ON THE ISSUES
I believe our country has reached a tipping point. I see a future of full employment at good jobs that are well paid. I see a functional Congress that does right for the people who elect them. I see the finest infrastructure in the world with public transportation second to none. I see schools where our children happily learn the skills they need to follow their dreams. I see families able to live on one income as we did in the “good old days.” I see all Americans sharing in the bounty of a $16 trillion gross national product. I see a flourishing country where humility and kindness have replaced arrogance and greed. Am I an impractical dreamer? I don’t think so. Here is why.
History, like a pendulum, swings back and forth. Around 1900, robber barons ruled the land. They had immense wealth, while children labored 10 -12 hour days in sweat shops, and men and women could barely make a living. Gambling on the stock market with easy credit in the 1920’s led to the stock market crash and the Great Depression and another war. Sound familiar? Then, after the war, our country put in place legislation that controlled greed, prevented monopolies, provided social security, minimum wages, and a progressive income tax and slowly a strong middleclass emerged. If we had kept these reforms in place the average family today would be earning about $100,000.
But starting in the 1980’s we began to undo those reforms and now we have the same income distribution as Mexico, Brazil, and Russia, billionaires raking in huge profits from globalization, the New Industrial Revolution, and people all over the world working in sweatshops while Americans go without jobs.
Well, the pendulum is beginning to swing back. Americans are waking up to the fact that we don’t want billionaires dictating our politics, our elections, and our laws. I hate to say it but billionaire Warren Buffett was right, “this is class warfare, our class is winning, but we shouldn’t be.” The Koch brother billionaires set up and financed the Tea Party movement and convinced loyal Americans that the problem is the poor when in reality the problem is the super rich who think they can buy everyone and everything.
We want true free enterprise and democracy, but those two horses have left the barn. They are shackled and being hauled away in a trailer along with your pension funds, your savings, your businesses, your elections, and your jobs. Whatever happened to competition? It’s been replaced by consolidation and the destruction of antitrust laws. If you have a business today, you are hamstrung by being forced to sell to or buy from a handful of big corporations. As a consumer you take what a few providers offer whether you like it or not.
As I said, we have reached a tipping point. Incumbents are becoming an endangered species. It’s time for new blood in Washington. I can understand why loyal Americans have come to fear
their government, because it’s being taken over by huge multi-national corporations. Ron Paul was right, corporatism is one short step before Fascism. Look at Homeland Security and the NSA
(National Security Agency); whose security? And whose money feeds them and their corporate allies? Yours and mine. How did we get talked into spending trillions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan,
when our national debt is so large?
Why didn’t the military/industrial/security complex raise our taxes to pay for their wars? Because if they put it on our national credit card, we wouldn’t complain so much and the banks could make even more money. If we want gun control, let’s start by taking the very expensive guns away from Blackwater and their friends. We live in a culture of violence and greed while talking about God and religion. Who would Jesus bomb?
I need your help. Let’s send a message on November 4th, 2014. We are going to stop sending millionaires to Congress. Half of them are already millionaires and the other half want to join them in
their exclusive club. Mr. Rooney may be Tea Party but he is carrying water for the billionaires who are ruling and ruining our country. We have to fight back before it’s too late.
Please join me.
The Health Crisis
The U.S. spends more on health care than any other industrialized nation and we get worse results. About 18% of GNP goes to health care. That is nearly $3 trillion or the equivalent of our whole federal budget. Insurance companies have a term called MLR for medical loss ratio. That is the amount of their collected premiums that they have to pay to doctors and hospitals. They used to operated with a 60-70% MLR until Obama Care made them spend 80% or their premiums on their customers. Medicare by comparison spends 95% of their collections on services to the elderly. If we had Medicare for All we would save 15% of about $3 trillion or $450 billion each year. This would be a good place to start, plus it would relieve our business community of having to provide health insurance which in turn would greatly improve the economy and the income and productivity of all Americans.
Rebuild the middle-class and move the poor up to the middle-class by a series of measures similar to how Americans accomplished this after the last great depression:
1. Raise the tax rate on the top 1% from the current 23% to 46%.
This will raise $450 Billion/ year that could hire 11.3 million people at $40,000/year and end unemployment.
2. Tax capital gains as regular income and implement a financial transaction tax to discourage day trading.
3. Tax money held in off-shore accounts to bring it home to be used productively to hire Americans.
4. Properly fund public education at all levels to produce a productive and prosperous work force.
5. Incentivize the spread of worker owned and operated businesses.
6. Restrict the spread between upper managment and entry level worker pay to reasonalbe multiples. Currently, CEO's make over 400 times what their average workers make.
7. Break up monopolies and introduce and enforce restraint of trade laws. Bring true democracy and competition to the economy.
8. Encourage small and medium size businesses by passing a Medicare for All Bill that will spread the costs of health care more widely and properly fund alternative medicine.
9. Develop the world's best public transportation systems and ecourage public bike/walk programs.
10. Expand libraries reach, penetration, and programs throughout the country. Improve our infrastruture and public facilities.
11. Incentivize massive investment in alternative wind, solar, and other alternative energy systems and tax traditional power production and use to recover their true costs to the public including wars.
12. Audit the Defense Department and security agencies and scale back the military/industrial/security complex.
13. Strengthen the union movement and its protections for the middle-class.
14. Create a fair process for foreclosures insuring that banks produce legitimate documents to the courts and the rights of the homeowner are protected. Steamline restructuring of loans to current interest rates and valuations.
Election and Lobbying Reform
Introduce legislation that would institute TV and radio broadcasters' on our public airwaves to provide reasonable allotments of free airtime for candidates for public office. This would eliminate the need for most campaign funding and therefore greatly reduce the influence of money in the political process. Public airwaves should serve the public interest.
About 50% of Senators and Representatives are millionaires and end up working on "K Street" as lobbyist at 15 times their previous salaries. Introduce legislation to stop the revolving doors. Also enforce rules against insider trading by Congress.
Introduce term limits, and limits on the size of contributions to campaigns. Repeal the Citizen's United decision by amendment if necessary. Corporations are not people and money is not speech
Debt and Balanced Budget
There has been a concerted effort by the power brokers in Washington and New York to convince the average voter that we are sinking in red ink. They do this to frighten us into legislation that cuts government programs and weaken government regulations that could affect their operations. The truth is that this country makes $17 trillion each year (GNP) and our debt of $17 trillion is large but not overwhelming. It would be like a person earning $170,000 salary and carrying a $170,000 mortgage on a house worth $650,000 (our national wealth has been estimated at $65 trillion. At a time when so many are un-employed or under-employed, we need government investment in our country that will put people back to work, even if it results in a temporary unbalanced budget. We must grow out of our current situation. There are plenty of projects to focus on: infrastructure improvements, energy network for green power sources such as wind, solar, small hydro-generating plants, wave action generators, hydrogen fuel research, efficient rail transportation, bridges, dams and levies that broke in New Orleans, 125 year old gas pipes that leaked in NYC, etc.
“What we don’t need is another war which cost us over $3 trillion and creates nothing but hatred and destruction even though it makes a few rich. The only public expenditures the military/industrial/surveillance complex seems to like is war, also generated by raising fears. And war should only be entered by declaration of the US Congress.”
Our precious planet is being raped by the greed of multi-national companies, especially in the developing world where governmental controls were bargained away by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund insisting on Friedmanite policies from the Chicago School of Economics. For this dismal history see Naomi Klein’s book, The Shock Doctrine or the documentary based on the book.
Locally, the Florida economy depends on the quality of the water in our rivers and beaches. We know how much nitrogen and phosphates create algae blooms that ruin our rivers and cause smelly red tide and dead fish on our beaches. We must reduce phosphate pollution and we know how. It is a political question as to who will pay. Continuing to use a narrative definition of phosphate pollution is just burying our heads in the sand. Let's figure the cost of cleanup and determine a fair way to share those costs and get on with it before our tourist economy fails and living in Florida is no longer a blessing.
We must insist on energy alternatives that protect our water and air and combat global warming. We must also insist on healthy foods untainted by GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and support organic farmers. Buy organic. Watch the documentary Forks Over Knives and visit their web site. Think globally and eat locally. Support your local food coops and farm stands. Plant victory gardens. The environment inside our bodies is as important as the environment outside it. Avoid sugar and soft drinks, eat vegetables and fruit and healthy grains.
Right to Life
If you must have a label, call me moderate pro-life. I say that because I would never encourage abortion, but the final decision has to belong to the woman herself. As the father of three adoptive children, I believe this is a more positive alternative to abortion, especially since there are so many couples wanting and waiting to adopt. But our focus must be on preventing unwanted pregnancy, and the surest way is abstinence. There are very few benefits to sex before or outside of marriage as many people are beginning to discover.
I must also add that this emotional issue has been cynically used to build a political base for foolish foreign policy initiatives that have violated the lives of many full-grown adults. The right to life community has to consider more than unwanted fetuses, it must also consider the death and destruction rained down by policies of “shock and awe” and the millions of dead, injured, and homeless left in its wake. Prolife must consider the quality of life of all citizens including the poor, sick, and elderly and war casualties which in modern warfare is greater among non-combatants. A society will be judged on how it treats its most vulnerable.
On Sexual Orientations
"... I think it would be helpful if we would not be so obsessed with sexuality considered in the light of human anatomy. The psychological aspect of femininity and masculinity are far more important identities. And it is clear that everyone is a mixture of these two elements including the Godhead. How people are equipped physiologically need not always match their stronger psychological identity. Most of us would be androgynous physiologically if that were possible. We should not stand in judgment of the creation (which any biologist will tell us has huge variations in that regard), the Creator, or each other on this issue." Page 45 of How To Get To Heaven According To Teachings Of Jesus, by Will Bronson DMin. Published 2009 available from Amazon in paperback or eBook as How to Fly to Heaven. Also available from author
An article by Will Bronson published in September 2011 called Tears for Gomes. http://99brattle.blogspot.com/2011/09/tears-for-peter-gomes.html
Also please watch an interesting documentary called "For the Bible Tells Me So," about five couples with gay or lesbian children and their experiences. May be viewed free at this site: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/for-the-bible-tells-me-so/ Also, for a careful analysis of Biblical texts see The Chapter on Homosexuality in Peter Gomes excellent "The Good Book, Reading the Bible With Mind and Heart.
For a more complete statement of the theological basis of my political philosophy see my book: "How to Get to Heaven According to Teachings of Jesus" or as an ebook: "How to Fly to Heaven" available at www.Amazon.com or from the author.
Bill of Rights – 2nd Amendment: A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
I believe all citizens, except felons and the mentally ill, have the right to bear arms. The 2nd amendment was written at a time when our country had just overcome occupation by England. The greatest violence against citizens has not been caused by legally armed citizens, but by governments like Germany, USSR, China, Cambodia and many others preying on their unarmed populations. The Founders understood this. Like the founders of our republic, I consider the 2nd Amendment to be second only to the first amendment guaranteeing the freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly.
The founders saw the militia as a means of protecting Americans from the over-reaching threats of the British Crown which had been their own government.
Heart to Heart with Men, from Will Bronson,
Candidate for US Congress, Fl 17
My Dear Brothers, Fathers, and Sons,
On the campaign trail, I have seen and felt your pain. And pain sometimes leads to anger and frustration. Many of you believe your pain comes from the government, a government that spends too much, taxes too much, interferes with your life too much, and now wants to take your guns so you don’t hurt somebody.
Some men, who are having trouble providing for their families in today’s economy, feel a particular pain tinged with shame and guilt. And when it is not their fault that they are laid off, or downsized, it easily turns to anger. So who is at fault?
I would argue that the answer is not simple and it is not who you might suspect. I grew up the son of a father who worked very hard to start his own business. And he succeeded, and my brother ran it and now his son. We were lucky, but my father would say there wasn’t much luck involved, mostly hard work. He built it himself.
I have the highest respect for all the hardworking men and women in this country who built companies that paid workers, paid taxes, and supported families, including their own. My father was one of them. And he hated FDR.
He graduated from college during the depression in 1929. The country was in even worse shape than it is today. But they all survived and built the strongest economy and middle class the world has ever seen. As a tool and die maker he wasn’t drafted in WWII but trained snipers in our basement for the war effort, my dad having been a champion marksman himself.
I grew up with guns and hunting and spent many happy days in the woods as an Eagle Scout.
But there is a cancer on our free enterprise system. It’s called monopoly, and it’s not new. In the old days we had anti-trust laws, and restraint of trade regulations, and tariffs to control them. We encouraged unions so the working man wouldn’t be crushed by the billionaires. If a person made over $2 million, he was taxed on additional income at the rate of 70-90%. The average CEO made maybe 10 to 20 times that of the average worker. Now the average executive of a Fortune 500 company makes 325 times that of his workers. He makes more on his first day at work than all his underlings make working all year long. Greed has come to dominate Wall Street and Washington. Big money has bought both sides of the aisle and are buying elections as we speak. Four hundred of the richest Americans own more than 60% of the country, 187 million poor and working poor, and middle-class. Warren Buffet famously said: “This is class warfare. Our class is winning but we shouldn’t be. I shouldn’t be paying a lower tax rate than my secretary.”
What is their agenda? More money. They have a habit, an addictive habit. A lot is never enough. What is their agenda for you? To be squeezed. If you are supplying one of the huge trading companies like Walmart, you are being squeezed. If you are competing with dollar an hour wages in China or India, you are being squeezed. If you and your wife are trying to support your family with two minimum wage jobs, you are being squeezed.
We are being killed by “friendly fire.” Today’s free enterprise system is off the rails, while monopolies have turned rogue. It is no longer about competition. It is about greed, and if you look closely at it, you will find that greed is the source of your pain. Markets and suppliers are shrinking to a handful in every industry. We now have 5 huge “too big to fail” banks where we used to have hundreds of reasonably sized banks. We have about 5 media companies. We have a few companies that provide the all parts for all the auto manufacturers. And if you buy one of the hundreds of labels of beers available at Publix that make you think free enterprise is alive and well, your money ends up with either of two megaliths, Anheuser Busch or the South African Breweries. Wealth inequality in America has risen to a level on a par with Cambodia, Philippines, Jamaica, and Uganda.
My friends, the world is not what it seems. Beware of big money and don’t buy the line that the government is your enemy. Yes, they make many mistakes, but the monopolies want to get government out of their way, or alternatively, get them to feed them tax dollars and sweet no bid contracts like Halliburton and Blackwater that made a killing off the wars, at the expense of our GIs.
I’m really sorry it has come to this. But the lions are out of the cage and they are eating us alive. And they are not self-regulating.
Having been a Republican, I see that my former party has sold out lock, stock, and barrel to the monopolists. So have many Democrats, but I feel that at least there is a chance we could put together enough votes to put the lions back in their cages, so we can get our country and our liberties back. There is no liberty when you don’t know where your next dollar is coming from.
I need your vote. Please.
Democratic Candidate for US Congress - FL 17
For more information call Will Bronson at 239 940 6080 or write at firstname.lastname@example.org or PO Box 1507, Lehigh Acres, FL