Reform the NSA and Protect Civil Liberties

We are facing a crisis of civil liberties in America today. The information age has come back to haunt us in a very 1984-like fashion and it needs to be reigned in.

With major leaks in just how much spying the government is doing on everyday citizens and their lives, there is cause for serious concerns. Citizens have a basic right to privacy and the government can’t just spy on people for the fun of it. There needs to be some type of cause, usually from an impartial judge, that serves as a litmus test for whether or not any type of data collections can take place.

We cannot have a free for all, where the government can spy on anyone and everyone without any requirements whatsoever.

This has been one of the major missteps of the Obama administration. President Obama has done a great many things during his tenure as president, but he has not put the kind of focus on the NSA data spying programs that he should have.

He could have blazed a trail to make new reforms and new government agencies to oversee such data collections. The only way that we will be able to make sure the NSA isn’t spying on all Americans without warrants or probable cause is to form a new government agency that watches what they do and makes sure they aren’t doing anything wrong. In order to keep them from turning into a completely rogue government agency, we need to set up a new watchdog government agency that can watch over them.

This will be an independent, bipartisan agency with no political allegiance. The problem with some government agencies is that they operate under appointments, so whoever is in charge in the government is in charge of the appointments for different agencies. We would make this new watchdog agency completely independent, so no one party will have control over who gets in there.

This is the only way that we can reign in the NSA and protect the civil liberties of Americans.

Regardless of how you feel of people like Edward Snowden and his data leaks, he exposed some terrible things being done by our government. Mass collections of people’s phone records and emails. This was being done to all citizens, and our citizens need to be able to expect a level of privacy. If the people can’t control their government, how can they trust what is going on in it?

This is the biggest problem. This is the people’s government and the people need to have a say in what is going on. We cannot have agencies that aren’t responsive to the will of the people who are doing illegal things. We need to set up more agencies to oversee the illegal agencies to safeguard the civil liberties for our citizens and the people of this country.

We need to take our privacy back and put the systems and agencies in place to make sure our children have a safe, private digital future. Our laws are outdated. Our agencies are outdated. We need to get new ones that will make our kids safe, feel protected, and private.

Bellows Support Equal Pay for Equal Work

thWomen in this country make far less than the average man and this is an absolute travesty.

Why is this happening? And why do we continue to let it be a reality?

Let’s first deal with the question, why is this happening? Women are paid far less than men for the average job in this country because they are discriminated against. Big corporations discriminate against women and choose not to pay them as much as they do men, which shows just how deeply structural the problems that women face in the American workplace.

Women have to work that much harder to get ahead. The deck is stacked against them when it comes to the corporate work environment.

Did you know that being pregnant used to be considered a preexisting condition to getting health insurance? In what world does that make sense? It’s not a preexisting condition. It is a healthy, beautifully natural process.

Furthermore, corporations don’t have mandated PAID maternity leave. How can we say that women are treated equally in the workplace if they are given paid maternity leave? Not making this mandatory in America is a huge setback for women in their careers.

And for those women who are self-employed, women’s health care premiums and health care costs used to be much higher than men’s were. Why would a woman’s health care costs ever be more than a man’s? Does it cost more to treat a woman for a cold or flu than it does a man? Of course not! This is clear-cut evidence of direct discrimination of woman in the insurance industry and the corporate culture.

There is no cost that women put on our health care system any more than men do, so why should they be paying higher premiums on average? The answer is, they shouldn’t, and Obamacare has made great strides in making this a reality, but this is still much work to be done in the equal pay movement.

The second question I started out with was “why do we continue to let this be a reality?”

The answer is we can’t. We cannot let women in our culture continue to be systematically discriminated against through less pay. Women deserve the same treatment as men and deserve to be paid the same, across all industries.

This is common sense. What are we living in, the stone age? No, this is modern, civilized society. Women are equals and need to be treated that way.

All of this leads me to one solution. I will support any equal pay amendment or legislation that comes my way to put women in a better place in this country.

All of the people that work for me get paid the exact same amount. This demonstrates my overwhelming commitment to this ideal. I will implement this into my cabinet and the legislative staff. No one will be making any more than anyone else, regardless of race, color, sex, creed, orientation, or anything.

Everyone will be viewed as an equal. Exactly how it should be. This is one of the most important issues of our time. Read more about Greg here.

Investing in Working-Class Families to Kick start Maine

uaw-logo-bwAmerica is losing good paying jobs each and every day. Greedy businesses are leaving the country to avoid paying absorbent tax rates in search of low-tax havens to hide their money in offshore bank accounts.

This is unfair to the working men and woman who cannot uproot their families to move to low-tax jurisdictions. Companies are moving jobs overseas and it is killing the American middle class all in the name of corporate greed.

The solution, of course, is to make sure these companies pay their fare share. There is no reason that companies should be off the hook for paying these high tax rates when you and me, the working class, have to make up the difference.

This is why we need to tax any company that does business in America at the highest rate possible, no matter where their company headquarters is or how much business the do in the United States. If companies sell one single item in America, they should be taxed at the highest rate possible on all of their company’s earnings, not just the sale of that single product.

This will fix the current loophole where companies set up their corporate headquarters in different countries in order to avoid the United States’ comparatively higher tax rates.

This will help create a fair playing field for American businesses. There is no reason that big businesses and corporations should be paying such low rates while small mom and pop shops are stuck paying these ridiculously high tax rates. That is just wrong, and it doesn’t work.

It’s proven not to work. We all have seen how Reaganomics has worked out—it hasn’t. We need all businesses, large and small, paying these tax rates. That is the only way to build a strong middle class. We need to empower the public sector to build and provide for those in need and the only way to do that is to bring in more revenue from businesses.

If we can do these simple, common sense reforms, we will embolden a new middle class. A middle class that has access to an affordable education, a good paying job, and where all other costs of living are low and affordable. This is the kind of America that works for everyone, not just a privileged few.

Because if the middle class succeeds, everyone succeeds. The problem, however, is the rich 1% wants to raid the middle class of all of its savings and hard work and take it for themselves. That is why I support getting rid of the cap on the social security tax. There is absolutely no reason why a rich person should only have to pay this tax on the first $117,000 of his or her income. If anything, they should pay more because they can afford it.

If you can afford to pay more, you should be forced to pay more. That is how we encourage new business development and entrepreneurs. By making those who are already successful pay money to those just starting out, we can kick start their success and bring everyone up the economic ladder that much faster.