CHARLES FALCIGLIA FOR UNITED STATES CONGRESS
NOVEMBER 8, 2022
“CHANGE THE PHILOSOPHY OF AMERICA.”
Dear Rockland Neighbor,
Our elected officials on all levels have created a society whereby they predominantly exist for their own benefit and the benefit of the political party. The party transcends the individual. You see the same nonsense day in and day out as me; a political ballgame where the public has been relegated to the baseball to be smacked around. Nowhere is this more exacerbated than on the federal level.
We have had three impeachment proceedings in the last 22 years; one in the previous 222. I find that a measuring stick of how haywire we have become.
The overwhelming philosophy of our elected officials is a de-facto parliamentary existence where every single issue is framed in the context of political party affiliation. When the stimulus package was passed under President Biden it was characterized as his first victory, similar to the tax over-haul under President Trump being declared his first victory. Government administration should not be based on wins and losses because one party has more members than the other. The terminology should be considered personally offensive to us all.
Do you believe members of congress within the same party believe everything their party stands for? They have conditioned the majority of us and we have conditioned ourselves that the status-quo is the way it will always be.
The sad part is they have not only conditioned themselves but have embraced that philosophy. We might as well have one generic elected official from each party. Party affiliation has led to cowardice, submission, the death of individualism and suppression and obstruction of ideas. Conversely it has spawned the creation of self-promoting individualism to stay in the news and win re- election based on histrionics and heated and irresponsible rhetoric void of substantive ideas.
Our elected officials continue to create emotional political theatrics to mask their failings and unfortunately too many of us have long bought into the competitive entertainment value that politics brings. Culture Wars promulgated by an irresponsible media that has lost all credibility distracts from the policy issues that need to be discussed. In other words boring is what accomplishes constructive change.
A preponderance of Americans identify with a political party as if it was part of our DNA, analogous to our gender, race and ethnicity. We hang on every word members of our party utter and feel we must defend them on the hundreds of one-sided to flat out silly social media pages. We sit in
our home at night scouring the internet to find something negative to counter something said about our party’s representative.
The phrase “we can agree to disagree” has become obsolete. We want you to not only agree with us but we want you to embrace our position with unbridled euphoria. The United States of America is founded on the premise of free speech, however, we refuse to accept that right and seek revenge, refusing to serve certain people in our business establishments because of their political affiliation or because they are a member of law enforcement, something that should be illegal. We feel it’s our right to march on someone’s home and intimidate them.
We battle on social media with no context about what we are saying, using an apples to oranges comparison, conveniently changing the subject to fit our agenda. We quote statistics with no context and get caught up in catch phrases without any idea of their overall implication or veracity; catch phrases as if we are the omniscient authority on the subject often clouded by intentional half- truths.
We analyze and scrutinize every word, looking for fault before the last word of a sentence is read. The news is dominated by minutia with everyone who has had 15 minutes of fame or celebrity status championing their vision of America void of the thousands of hours of research and debate to come to the correct conclusion.
We put pictures of our elected officials on our social media pages and carry on like it is our first crush in middle school, conditioned to find any reason to say we love a candidate who we never met and has never espoused an idea because he or she belongs to our party.
We have a system where people connected to the party system, people who have never paid the emotional, physical or financial price to run for office decide who can run for office, often recruiting people who only know party loyalty and are poised and conditioned to follow the party lead at best, unqualified at the worst or a combination thereof.
We constantly thank our elected officials for platitude laced rhetoric and doing what they are supposed to do. It is very easy to call on someone to resign, call for an investigation, issue a proclamation, hand out an award, re-name a building, or a bridge, wear a hard hat to put a shovel in the ground or show up for a ribbon-cutting. It’s very easy to hand out money and take credit for it when it is our money to begin with and borrowed on top of that.
This is an advantage that the majority party has, as they divvy up the spoils and prop up those members who may be in a tenuous political situation. Throwing money at a problem often never solves the underlying problem. When you are in the majority party and do something simply because you can it is a sign of weakness and a betrayal to the public.
I am also tired of seeing elected officials on social media taking part in a local community clean up, a coat drive or attending an event denouncing an injustice when everyone knows it’s wrong. That’s all fine but you do not have to be in office to volunteer. It overshadows the core requirements of the job – government administration.
We desperately need term limits, and extended terms. You cannot expect people to serve with the thought that they may be out of work in two years, notwithstanding that so many are
elected solely on voter demographics and quantity, not quality, voting. The caucus system, which in my opinion is a euphemism for willful blindness, needs to be abolished forcing all elected officials to interact independently.
Some of the issues I want to champion and promulgate are as follows:
Social Security Restructuring:
Uncap the threshold, which currently is at $142,800.00, to increase the pay in and pay out. Improve and expand the death benefit, currently at $255.00, which would include a benefit to the heirs for death prior to minimum collection age. Remove the restriction on earned income upon reaching age 62.
Certain Changes to the Tax Code:
Some of my proposals include exempting tax up to $2,500.00 on interest and $5,000.00 on ordinary stock dividends, which would predominantly benefit lower and middle income families and studying the repeal or modification of the accelerated depreciation allowance and the impact of the Edwards-Gingrich loophole. I also believe unemployment benefits should not be taxable.
Tax on Campaign Contributions:
One of my proposals is to tax campaign contributions at ten percent if we are not going to enact real campaign finance or lobbying reform, which we will not. We might as well obtain some benefit from dark money. Under my plan the campaign would pay the ten percent of what they collect with a provision that the donor may pay the tax. Political contributions are the ultimate disposable income. If an individual or a Political Action Committee can donate $50,000.00 to a candidate, and there are more individuals than you can probably imagine who fall into that category, they can easily afford the additional tax. In 2020 we could have generated 1.6 billion- yes billion, which can be segregated toward the cost of elections. Not surprisingly, every elected official I spoke with throws cold water on the idea; the public the opposite.
Privatize the Election Process:
I am also a proponent of studying the potential of privatizing the election system, which is a patronage juggernaut. We should look at having the entire process taken over by some of the national accounting firms. How ridiculous is it that we have a Democrat and Republican Commissioner and a counterpart for each position for each party.
We need to look at foreign aid and a re-route of those funds into infrastructure investment in our major cities, a return to the WPA (Works Project Administration) of the Franklin Roosevelt Administration. The current Infrastructure proposal by President Biden is something that is long overdue, however, it is fraught with problems, the first being how to pay for it. Raising taxes is unacceptable and you can just imagine the pork that might come out of that bill that has nothing to do with paving a road. It is critical to determine what exactly we are fixing.
The goal of these initiatives is to create a more equitable distribution of disposable income, making the system as fair as possible while simultaneously reducing the deficit and not penalizing
those who have been more successful. A deficit created by the same elected officials who either ignore or amusingly rail against it.
On the state level, it’s time to look at consolidating all the villages and towns into their respective county governments. When someone asks why taxes are so high look at all the layers of elected officials, municipal employees and appointees that are geographically duplicated. In lieu of that home rule has to be eliminated or at the very least we need consistency and independence regarding planning and zoning, taking it away from the whim and influence of a handful of local leaders.
Over the years there have been many periods where the public has been concerned about the direction of the country. Maybe it’s me but the level of despondency and real concern for this country seems at an all time high. We need a wholesale change of the management.
The list of positive changes and new initiatives can be endless. All that’s ever stopping us is ourselves.