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Issues

Make New York a shall-issue state and repeal the Cuomo gun ban

Governor Cuomo’s irresponsible gun control bill has already cost New York State thousands of jobs, deprived residents of the means to defend themselves and their families, and placed unconstitutional burdens on law abiding citizens, while doing nothing to prevent crime.

Over the last two decades, almost every state in the union has adopted “shall issue” policies with regard to concealed carry permits. In shall-issue states, a definite reason is required, from a short and limited list of reasons such as mental illness or a criminal record, to prohibit persons from owning or carrying a gun and using it to defend themselves and their families. Rates of violent crime have decreased in every state which has gone “shall issue”.

It’s time for New York to stop going backwards, and catch up to the rest of the country. New York must become a shall-issue state.

Electoral reform

I want to make a separate page for my proposals for electoral reform, but the key points are reducing signature requirements, increasing the number of ways parties can qualify for the ballot, implementing Instant Runoff Voting, and allowing political parties to caucus rather than hold primaries if they so choose.

Reduce spending

After analyzing our state’s budget, I think there are some areas in which we could reduce direct expenditures, but the big item is local aid. Municipal governments need to get their spending under control. I have some ideas in this regard, which might be implemented on the state level.

End corporate welfare

The practice of giving money or tax breaks to private corporations, purportedly to foster economic development, has become a major source of corruption while doing nothing to help state and local economies. If a project is economically viable, it should not require public money. If taxes are too high, we should lower them for everyone.

Ban tax exemptions granted on an individual basis

Tax exemptions granted to properties on an individual basis are depriving municipal governments of millions of dollars of needed revenue, while forcing everyone else to pay more. I propose a state law which would ban local governments from granting tax exemptions on an individual basis. They could still use objective criteria to tax, for instance, residential and business properties at different rates, but could not favor particular businesses.

Cut the personal income tax in half

I propose cutting the state personal income tax in half. No loopholes or complicated stuff, just an across the board cut in taxes.

Eliminate the use tax

The “use tax” is a sales tax on purchases made outside the state. There is no justification for imposing this tax other than “because we can”.

State income tax form IT-201, which most people use, calculates the use tax based on federal adjusted gross income. In other words, it is in effect an additional income tax, not a sales tax. Our legislators should raise the income tax if that is what they want, not disguise it as something else.

For these reasons, the use tax should be eliminated.

Eliminate the tax on cigarettes

New York has the higest cigarette tax in the nation. Not only is social engineering of this kind wrong from a moral-ethical standpoint, but it disproportionately burdens the poor. The cigarette tax should be eliminated.

Reduce the drinking age to 18

If young adults can be trusted to fight and die in combat, they can be trusted to drink responsibly.

Treat marijuana like alcohol

The preponderance of scientific evidence, as well as personal experiences gained over the last few generations, indicate that marijuana is safer than alcohol. We need to protect our children by moving the sale of marijuana to stores where people show ID, just like they do when purchasing alcohol. Removing commerical profit from the hands of criminal gangs will make all of us safer.

Uphold the rule of law and prosecute fraud

In order to ensure the stability of our financial system, we should require everyone to follow the same rules, and be held to the same standard in the administration of justice. Equal treatment under the law is part of the foundation of a free society.

Fraud should be prosecuted as it is an act of aggression. When fraudulent actions threaten the stability of the free market, they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Exceptions cannot be made for persons or corporate entities which have political influence or are “too big to fail”. The only thing we should consider “too big to fail” is the American people.

If the federal government will not hold Wall Street accountable, then New York State must do so.