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J.D. Donaghe means it when he says he wants to hit the ground running in Washington, D.C. and get the people’s work done in Congress. The Kenmare-area resident who would like to challenge incumbent Congressman Earl Pomeroy for North Dakota’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives has legislation drafted and ready to submit, should he be elected.
J.D. Donaghe, Kenmare, candidate for U.S. House seat
Donaghe reveals platform for his run for
J.D. Donaghe means it when he says he wants to hit the ground running in
The Kenmare-area resident who would like to challenge incumbent Congressman Earl Pomeroy for
“I’m nobody’s puppet,” he said. “I’m here to lead a revolution. It’s time that
In fact, Donaghe has several pieces of legislation prepared to address concerns he has, and that he hears, for the country, beginning with the Free Tax Act. “This would implement the 28th Amendment to the Constitution,” he said, “which would repeal the 16th Amendment and remove all power form Congress to levy taxes on income.”
He continued, “It’s fundamentally wrong in a free society to tax income. If I can tax your income, I can manipulate your income, and if I can manipulate your income, I can manipulate your social status.”
He would like to end what he described as a 100-year experiment with income tax and introduce instead the Free Tax, which would give Congress the ability to levy a 10 percent gross receipts tax nationwide.
Related to the Free Tax Act would be the Federal Budget Priority Act of 2011, which would require a balanced federal budget each year. Elements of this legislation would include applying 10 percent of all revenue collected federally toward debt reduction and separating defense spending from discretionary spending and from the Social Security Trust Fund.
“This would also require an individual vote on all earmarked legislation,” he said. “And defense spending would be the only fund allowed to have an unbalanced budget. Once all the bills are paid, then Congress can argue about discretionary spending.”
Reforms start with Congress
Donaghe would like to implement lobby reform and impose term limits for all members of Congress through the Congressional Accountability Act of 2011. “The founding fathers set up these branches of government so the people would have representation,” he said. “We’ve got career politicians, and once they’re there, they’re bought and paid for.”
Donaghe’s proposed legislation would limit members of the House to three terms in office and the Senate to two terms. A dedicated individual could possibly serve in both houses, for a total of 18 years. “That’s still a long time in Congress,” Donaghe said.
The second part of the Congressional Accountability Act would address lobby reform. “This would require all members of Congress to report, register, record and post all contacts of any kind with any special interest group, firm or corporation, or any representative thereof,” said Donaghe. “This would be done through an independent watchdog agency accessible by all Americans. We need to re-establish who works for who here. They don’t govern us; they’re our civil servants.”
Donaghe holds strong opinions about this matter, going so far as to suggest the presence of security cameras placed at meetings held between lobbyists and politicians. “We need to hold them accountable,” he said, adding that first degree felony charges would be imposed for any violation of this law. “This way, we can witness our congressmen and women being solicited. If we’re [monitoring] those daily activities, surely we can shut it down.”
A new approach
to energy policy
Another element of Donaghe’s platform addresses energy policy, with a foundation of energy independence for the nation. “We can only produce 35 percent of what we consume,” he said. “This is not about prices, emissions or smog. This is a national security emergency. Our entire way of life is built around our ability to get in the car and go somewhere.”
Donaghe’s proposed legislation includes several reforms, beginning with the requirement all passenger and transportation vehicles in the
“This gives automakers enough of an incentive, they could extend this service to the public,” said Donaghe, adding that heavy equipment would be included, too. “The technology is already there.”
A second step would mandate every government facility to be powered by solar panels by 2015. “And I intend to put a solar panel on the roof of every house and business in
He noted the move to using more solar energy would be especially important given the need to restore the country’s current electric grid system. “And this would put people back to work, right now,” he said. “There would be an economic boom if the country implemented these policies. You create jobs by the economy. There’s needs to be supply and demand. This would also lower the cost of the government’s overhead expenditures. There would be an astronomical difference in our spending, and all that money stays here in the American economy.”
Social Security and health care
Donaghe worries about the status and future of the Social Security Trust Fund and drafted the Social Security Restoration Act to provide a way to make the fund solvent again. “At this point, we have two choices,” he said. “We can ignore it and let it go broke, or we can fix it. The majority of the people say, ‘Let’s fix it.’ I think we owe it to them.”
By isolating the Social Security Trust Fund from the rest of the budget, Donaghe’s legislation would direct all energy-related taxes and increased royalty revenues from drilling oil on federal lands directly to the Trust Fund. “We have $58 trillion in unfunded liabilities,” he said. “Where I’m from, that’s a debt. And that’s Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.”
Because health care costs directly impact the Social Security Trust Fund, Donaghe’s final piece of proposed legislation would create a national health care plan. He was careful to distinguish his ideas from the recent reforms discussed in Congress that addressed health care insurance programs. “I’m talking about a plan where any American citizen can go to any doctor, hospital or facility of their choice, paid in full by the Social Security Trust Fund,” he explained.
He maintains that Medicare, Medicaid, VA benefits and the CHIPS program for children have already created a climate of socialized medicine, funded by income taxes, while private health insurance companies reap the majority of benefits.
“In 2009, we had 10 percent unemployment and the home foreclosure rate increased, but the health insurance companies made $200 billion in profits,” Donaghe said. “Not only is that wrong, we just can’t afford it. The only people who pay for health insurance are the people who don’t need it. We’re taking advantage of people’s illnesses.”
To fund the national health care plan, Donaghe would use revenue derived from a new energy tax, as well as increase the FICA withholding from employees from 7 percent to 10 percent and from employers from 7.5 percent to 20 percent. However, because the federal income tax would be abolished and health insurance costs would be erased, Donaghe predicted a savings for employers and workers alike.
He would also administer the national health care plan at the county level. “This would keep it local and not allow health insurance companies to profit off it,” he said. “This is the people’s takeover of health care.”
Donaghe’s National Health Care Act would work to benefit the Social Security Restoration Act as money formerly spent for Medicare, Medicaid and other government health care programs would be directed into the Social Security Trust Fund.
Donaghe is happy to provide further details about any and all of his proposed legislation, and he hopes to discuss these ideas with interested individuals and groups. He believes that as a candidate, the voters expect him to be prepared to represent them in
“A plan is crucial,” he said. “We hire these politicians with pretty vague intentions. It’s time to show up with a plan, in detail, so you know exactly what I’m going to do when I get there.”
Complete drafts of Donaghe’s legislative proposals can be read at on his webpage The Freedom Revoluation at www.freedomin2010.com. Persons with further questions about Donaghe’s proposals or campaign are welcome to contact him through the website.