The Contract

Goal:

To have Congress Actually Work for the Benefit of the American People Rather than Special Interests.

Plan:

  1. Create a Contract for Americans: a list of laws voters want.
  2. Voters get to help create that list of laws, and then promise to vote for Candidates who pledge to try to pass those laws if elected
  3. Candidates promise to pass those laws if elected, and free themselves from the obligations of fundraising.
  4. If Candidates choose NOT to sign our Contract or do not keep their promise, we run Better Candidates against them the Next Primary.

The Contract

I: Basic Fairness Issues:

I:  Basic Fairness Issues:

1) Minimum wage of $15 per hour.  No one working full time should be in poverty.  It is also important to encourage employers to offer full-time jobs.

2) Equal pay for equal work

3) Easy refinance of all student debt to 3% (or prime plus 2.5%), and offer new student loans at the same rate (or Student Loan Fairness Act HR 1330).  Make student debt eligible for bankruptcy protections.

Work to make college education much more affordable, curb abuses, and create a free International On-line University–an IOU where you get a good education, but don’t owe a lot when you’re done! Establish a debt forgiveness program for those who serve in the US military, Peace Corps, or as inner city teachers.

4) Equal Protection Under the Law.   We say it, teach it, promise it.  It is time we finally deliver it.

5)  Treat Veterans fairly.  Keep all promises made to them and help them rebuild their lives.  No Veteran should be homeless or hungry.

6) Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

7) Net neutrality.

8) Have Post Offices also provide banking services to help poor neighborhoods and citizens, and help fund postal services.

9) Use the best ideas from the whole political spectrum to maximally benefit all our citizens and increase our harmony and cohesiveness.  The desire for government freed from the corruption of big money crosses all parties, and we can work together to achieve common goals.

10)  Women have a fundamental right to choose when and how many children they would like to have.  Contraception should be so encouraged and so available and effective, that in the vast majority of cases, women will choose whether or not to have a child BEFORE they are pregnant.   Abortions should be safe, affordable, and readily available when needed, but our goal should be to reduce the numbers of abortions by 90%.

II: TAX REFORM:

II:  Tax Reform:

1) Do NOT increase taxes for anyone making less than $500,000 dollars per year.  But those making more should pay their fair share.

2) Eliminate the lower tax rates for capital gains income. Income is income, and all should be taxed the same

3) All financial trades should be taxed 0.5%.

4) Eliminate Corporate (and ultra-wealthy individual) tax loopholes and subsidies.

5) Reinstate inheritance taxes only on estates of more than $5 million, and eliminate perpetual trusts to discourage the formation of a hereditary aristocracy.

6) Bolster Social Security by having the very wealthy pay the same percentage as everyone else.

7)  Lessen income disparity by varying corporate tax rates depending on how much the top employees make at that corporation compared to the majority of employees.  (less disparity gives lower corporate tax rates)

III: FAIRER ELECTIONS and LESS CORRUPTION in GOVERNMENT:

III:  Fairer Elections and Less Corruption in Government:

1) A Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United and Hobby Lobby. Corporations are NOT people and deserve neither Freedom of Speech, nor Freedom of Religion. Pass laws to minimize the effects of those rulings meanwhile.

2) Transparency. Make names of all major donors public.  Whatever voting method is used, there has to be some way to verify the authenticity of results.

3) Anticorruption Measures: Even the Supreme Court acknowledges that “corruption or the appearance of corruption” is not a good thing, so anti-corruption is an excellent way to limit the power of large donations.  Pass the American Anti-corruption Act at all levels of city, state, and federal government.  Pass Senator Warren’s Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act.

4) Make lying to confuse or intentionally mislead voters illegal and enforce existing laws.

5) Encourage voting by making registration and voting easy.  Prohibit unreasonable restrictions on voting, and registration.  Discourage gerrymandering, so election results actually reflect the wishes of voters.

6) Stop the “revolving door” between those in government and industry. Government officials should be banned for at least 5 years from lobbying the government.

7) Limit the ability of corporations and industries to set the regulations for themselves.

!V: Celebrate and Build on our Accomplishments

1)  Embrace, support and improve Obamacare.  While not perfect, particularly during its rollout, it has helped, and will help many people, and was a necessary and difficult step.  We should be proud of it, educate voters, and work to make it better.

Many of its  real faults were that it didn’t go far enough (single payer, for example) rather than it went too far.

Many of its perceived faults are the result of blatant misinformation.

Good, affordable healthcare for an aging population offered a host of near miraculous but immensely expensive advances, is a huge challenge.  We need to work to make Health Care much more patient centered, efficient, and cost effective.

 

2) Embrace global climate change as a scientific fact, and a serious threat to us all.  Embrace and celebrate the new emissions standards for existing coal  power plants.  Strongly encourage efficiency, zero landfill manufacturing,  and renewable energy use by corporations, utilities and the public.  Prohibit utility companies from trying to cripple renewable energy competition.

I: Basic Fairness Issues:

I:  Basic Fairness Issues:

1) Minimum wage of $15 per hour.  No one working full time should be in poverty.  It is also important to encourage employers to offer full-time jobs.

2) Equal pay for equal work

3) Easy refinance of all student debt to 3% (or prime plus 2.5%), and offer new student loans at the same rate (or Student Loan Fairness Act HR 1330).  Make student debt eligible for bankruptcy protections.

Work to make college education much more affordable, curb abuses, and create a free International On-line University–an IOU where you get a good education, but don’t owe a lot when you’re done! Establish a debt forgiveness program for those who serve in the US military, Peace Corps, or as inner city teachers.

4) Equal Protection Under the Law.   We say it, teach it, promise it.  It is time we finally deliver it.

5)  Treat Veterans fairly.  Keep all promises made to them and help them rebuild their lives.  No Veteran should be homeless or hungry.

6) Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

7) Net neutrality.

8) Have Post Offices also provide banking services to help poor neighborhoods and citizens, and help fund postal services.

9) Use the best ideas from the whole political spectrum to maximally benefit all our citizens and increase our harmony and cohesiveness.  The desire for government freed from the corruption of big money crosses all parties, and we can work together to achieve common goals.

10) Women have a fundamental right to decide when and if they want to have children.  Effective contraceptives should be so encouraged, available, and affordable that in the vast majority of cases, women choose whether or not to have a child BEFORE they get pregnant.  Abortions should be safe, legal, available, and affordable, but our goal should be to reduce the number of abortions  by 90%, simply because abortions will be unnecessary.

 

II: TAX REFORM:

II:  Tax Reform:

1) Do NOT increase taxes for anyone making less than $500,000 dollars per year.  But those making more should pay their fair share.

2) Eliminate the lower tax rates for capital gains income. Income is income, and all should be taxed the same

3) All financial trades should be taxed 0.5%.

4) Eliminate Corporate (and ultra-wealthy individual) tax loopholes and subsidies.

5) Reinstate inheritance taxes only on estates of more than $5 million, and eliminate perpetual trusts to discourage the formation of a hereditary aristocracy.

6) Bolster Social Security by having the very wealthy pay the same percentage as everyone else.

7)  Lessen income disparity by varying corporate tax rates depending on how much the top employees make at that corporation compared to the majority of employees.  (less disparity gives lower corporate tax rates)

III: FAIRER ELECTIONS and LESS CORRUPTION in GOVERNMENT:

III:  Fairer Elections and Less Corruption in Government:

1) A Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United and Hobby Lobby. Corporations are NOT people and deserve neither Freedom of Speech, nor Freedom of Religion. Pass laws to minimize the effects of those rulings meanwhile.

2) Transparency. Make names of all major donors public.  Whatever voting method is used, there has to be some way to verify the authenticity of results.

3) Anticorruption Measures: Even the Supreme Court acknowledges that “corruption or the appearance of corruption” is not a good thing, so anti-corruption is an excellent way to limit the power of large donations.  Pass the American Anti-corruption Act at all levels of city, state, and federal government.

4) Make lying to confuse or intentionally mislead voters illegal and enforce existing laws.

5) Encourage voting by making registration and voting easy.  Prohibit unreasonable restrictions on voting, and registration.  Discourage gerrymandering, so election results actually reflect the wishes of voters.

6) Stop the “revolving door” between those in government and industry. Government officials should be banned for at least 5 years from lobbying the government.

7) Limit the ability of corporations and industries to set the regulations for themselves.

!V: Healthcare and Environmental Sustainability

1)  Medicare for all.

Healthcare is a human right and should not be a privilege of the rich. Getting health care shouldn’t depend on your job. It’s time for us to act on what we know is right for all of us and fiscally best for our country.

Single payer health care will save us money—and save lives. We know this from experience. We already run single payer health insurance plans in the form of Medicare and Medicaid. Those health programs cost us far less in administrative costs than private insurance and produce better results. The federal Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) created the first uniform minimum Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) standard. The ACA-MLR requires health insurance issuers in the individual, and small group markets, and large group market to spend at least 80% and 85%, respectively, of their premium income on medical care and health care quality improvement, leaving the remaining 20% or 15% for administration, marketing, and profit. The ACA also requires such plans to provide an annual rebate to consumers (enrollees) if they do not meet these requirements. The MLR rules became effective on January 1, 2011.  By contrast, overhead for Medicare is usually listed as around 3%, although some feel the real number is higher.

Embrace, support and improve Obamacare.  While not perfect, particularly during its rollout, it has helped, and will help many people, and was a necessary and difficult step.  We should be proud of it, educate voters, and work to make it better.

House Resolution 676 calls for Medicare-for-All. We should add our voice to it.

 Skyrocketing health care costs, incredible technological and pharmacalogical advances,  and an aging population are a huge and extremely difficult problem.  Universal coverage is a necessary first step to controlling health costs and quality.  We are the only wealthy nation without universal coverage.

Many of its  real faults were that it didn’t go far enough (single payer, for example) rather than it went too far.

Many of its perceived faults are the result of blatant misinformation.

Good, affordable healthcare for an aging population offered a host of near miraculous but immensely expensive advances, is a huge challenge.  We need to work to make Health Care much more patient centered, efficient, and cost effective.

 

2) Embrace global climate change as a scientific fact, and a serious threat to us all.  Embrace and celebrate the new emissions standards for existing coal  power plants.  Strongly encourage efficiency, zero landfill manufacturing,  and renewable energy use by corporations, utilities and the public.  Prohibit utility companies from trying to cripple renewable energy competition.

Develop specific and extensive programs to provide new jobs, especially in coal mining and midwest “rustbelt” area,  in manufacturing, installing, and running wind and solar energy, energy grid upgrades to allow 100% sustainable energy, and energy storage to allow intermittent sustainable sources such as wind and solar to provide electricity 24/7.

Support H.R. 3671, the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act (OFF Act),introduced by Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) which will put the United States on a pathway to replace fossil fuels with 100 percent clean energy generation and use by 2035. This legislation eliminates tax giveaways to the fossil fuel industry, and provides support to transitioning workers who will be impacted by this generational change.  

3) We could eliminate almost all abortions by making contraceptives so well known and available that almost all women choose whether or not to have a child BEFORE they become pregnant.  Safe, available abortions should be readily available when needed, but we should do everything we can to make abortion as rare as possible.

Detailed Version

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Help Shape the Contract

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