The Issues

 Our Democracy

We must end the corrupting influence of money in our political system.

It’s no secret that Congressmen are placed in their seats by big money interests. We no longer live in a representative democracy, but an oligarchy, where the corporate class controls our politicians. Today, a bill’s popularity amongst the American people has a direct negative correlation to the likelihood of it turning into law. This is unacceptable and why Tom Wells supports reversing Citizens United and passing legislation to get corporate and PAC money out of politics.

Tom Wells supports public financing of elections where every voter is given a stipend each election cycle to donate the candidate of their choice. Tom is running a grassroots campaign funded by small money donations from voters and he does not take money from Super PAC’s, corporations, or the economic elite. Politicians should work for the people that voted for them, not the people that paid for them.

Our broken democracy does not stop at money in politics. Despite the majority of voters identifying as independents, the two party system has kept a stranglehold on our political system – leaving choices between bad and worse. We need a ranked choice voting system in order to increase competition and allow for independent candidates to run. We also must abolish “First past the Post Voting” and ensure that each candidate wins the amount of delegates proportional to the number of votes. We must open up the primaries to the millions of disenfranchised independents so that candidates address all voters during their campaign. We must abolish the Commission on Presidential Debates and create a nonpartisan commission. Gerrymandering is also one of the most important issues in American politics. He supports instituting a nonpartisan commission to draw district lines impartially. We also must institute same-day registration, create an Election Day holiday, and end the undemocratic super-delegate process that allows the establishment elites to swing elections – with no regard to the will of the people.

 Health Care for all Americans

Too many families have lost a loved one to a preventable disease or have gone bankrupt as a result of a serious health problem. Congressman Yoho voted to cut Medicare. Tom wells wants to expand Medicare to cover everyone and provide better benefits. Every American would have comprehensive health coverage including hospital visits, doctor’s visits, preventative care, prescription drugs, mental health services, vision, dental, long-term care, and hospice care.

A single-payer system will save American families thousands of dollars every year by paying a little more in taxes while eliminating private insurance premiums. It will save money for small businesses that are crippled with the burden of providing health coverage to their employees. It will allow workers to not worry about losing their health insurance if they want to change jobs. It simplifies the healthcare process – reducing paperwork and overhead costs. There are no forms to fill out; just give a doctor your Medicare card and receive treatment. This system will save an estimated 17 trillion dollars in health care costs over the next ten years.

Tom will take on the pharmaceutical industry, which has been extorting Americans for too long – charging unconscionably high prices for prescription drugs. The same drugs, sold in Canada, are frequently half the price they are in America. He will support legislation that allows for Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and allows the importation of less expensive drugs (the same drugs, minus the gouging) from Canada.

Tom supports HR 676, Medicare for All.

 Criminal Justice Reform

We must reform our justice system and end systemic racism and oppression. We must deprivatize our prison system which has incentivized the jailing of our citizens for nonviolent drug offenses.Tom Wells supports the legalization of Marijuana. Too many lives are ruined because of a nonviolent marijuana offenses. He supports ensuring every American has the right to the mental health care needed to overcome the disease of addiction, instead of being treated as criminals.

Tom supports a prison system that is more focused on rehabilitation rather than punishment. We must ban prison slave labor, and allow prisoners the option to work for minimum wage. We must also restore voting rights for felons who have completed their parole who were not convicted of murder or a sexual offense.

We must hold our police accountable when they shoot unarmed civilians. We can do this in part by installing an independent civilian oversight council as well as mandating that any death at the hands of police must be investigated by the FBI or the Attorney General. He supports retraining officers with de-escalation tactics, requiring a 4-year college degree, demilitarizing their weapons and vehicles, encouraging community policing, and requiring body cameras on every officer which streams footage to a civilian oversight council. We must abolish civil asset forfeiture which allows the government to seize private property without due process of law.

 Income Inequality

The economy is rigged against the working class. It is time we make an economy that works for the working class, not just wealthy individuals and corporations.

The United States has the most extreme inequality of any other industrialized nation. Over the last 50 years, there has been a massive transfer of wealth from the working class to the top one percent. The top one-tenth of one percent has almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. Meanwhile, 40 million people live in poverty and half a million people are homeless. Both the Republican and Democratic establishments have facilitated this transfer of wealth because their donors are the recipients.

If you work 40 hours, you should not live in poverty. That is why we must raise the minimum wage to standardized living wage specified by geography, and generally referred to as $15 per hour.  We must raise pay and provide better training for our teachers, firefighters, police officers, and soldiers. And we much change the ridiculous law that allows servers and bartenders who receive tips to be paid as little as $2.13 per hour.

Tom Wells supports reforming the tax code in a way that favors working class people and closes loopholes for millionaires and billionaires. He supports a progressive income tax, and supports eliminating loopholes that allow corporations to stash US Dollars in other countries and avoid paying taxes on 166 billion dollars in legally hidden profits annually.

Tom supports closing loopholes that have allowed 20 percent of corporations to pay nothing in taxes. He supports raising the capital gains tax , and raising the corporate tax on large corporations. Tom also support raising the estate tax, the repeal of which provides almost exclusive benefit to the 328,000 richest people in America.

We also need to address homelessness in our society. Tom supports providing all of our homeless with homes that come with a lock and key. This is the moral action to take and studies have shown that it is much less expensive to shelter our homeless than it is to leave them on the streets. We must invest in our people and afford them the means to succeed.

 Clean Air & Water

Tom Wells will fight at the federal level to ensure that residents of our federal district have clean air and water. District 3 includes Union, Bradford, Clay, Putnam, Marion, and Alachua counties. Clean water should not be a scarce resource owned by corporations or ruined by politicians. It is the birthright of every citizen in North Central Florida.

We must prevent fracking and irresponsible phosphate mining on Florida’s precious land. There are safer and cleaner ways to create energy and agricultural products.

Climate change is a grave threat to our security, economy, and our future. What we do today will impact the future of our kids and our grand-kids.  He supports HR 3671, “Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act”, sponsored last year by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.

Tom will fight for clean air and water so that future generations can enjoy Florida’s natural resources. We can no longer be polite and say “It’s time to change” our policies on these issues. Our time is up. Change is long past due. Tallahassee may not be committed to our children’s future, but as your US Congressman I will be.

 Education

We must invest in our people in order to compete in this new global economy. That is why Tom Wells supports free tuition at public colleges and universities. We must allow our young people to get an education regardless of their income. He supports cancelling all student debt because our young people should not be punished for investing in their future, and it would free them up to spend more in the economy, saving up to buy a house or saving to start a business. He also believes that we need to invest in early childhood education, creating a universal pre-kindergarten program. The most important time in a person’s brain development is early and middle childhood. This is the easiest and most important time to learn, which is why we need to ensure that every child has the education they need to empower themselves as adults.

We also must reform the way in which we fund public schools. Much of the racist housing laws of the past have led to extremely poor or extremely rich neighborhoods. Funding schools through property taxes creates a system where poorer neighborhoods have substandard school facilities. That is why we must enact equality of funding in public schools: funding based on number of students – not property taxes. He supports higher salaries for teachers who work in undeserved areas in order to reward them for empowering our disadvantaged youth.

Tom also believes that for-profit private schools and tax-exempt religious schools should not be funded by the taxpayer. Our public school taxes should go to the public school system only. Our current situation, in which the Executive and Legislative branch of the Florida government continue to work toward circumventing the Florida Constitution and Supreme Court by channeling public tax dollars to private schools, shows the degree to which our governmental process has become contorted.

 Immigration

The United States is a proud nation of immigrants and our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Tom Wells supports an inexpensive and expedient pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living, working and paying taxes in the United States. Undocumented workers, particularly in the agricultural industry are exploited and subjected to some of the most inhumane work environments imaginable. A pathway to citizenship will bring undocumented workers out of the shadows, treat them with dignity as legal members of society.

 Marijuana

Marijuana should have never been illegal. Now our State Legislatures are blocking patients from medicine they need.  Tallahassee should fully implement Amendment 2 as approved by 70% of voters.  At the Federal level, Congress should de-criminilize marijuana immediately.

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