The Issues

Immigration

Despite disputes from current elected officials, many families and children continue to experience extreme abuses within ICE detention centers. Improving our immigration policy will require a complete redesign of current policy, including investing money out of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), investment in immigration lawyers, community support, mental health support for asylum seekers, and immediate pathways to citizenship, including paperwork and support the moment they arrive.

Climate Change

As a result of the contamination of our water sources, the harmful pollution from manufacturing waste, and the impending climate catastrophe that is causing mass weather and ecological devastation, Americans face major health and environmental impacts that ruin quality of life.

This campaign will prioritize investing in clean and reusable energy and resources immediately. We will utilize initiatives in the Green New Deal, and introduce legislation to clean our water supplies of dangerous pollutants immediately. We will also hold corporations accountable by combating destructive projects like the Willow Project and Mountain Valley Pipelines.

Universal Healthcare

It is time to remove corporations and big business from healthcare, once elected our team will fight for universal healthcare from the first day in office. By investing in education to combat the detrimental shortage of healthcare workers, supporting black and brown investors to increase minority-owned hospitals throughout the country, and introducing legislation in support of quality healthcare for all Americans. This will help rebuild trust among the vulnerable and marginalized communities that our current elected officials have ignored.

Incarceration

The privatization of the incarceration system in the United States is hurting communities while padding the pockets of corporations. We spend over $80.7 billion on public prison and jails and $3.8 billion on private prisons alone.

Millions of Americans are incarcerated in overcrowded, violent, and inhumane jails and prisons that do not provide treatment, education, or rehabilitation. There are no federal regulations for prisons, and in 2023 states like Idaho have been allowed to violate the eighth amendment and utilize death by firing squad as a method of execution. The silence of current elected officials on this issue can be equated to a statement of support.

To curb these abhorrent abuses and profiteering, this campaign will advocate for more youth programs to end the school to prison pipeline, fund programs to combat poverty, investment in education and mental health rehabilitation centers, reduce police presence and increase support for community leaders, and raise the salaries of public defenders so defendants have greater access to legal support. Modern prison slavery is another avenue of exploitation, and we will fight to amend the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

With these solutions and more we can combat this broken for-profit incarceration system that puts profit over the lives of our citizens.

Housing Crisis

The United States is facing a housing crisis; with more than sixteen million homes vacant and an increasing number of residents being saddled into rental properties, home ownership rates are on decline, and the rate of houseless individuals continues to climb.

This campaign supports a myriad of solutions including access to public banking, increasing the minimum wage, supporting local community investments, robust regulation of the housing market, the termination of luxury apartment contracts, and the expansion of public housing through repealing the Faircloth Amendment.

 

Police Brutality

The current establishment supports police brutality, evidenced by all the money invested into police. Not everything is a police matter, mental health calls need to be answered by mental health professionals and communities can help self-patrol; this will also save police officers’ lives. We will invest in communities by creating mental health response teams with the American Psychological Association, the US Department of Health, community leaders, and social workers.

War on Drugs

The War on Drugs was created to police and harm marginalized and vulnerable communities. The United States spends at least $100 billion a year on drug control systems, and state and local drug-related criminal justice expenditures are estimated to amount to $25.7 billion. However, policing and criminalization still haven’t curbed the issues with addiction in struggling communities.

Combatting this crisis requires investments in communities, not policing and criminalization. Once elected, we will support legislation that redirects the billions in the war on drugs to community development, healthy living policies, mental health support, and family support programs. In conjunction with our healthcare platform, we will develop policies to remove the barriers that health insurance companies place on individuals seeking treatment, and develop programs to support job placements to recently incarcerated individuals.

Animal Welfare and Wildlife Conservation

Wildlife and animal welfare is an important discussion often overlooked by our elected officials in favor of policies perceived to be more politically beneficial. Domesticated animals enrich the lives of Americans in many ways, yet they are often exploited, abused, and slaughtered in cruel and inhumane ways. Although protections for both wildlife and domesticated animals have improved greatly over the course of our nation’s history, we firmly believe that more can be done to protect animals on a Congressional level. Over two-thirds of American households have pets, and millions of Americans visit national parks, rehabilitation centers, and zoological facilities to see and learn about important and often endangered wildlife every year. Factory farming, unethical animal breeding, wildlife trafficking, and many other inhumane practices are a stain on the country’s leadership, and its failure to protect one of our most vulnerable and voiceless populations must be stopped.

Through support for existing anti-animal cruelty and animal abuse legislation, passing animal safety legislation such as the Pet Safety and Protection Act and the Emergency and Disaster Preparedness for Farm Animals Act, and allocating funding for organizations and wildlife reserves dedicated to animal welfare and environmental protection, the US can better its protection of animals.

Payroll Tax Holiday – A Proposal for Permanent Change

Currently, most Americans contribute to the FICA tax, which is said to fund Social Security and Medicare. However, this tax is not a method of financing these programs, as stated by FDR himself; its purpose was to politically solidify the permanence of his program.

The time has come to move beyond this outdated approach, first, because the FICA Tax hasn’t stopped Republican attacks on Social Security, including attempts to privatize these programs. And second, It is now widely accepted that taking care of retirees is of the utmost importance and that such a program must exist.

Consequently, I propose ending the FICA Tax and declaring a permanent payroll tax holiday, while ensuring that Medicare and Social Security remain sufficiently funded by Congressional Appropriations. Implementing a payroll tax holiday would provide a stimulus for both workers and businesses. Employees would witness a decrease in the amount withheld from their paychecks, while businesses would no longer be burdened with their contributions to Social Security and Medicare.

For those worried about where the Treasury Department would get the money to send out checks and wires to Social Security recipients and medical goods and service providers, the answer is that it would get the money from the Federal Reserve using various ways of getting the Fed to fill the Treasury Spending Account with new reserves.

These methods include taxing, borrowing, and earning coin seigniorage. In addition, the Congress can order the Fed to fill the Treasury spending account with the amount of Congressional Appropriations mandated by Congress and the amount necessary to re-pay the principal and interest on Treasury debt instruments falling due within the period of the Congressional appropriation.

The US Mint currently uses coin seigniorage to fund itself. But, according to current law, the Treasury can order the Mint to create and deposit in its Fed account a high value platinum coin with a face value of many trillions which in turn would earn seigniorage (the difference between the cost of producing the coin and depositing it at Fed and the face value of the coin), in an amount nearly equal to that face value. The Treasury can then use that seigniorage to fund Social Security, Medicare, repayment of debt, and any other spending appropriated by the Congress.

The method of Congress ordering the Fed to fill the Treasury spending account with the amount of Congressional appropriations it makes and the amount of debt plus interest that needs to be repaid during the period of an appropriation isn’t used by Congress now. But it can use this method to cover all deficit spending, and to facilitate Treasury repayment of all debt and interest that falls due during the period of the appropriation.

Campaign Finance Reform

Currently, campaign finance reform faces notable challenges, particularly in eliminating the influence of big money donations, but also in providing opportunities for the poor and middle class to run for office and serve.

To accomplish the first goal, I will introduce legislation that would limit donations to $200 or less per campaign from individuals, corporations, PACs, or Party committees. I would also outlaw Super PACs, because I don’t believe money is speech, while I also believe that Super Pacs are undermining democracy in the US. I recognize that the Supreme Court will take issue with this position, but Congress can pass Campaign Finance Reform legislation and use the Exceptions Clause of Article III, Section Two of the Constituion to prohibit judicial review of this legislation by the Supreme Court.

To provide opportunity for poor and middle class people to run for office and serve, I will introduce and campaign for Federal start-up financing for small dollar donation campaigns by such candidates. This will require increased Federal spending of billions of dollars in each campaign cycle. But, the Federal Government can certainly afford that, and I believe we must stop restricting service in Congress and other legislatures to wealthy people who have the funds to take extended time off from work and run for office. The poor and middle class need representation from elected officials who understand the challenges in their lives and who are in touch with the same problems they experience on a daily basis. We must democratize all our levels of government beyond the plutocrats who now serve in them.

The Federal Job Guarantee – Addressing Unemployment and Creating Opportunities (JG)

Unemployment remains one of the most significant issues in our country. It is the right of an American citizen, as stated by
FDR, to have a job at a socially inclusive living wage. I support that right. Since the private sector is incapable of fulfilling that right, it is the responsibility of the Federal Government, given its ability to create financial resources to rectify the situation.

So, implementing a federal job guarantee at a socially inclusive living wage is essential. This program might serve as a transitional job, providing individuals with employment opportunities and safeguarding their financial stability, until attractive private sector financial opportunities are created. Or the program could provide permanent opportunities for those who are not able to find attractive private sector jobs.

By establishing a JG wage in this program, the private sector is compelled to increase wages above the JG program’s socially inclusive living wage floor, culminating in higher private sector wages initially, but also a longer term anchor on wage levels, hindering the development of wage inflation.

The proposed system would enable individuals who have lost their jobs or are dissatisfied with their current wages to visit an employment office, replacing the traditional unemployment office. This federally funded and locally administered initiative would involve the creation of local JG commissions, to specify and create job opportunities fulfilling local needs and values. If these jobs don’t fulfill the needs of participants in the JG program, JG members would be free to propose new jobs to the JG commissions to expand JG program job opportunities further.

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Paid for by Christina Khalil for U.S. Senator of New Jersey

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