Issues directly facing North Texas will be a result of our own economic growth. It is a good problem to have but if not addressed before the long-term outcome of growing faster than our infrastructure, housing availability, and educational system can adapt will put strains on our current system. A lot of these concerns will be handled at the local and state level and not by the Federal Government. North Texas, no matter how strong our economy has become, will still be susceptible to the long-term issues facing the Federal Government and our country. The individuals we send to Washington D.C. are more focused on party politics than finding solutions to move America forward. Bipartisanship is the key to progress in America and fixing the immediate and future issues America faces. Congress has set new records for polarization between the parties and the back and forth legislation that has plagued politics leaves America in a state of confusion and turmoil. Regardless of what elected officials say, their actions have proven that bipartisanship doesn’t exist in Washington. If Democrats and Republicans are unable to come together to work for the American people as a whole, then our current polarized, unproductive Congress will continue. We, the American people, only have ourselves to blame for this as we continue to elect and reelect individuals that draw a line in the sand when it comes to party issues while politicians only serve the agenda of their party instead of the interest of all Americans. Texans’ tax dollars are sent to Washington D.C. and if Social Security, health insurance, America’s trade deficit, and other long-term issues are not addressed then all Americans, regardless of how strong of an economy North Texas has, will eventually pay for the short shortsightedness of Congress.
I am disappointed that the tax plan did not accomplish the two main goals originally discussed by the President and Republicans – Simplification and removal of loopholes. Instead, we have a complicated tax system that reduces individuals tax rates in the short term but ends altogether in 2025. Inflation is calculated using a lower measure which will gradually shift people into higher tax brackets and the tax bill’s “pass-through” breaks benefit the super rich and specific companies for no justifiable economic reason. This tax bill will also add $1 trillion to the national debt. I believe this is not a tax reform bill but a short-term tax cut to individuals and long term cut to corporations in order to gain political praise at the long term cost to Americans national debt and already strong economy. We need a complete tax overhaul which includes fair treatment to all industries and individuals that will allow the Free Market, not tax policy, to determine where Americans want to spend their money.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals I believe can be turned into a permanent first step solution to our immigration problem. DACA recipients did not knowingly break the law as parents brought these children over and as a society we should not hold a child responsible for the actions of their parents. We need to allow an avenue to gain legal status for individuals that pass a background check and contribute to the economy. Officials keep debating sanctuary cities, building a wall, DACA, etc… but these discussions will not provide a comprehensive solution that can address the root cause of illegal immigration. The truth is, America needs the labor that undocumented workers perform as they fill many jobs that would be otherwise unfilled. We need an approach that would allow on-demand access to the U.S. labor market for immigrants as a permanent solution to enter the country legally with proper checks and balances. This market approach would also end the black market flow of illegal immigration by unskilled workers. Politics cannot determine due to the sheer volume which applicants should be allowed permanent or temporary status in the U.S., but the markets can determine who would work the longest, smartest, and be willing to sacrifice the most to be in the U.S. These are the individuals we want in our country. I believe the DACA recipients are those we want to immigrate into the US and become part of our society. They should be at a minimum granted continuous status to be allowed in the US and begin the process to obtain citizenship.
Infrastructure is a lot more than roads and bridges. As North Texas grows we will need to grow and improve our waste and drinking water, airports, broadband, and public transportation system along with our roadways. It is almost impossible to travel to parts of North Texas without paying tolls and Trump’s new infrastructure plan will do nothing to reduce the number of toll roads in America or North Texas. There are two main parts to Trump’s plan that still lacks in substance and pass cost to states and local communities. Trump wants Congress to authorize $200 billion over 10 years which seems low in my opinion, considering the U.S. military budget for 2018 is $825 billion. Trump is encouraging more than $1 trillion in state, local, and private financing. Private financing, I equate to toll roads and I do read about state and local governments with budget surpluses waiting to be spent on infrastructure projects. Texas already has its share of toll roads and obtaining funding through toll roads is an inefficient approach to collecting tax while these toll roads cause unforeseen consequences as drivers add congestion onto secondary roads to avoid tolls. The federal government just made it a priority to pass a tax plan that reduced everyday Americans income tax while adding $1 trillion to our national debt. Until the Federal government makes roads, bridges, tunnels and all infrastructure projects a priority the lack of public investment will be felt for years. Any policy made will have negative & positive impacts and will be expensive, but we must make these hard decisions not for today but for tomorrow, and next year, and next decade.