The United States stands at a definitive moment in its history. This moment will determine the future direction of the country for years and even decades to come. Do we accept the country will remain in our current stalemate or do we undertake the difficult work to extend the country’s greatness? I have made my choice. My decision to leave my job and launch this campaign is because I know we will choose the path to greatness. I refuse to accept anything short of that goal.
We the people have not failed over the past decade; it is our political system that has failed us. Control of Congress has changed hands twice in the past six years. Prior to the 2006 mid-term election Congress had only switched control once in over 55 years. This instability reflects both the deep lack of satisfaction the American people feel toward Congress and the disappointment in the major political parties in delivering their visions. These failures are as deeply felt in the 8th District as they are in Districts across the country.
My campaign platform is built on the expectation that the best years of the country are ahead, not behind us. My platform is my pledge to you that I will spare no ounce of my will to achieve it, as I expect no less of you in asking you to make a bold choice, so that together, we can revitalize our economy and avoid passing on a damaged legacy to our children. Our goal is clear and achievable: create the conditions for economic growth so we can enter the next decade as a prosperous democracy that will continue to lead the world.
The Four Pillars of the Windle Campaign:
The four pillars of this campaign include mixed solutions combining the best ideas from both political parties and outside experts.
- Fiscal Responsibility and a Simpler, Fairer Tax Code. Confidence fuels our economy and job creation. A grand bargain to balance the budget over the next decade would increase investor, business, and consumer confidence creating improved conditions for economic growth. Our current tax code reflects decades of cumbersome complexity peppered with loopholes to special interests that we cannot afford. Read More
- Pro-Growth Policies for Businesses. Congress can partially ease the confidence crisis of the economy by stating in clear terms that Congress intends to pass practical, measurable policies in areas where there is strong support in the business community. Read More
- Efficient, Smarter Government. Under both political parties, the federal government has grown considerably over the last decade. It is possible to eliminate inefficiency and duplication, AND spend savings wisely on priority areas to ensure America is positioned to out-compete other countries. Read More
- A Strong National Defense. Budget constraints mean priorities must be set. Defending and promoting global commerce is a vital interest and should be the centerpiece of defense policy. Expanding care for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces also requires urgent attention.
1. Fiscal Responsibility and a Simpler, Fairer Tax Code. Restoring confidence in government and the economy through a grand bargain to balance the budget and reforming the tax code by reducing overall tax burdens, reducing loopholes, and modifying existing policies.
Like in personal finance, an accumulating national debt has eroded confidence in our national economy. A growing interest payment on the debt already exceeds the operating cost of most Federal agencies ($240 billion per year). Neither political party has shown the courage to put forward realistic proposals to bring the budget in balance within a reasonable time period (2040 according to the Republican plan; no concrete proposal offered by the Democrats). A “grand bargain” to balance the budget would immediately increase domestic and international confidence in the economy, keeping interest rates low and spur investment at all levels. Importantly, this would prompt job creation as businesses would have more certainty when considering whether to expand their payroll. A mixed approach is needed that includes proposals from both political parties.
We have a one trillion dollar deficit this year. A recent Presidential report estimated that tax loopholes reduce revenue by $1.1 trillion annually. The math is obvious. The grand bargain to balance the budget in less than a decade has three components that need to be addressed near-simultaneously:
- Cutting back discretionary spending at federal agencies;
- Reforming entitlement programs in order to achieve their long-term sustainability while still meeting commitments to current and soon-to-be retirees; and
- Expanding revenue through tax reforms, which lower tax rates while revising many deductions for special interests that do not need them.
No one likes the idea of increased taxes. Yet, the current tax code represents the buildup, over decades, of loopholes and policies that make the current tax code unnecessarily complex and effectively gives subsidies to special interests that do not need it.
Other candidates vying for the 8th District’s congressional seat may choose to stay silent on how they view targeted, pro-business, and pro-growth tax reform efforts. They will also be silent on which loopholes they might consider closing. Both parties speak only in generalities to avoid the difficult discussion of specifics. I welcome the discussion with my fellow candidates and voters.
After cultivating my career in federal budgeting and understanding fiscal policy, one can reach the conclusions that overall income and corporate tax rates should be reduced and selected tax loopholes closed. This will broaden the tax base opening the path toward both deficit reduction and targeted investment. To the extent that loopholes need to remain to keep our corporations competitive, then the debate should be conducted in open hearings where Congress and the public can understand why special treatment is warranted.
The grand bargain on the budget is the first step to restoring confidence and the right conditions for growth. The second is pro-growth policies to encourage investment and consumption. With more investment and consumption come job creation and more tax revenue. A number of reasonable pro-growth policies include:
- Increased regulatory certainty;
- Business friendly immigration policies;
- Educating the future workforce;
- Reducing the costs of healthcare for employers;
- Incentives for expanding payroll and job creation; and
- Continued tax breaks for small business start-ups and entrepreneurship.
3. Efficient, Smarter Government. A more efficient government and targeted investment in areas needed to compete in the global economy.
After a decade of growth in discretionary spending under Congresses and Presidents of both political parties, the federal government has enough spare capacity to be slimmed down without sacrificing essential services and investments. At the same time, it is unacceptable to stop all investment in activities necessary for us to remain globally competitive. Examples in our state of smart investment over decades include Interstate-90 and water projects to control flooding that might damage the economy. The federal government plays a prominent role in joining state and local efforts to smartly invest in critical infrastructure needs. The choice is not simply to cut OR spend, but rather to cut AND spend wisely, emphasizing high-priority areas.
- For reductions at federal agencies, target areas of inefficiency or where States or the market could more effectively meet the needs of the people.
- Reinvest a portion of savings from reduction and additional revenues into critical areas, such as infrastructure, science, and education, to ensure we are positioned to out-compete other countries.
- Exercise strong oversight over the executive branch that has increasingly encroached into the power of Congress by legislating through complex regulations and bureaucratic processes.
4. Strong National Defense. Focus defense strategy on defending and promoting global commerce, particularly to and from the Asia Pacific region.
The threat of terrorism requires constant vigilance but national defense strategy, in an era of budgetary constraints, must look toward the future with clear priorities. The United States is the world’s largest importer and among the largest exporters. Washington State ranks fifth state in the United States in exports with $65 billion per year. U.S. defense policy should be geared toward protecting freedom of the sea, air, and space domains. Washington State serves an important role in securing and bolstering our national defense posture as a host of 10 military installations, 15 Coast Guard installations, and over 65,516 personnel. These bases are on the front lines of defending trade to and from the Asia Pacific Region and are imperative to the economies of Washington State and the United States.
- Employ smart power of diplomacy, economic policy, and global security partnerships to strengthen regional security;
- Make priority investments in ground, air, sea, and space power to counter current and future threats to commerce to and from the Asia Pacific region;
- Continue to scrutinize over-cost weapons platforms and explore lower-cost alternatives;
- Invest in cyber and information security that poses a threat to the U.S. economy; and
- Expand our commitment to care for our veterans of the armed forces, who have sacrificed so much in recent years and conflicts.