As a fourth-generation Marine, the United States military is near and dear to my heart. I enlisted the week of 9/11/2001, leaving my job to proudly serve America. A strong military is vital to our nation’s defense. The years at war have worn on our military. We need to re-tool, re-equip and re-focus. The future will see our nation’s traditional focus in Europe and the Middle East extend to the Pacific and South Asia. This new area of focus will demand a stronger presence in the Asia theater, and new skills should continue to align toward fighting cyber-terrorism, maintaining our lead in front of China.
China continues to be one of the biggest threats to America and the free world. With their mishandling of COVID-19, as well as the constant lies and endless coverups, China has effectively caused a global economic depression. Furthermore, China increasingly uses insidious state-backed investments in Western technology, companies, university research and real estate to steal intellectual property for its own military and corrupt means.
As China continues to assert itself as a player on the world stage, it is vital that America prepares intelligently for the long term power competition.
There are various approaches to strategically achieve this; however, it starts with holding China accountable for its misdeeds surrounding COVID-19. The next steps should include a combination of realigning military presence in the South Pacific, continuing to form American-centric trade alliances throughout Asia, working with our allies to block China’s involvement in world organizations, and preparing our economy for a long-term fight.
The economic prosperity we have experienced in much of American in recent years has been threatened by an unseen enemy. We are now looking at an impending economic depression and record-setting unemployment. If we are to avoid the second- and third-order effects of such a depression, we need to act swiftly and decisively to reopen our economy while balancing any effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, we have seen too many political leaders across the nation who are agenda-driven, ignoring data that runs counter to their political beliefs. Changing this requires new ways of thinking, new leadership who always puts the interests of Texans in front of their own political futures. As Texans, we know that small government, low taxes, and a pro-business culture lead to economic growth and expansion. Our State has seen decades of prosperity as a result of this simple but smart strategy. There is no doubt that Texas leads the way in business as we are one of the largest in migration spots for “economic refugees” from Democratic lead states. I plan on taking the Texas model to Washington.
My mother, her sister, and both of my grandmothers were professional teachers. They taught me not only the importance of education but equally of self-reliance. My own experiences in varying jobs and ultimately earning my bachelor’s degree gave me a perspective I carry with me today. In our culture, we have placed too heavy an emphasis on the value of immediately pursuing a four-year degree after high school.
This emphasis manifests as cheap money in the form of government-subsidized loans. The easy money - along with natural population growth - has created an increased demand for education services by students. This increased demand is compounded by a limited supply of educational outlets, which naturally leads to increased prices. These increased prices and the low cost of money lead to increased amounts of long-term debt. This student loan debt bubble will be the next to burst in our economy. When it does, it’s entirely possible the 2008 mortgage bust will pale in comparison.
We need to take the lead in teaching students creative ways to ultimately become contributing Americans. These options include military service, civilian service, co-operative programs, community college, traditional university, and varying trade programs. Our support of such programs will be a two-fold benefit: First we will show by our actions there are other paths through life besides a four-year degree; and secondly, we can avoid the extremely high economic cost of the student loan bubble bursting.
For further reading on programs illustrating the above approaches, please visit mikeroweworks.org and serviceyear.org.
Socialized medical systems around the world have proven to be inferior to a largely open-market approach to our own individual health. I intend to continue removing barriers to ultimately enable a system of healthcare in America which is patient-based and allows for competition. Reversing the insurance-centric problem we have created with excess legislation and continuing toward an outcomes- or patient-centric set of programs is the right path forward for everyone.
Our immigration system is broken. We need intelligent solutions based in data and a multi-pronged approach. Like most sovereign nations, we need to protect our borders. A case could be made that we need to have better protection than other countries, as our freedom and economic prosperity is quite attractive to many. The solution lies in intelligent systems working together: physical barriers, economic deterrents, and technological solutions like artificial intelligence and unmanned border surveillance drones.
Many of my fellow veterans have experienced the challenges with the Veterans Administration. A form of socialized medicine, it has a long way to go in achieving the level of care our veterans deserve. We positively must continue the improvements we’ve been championing recently, and continue to foster nonprofit veteran service organizations (VSOs) which have proven to be much more agile and capable of meeting the needs than a bloated “one-size-fits-all" federal system.
If there is an area we Republicans need to look at ourselves in the mirror and admit we can do a better job, it’s in controlling government spending. Our tax code is unnecessarily complicated and needs to be simplified. We need to make appropriate cuts in irresponsible transfer or handout spending while continuing to invest in the societal root causes to prevent the need for handouts in the first place.
Right to Life
One of the main roles of government is to protect our rights, including our rights to life, liberty and property. Both the Bible and science agree that life begins at conception, pure and simple.
I am an ardent supporter of the right to keep and bear arms to protect our families and others. As conversations about guns often lead to a discussion about crime, I believe getting to the root causes of what makes individuals commit crimes and addressing underlying societal issues, will yield much better results than a misinformed blaming of tools used. We need to understand that correlation does not equal causation with guns and crime.