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©2020 by Matthew C. Hook                                                                       Website design by IPM Web Design

Stop the Fiscal Insanity

In 2000, the year before George W. Bush became President, the United States had a federal surplus of $236 billion.  This surplus was due in part to the courage of the President’s father, George H. W. Bush, to raise taxes to address the United States fiscal problem.  However, under George W. Bush and each of his successors, there have been significant tax cuts and spending increases.  As a result, the Federal debt of the United States is over $21 trillion dollars and rising rapidly.  Matt will support tax increases and spending cuts to reduce the deficits.  Capital Gains on investments, 90% of which go to the wealthiest top 5% of taxpayers, are taxed at a much lower rate than working people's wages. Matt proposes raising the capital gain tax rate to the same rate at which wages are taxed.  This would result in the 400 wealthiest people no longer paying lower rates than middle-class families.

Healthcare

The United States spends 17.8% of GDP for our confusing healthcare system compared with 8.8% of GDP for the other 35 developed countries in the OECD.  The first thing we need to do is quit electing politicians who take over $250 million annually in political donations from the healthcare industry.  These politicians provide special interest handouts, like the law which prohibits the US government from negotiating drug prices, resulting in the US paying higher drug prices than every other developed country in the world.  Additionally, healthcare providers, which are often charging non-Medicare patients over 10 times what Medicare is paying, should be prohibited from charging anyone higher prices than those paid by Medicare. 

 

Climate Change

The scientists at NASA, Purdue University, Indiana University and over 97% of peer-reviewed scientists agree that warming trends over the past century are due to human activity.  Most scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. According to NASA and Purdue University scientists, Climate Change will have major adverse effects on the health of Indiana residence and industries.

 

Matt would work to reduce carbon trapping gasses that are causing climate change by supporting the revenue-neutral proposal outlined in The Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends proposed by James A. Baker III, George Shultz, Henry M. Paulson, Jr., and other prominent Republicans or similar legislation.  

 

Social Security and Medicare

The 2018 Report of the Trustees of the Social Security Program provides:

  • for the first time since 1982, the program will spend more than it raises in revenue and collects in interest. 

  • Social Security will be insolvent by 2034 

  • lawmakers should start making changes now

  •  waiting 16 years to act would mean any tax hikes or benefit cuts must be 35 to 40 percent larger.  

The outlook for the Medicare Program is even more dire.  The insolvency of these programs will adversely impact us all if action is not taken soon.  

Matt supports action to fix the Medicare and Social Security programs in a manner that requires everyone to share some of the pain. 

NO Donations From Special Interests

Currently, members of Congress spend between 30% and 70% of their time fundraising.  More than half of that money comes from less than 0.05% of the population and over 60% of the money contributed to Super PACs is coming from just 132 people in the United States (TED Talk – Lawrence Lessing).   For example, in Indiana’s 5th district, of the $1.4 million Susan Brooks raised during the 2017/2018 election cycle, over $900,000 or 64% of the “contributions” were from Political Action Committees and other entities.  

Matt will not accept any donations from special interests.

Other Issues

While I am running for Congress because of the fiscal and environmental issues we are leaving our children,  I know there are a lot of other issues that are important to people in Indiana’s 5th District.  Click the tablet to review some positions The Indianapolis Star asked about and my responses.