*Note: Our Issues Pages will be undergoing a revamp within the next couple of days to improve their flow and content.
Leadership in politics doesn’t mean that we agree on everything; that’s called following. Leadership means having command of the issues that are important to you, and an understandable plan of action to attack those issues!
Why Do I Want to be Your Congressman
In my practice, I’ve watched the quality of my patient’s lives deteriorate steadily. Where there were jobs, now there’s just empty factories and storefronts. Where there was prosperity, now there are empty parking lots. I watch some of my patients be forced to choose between the basic necessities of life: heat or food; paying the car bill, or paying the mortgage.
As a dentist, I was taught to employ a comprehensive fact-based assessment of the patient. Only then can I offer treatment options the patient can afford and will embrace. I approach political topics in a similar, pragmatic and holistic way. I am informed by the Constitution, my faith, my experiences as a small businessman and father, and the observations and experiences I have collected living in the 4th Congressional District for fifty years.
Washington is telling us that the unemployment rate is about 8 to 8.5%, but the real jobless rate (U6) is more like 15% or more, depending upon when you’re reading this. In my hometown of Fall River, the reported unemployment rate is more like 11.9%. But travelling through my city, I can tell you, the number of men and women who want work and can’t find it is much higher.
The ability to find meaningful work and support yourself is a cornerstone of the American experience. Work is the foundation of home and civic life and physical and mental health and happiness. In a way, losing a job means losing yourself!
On the campaign trail, I tell a story of how the quality of life and outlook of the patients at my dental practice deteriorate with the loss of a job. This is why my number-one focus in Washington will be to bring jobs back to America, Massachusetts, and particularly the 4th District.
We will be hard-pressed to eliminate OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration), the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), or the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board), just to name three job-killing Washington bureaucracies. However, they have gone too far, essentially shutting down small business and sending our manufacturing jobs overseas. As a dentist, former factory worker and avid outdoorsman, I’ve seen both sides of the vast power wielded by unelected bureaucracies like these. It is critical that we rein in these bureaucracies and provide better Congressional oversight.
Big companies are able to spend billions on lobbyists to pressure Congress into writing tax loopholes especially for them. But the people of the 4th District can’t afford a lobbyist! When you send me to Congress, I will work to close these loopholes to make a flatter, fairer tax structure that doesn’t favor the politically-connected over the average person. READ MORE
National Debt and Deficit
Dr. Steinhof believes that the national debt and annual federal deficit are both far too high! In this country, we don’t have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem. Washington politicians continue to raise the debt limit irresponsibly to allow themselves to spend more and more money we simply do not have. When Dr. Steinhof is elected, he will consistently vote to spend within our means and cap the national debt by voting against future debt limit increases. READ MORE
The Federal Reserve
David believes that the Federal Reserve System must be subject to greater transparency and Congressional oversight. We cannot formulate a winning monetary policy when we can’t even see the Fed’s balance sheet! When we elect David, he will support efforts to audit the Fed in order to get the information we need to develop monetary policy that’s right for America and her citizens.
The Second Amendment and Gun Rights
As Americans, we have the right and responsibility to take self-defense seriously. High bars to ownership of a legal gun by states and localities are, in my opinion, unconstitutional. The Constitution means the same thing in a big city as it does in a rural area, and the same thing in Texas as it does here in the 4th district. Therefore, I will work tirelessly to ensure that the right of Americans to own and carry legal firearms will become more convenient, safer, and available regardless of jurisdiction.
The other side of this issue is our battle against illegal gun use. Out of his respect for our right to bear arms and his reverence for life, I will remain equally vigilant to keep illegal guns off our streets and out of our schools.
Student loan debt has just surpassed credit card debt in total nationally. I graduated from Tufts with over $120,000 of student loan debt back in 1989. The cost of higher education has risen 700% over the last 20 years, while overall inflation has risen only 160%.
Ronald Reagan once said that if you have a problem, and you subsidize it, you just end up with a more expensive problem. That’s exactly what’s happening in higher education today. Since 2008 for example, Pell Grants have increased from $30 billion to $80 billion. That’s government subsidy, and prices continue to skyrocket. READ MORE
The Prime Plus One Plan
No bureaucrat or central planner, no matter how wise, will ever be able to do a better job at growing the economy than the millions and millions of Americans who participate in the economy every day. But the federal government can still play a role in aiding motivated people in realizing their dreams for a better life and a better community. That’s why I’m offering my Prime Plus One plan.
Under my plan, Sallie Mae, the federal student loan originator, to issue loans at a rate equal to the prime rate plus one percent to students in good academic standing. Under this plan, the interest on these loans will be tax-deductible. Rather than giving a handout to some students, this will allow all students with the drive and determination to get their degree to do it affordably. While I will work to re-privatize the student loan industry taken over by the president, the principle is the same no matter which entity originates the loan.
What about when these new college graduates enter the workforce? My Prime Plus One plan will authorize banks to loan money to entrepreneurs at the same low rate of prime plus one percent to folks with a dream. The term of the loan will be long enough to make it attractive to both parties, and the interest will be tax-deductible.
The great thing about Prime Plus One is that it shifts the emphasis of government involvement from wealth redistribution, to aiding in wealth creation. It’s a small step, but a critical change in the philosophy of government.
The State of The Middle East and Isreal
Israel is the lone democratic state surrounded by a vast region dominated by theocratic states and military dictatorships. She has been our strong ally for her entire existence as a modern state, and as your Congressman, I will work hard to ensure that relationship continues to be a reciprocal one. I will always support Israel’s right to exist and to defend herself.
Egypt and the Arab Spring
The President and Secretary of State’s unfortunate foray into “Arab Spring” foreign policies have handed Egypt to Islamic militants who are sworn enemies to Israel and the U.S. Egyptian President Mubarak was a tyrant; but he was no enemy to the West. The same cannot be said about the regime about to take over there now. When Islamists take over a country, the pattern is almost always the same: One man, one vote, one time. This isn’t a new democracy, it’s simply more tyranny in the making.
Iraq appears to be the exception to this rule: Their fragile democracy seems to be working for now. Given the incredible investment in blood and treasure America and her allies have made there, I will work to ensure their transformation into a modern state, friendly to the West, will succeed with a minimum of continued investment from the U.S.
It has become increasingly clear that North Korea is a puppet state doing the bidding of China. Without achieving some kind of economic equity in our relationship with China, we cannot put sufficient and appropriate pressure on North Korea to ensure their containment.
North Korea’s nuclear arsenal and continued experimentation with long-range missiles means that getting a handle on our relationship with China is more critical than ever.
Our trade imbalances with China are not the result of free trade. They are the result of China keeping its currency, the renminbi yuan, artificially low.
The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 and the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 (usually referred to collectively as Sherman-Clayton) prevent such anti-competitive practices as predatory pricing and collusion by American firms. Simply put, attempts by US firms to monopolize an industry are illegal. If a strong company decides to drive the competition out of the market by setting prices below cost, it would be aggressively prosecuted by the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (at least, in theory).
However, can we stand by and allow a foreign competitor do the same in the name for free trade? In essence, by keeping the price of their currency (and therefore the cost of their goods) artificially low, China is dumping its products on our shores below the true cost of production. How should we act when China acts to strategically drive American firms out of business in this way? Free trade may be in everyone’s best interest when we all play by the same rules. But when foreign firms are cheating, like the ones in China (and the American firms located in China), the group that suffers unduly is the American worker—both in terms of wages and benefits, and in terms of the total number of jobs available.
Same Sex Marriage
I was raised a Catholic, I married in the Catholic Church, I’m raising my daughters Catholic, and I still attend mass at St. Stanislaus Church in Fall River. To me, marriage is a sacrament that involves one man and one woman.
But just like Jack Kennedy when he ran, I understand that my religion can inform my views, but the Constitution directs my actions. And the Constitution does not discriminate against same-sex marriage.
When people talk about green energy, there are really two components to the question. The first is, am I environmentally conscious? The answer is yes. The second component is, do we want government picking winners and losers? The answer to that is no. I’m in favor of green energy initiatives as long as it’s a private sector endeavor.