Category Archives: Congressional Campaign

Now that they’ve ripped us off with massive corporate giveaways to the rich, Michael Waltz and Donald Trump want to sack Social Security and Medicare

The following statements by Congressman Michael Waltz are from a Republican primary debate on August 1, 2018 for Florida’s 6th Congressional district (Daytona Beach, Palm Coast, Deltona, New Smyrna Beach, etc.). Waltz is feeding his unconscionable plans directly to President Trump, who promised in 2016 never to cut Social Security and Medicare, but now says “it’s the easiest of all things” to slash.

Moderator: Alright, Mr. Waltz, this question goes to you first. The recent tax cuts supported by President Trump and the Republican Congress have no doubt helped to ignite the economy. [Thripp: Now we have seen little wage growth but huge corporate profits, so this is debatable at best.]

Michael Waltz: You said tax cuts, Pat?

Moderator: Yes. And who doesn’t like a tax cut, right? We all like tax cuts. [Applause] But, but, those tax cuts came without any corresponding spending cuts. That means the deficit is rising significantly. Projected to be about $800 and something billion dollars this year. It’s now going up more rapidly than it did during the last years of the Obama presidency according to, that’s according to the Congressional Budget Office. So, my question is this: What spending cuts would you make to offset that budget deficit, and how much, tell me how much those cuts would save taxpayers?

Michael Waltz: Well again, it’s my own experience with my own business trying to build it as an entrepreneur. Uhh, you know, most of that time was under the Obama administration. Uhh, we couldn’t get a loan because Sarbanes–Oxley [Thripp: Being unable to comply with this post-Enron law is not really something to be proud of], I already talked about the burden of Obamacare. Overtaxed, over regulated. As soon as President Trump came in and got the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, and that’s an important component—Tax Cut and Jobs Act passed, we put that new rate in and hired 6 more people. Our economy is on fire. 4.1% GDP, the lowest minority, uhh, unemployment in American history, and I plan to get up to D.C. to continue that. I would not have signed, uhh I would not—excuse me, I would not have voted for the omnibus, that added $1.3 trillion in debt. Our debt is our biggest, I think, one of our biggest national security issues. It is a burden on our future generation, our kids and our grandkids, and we have to get a hold of it. The way to get a hold of it, and, and, this is what we’re gonna have to do, we’re gonna have to go after the non-discretionary portion: The entitlement reform portion. We’re nibbling around the edges with all of these other cuts. That’s the part that we have to go over. We need politicians that get up there and have the guts to go after it. It’s one of the reasons I’m on the record for term limits. It’s that you get in there, you get stuff done, and you get back to the real world. That’s what our founding fathers intended.

Moderator: Just to, uhh, clarify one thing though: If we go after entitlements, what does that amount to? Uhh, if you cut, let’s say, and what are those entitlements? Is Social Security an entitlement?

Michael Waltz: Yeah. [Dissent from audience]

Moderator: Or, is Medicare an entitlement? What entitlements, and how much would that bring in—how much would that save?

Michael Waltz: Well it’s, umm I mean it’s, you know, I don’t necessarily have the numbers in front of me, but it’s by far—it’s 70% of our budget. So figure out 70% of our $6 trillion budget. [Thripp: It’s 50% of a $4 trillion federal budget. If you count interest on the national debt you are close to 70%, but Waltz wasn’t proposing defaulting on interest payments.] Pat, you’re better at math than I am. But, umm, that’s [Social Security and Medicare] the part that we have to have the guts to go after, and as soon as any Republican says that, we see the ads start flying from the left. And you know, look, the policies are in place to do that. Simpson–Bowles and others have put forward real recommendations, but the political will is lacking, and I think we need a new generation to get up there and say “enough—I’m not going to pass this debt on to my kids.” But, very quickly, who’s the biggest holder of our debt? The Chinese. By far. [Thripp: No, not by far. Not even true. Japan owns more debt than China.] So we have a massive trade, uhh, deficit. That money’s going over to China, they’re buying our debt with it, and we have this vicious loop that we have to get out of.


Watch this recent interview with President Donald Trump where he says that Social Security and Medicare are the easiest things to cut, and he will be going after them soon.

JOE KERNEN: Do I dare? One last question: Entitlements ever be on your plate?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: At some point they will be. We have tremendous growth. We’re going to have tremendous growth. This next year I—it’ll be toward the end of the year. The growth is going to be incredible. And at the right time, we will take a look at that. You know, that’s actually the easiest of all things, if you look, cause it’s such a big percentage.

JOE KERNEN: If you’re willing to do some of the things that you said you wouldn’t do in the past, though, in terms of Medicare–

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, we’re gonna– we’re gonna look.


Summary by Richard Thripp: The U.S. government itself has determined that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was a massive giveaway of money to the rich and corporate welfare to big businesses. Mr. Waltz supports slashing your Social Security and Medicare to pay for it. We CANNOT elect Mr. Waltz or Mr. Trump to a second term. I, Richard Thripp, am running for Waltz’s seat as a progressive Democrat who will not cut Social Security and Medicare. Social Security can be fully funded ad infinitum by raising or eliminating the cap on wages it applies to, instead of its present form as a regressive tax that taxes high earners at lower percentages than the middle class.

And finally, some words of wisdom from Michael Waltz in 2016. At that time, he was against Trump but totally flip-flopped to become a Trump sycophant in his 2018 campaign and in his actions in Congress.

Michael Waltz: “Don’t let Trump fool you. Look into his real record, and stop Trump now.

Watch the above video from the start to see Michael Waltz also say about Donald Trump: “He essentially called anyone who is captured in combat a loser. It’s something that I personally can’t stomach.

Trump and Waltz are partners in constant lying and hypocrisy and we must vote them out of office.

Running for Congress (Democrat, FL-06) / Campaign Issues

Richard Thripp’s 2020 Campaign for U.S. House in Florida’s 6th District
Revised 1/24/2020

Photo of Richard Thripp Here are the core issues I will work on in Congress. I am a 28-year-old husband, father, and teacher educator at University of Central Florida. I was born in Daytona Beach and have lived in Volusia County my whole life. Follow me online: http://thripp.com, https://twitter.com/richardxthripp

Addressing the Climate Crisis

As a new father, I am acutely aware that the next generation will face the fight of their lives when it comes to the climate crisis. I support the Green New Deal as well as ending subsidies for fossil fuels. The United States must be a leader in reducing its emissions and developing new technologies to remediate the crisis. The Daytona Beach area has been hit by hurricanes Matthew and Irma in recent years, and is increasingly vulnerable due to population growth and development, as well as oceanic warming from human activities. The climate crisis is of immense importance. Congress needs representatives like me who will take it seriously.

Restoring Congressional Authority

Let’s face it—Congress has become known for gridlock and inertia, with public approval ratings in the single digits. Sycophantic and obstructionist Republicans are blocking any meaningful dialog or bipartisanship, with Congress unable to even pass a budget on a regular schedule. The judicial branch, now stacked with partisans, is running circles around legislators, striking down key components of hard-fought legislation. Petty squabbles and pointless government shutdowns hurt Americans, damage our credibility, and could end up costing us hundreds of billions in interest if investors demand higher rates on U.S. government debt due to a lack of trust. We need to restore Congressional authority over the purse strings, making and declaring war, and other duties that Congress is Constitutionally authorized—or even obliged—to oversee. I will act to help restore Congressional authority, at all times fighting for the 99% rather than merely enriching the 1% as the Republicans do.

Strengthening the Affordable Care Act

Although Medicare-for-All is the topic of the day, the Affordable Care Act has been chugging along providing much-needed health insurance subsidies to residents of Florida’s 6th district and across the nation. Therefore, it is my position that we should work on strengthening the ACA rather than pursuing a single-payer system. Here are a few ways I will seek to do so:

  • Close the coverage gap. Florida’s Republican leadership continues to disenfranchise poor Floridians by refusing to accept federal dollars to expand Medicaid. People who earn less than the federal poverty line but above the Medicaid cap are not covered under the ACA (“coverage gap”). I support tying expansion of Medicaid to federal highway funding (as we do with drinking age) or similar mechanism to help the poor, or expanding the ACA to close the coverage gap.
  • Restore funding for health insurance navigators and other outreach efforts to educate Americans, many of whom are going uninsured despite being eligible for a full subsidy of their premiums.
  • Outlaw the practice of “surprise” medical billing. We have all been hit with one of these, which are often the result of such predatory practices as balance billing, out-of-network providers, insurers trying to wriggle free of their obligations, or even clerical errors.

Prioritizing Education

As a teacher educator, I know that education is a gateway to success and to civic engagement. We need to support students and educators at all levels, with a special focus on underserved urban and minority students. I support increasing Title I funding for local schools, as well as funding for the National Science Foundation and other agencies that further education and scientific progress. Beyond this, I believe that federal student loans should be limited to higher education that presents a good value, such as our excellent college and state university systems in Florida, as well as HBCUs and cutting-edge institutions. In Congress, I will also support financial education and reining in financial institutions’ predatory, inequitable, and confusing practices.

Ensuring Fair and Equitable Taxation

The IRS is underfunded and understaffed. Tax evasion by wealthy individuals and corporations is at an all-time high, yet the IRS lacks the resources to collect these taxes when faced with obfuscation, stonewalling, and armies of attorneys. Instead, the IRS audits low-income taxpayers who may or may not have incorrectly claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit, while leaving billions on the table from wealthy tax evaders. I support strengthening the IRS by expanding its workforce and appropriating funds to overhaul its technology.

Social Security payroll taxes are regressive because high earners pay very little into the system. Presently, income that exceeds $132,900 per year is not taxed at all. I support removing this cap, which would make Social Security solvent for the foreseeable future, without cutting benefits. Beyond this, unearned income such as rents, interest, dividends, and capital gains should be taxed among high earners, which are typically their primary sources of income.

Many proposals abound regarding a tax on accumulated wealth. The wealthy have definitely not been paying their fair share for many decades, resulting in a new gilded age of staggering wealth inequality. In addition to raising taxes on new income received by the rich, I believe that a small portion of existing wealth among the top 0.1% should be taxed through new legislation that allows the U.S. Treasury department to take ownership of wealthy individuals’ corporate equity and other securities, while allowing them to maintain their shareholder voting rights on ceded shares. American ingenuity has produced astounding wealth, and in this way, a part of their fortunes will help enhance prosperity for all. Furthermore, we need to tax items that exacerbate the climate crisis, such as private jets, to ensure justice for disadvantaged populations.

Other Issues

I support ending American militarism and bringing home our troops and contractors in the Middle East, abortion rights and women’s health, equity and civil rights, the Equal Rights Amendment, voting rights, workers’ ability to unionize, grassroots support and not dialing for dollars, and interest abatement on student loans. When elected, I will open a district office in mid-town Daytona Beach to serve local constituents, as well as 2–3 other offices and a mobile office.

Campaign Contributions

Donate online at http://thripp.com/donate or mail a personal check to:

Richard Thripp for Congress
265 Hickory Ave.
Orange City, FL 32763

I call or email all donors!

Donate to Richard Thripp's Campaign

Volunteer

Please contact me if you are interested in volunteering on my campaign. Another way to volunteer is simply to print this two-page PDF of the above information and share it with your friends and family.

Northeast Volusia Democratic Photo and Recent Tweets on Corporate Welfare, Medicaid Restrictions, and Climate Crisis

Richard Thripp, Paul, and Clint Curtis at recent meeting

Great meeting at the Northeast Volusia Democratic Club last night (January 23, 2020). I gave a good speech but forgot to have it filmed. 😐 Next time. Pictured here from left to right: Richard Thripp (me), Paul, an environmental advocate, and my opponent in the Democratic primary for Florida’s 6th Congressional district, Clint Curtis.

Here are several of my recent tweets against corporate welfare, Medicaid restrictions in Florida, and denial of the climate crisis:

Now thanks to tax cuts and giveaways to the rich and massive military spending, Trump is putting Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block, restricting access to ACA subsidies, SNAP, and more. Remember he promised a balanced budget… But no one remembers now.

This latest move shows that Republicans are not pro-life at all. We can’t let adults who qualify receive Medicaid unless they apply in the same month when we could offer 90 days retroactivity? They might not be conscious or able within the same calendar month leading to crushing debt.

Remember that without health insurance you get billed the HIGHEST rates. An air ambulance could get billed to Medicaid/Medicare or health insurance at a negotiated rate of $6,000 but they will send an uninsured person a $50,000 bill. Medical debt causes MANY bankruptcies.

Those who say the Green New Deal is radical and impossible should take note: The situation we have now is SUICIDE. Radical planet-wide reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gases as well as sequestration should have begun at least 30 years ago! Many have & will suffer and die.

First Donation Received

I just received my first campaign contribution of $25 from someone in DeLand. Thank you! All donors will get a personal email or phone call if they would prefer.

Update on 1/23/2020: My campaign received two more contributions and is now up to $80. Thank you all! This will snowball. When you speak to real issues, people are excited and want to be politically involved.

Donate to Richard Thripp's Campaign

Daytona Beach News-Journal Article About My Candidacy, January 21, 2020

The Daytona Beach News-Journal has released a January 21, 2020 article online about my candidacy: Michael Waltz has Orange City opponent in race for U.S. House seat

Check it out! A very nice article. See also my Ballotpedia survey for more.

This also appears in the Thursday, January 22, 2020 print edition of The Daytona Beach News-Journal, in the Local section on Page D3. The newspaper is available at many supermarkets and costs $2.00 to purchase. You can also see it at your local library.

Photo of DBNJ Print Story

The hecklers and angry commentators are already in force in the comments section to the News-Journal’s Facebook post on their article. There is also this tweet that you can re-tweet on Twitter.