Issues

Eliminating Wasteful Spending and Making Government More Accountable
Gary believes that responsible deficit reduction must begin by ending wasteful government services and spending. The non-partisan Government Accountability Office reported that $200 billion in redundant and wasteful programs, that’s not right.

Gary knows we need to get our deficit under control but that it must be done in a responsible way. That’s why he supports performance audits to measure every government program for results and end the ones that don’t work. Gary is in favor of eliminating Congressional earmarks, subsidies for big oil companies, tax breaks for the ultra-wealthy and foreign aid to countries like Pakistan.

But we shouldn’t cut investments that create jobs, and we shouldn’t balance the budget on the backs of seniors by ending Medicare and making them pay $6,000 more a year for health care, while giving even more tax breaks to the wealthy.

A fiscal conservative, Gary voted to cut his own pay and end lifetime health care for lawmakers. He will push for a pay cut for Members of Congress and freeze their pay entirely until there is a responsibly balanced budget.

He will work to reduce wasteful government spending by eliminating bureaucracies that provide duplicate services, demanding tougher audits of federal agencies and opposing new government spending that does not directly help to put people back to work or protect our nation.

Getting Michigan Back to Work
Michigan faces an unemployment rate of nearly 10%. In parts of Northern Michigan, the unemployment rate is upwards of 13%. In these tough times, we need an aggressive, new approach to put Michigan back to work – protecting the jobs we have while also creating new ones.

As a small business owner, Gary understands small businesses are the engines that drive our local economy. He supports tax credits for small businesses that create new jobs here in Michigan and the U.S. Gary will provide real relief to small businesses by working to reduce unfair and unnecessary bureaucratic red tape that hinders job growth. Furthermore, Gary will fight to increase demand for Michigan products and services here at home by protecting American businesses and jobs from unfair trade practices.

Protecting Social Security & Medicare
We must keep our promise to our seniors because every American deserves a dignified retirement. That is why Gary will work to preserve and strengthen Social Security and Medicare.

Gary’s parents are both recipients of their social security investment. Gary knows that without this vital safety net, many seniors, like his parents, would struggle to stay in their homes and maintain independent lives. Gary opposes any plan that would undermine Social Security, cut benefits or change the age of retirement.

Gary opposes the handling of Medicare in the Ryan Budget. That plan ends Medicare in order to give more tax breaks to the wealthy and shifts the burden of healthcare on to seniors by an average of $6,000 per year.

As we have all seen from the financial catastrophe, the private market is not a safe place to keep our social security funds. Gary opposes any effort toward Social Security privatization.

Veterans
Americans who put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms and our way of life deserve our utmost respect. Gary values the sacrifices our veterans made and current service members continue to make every day to protect us.

In Congress, he will work to ensure VA clinics are more available in rural areas and he’ll fight for the rights of every veteran and service member who needs help. This will include providing the best equipment for our current troops, aid to the families at home and the proper medical and psychological care for those returning from our nation’s current wars.

Defending our Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are resources of immeasurable value to Michigan and the entire country.

Gary has always been a defender of our Great Lakes. In Lansing, he led the fight to end drilling on the Great Lakes and stop the bottling and selling of our waters for profit.

Fishing is an important economic driver in our region. Invasive species like the Asian Carp are threatening our native species and our economy. In Congress, Gary will fight to stop the Asian Carp from entering the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River. Already, as a state legislator, Gary passed a resolution encouraging parents to take their children out on the lakes for Free Fishing Day instead of spending the weekend in Chicago to protest Illinois’ inaction on Asian Carp.

And when Ontario began dumping raw sewage into the St. Mary’s river, Gary stood up to Canadian authorities and pressured the government of Ontario to upgrade their treatment facility.

Gary will always be a fighter for our lakes and our environment.

Family Farms & Agriculture
As a fifth generation farmer, Gary knows first-hand the importance of family farms and agriculture to Michigan and our country. Gary and his two brothers farm hay in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and broker hay from area farmers all across the country.

Farmers do not want to be paid by the government to farm. That’s why instead Gary supports protections for farmers in the case of catastrophic losses and a viable crop insurance program to provide an adequate safety net. In Congress, Gary will fight to make the Farm Bill work for family farms so they may continue to feed America and the world.

Gary will work to reduce the burden of the death tax on family farms by increasing the standard deduction to $5,000,000 to ensure that farmers can pass on their machinery, land and their business to their children. Gary also supports legislation which will transfer $7,000,000 in farm assets to a spouse in the case of an unexpected death.

Gun Rights
Gary is a strong supporter and advocate for the 2nd Amendment rights of every individual.

In the Michigan legislature, Gary authored legislation and supported the right for each of us to legally possess and carry firearms as well as preserving the right to hunt and fish. Advocating these principles is why Gary always received an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association.

Gary will always uphold the bedrock principles of our 2nd Amendment for all Americans.

Fixing Unfair Trade
Getting our economy back on track means providing incentives to create jobs here in America and ending unfair practices that wrongly encourage the outsourcing of jobs. Gary will work to close the tax loopholes that reward companies for shipping jobs overseas and instead use those savings to create small business jobs right here in Michigan.

Gary will work to fix our broken trade deals with countries like China and Mexico. America needs to stop shipping our good-paying manufacturing jobs to other countries and instead encourage job growth right here in Michigan – the manufacturing heart of America. The promise of so-called free trade has only meant that our jobs are free for the taking by foreign countries. Gary believes it’s time for fair trade.

Gary also supports efforts to end illegal Chinese currency manipulation which increases the cost of American products sold in China and dramatically reduces the cost of Chinese goods here.

Reducing the Tax Burden on the Middle Class
While the big banks of Wall Street got a billion dollar bailout, Michigan families got left behind, footing the bill. Simply put, that’s outrageous. Gary supports tax relief for middle-class families, not taxpayer-funded bailout bonuses for Wall Street CEOs.

Gary wants to end subsidies for big oil and eliminate special tax breaks for those making more than $250,000, which would save up to $900 billion. Gary wants to use these savings for middle class tax cuts and small business investments.

Gary supports an end to the carried interest loopholes that protect millionaire’s profits from Wall Street investments. This would save taxpayers up to $2 billion a year.

In the legislature, Gary led the bi-partisan fight to cut middle class taxes, opposed new sales taxes and created a half billion dollar property tax relief fund to reduce the tax burden on working families.

Gary opposes a national sales tax that would put an unfair burden on working families.

Health Care
Health care costs continue to rise for average Michigan families. While there have been some reforms – such as holding insurance companies accountable for abuses and ensuring they can no longer deny coverage because of a pre-existing conditions – we must address rising health care costs.

Gary strongly supports Medicare and will work to keep the program strong for years to come. He will oppose cuts to beneficiaries.

Gary knows health care for our military veterans deserves special attention. He will work to strengthen health care for our military veterans and ensure that VA clinics are more accessible to our veterans, whether they be in urban or rural areas.

Ending Wall Street Bailouts and Holding Wall Street Accountable
Gary opposed the bailout of the Wall Street banks and investment firms who were the root cause of our current economic mess.  He believes that if the Wall Street banks are healthy enough to pay outrageous bonuses to their CEOs, then they are healthy enough to pay the taxpayers back every cent of the bailout.

Gary will fight to strengthen Wall Street reform, crack down on the Wall Street abuses and speculative practices that wrecked our nation’s economy, and make sure that if a bank fails, the CEO is fired instead of getting a bonus and a bailout.

Gary supports our local community banks and credit unions. He’ll fight for improved access to credit and affordable home loans. And he will work to end hidden fees, confusing rules and bureaucracies that end up costing everyone even more.

Education
Gary believes a quality education at all levels is necessary for our nation’s economic growth. Gary will fight to make sure our children have the resources they need and work to reduce the cost of a college education.

Gary believes the best education occurs when the local community provides it, not when it is mandated by a federal bureaucracy. Local families, communities and schools should be allowed to educate children without interference by the federal government.

Many higher education opportunities exist for students of all ages, but the cost of a college degree continues to rise at an alarming rate. Gary will fight to make college affordable by expanding the availability of grants and student loans.

In Congress, Gary will fight to provide our children the same educational opportunities he was given. A good quality education leads to job opportunities and means that our children can live and thrive in their hometowns.

Energy
Energy independence is not just an economic issue, but a matter of national security. Gary will fight to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by supporting a strategy that includes alternative energy like wind, solar, and biofuels while responsibly expanding production of American oil and natural gas.

Michigan is a manufacturing state. Michigan builds the best products in the world and possess the infrastructure, both natural and man-made, to transport products far beyond our borders. Gary will promote Michigan as the ideal place to manufacture the products needed in a clean energy economy.

In Congress, Gary will work to eliminate subsidies and tax breaks for big oil and instead invest in American sources of energy.

Homeland Security and the Terrorist Threat
Our troops have done everything we have asked of them. They have performed brilliantly in Afghanistan and far too many have given the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. We cannot thank them enough for their courage, their patriotism and the sacrifices they and their families are making.

But now it’s time to bring our troops home.

More than ten years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, America is still the target of Islamic extremists. Gary supports using all aspects of our national power to combat that threat. Here at home, that means distributing anti-terrorism funding to state and local governments wisely. It also means working to increase the security of air travel and more closely monitoring cargo at our ports for dangerous shipments. To preserve our way of life we can never let our guard down. Keeping America safe must be our top priority.

We are at war with Al Qaeda because they attacked us – and we need to make sure they can never do it again.

Securing our Borders
Washington has failed when it comes to solving the problem of illegal immigration.

Gary believes we need to confront this problem on two fronts. First and foremost, we need to secure the border. Secondly, the federal government has got to crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants. It’s time we held these corporations accountable.

Gary believes we also need to increase our enforcement of laws against passport and visa fraud. He opposes any type of amnesty for illegal immigrants.

We need a fundamental, bipartisan common sense solution to immigration reform, now more than ever.

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