Priorities

Pro-Life. Pro-Liberty. Pro-Constitution. Here’s what you can expect from Austin Petersen in the United States Senate.

Healthcare

“Republicans run like libertarians, but once elected, they often govern like Democrats.”

We need a clean repeal of Obamacare. Period. While President Obama was in office, Republicans in Congress tried to accomplish this over 50 times.

What’s changed now with President Trump? This is the problem with Washington: politics, partisanship, and putting special interests front and center — instead of keeping your promises and putting the American people first.

It should be legal to buy inexpensive health insurance; it should be legal for insurance companies to sell their products across state lines. These regulations actually hurt the average American because they reduce options in the marketplace, and they make the remaining options more expensive — oftentimes, prohibitively so.

Stop giving taxpayer dollars to wealthy insurance companies! Just like the big banks on Wall Street, the large insurance companies will do just fine without being subsidized by the American taxpayer. So enough — we need a level playing field, not one that’s skewed in favor of the already rich, powerful, and well-connected.

Jobs

Government doesn’t create jobs, but it can certainly inhibit job growth. The truth is that if our government is going to spur growth, it has to be pruned — a lot.

It’s time to radically reduce excessive and harmful regulations that inhibit economic growth and the creation of new jobs.

It’s not rocket science; the more roadblocks you put in the way of entrepreneurs and job creators, the fewer jobs will be created. The more hoops you make people jump through, the more time they’ll have to spend jumping through them instead of spending that time creating a better product, thinking of new and innovative ways to get their product to market faster and more efficiently, or hiring that next employee.

Taxes

“If cigarette taxes are meant to discourage people from smoking, what are income taxes supposed to stop people from doing?”

In a perfect world, we would get rid of the income tax.

In the meantime, we need a flat tax — 15% across the board: personal, corporate, capital gains, you name it. This is the only way to make the system fair. Currently, it’s not just regulations that crush small businesses and innovators — it’s taxes as well.

By establishing a flat tax and eliminating the self-employment tax, we can level the playing field. No more special treatment, carve outs, or subsidies for the already rich, powerful, and well-connected. No more handouts to special interests. We must treat small businesses just the same as we do large corporations.

Americans spend about 9 billion hours a year complying with IRS tax filing requirements. All in all, compliance with the tax code costs the U.S. economy over $400 billion a year — there are much better ways for Americans to spend their time and money.

I want to turn tax season into tax minutes — TWO MINUTES. Instead of spending hours looking for every possible loophole or hiring an accountant to spare you the misery, you will spend two minutes checking a few boxes. Then you can email or drop that postcard-sized return in the mail and be on your way.

Spending

$20 trillion in debt. Unfunded liabilities over $100 trillion (e.g., Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid). The American people have to balance their checkbooks, and so should the federal government — Congress should not get special treatment.

Our massive debt is harmful to the economy. It hampers job creation and economic growth, and it forces the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates at near zero, which is a huge blow to savers and retirees who have been putting money aside their entire lives only to have the rug pulled from under them at the last moment.

It also forces the government to spend about $250 billion a year of taxpayer money on debt interest alone — money that could go back into the economy, allowing the private sector to create jobs and innovate. 

Enough is enough. It’s morally reprehensible to spend our kids' and grandkids’ money without their say-so. We need a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

Criminal Justice Reform

Prohibition is one of the most expensive and deadly failures in American history.

This war on drugs is a war on American citizens. It’s costly, and it creates more violence on the border. You can build the tallest wall in history, but smugglers will find a way to get under it, or go around it. To fight drugs, we have to remove the economic incentive for them to bring these substances into our country.

We’re destroying people’s lives — we should be treating drug abuse as a medical problem, not a criminal problem. Drugs are dangerous in part because they’re created on the black market, just as it was in the days of bathtub gin. We must be compassionate towards those who are suffering with chemical dependencies, and let them come into the light and seek treatment and help.

This is absolutely a constitutional conservative issue. We need to reinstate the Founders’ original intent with regards to constitutional checks and balances by eliminating federal “mandatory minimums” laws and restoring power to the judicial branch. We need to end the practice of “civil asset forfeiture” — also known as legal governmental theft. And we need to end, once and for all, the federal government’s “war on drugs.”

Foreign Policy

Currently, we spend more on our military than the next 8 highest spenders combined — and we haven’t audited the Pentagon since 9/11. The American people deserve better than this. Our troops deserve better than this.

America first! No more nation-building. The United States should seek to protect and defend its security, its allies, and its national interests abroad, but any military actions taken must come with a proper debate and vote in Congress and comply with the War Powers Act. No president should have the power to unilaterally declare war. That’s Congress’ job, as per the Constitution.