Learn more about the individual issues that are most important to the campaign by expanding the sections below:
I believe the best way to create new jobs is by growing our economy, getting deficit spending under control, and providing tax incentives to encourage small business growth. Small businesses help drive job creation, and we must create a climate that makes it easier for entrepreneurs to start and grow new companies. That means ensuring access to capital, reducing unnecessary red-tape, and easing the tax burden on small businesses.
Recognizing that we have limited tax dollars, I believe it is nevertheless critical for us to make strategic investments in areas that are critical for long-term growth and prosperity, including infrastructure, the electrical grid, energy, and education. We also must build a business climate that rewards innovation, encourages risk taking, and promotes job creation. We must strengthen patent protections so foreign countries are prevented from stealing important breakthroughs and products in the field of medicine, science, and technology. By investing in research and development in the clean energy sector – including wind, solar, natural gas, and hydrocarbons – we can create good jobs here. This investment could lead to advances in everything from technology to manufacturing to construction, while reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Not only is this smart for greater economic growth, but also for improving homeland security.
I believe we should also reform the tax code to level the playing field between small and big business and encourage manufacturing job growth. The US tax code contains four million words and thousands of loopholes that allow powerful special interests to get most of the benefits, while incentivizing corporations to keep their earnings overseas and to continue to outsource jobs. We must reform the tax code and regulatory environment so that American companies are encouraged to create American jobs. Let’s focus on making America the most dynamic place to do business – so that U.S. companies make goods and services here and export them abroad – instead of exporting jobs.
My top priority is helping to boost the American economy and put the country back on the path to prosperity, and that starts by reinvesting in the American worker. We’ve got the best workers in the world right here in Southeastern Pennsylvania. To get more of them back to work we must promote insourcing into America to create good-paying, fulfilling jobs. American workers can and do compete with the best in the world – but in order to thrive in a global economy, we need to ensure a level playing field, that free trade is fair trade, and that American workers and businesses are on an equal footing with foreign corporations. We cannot allow any country to violate trade laws, whether those are violations of child labor, health and safety regulations, unfair subsidies, or illegal dumping of products. We also need to reform our tax code to encourage investment in America and bring dollars parked overseas back into the country.
As parents to two young children, my wife Amy and I have a personal interest in making American schools the best in the world. Providing every child access to early, quality education would go a long way to helping us compete in the 21st century global economy and reduce inequality. Our commitment to education must include strengthening our schools by fully funding special education, modernizing our classrooms, and ensuring that highly qualified teachers are in every classroom. We must demand results and accountability from our schools with greater collaboration between parents, teachers, and business and community leaders. We must also refocus teaching to meet the challenges of a 21st Century economy, with a greater emphasis on science, technology, and math—without merely “teaching to the test.”
At the current rate, tuition costs could triple by the time my wife and I send our children to college. While college costs have risen, household incomes have dropped, making education increasingly difficult to afford. No child who gets into college and wants to go should be denied that opportunity. We’ve got to make college more affordable for middle-class families, so the next generation isn’t saddled with a lifetime of debt. We need to ensure that vital programs like Pell Grants, Perkins Loans, and funding for vocational education and community colleges are protected. A part of strengthening our education system must include fast-tracking bachelor’s degrees, investing in apprenticeship and vocational programs, and increasing the use of online education. The federal government should support states' efforts to experiment with new approaches, while closely monitoring performance to ensure reasonable standards of effectiveness and efficiency.
One of things I learned in the Army and the CIA is that bickering and finger pointing don’t get the job done, but that’s exactly what we’re seeing Congress do on the budget. I believe for the sake our economy and national security that America needs a plan to ensure a balanced budget over the long term, but we’ve got to do it in a way that promotes economic growth and creates middle-class jobs.
We cannot balance the budget on the backs of seniors. Seniors have paid into Medicare and Social Security every paycheck. They’ve earned it, and I will ensure these programs stay solvent. I also support strengthening Medicare by developing digital health records and processing to eliminate duplication, misinformation, and billions wasted on bureaucratic red tape, and allowing Medicare to negotiate for prescription drugs. I support efforts that encourage Medicare payments for outcomes rather than merely paying per service.
I completed multiple combat tours to the Middle East and South Asia as an Army Ranger and worked in CIA’s Counterterrorism Center for six years, and I’ve seen the dangers of terrorism, radical extremism, and failed states first hand. Our number one national security priority must be to defeat terrorism at home and abroad. We must provide our law enforcement, military, and intelligence services the support and resources they need to protect us from terrorism and rogue states. We must also engage in diplomacy and coalition building to develop alliances that strengthen international security and encourage American values including freedom, democracy, and open economies.
Our country deserves leaders who will take a new approach to evaluating the challenges we face and the tactics and strategies required to solve them. We must work with our allies to stand strong against the growing threats of Iran and North Korea – through tactical sanctions, diplomacy, and international pressure. Our special relationship with our friend and ally Israel has become more important as the world deals with the aftermath of the Arab Spring and ongoing civil conflict in the Middle East.
I was proud to serve our country in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I believe our soldiers and veterans deserve a national security policy and veterans’ care worthy of their sacrifice.
My family’s strong tradition of military service – dating back to the Revolutionary War – inspired me to enlist into the Army Rangers after I finished college. I was later fortunate enough to have the GI Bill to pay for part of my graduate education. That’s why I believe we need to make sure that those who fight to defend our freedoms have access to quality education. And it’s why I believe that when it comes to veterans’ care, we must do better. Ending the backlog at the VA should be an immediate priority. We should also make sure the government pays for medical care for veterans for wounds received in combat – including psychological issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
I believe women should have the right to make their own decisions about their bodies, that our government should stay out of our private lives and not interfere in a women’s conversation with her doctor. I will protect a woman’s right to choose and stand up to those in Congress who would seek to overturn this Constitutional, legally-protected right. I also believe government should ensure pregnant women and new families have access to the support they need to make informed, healthy decisions, and make it easier for families to adopt.
I am opposed to discrimination in all forms – period. I support marriage equality and was glad to see DOMA overturned by the Supreme Court. Gay and lesbian couples should be able to take on the responsibilities and obligations of making a lifetime commitment to each other and their families.