Dear Representatives Fetterhoff and Olivia and Senators Simmons and Galvano,
As a resident of Florida House District 26 and Senate District 9, I am writing in opposition to Florida House Bill 265 and Senate Bill 404 that require parental consent for minors 17 and under to terminate a pregnancy.
These proposals to require a notarized signature from a parent for girls 17 and under to have an abortion will affect girls of color with disproportionate adversity, including girls whose parents actually might boot them out from home, thereby making multiple generations homeless.
Parents can easily refuse, and some children don’t know or live near their parents for valid reasons such as parental drug/alcohol use or other issues.
Going from parents merely being notified to requiring their approval is ridiculous and was already struck down by the Florida Supreme Court in 1989.
I encourage you to withdraw support for these bills, to vote against them, and to persuade your colleagues to do the same.
I would also ask, in the interest of Floridians, to focus on accepting a federal expansion of Medicaid for Floridians and once again to allow retroactive eligibility for 90 days. Access and funding of healthcare is undeniably pro-life, and we have hundreds of thousands of adult Floridians who cannot qualify for Medicaid nor an Affordable Care Act subsidy.
Other state governors and legislatures are expanding Medicaid even in deeply Republican states. Florida is one of only 14 states who are still refusing the expansion, which is already part of U.S. public law and is over 90% federally funded if we simply agree to accept it. The tide of public opinion even among constituents opposed to Obamacare is turning on this issue. It is time that we make healthcare affordable and available to all Floridians living in poverty.
Sincerely, Richard Thripp, Ph.D.
Democratic Candidate for U.S. Congress (FL-06)
Adjunct Faculty, University of Central Florida
email@example.com | 386-232-8172
Here are a few reasons to vote for Richard Thripp on 8/18/2020 (Democratic primary) and 11/03/2020 (general election) for Florida’s 6th Congressional district (Volusia, Flagler, and parts of St. Johns and Lake counties), or by mail or early voting:
✔ Won’t cut Social Security and Medicare
✔ A check on Donald Trump and the lawless Republicans
✔ Unlike other candidates, born in Daytona Beach and has always lived in the district
✔ Supports healthcare for more Floridians and Americans
✔ Supports ending war and knows there is nothing to win in the Middle East
✔ Accomplished college instructor and financial educator who values education
✔ Will fight vested interests on the climate crisis to save Florida’s future
✔ Will expand the IRS with the resources to collect from high earners and big business
✔ Will not dial for dollars or be bought and paid for by anyone
✔ Will fight against corporate welfare, subsidies, and giveaways to the rich
✔ Constituent-focused and will open a district office in mid-town Daytona Beach
My Republican opponent:
✘ Has the “guts” to slash Social Security and Medicare
✘ Supports endless and costly militarism in the Middle East and beyond
✘ Indebted to special interests and corporate donors such as NASCAR
✘ Lives in a different Congressional district
✘ Won’t hold a town hall meeting
✘ Supports corporate welfare and giveaways to the rich (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act)
✘ Opposes women’s healthcare and choice
✘ Against expanding Medicaid and wants to repeal Obamacare
Here are the core issues I will work on in Congress. I am a 28-year-old husband, father, and teacher educator at University of Central Florida. I was born in Daytona Beach and have lived in Volusia County my whole life. Follow me online: http://thripp.com, https://twitter.com/richardxthripp
Addressing the Climate Crisis
As a new father, I am acutely aware that the next generation will face the fight of their lives when it comes to the climate crisis. I support the Green New Deal as well as ending subsidies for fossil fuels. The United States must be a leader in reducing its emissions and developing new technologies to remediate the crisis. The Daytona Beach area has been hit by hurricanes Matthew and Irma in recent years, and is increasingly vulnerable due to population growth and development, as well as oceanic warming from human activities. The climate crisis is of immense importance. Congress needs representatives like me who will take it seriously.
Restoring Congressional Authority
Let’s face it—Congress has become known for gridlock and inertia, with public approval ratings in the single digits. Sycophantic and obstructionist Republicans are blocking any meaningful dialog or bipartisanship, with Congress unable to even pass a budget on a regular schedule. The judicial branch, now stacked with partisans, is running circles around legislators, striking down key components of hard-fought legislation. Petty squabbles and pointless government shutdowns hurt Americans, damage our credibility, and could end up costing us hundreds of billions in interest if investors demand higher rates on U.S. government debt due to a lack of trust. We need to restore Congressional authority over the purse strings, making and declaring war, and other duties that Congress is Constitutionally authorized—or even obliged—to oversee. I will act to help restore Congressional authority, at all times fighting for the 99% rather than merely enriching the 1% as the Republicans do.
Strengthening the Affordable Care Act
Although Medicare-for-All is the topic of the day, the Affordable Care Act has been chugging along providing much-needed health insurance subsidies to residents of Florida’s 6th district and across the nation. Therefore, it is my position that we should work on strengthening the ACA rather than pursuing a single-payer system. Here are a few ways I will seek to do so:
Close the coverage gap. Florida’s Republican leadership continues to disenfranchise poor Floridians by refusing to accept federal dollars to expand Medicaid. People who earn less than the federal poverty line but above the Medicaid cap are not covered under the ACA (“coverage gap”). I support tying expansion of Medicaid to federal highway funding (as we do with drinking age) or similar mechanism to help the poor, or expanding the ACA to close the coverage gap.
Restore funding for health insurance navigators and other outreach efforts to educate Americans, many of whom are going uninsured despite being eligible for a full subsidy of their premiums.
Outlaw the practice of “surprise” medical billing. We have all been hit with one of these, which are often the result of such predatory practices as balance billing, out-of-network providers, insurers trying to wriggle free of their obligations, or even clerical errors.
As a teacher educator, I know that education is a gateway to success and to civic engagement. We need to support students and educators at all levels, with a special focus on underserved urban and minority students. I support increasing Title I funding for local schools, as well as funding for the National Science Foundation and other agencies that further education and scientific progress. Beyond this, I believe that federal student loans should be limited to higher education that presents a good value, such as our excellent college and state university systems in Florida, as well as HBCUs and cutting-edge institutions. In Congress, I will also support financial education and reining in financial institutions’ predatory, inequitable, and confusing practices.
Ensuring Fair and Equitable Taxation
The IRS is underfunded and understaffed. Tax evasion by wealthy individuals and corporations is at an all-time high, yet the IRS lacks the resources to collect these taxes when faced with obfuscation, stonewalling, and armies of attorneys. Instead, the IRS audits low-income taxpayers who may or may not have incorrectly claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit, while leaving billions on the table from wealthy tax evaders. I support strengthening the IRS by expanding its workforce and appropriating funds to overhaul its technology.
Social Security payroll taxes are regressive because high earners pay very little into the system. Presently, income that exceeds $132,900 per year is not taxed at all. I support removing this cap, which would make Social Security solvent for the foreseeable future, without cutting benefits. Beyond this, unearned income such as rents, interest, dividends, and capital gains should be taxed among high earners, which are typically their primary sources of income.
Many proposals abound regarding a tax on accumulated wealth. The wealthy have definitely not been paying their fair share for many decades, resulting in a new gilded age of staggering wealth inequality. In addition to raising taxes on new income received by the rich, I believe that a small portion of existing wealth among the top 0.1% should be taxed through new legislation that allows the U.S. Treasury department to take ownership of wealthy individuals’ corporate equity and other securities, while allowing them to maintain their shareholder voting rights on ceded shares. American ingenuity has produced astounding wealth, and in this way, a part of their fortunes will help enhance prosperity for all. Furthermore, we need to tax items that exacerbate the climate crisis, such as private jets, to ensure justice for disadvantaged populations.
I support ending American militarism and bringing home our troops and contractors in the Middle East, abortion rights and women’s health, equity and civil rights, the Equal Rights Amendment, voting rights, workers’ ability to unionize, grassroots support and not dialing for dollars, and interest abatement on student loans. When elected, I will open a district office in mid-town Daytona Beach to serve local constituents, as well as 2–3 other offices and a mobile office.
Moderator: Yes. And who doesn’t like a tax cut, right? We all like tax cuts. [Applause] But, but, those tax cuts came without any corresponding spending cuts. That means the deficit is rising significantly. Projected to be about $800 and something billion dollars this year. It’s now going up more rapidly than it did during the last years of the Obama presidency according to, that’s according to the Congressional Budget Office. So, my question is this: What spending cuts would you make to offset that budget deficit, and how much, tell me how much those cuts would save taxpayers?
Michael Waltz: Well again, it’s my own experience with my own business trying to build it as an entrepreneur. Uhh, you know, most of that time was under the Obama administration. Uhh, we couldn’t get a loan because Sarbanes–Oxley [Thripp: Being unable to comply with this post-Enron law is not really something to be proud of], I already talked about the burden of Obamacare. Overtaxed, over regulated. As soon as President Trump came in and got the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, and that’s an important component—Tax Cut and Jobs Act passed, we put that new rate in and hired 6 more people. Our economy is on fire. 4.1% GDP, the lowest minority, uhh, unemployment in American history, and I plan to get up to D.C. to continue that. I would not have signed, uhh I would not—excuse me, I would not have voted for the omnibus, that added $1.3 trillion in debt. Our debt is our biggest, I think, one of our biggest national security issues. It is a burden on our future generation, our kids and our grandkids, and we have to get a hold of it. The way to get a hold of it, and, and, this is what we’re gonna have to do, we’re gonna have to go after the non-discretionary portion: The entitlement reform portion. We’re nibbling around the edges with all of these other cuts. That’s the part that we have to go over. We need politicians that get up there and have the guts to go after it. It’s one of the reasons I’m on the record for term limits. It’s that you get in there, you get stuff done, and you get back to the real world. That’s what our founding fathers intended.
Moderator: Just to, uhh, clarify one thing though: If we go after entitlements, what does that amount to? Uhh, if you cut, let’s say, and what are those entitlements? Is Social Security an entitlement?
Michael Waltz: Yeah. [Dissent from audience]
Moderator: Or, is Medicare an entitlement? What entitlements, and how much would that bring in—how much would that save?
Michael Waltz: Well it’s, umm I mean it’s, you know, I don’t necessarily have the numbers in front of me, but it’s by far—it’s 70% of our budget. So figure out 70% of our $6 trillion budget. [Thripp: It’s 50% of a $4 trillion federal budget. If you count interest on the national debt you are close to 70%, but Waltz wasn’t proposing defaulting on interest payments.] Pat, you’re better at math than I am. But, umm, that’s [Social Security and Medicare] the part that we have to have the guts to go after, and as soon as any Republican says that, we see the ads start flying from the left. And you know, look, the policies are in place to do that. Simpson–Bowles and others have put forward real recommendations, but the political will is lacking, and I think we need a new generation to get up there and say “enough—I’m not going to pass this debt on to my kids.” But, very quickly, who’s the biggest holder of our debt? The Chinese. By far. [Thripp: No, not by far. Not even true. Japan owns more debt than China.] So we have a massive trade, uhh, deficit. That money’s going over to China, they’re buying our debt with it, and we have this vicious loop that we have to get out of.
JOE KERNEN: Do I dare? One last question: Entitlements ever be on your plate?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: At some point they will be. We have tremendous growth. We’re going to have tremendous growth. This next year I—it’ll be toward the end of the year. The growth is going to be incredible. And at the right time, we will take a look at that. You know, that’s actually the easiest of all things, if you look, cause it’s such a big percentage.
JOE KERNEN: If you’re willing to do some of the things that you said you wouldn’t do in the past, though, in terms of Medicare–
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we’re gonna– we’re gonna look.
Summary by Richard Thripp: The U.S. government itself has determined that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was a massive giveaway of money to the rich and corporate welfare to big businesses. Mr. Waltz supports slashing your Social Security and Medicare to pay for it. We CANNOT elect Mr. Waltz or Mr. Trump to a second term. I, Richard Thripp, am running for Waltz’s seat as a progressive Democrat who will not cut Social Security and Medicare. Social Security can be fully funded ad infinitum by raising or eliminating the cap on wages it applies to, instead of its present form as a regressive tax that taxes high earners at lower percentages than the middle class.