldn't it be better to simply hand the doctor or dentist a card and not have to worry about your insurance not covering everything.
Republicans would like nothing better than to hand over your social security to their buddies on Wall Street. Privatize. Republicans have been against social security since Roosevelt got the legislation passed in the 30’s.
Republicans tell us all the time that we have to make cuts or the fund will run out. Two things: 1) pay back all the money Congress has borrowed from it over the years to make their balance sheet look "better after massive tax cuts for the wealthy". 2) Get rid of the cap on the social security tax. After $160,200 dollars a person no longer pays the SS tax. Why? So, after reaching that income level, people get a 6.2% tax break. The limit has been set high enough that it is out of the reach of most working people, thus another tax break for the wealthy. END THE CAP.
I support equal rights for all citizens no matter their color, religion, ethnicity, gender, gay or straight.
Unfortunately, we still have racism and discrimination in this country and it has been pushed by certain media outlets to keep us divided. They want people afraid of those who don't look like them or act like them. Hitler used the same tactic to promote his "master race" theory. Anyone not of Teutonic blood was to be driven out or killed. Gay and transgender people are demonized and assaulted for being different. The media has convinced people they have more to fear from a drag show than people with access to assault weapons killing children in our schools.
Many in this country have demonized immigrants trying to escape the brutal conditions in their countries to make a better way of life in this country. At various times in our country's history anyone who wasn't a white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant from English ancestry was discriminated against including Catholics, Jews, Germans, French, Italians, eastern Europeans, Chinese, Japanese, and any other country you want to throw in. We enslaved an entire race of people for economic benefit and still to this day erect barriers to keep them from participating equally in our political system.
It's the 21st century and we should be beyond all that.
We need to make sure our border is secure, but we also need to be humane in our approach.
I will advocate to work more closely with the Mexican government to rid the country of the drug cartels, increase border patrols and electronic surveillance and increase inspections of all trucks and trains coming in from Mexico to stop the drugs.
Separating children from their parents and putting them in cages is not acceptable in a civilized society. These people, regardless of republican scare tactics, are mostly people looking for a better life.
In the old and new testaments the teachings were pretty clear that immigrants were to be welcomed and helped.
Republicans want you to believe these immigrants are why we have so many drugs entering the country. According to the DEA most drugs come in through ports of entry by truck or ship, or by elaborate tunnels built to move the drugs under border walls. Most immigrants are crossing the border to escape brutal conditions in their own countries. The drug cartels terrorize the population, killing men who won't join them, raping the women and kidnapping the children.
I am pro second amendment but I think, as with our rights guaranteed in other amendments, there should be limitations.
You can’t yell "fire" in a crowded theatre and call it your right to free speech based on the first amendment because of the risk of harm to other people. The safety of the people in the theater supersedes the person’s right to free speech to yell fire.
Since the assault weapons ban expired in 2004, mass shootings have exploded. Did the assault weapons ban really affect anyone’s daily life? Any mass shooting you read or hear about the shooter always uses an AR-15 or similar weapon. Why? Because those guns are designed to kill a lot of people in a short period of time.
After Timothy McVeigh blew up the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City the government put strict rules on buying ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer which was a main ingredient in the bomb. Why can’t we put limitations on who can own assault weapons like an AR-15?
Put yourself in the shoes of the parents in Uvalde, TX who had to have their own children identified with DNA because their faces had been blown off by an AR-15.
Think about that.
I am pro-choice. I think women should have autonomy over their own bodies without government interference. I do not believe we should allow one person’s religious views to dictate what someone else can do concerning their own health.
Where does it end? What makes rule by Christian law any different from Sharia law other than one is Christian and the other is Muslim?
What happens when another religion starts making laws based on a different religion that you do not agree with. For example, how would you feel if you or a family member had to go to the emergency room and needed a blood transfusion to save your life, but, sorry, a new law was passed based on religious objections and you could not get the transfusion.
I am 100% for freedom of religion but no one religion should dictate how people should live.
Agriculture is the backbone of this nation and always has been. We need good relations with other countries to allow a free flow of goods, including agricultural products to these countries.
We have grain surpluses, why not give grain to poor countries to lower our grain inventories. We give money and weapons to other countries, why not food? When the farm economy is good our rural communities thrive. We need to worry more about our farmers than our billionaires.
We need to change the way we figure our farm subsidies to help our smaller farmers rather than the huge corporate farms. In 2019 the top 1% of farms received 25% of the total payout. This averaged a little over $757,000 per farm. The bottom 90% of farms averaged $21,500. This has to change.
We need to look at making crop insurance a division of the USDA and get private insurance out of it all together. One third of all crop insurance subsidies go to the insurance companies. And, if the losses they cover reach the premiums they collected, the government steps in and covers the cost, so they lose no money. If the government has to cover the cost anyway, get private insurance out of it completely, just like we need to do with healthcare.
During the years we were farming, my father was a union concrete finisher then later was a union worker for ALCOA -- until the day he was fired for leading a walk-out over six coworkers who had been wrongly terminated.
Franklin Roosevelt gave unions the right to bargain which, in turn, allowed workers to bargain for better wages, working conditions, pensions and shorter work weeks.
Republicans have fought unions ever since to either weaken them or get rid of them entirely. The unions are responsible for the rise of the middle class in this country, and as union membership has declined, so has the middle class.
In Missouri voters rejected right to work, yet the republicans are still trying to make Missouri a right to work state which would weaken the unions and lead to lower wages and fewer benefits.
Republicans are against unions because their corporate masters and Donald Trump don't like unions. Donald Trump has stated that union people make too much money, and he has always fought to keep unions out of his casinos and other businesses.
Unions appear to be making a comeback. Starbucks and Amazon workers are unionizing, the United Auto Workers are striking and healthcare workers have successfully bargained for better wages and benefits. Progress is being made.
However, we need to strengthen the laws that protect workers' right to bargain.
I will be a good friend to labor and will support laws protecting workers right to unionize without being fired or terrorized by companies.
On June 5, 2020 I lost my oldest son Jared, who I raised as a single dad, to a fentanyl overdose. Nothing is more near and dear to me than the drug issue.
There are a lot of parents out there who have faced this heartbreaking experience. The feeling of helplessness as you watch them spiral down, forsaking family and friends who try to help them, creates indescribable pain.
How do we end the drug problem? If I had all the answers I wouldn't have buried my son.
I will work tirelessly to ensure better government oversight of treatment facilities. Anyone can hang a sign and say they're a treatment facility. We need better standards and management of these facilities.
As with immigration, we need to work more closely with Mexico to get rid of the drug cartels, more inspections of trucks and trains at the border and more patrols by the Coast Guard to catch drugs coming in by sea.
At the end of the day they have to want to do it themselves. That said, we need to treat addicts as human beings and not as criminals to be locked away. They need help.
Money is the root of the problem in politics today.
The Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court allowing corporations to spend as much money as they want on political campaigns was a travesty to our political system.
We now have politicians who sell out to the highest bidder. We need to cap what corporations can contribute to a campaign. We cannot continue to allow pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, oil companies, wall street banks, high tech companies and many others to hijack our political system to benefit themselves at the expense of the people.
And make no mistake, they spread the wealth and buy politicians on both sides of the aisle.
I will work hard to try to get the dark money and unlimited corporate money out of our political system so the politicians work for us and not some corporate interest that donated millions to their campaign.
Until Senate Bill 19, Missouri ranked dead last out of 50 states in starting teacher pay. Dead last. This is a good start but it is not enough.
If low pay isn't enough, parents are attacking teachers over subject matter, politicians attack teachers accusing them of "indoctrinating" our kids. Is it any wonder experienced teachers are leaving the profession, and we don't have enough young people wanting to teach? Who would want to suffer the abuse and lack of respect for the pitiful salary of a teacher?
Just a few education "issues":
For some reason republicans want to paint college as a bad thing. Click on any republican politician bio and see how many have a college education - most do.
If you don't think college will benefit you, go to a vocational school or train with one of the unions.
Unfortunately, republicans hate unions and are trying to destroy them and they don't want to make vocational schools affordable or free either.
My dad was a veteran who spent 17 months in Japan just after the Korean war ended. The war ended while he was in basic training. I just missed the Vietnam war but I had friends who served.
With China's global expansion, and the Russians trying to reestablish the old Soviet Union, our military needs stay the best in the world. That said, we need to be more strategic on the programs we fund and not just hand a blank check to the Pentagon. The F-35 program has been a disaster from the start with cost overruns and endless problems with the planes. In this day and age I think money would be better spent on missile programs and defensive shields.
We also need to back our allies, like Ukraine, and keep NATO strong and united.
Many politicians love to trot out veterans when they are running for office but don't want to fund programs to help them. Many veterans suffer from PTSD and debilitating injuries and are ignored after their service. How many homeless veterans do we have? It's a tragedy that people who have served end up on the streets because we ignore them after their service.
Many politicians would rather give tax breaks to billionaires than adequately fund veterans care. Until this country has universal health care not one veteran should pay a dime for medical care. If he/she is injured in the line of duty and it affects their ability to work, they should be paid a pension and their families should receive free healthcare and their children should go to college for free. The same with soldiers who are killed in the line of duty. It's the least we can do for the people who have sacrificed for the defense of this country.
I will work to keep our military strong but make sure we are spending money wisely and not just throwing away. I will also work tirelessly to make sure our veterans receive the care and financial help they have earned.
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