Issues

Health Care

The healthcare conversation that has echoed the Congressional halls for the past year has been a direct debate over individual freedom and government control. Make no mistake; this debate is not about those for healthcare reform and those against it, as Democrats have attempted to paint the picture, but rather those for government expansion and those for protection of individual freedom.

Harry Reid has taken the lead on a healthcare agenda that will set a new precedent for government control, not only over healthcare, but over personal freedom. In addition to the monumental costs that have ranged in estimates from $1.3 - $2.5 trillion, Sen. Reid’s plan sets forth a number of new mandates on both individual taxpayers and private sector businesses. Reid’s plan is neither economically sound, nor constitutional and it runs in direct contrast to the healthcare plan I, and many republican leaders, have been proposing since long before this new debate ever arose.

The Reid Plan:

Electing to discard a moderate approach to healthcare that could have been amended to draw bi-partisan support, Sen. Reid choose to take a hard line approach to healthcare insisting on a public option, including many other controversial and costly provisions. The Reid bill has several key flaws:

  1. It imposes an unconstitutional mandate on individuals who do not have health insurance, to purchase the insurance. The constitution does not give Congress the right to mandate how individual taxpayers invest their money.
  2. The bill is ripe with back-room deals and political payoffs like the Cornhusker kick-back that cost taxpayers an extra $45 million to cover Nebraska’s Medicaid expenses, and $300 million in Medicaid aid to Louisiana.
  3. The Heritage Foundation estimates the total cost to be $2.5 trillion, a budget increase at a time when Congress is seeing spending deficits of over $1 trillion annually.
  4. It takes away the ability of individuals to choose what health insurance is best for them and raises the cost of premiums.
  5. It opens the door to federal funding for abortions.
  6. Estimates predict that the complete healthcare overhaul proposed by Sen. Reid and President Obama will result in deficits of $74 billion annually and over $750 billion added to the national debt by 2020, creating an economic impact on production that could result in job opportunity losses of over 690,000 annually.
  7. Furthermore, the Reid Bill levies a new mandate for Medicaid expansion on state budgets, a mandate that could leave Nevada on the hook for a 5% budget increase in overall spending.
These are just a few of the many flaws wrapped up in Harry Reid’s healthcare plan. Once again this legislation is the result of Sen. Reid and the democrats mortgaging the future of our children away to pay for their legacy shopping. This legislation puts symbolism ahead of need and real reform.

My Plan:

I am opposed to the blanket government take over of healthcare that Harry Reid has led in the senate. I believe that we can institute quality healthcare reforms without infringing on personal freedoms and at no cost to the taxpayer. My plan will substantially reduce premiums by implementing 4 common sense reforms:
  1. Allow individuals to purchase insurance across state lines. This would increase the competition in the insurance industry and one thing we have seen time after time, the more competition in an industry the better the product at a lower cost.
  2. Implement tort reform by capping non-economic damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit. This will encourage doctors to stop the defensive medicine they are currently practicing which is costing the health care system in excess of $210 billion dollars per year. Defensive medicine is medicine doctor’s practice, not because they feel the patient needs it, but because the doctor is worried about a lawsuit.
  3. Enforce the current federal law which states Medicare is to be the payee of last resort. Currently, 13% of all Medicare recipients also have private insurance but on many occasions our federal government does not require the private insurance company to make payment on the medical bill, instead agreeing to have the taxpayers foot the full bill.
  4. Eliminate or substantially reduce the State mandates imposed in our insurance policies. State mandates are coverage the state requires individuals to include in their insurance plan whether the individual wants it or not. State mandates make up 20% to 50% of all insurance premiums. Nevada has one of the highest number of State mandates in the country.
Furthermore, we need to make insurance portable so individuals can buy coverage they like and carry it with them from job to job. This can be done two ways. First, for companies who provide health care, encourage the companies to open Health Savings Accounts for their employees and deposit the company’s health care contributions into these accounts. The employees would then be free to use this money to pick and choose the insurance coverage that best fits them. They would own this policy, not their employer, and they could take it with them when they leave their employment. The second way, is to allow individuals the same tax deduction provided to employers when the individual buys insurance for him or herself. Inexplicitly, currently an individual does not get a tax deduction when they buy their own insurance coverage.

Health care reform should be about increasing choice and reducing costs – not increasing government control over our health care decisions. The truth is that Senator Reid’s healthcare plan strides mightily toward even bigger government. It narrows, rather than expands, individual choice in the marketplace. The American taxpayer simply cannot afford this.

My vision for a 21st Century healthcare system would be based on individual choice and ownership for every American. Americans would control and carry their coverage throughout their careers, just as they do life insurance or home insurance, rather than rely on either government or their employers for health coverage. As a U.S. senator, I will work to implement reforms that accomplish this, and fight to repeal the dangerous precedents passed in the Reid plan.

 

Federal Deficit

At $1.3 trillion and climbing, our current annual federal budget deficit should be proof to Senator Reid that “You cannot borrow your way out of debt, and you cannot spend your way to prosperity.” We simply cannot continue to allow our federal government to borrow, spend and bailout entire industries at the expense of future generations of Nevadans.

Please look at what the Congressional Budget Office recently said about our skyrocketing federal budget.

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/104xx/doc10454/08-2009-MBR.pdf

I believe that government can have a role in our economic recovery but it needs to be limited and effective . Our vast and intrusive federal government is now growing well beyond the powers delegated to it in the Constitution. This centralized power is a direct threat to our personal liberties.

Now some say this massive expansion is needed to stimulate the economy but in doing so it is causing Nevadans massive economic damage. Just last year the Federal Reserve announced, with the administration’s approval, it was flooding our economy with a trillion freshly printed dollars. Additionally, we have spent nearly $1 trillion for TARP and authorized an additional $787 billion in so-called stimulus spending. As Nevadans we fear this unchecked dollar printing and spending growth are exposing us to the specter of runaway inflation and unsustainable deficits.

Sign the petition to audit the Federal Reserve

 

The Economy

Create jobs and revive the American Dream. More than ever, we need to let Nevadans keep more of their hard earned money by keeping their tax burdens low and reducing their energy costs through alternative energy sources. We also need to keep higher education affordable for Nevadans and make sure we are preparing our workforce for 21st century jobs in a global economy.

Senator Reid thinks government is the answer, which is why he claims credit for the so-called “stimulus spending package” he authored. But his approach hasn’t worked. Nevada’s economy is still suffering and government spending isn’t the answer to our economic problems anyway. Let’s get back to fiscal restraint and away from pork giveaways that just lure legislators into voting for the crushing budget deficits we face today.

Senator Reid claims his seniority justifies his re-election. Remember that even though he wrote the massive “stimulus” bill , Nevada ranks dead last among all 50 states in stimulus education dollars according to www.recovery.org – We are also third from last in transportation infrastructure spending and are experiencing the highest unemployment in our history. Please read this article and you’ll understand why the so-called “stimulus” was really just a poor attempt at a re-election package for Senator Reid. http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/52571962.html


Danny's Economic Growth Plan for Nevada and Danny's Proposed Federal Agency Budget Cuts


Taxes

America has some of the highest taxes in the world and certainly one of the most complex tax systems. We need to ensure the permanent repeal of the inheritance tax (“death tax”), and that capital gains tax cuts and other Bush tax cuts set to expire in 2010 are extended, otherwise, America will see the largest single tax hike in its history. As a signer of the Tax Protection Pledge, I have sworn to work to prevent this kind of a tax increase and as senator, I will uphold that pledge for Nevada.

Click here to watch video of me signing the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

I also believe that the massive federal tax code is in dramatic need of a complete overhaul. Replacing this monstrosity with something such as the “Fair Tax” that reduces overall taxes is a commonsense, bipartisan approach to tax simplification. Experts on the Fair Tax point out that it would eliminate income, capital gains, and inheritance taxes by replacing them with a single rate sales tax that leaves us free to choose how best to spend our own money.

Nevada citizens and small businesses need help on the state level as well, where taxes are suffocating job growth. Most importantly, we should relieve the burden on small businesses here in Nevada by repealing what the Nevada Policy Research Institute calls the infamous Nevada “Jobs Tax.” This tax – now a payroll tax - has haunted job production since its inception in the early 1990’s, making it extremely difficult for small businesses in Nevada to create new jobs. At a time of record high unemployment, I will supplement my tax cutting efforts at the federal level by lobbying state legislators to eliminate this job-killer.

 

Education

I come from a family of educators and have three school age children of my own. I believe that every child deserves a quality education that includes a scholarship to go to a private school if the public school system is failing. I agree strongly with John Fund of the Wall Street Journal when he stated “Congress’ killing of the Washington DC scholarship program is one of the worst decisions made this year.”

We should not give up on our public school system, We need accountability, academic standards and quality instructors to help teach our children. We need to see the funding we give to our schools actually reaches classrooms and promotes smaller class sizes.

 

Foreign Policy and Defense

The United States possesses the greatest military power in the world, and with that power comes the burden to utilize it responsibly. It is not the role of our military to act as the world’s policemen, or to work as a government building coalition. Our armed forces exist to protect our nation and when attacked, seek out and bring to justice those responsible.

We need to transition to a precise military strategy to capture or destroy those responsible for the attack on September 11, 2001, wherever they may be harbored. Achieving justice through the elimination of the terrorists who perpetrated that cowardly attack deserves every resource our country can offer the troops in the field, but I believe it can be done through the use of pin-point military power and not the broad policing force currently in place. At the same time we must begin withdrawing our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan where they are serving primarily as a policing and restructuring coalition.

Withdrawing troops from Iraq and Afghanistan will save the country over $2 trillion in spending over the next 7 years and more importantly, it will bring our service men and women home to their families, out of harms way. Finding a way of reducing the United States military presence overseas, while still aggressively pursuing our enemies, must be a priority for our government.

 

Life

I believe life begins at conception and that we have a responsibility as human beings to protect that life if at all possible. That is why I oppose abortion, except where necessary to save the mother's life. I also oppose federal funding for abortions.

 

Second Amendment

The Second Amendment guarantees citizens the fundamental right to bear arms. I was happy to see that right affirmed in District of Columbia v Heller. I also agree with two-thirds of the State Attorneys General that this fundamental right should apply to state and local governments as well and I hope the U.S. Supreme Court decides the upcoming case correctly. I also agree with Congress’ recent vote to respect concealed weapons permits across state lines if the individual complies with local concealed weapons laws.

Read why: Gun Owners Should Support Danny Tarkanian
Also check out: Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Tarkanian calls for vigilance in defending 2nd Amendment.
Danny's NRA Political Victory Fund Candidate Questionnaire: Review Here

 

Immigration

The flow of illegal immigration into the United States remains a drain on our nation's resources and a glaring hole in our national security.We must protect our borders by building a fence and supporting borders states who seek to send troops to the areas of entry, but most importantly, we must also reduce or eliminate entirely the incentive to enter our country illegally.

Eliminating that incentive means strictly enforcing the rules we have in place. Illegal immigrants are not entitled to government benefits paid for by law abiding taxpayers. They are not entitled to social benefits, drivers licenses, healthcare or education. A clear prohibition of these benefits for illegal immigrants will help eliminate the incentive to break into the country in the first place. We must also actively pursue and punish those who employ illegal immigrants. Those who enter the country illegally are breaking the law and should not be granted amnesty or a pardon.

 

Card Check

I firmly oppose card check. An employee’s decision to support or oppose unionization should be made with a private-ballot. Private ballots are a basic American right and if card check were to become law, employees lack of ability to vote by a concealed ballot would open the door to bullying and other forceful tactics. Furthermore, the binding arbitration provision which requires a government board to come in and set wages and benefits and what normally would be contract terms if an employer and newly recognized union do not reach a first contract within 120 days serves as a disincentive for unions to bargain in good faith. Have we gotten so far left that we are going to force companies to allow the federal government to dictate terms of employment for small businesses?

 

Energy

Complete energy independence must be the primary goal for the United States to secure both our energy and economic future. We must remove our dependence on foreign oil from hostile countries and to do that we need to broaden our approach to meet our energy demands. We will not be able to advance as a country by searching for a lone energy source to sustain us, but rather we must draw from all energy sources. We must make use of clean energy sources like natural gas and nuclear, while opening the door to our domestic fuel resources to create a balanced path that will establish our energy independence. The U.S. possesses all of the natural resources needed to accomplish this goal, and Nevada could become the center for many energy source developments.

Energy Development

Enacting just a few regulatory reforms like ESA and EPA revisions will help open the door to developing clean alternative energies and making use of the resources we already have here in the country like coal and oil. We must make advancements in several key energy production areas:

- Double our Nuclear Power Production: 20% of the country’s electricity is provided by the 104 nuclear power plants in existence. I propose doubling the amount of energy produced by nuclear power plants to 40% of our national total. Creating an advanced reprocessing plant at Yucca Mountain can make this possible by providing 95% of the nuclear fuel needed and the result would be hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic stimulus, as well as a cut back in our dependency on fossil fuels. At the same time, we should work to make Yucca Mountain and Nevada the site for the development of small or modular nuclear energy reactors. The demand for the large reactors that are currently employed in the U.S. is no longer in existence, however, smaller reactors provide an ability to increase energy production in the needed areas incrementally. Nevada is in an ideal position to become the leader in research and development of this kind of nuclear technology in the U.S. and I am committed to working to make that a reality.

- Expand Production and Use of Natural Gas: One of our most abundant national resources, natural gas provides a clean alternative energy source that can supplement our domestic oil production in the push to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil. Already natural gas vehicles roam our streets, many are mass transit vehicles that commuters unknowingly ride on a daily basis. Furthering the application of natural gas to vehicle usage will help drive our country toward energy independence. We should look at transitioning other frequently used methods of transportation to natural gas, like taxis, municipal vehicles and other forms of transit. Pushing natural gas vehicles development to the front is a vital step toward energy security for the United States.

- Drill in Alaska and Off-Shore for Oil: We need to open up Alaska and the Outer Continental Shelf for drilling. The resources contained in these areas are vital to eliminating our dependence on foreign oil. We need to cut through the fear-mongering ideologies that are blocking access and open the door to the resources at our fingertips.

- Expand Production of Renewable Energy: A key element to our energy independence lies in our ability to expand our production of renewable energy. As I have pointed out before, Nevada is primed to be a leader in renewable energy production. We already are advancing geothermal and wind energy through various sites in Nevada, we need to continue to offer incentive within the state to expand in those areas and draw solar energy development in. At the same time, we need to be looking at ways to reduce the costs of this energy to make it more economically efficient for consumers.

Yucca Mountain

The key to making Nevada the capitol of energy development in the United States, and to pushing forward our efforts to make the country self-sustaining, is Yucca Mountain. While this site has been heralded as one of the greatest problems facing the nuclear community since its conception, the reality is that it offers the greatest solution. My proposal is to transition Yucca Mountain into a advanced nuclear reprocessing facility for spent nuclear fuel. While this seems simple enough when stated so plainly, the positive repercussions of this approach would be fantastic for Nevada and the country:

- Advanced Reprocessing: As one of the leading countries in nuclear energy production, the U.S. does not practice spent fuel recycling like many other countries have. All spent nuclear fuel can be recycled and 95% of all spent fuel can be re-used. By installing the countries first advanced reprocessing plant at Yucca Mountain, we can recycle the spent fuel from the 104 current nuclear reactors and create enough fuel to nearly double the total energy produced by nuclear power.

- Revenue for Nevada: Opening Yucca Mountain to advanced reprocessing would require bringing spent fuel to the site, a project the federal government has agreed to pay Nevada over $500 million a year in revenue to undertake. This revenue would enable the state to invest in tax credits for renewable energy development in Nevada, like the China Mountain Wind Project in Elko, or the Blue Mountain Geothermal project. With the natural resources in Nevada, and the ability to offer further tax incentive to energy developers, we can open the door to making Nevada the capitol of renewable energy production.

- Job creation for Nevada: Not only will advanced reprocessing bring federal revenue, but job creation estimates for the Yucca Mountain project are over 5000. In 2008 alone, the Yucca Mountain project was responsible for over $300 million in contributions to the state’s economy, that total was result of the 2700 employees. Installing a reprocessing plant and finishing Yucca Mountain would likely triple job creation and economic production. At the same time bringing this new nuclear technology to Nevada and expanding renewable energy production would move UNLV and Nevada University to the forefront of energy technology.

Regulatory Relief

Turning Yucca Mountain into an advanced reprocessing facility alone will create a boom in energy development and subsequently result in massive job creation and an economic stimulus, but that is only the beginning of my energy plan. We must enact commonsense regulatory reform and remove the environmental shackles that are binding our energy advancement in this country. There are several key regulatory reforms that must take place in order for our country to successfully achieve energy independence:

- Reduce the Authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): The EPA has steadily expanded its authority under the guise of greenhouse gas emissions and the result has been increasing difficulty for domestic energy producers to succeed. Last year the House passed Cap and Trade legislation that would levy a devastating economic impact on the country by essentially shutting down several energy industries, fortunately the legislation fell dead in the Senate. However, through its overbroad authority, the EPA is on the verge of instituting a rule that will bi-pass the legislative process and impose the cap and trade regulations sought by the left. The EPA’s sweeping authority must be checked and the unconstitutional ability of a single agency to wield the power the EPA has should be reformed.

- Reform the Endangered Species Act (ESA): The ESA was passed for a noble purpose, preservation of endangered species. I fully support the spirit of the bill, however, the application has left a wake of devastation and currently threatens several industries in Nevada. Through its stringent regulations, the ESA’s protection of certain species have done everything from halt construction on key infrastructure projects, to blocking water distribution to areas experiencing severe droughts. Currently, the ESA is on the verge of declaring the Sage Grouse an endangered species. If this ruling goes into effect under the current ESA regulations, all mining, energy development, agriculture development and construction projects in areas where the Sage Grouse is present will be forced to cease so as not to disturb the habitat of the bird. This ruling will devastate energy, mining and agriculture production throughout the west if action is not taken. Even staunch democrat Senator Diane Feinstein has realized the need for ESA reform and has made efforts to offer revisions. In addition to the negative effects the ESA imposes, it has shown minimal success in reviving the population of endangered species.

- Nevada Land Use: Nevada like many other western states is flush with federal controlled land. Much like my economic proposal in which I suggested the use of some federal lands for incoming businesses, I support utilizing federal controlled land for further energy production. We can offer the same benefits to energy producers looking for a suitable location for development or research. We need to return the federally controlled land to Nevada to make available at little or no cost to incoming energy production companies and further diversify Nevada’s economy.

- Protect Nevada’s Access to Public Land: Currently the administration is considering a backdoor maneuver that would restrict Nevadan’s access to land throughout the Heart of the Great Basin, with ranges in Nye County and parts of Owyhee County. In an internal memo by the Department of Interior, recommendations were made to make use of the controversial Antiquities Act of 1906 to declare over 13 million acres of land at 14 different sites in 9 different western states national monuments. The Antiquities Act was designed to give the President the ability to make designations under special circumstances; however, like now, it has been frequently abused. Conservationists in Nevada have already expressed that they have no idea why the DOI is targeting the specified land in Nevada. This is a blatant attempt by the federal government to secure a massive land-grab to appease special interest left-wing environmentalists without consulting the public or state and local governments. In 1950, Congress passed a law that prohibited the future establishment of historical monuments in Wyoming without congressional approval. I will support and propose similar legislation for Nevada as a U.S. Senator that will create an open process providing Nevadans with the input into the use of public land in Nevada that accounts for over 80% of the state.

Implementing a plan to establish U.S. energy independence will have a resounding ripple effect in the form of job creation and massive economic growth. Several members of the Congressional Western Caucus have proposed legislation that achieves many of the actions I have outlined in this plan and their legislation was scored by the Congressional Budgetary Office. The CBO predicted that the bill would create or save over 2 million jobs and contribute over $10 trillion to the GDP over the next 30 years if implemented. This is the kind of economic growth our country needs and this is what my energy plan is focused on achieving just like my economic plan.

It’s time to cut the regulatory red-tape and abandon the fear-mongering principles that have held our domestic energy production hostage. We need to encourage the production and advancement of all our energy resources in America and work to develop an energy approach that utilizes every available source. If I am elected to the U.S. Senate, these are the types of commonsense approaches you can expect.

 

Veterans

Our country owes its greatest debt of gratitude to the men and women who have sacrificed their lives and committed themselves to serve their country. The veterans who have served so honorably to protect the freedoms we hold dear are this country’s greatest heroes and we must continue to make them a top priority. Providing for our veterans has been the best way we can demonstrate our gratitude to these men and women and we must continue to ensure that their access to healthcare, educational benefits, housing assistance and all other forms of aid.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been a valuable asset in caring for our veterans, however, many veterans struggle to receive their VA benefits and frequently veterans are turned away from enrollment. We need to work to improve the VA benefits system to make it more efficient and to ensure that no veterans go without benefits. We also need to work to ensure that all VA hospitals across the country are funded at the necessary levels to enable full access for veterans in need of medical care. We need to expand GI Bill benefits, continue to attack the issue of homeless Veterans, and also ensure that veterans continue to have affordable access to programs like TRICARE. Establishing a fully funded and efficiently run VA system must be a priority for ensuring that our veterans receive the care and benefits they need.

Congress must also work to locate and honor all veterans and soldiers who are listed as POW/MIA. Currently the U.S. government has failed in their role as part of the US-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs. One House seat on the commission remains open while the Senate seat held by Se. John Kerry has become inactive due to his inability to participate for various reasons. As Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader , Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have the power to address this issue and fill the commission with members who are committed to making full use of the assets the commission affords us. We need to make use of these valuable tools to ensure that all veterans and service members are honored for their sacrifices.

Veterans issues must be a top priority for this country at this critical time. With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the number of veterans in need of access to benefits will soon begin to increase at high rates. We must ensure that we are able to meet the demands of these heroes and provide them with the assistance they need to survive and succeed here at home. If I am elected to the Senate, it will be my great honor to work to ensure that veterans receive the care they need and I would further more be honored to serve on commissions like the US-Russia Joint Commission. I feel very strongly that our first duty as representatives of the people is to serve them and I can think of fewer better ways.