Here are some of my ideas on how to solve some of our country’s problems. I welcome feedback and I need support to continue this campaign. Please send me an email with your comments or questions and I hope expressing your support. Here are some specific things I advocate. Harley Mikkelson
Social Security/Medicare (Health Care): We need to maintain current Social Security benefits. Everyone should pay into the Social Security system on their total income. Medical costs are rising to fast; we need a single payer health care system to control these costs. Medicare should be expanded to cover everyone paid for by replacing the current 2.9% Medicare tax with an 8% tax with co pays and deductibles based on income.
National Defense: Our military involvement in the Middle East has not made us safer, it has made us enemies. Every time a missile comes out of nowhere and kills an innocent person, we make several enemies and turn some of them into terrorists. We do not need soldiers in South Korea, Europe, or the Middle East. We could save hundreds of billions of dollars every year by bringing our soldiers and contractors home and using the money saved to rebuild our country. A strong economy keeps us safer than a strong military. Bring all our troops home now.
Israel/Palestine Conflict: I would stop all aid to Israel and impose sanctions on them like we have on Iran until they begin meaningful peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
Jobs: We need to cut the work week down to 32 hours per week. The minimum wage for the first 32 hours worked per week should be increased to at least $15/hour, $20/hour for all hours worked between 32 an 40 hours, and $25 for all hours over 40.
Living conditions in our cities and towns: Our cities need to be made better places to live. Our cities and towns should become places where people can walk, bicycle, or take mass transit to work, shop, and entertainment facilities. We need more urban recreation areas, parks, and gardens. The existing city infrastructure must be improved. We should impose an immediate 10% tax on the wholesale price of fossil fuels to pay for these improvements and we should increase this tax by an additional 5% each year.
Our rural environment: We need to encourage local food production and sustainable agricultural. Large scale animal production operations need to be regulated as they have the potential to create large scale pollution problems. We need to limit agricultural subsidies to large producers and feed grain producers. We should impose a 10% tax on agricultural chemicals and non-organic fertilizers to fund the conversion to a more sustainable local agricultural system and we should increase this tax 5% each year.
Education: We need a longer school year with longer school days. Education needs to start at a younger age to ensure all of our children are given an equal opportunity to succeed. Our schools system needs to operate all day every day; children need to be in school instead of day care when their parents are working. We should use the money saved by bringing our troops home to hire a million new teachers.
Other Issues: Abortion must be legal, but we should do everything we can to prevent the need for abortions. Gays and lesbians should have the right to marry. Marijuana should be legalized like alcohol. Make all illegal immigrants legal and put them on a path towards citizenship.