Judge James P. Gray - The Primary Issues
1. Establish “sunset” laws that will require an affirmative vote in Congress every seven years before any federal agencies or programs can be refunded. That way the burden will be upon the government agencies and programs to justify their continued existence. If they are productive in their present form, they will be perpetuated; if not, they will be changed, cut back or disbanded.
2. Repeal the failed and hopeless War on Drugs by restricting the role of the federal government to assisting each state to enforce its chosen laws. Crime was reduced by more than 20 percent within one year after we pursued this course with the repeal of Alcohol Prohibition, and the same results will be realized when we finally repeal Drug Prohibition. People must be held accountable for their actions, instead of for what they put into their bodies. The War on Drugs has directly created an enormously large and lucrative black market that has corrupted institutions, people in all walks of life, and, most especially, children, here and all around the world. In addition, it has enabled the sale of illicit drugs to provide huge amounts of funding for terrorists. Our policy should be changed for specific drugs like marijuana to be strictly regulated for distribution to adults -- and taxed -- and users of other drugs should be allowed legal access to them under the strict supervision of medical professionals. Medical programs of this kind are successfully reducing crime, drug usage and health problems today in countries like Switzerland and Germany , and we can emulate their success.
3. Return our educational and healthcare systems to the control of more local governments. These systems were working effectively until the middle 1960s. Then the federal government began to take control, with disastrous results. We must get the federal government out of our educational and healthcare systems, and must also allow prescription drugs to be available inside the United States at the lowest price that they are available anywhere in the world. Government over-regulation of these systems, as well as our businesses and our daily lives in general, directly reduces productivity and competition, which in turn puts an enormous and unnecessary strain upon our small businesses, inflates prices, and takes away jobs.
4. Establish a fair and effective national immigration program by requiring the federal government to pay for all of the costs of illegal immigration. Legal immigration has helped make our country strong; but many good people are being punished by the present system. Requiring the federal government to pay for the costs of failure would give it the proper incentives to implement a fair and workable policy, and would also allow our country to reclaim its borders.
5. Establish a system of No-Fault Insurance for all vehicle collisions involving damages of $50,000 or less that do not also involve aggravated circumstances like driving under the influence or reckless driving. All people would submit their damages and injuries for those collisions to their own insurance company for payment. People who choose to violate the law and drive without insurance would not receive a recovery. That would reduce the costs of insurance, materially reduce the need for Uninsured Motorist Coverage, and probably increase the amount of total compensation, since the parties would not be required to pay from 33 to 40 percent of their recovery to an attorney.
6. Regain and revitalize our Democracy by: 1) creating a commission of retired judges to draw the boundaries of the electoral districts; and, 2) allowing individuals to contribute as much money to any particular political candidate as they wish, but immediately disclose the amount of all contributions over $200. The two major political parties already funnel as much "soft money" to to their chosen candidates as they wish, which gets around many of the campaign expenditure laws. This would reduce that necessity. And if the voters do not want to elect a candidate whom they believe is "in the pocket" of a particular contributor, they can always vote for his opponent.
7. Synchronize our Traffic Signals. This would materially reduce our driving time, increase our gas mileage, and reduce our nation's dependency on foreign oil.
8. Combat the present Crisis of Childhood Obesity. The rates of childhood obesity, childhood diabetis, and high cholesterol are shockingly high. This is the first time in our history that our children's life expectancy is lower than our own. We should sponsor programs of education to parents about the fat content of the "foods" our children are eating, and the importance of physical activity for our children.
9. Rejoin the rest of the world and quickly phase in the Metric System into our business and personal lives.
10. Our country should re-open normal relations, trade and travel with Cuba. What we are doing has no effect upon the rulers of that small island nation, but it is punishing the people of Cuba and our country as well.
11. Increase our utilization of nuclear energy. If Japan, which is the only country ever to experience the horrors of nuclear war, now uses more than 50 nuclear reactors to generate about one-third of its electric power, we also should seriously look into increasing our utilization of nuclear power as well. Yes there are still problems with the disposal of nuclear waste, but other countries are dealing effectively with it, and we can as well.
12. Reform our country's Income Tax system by replacing it with a Flat Tax, FAIR Tax, or National Sales Tax. By doing this, almost everyone will receive a huge "tax break" by a reduction of fraud, administrative and accounting expenses, and favoritism, even if they actually continue to pay the same amount of taxes.
13. Support the (continued) Separation of Church and State. Not only will this be one of the most important ways we can keep peace in the world, it will protect our government from the zealotry of religions, and also protect our religions from the zealotry of government.