Ritesh Tandon, Republican US Congressional Candidate, CA 17, on why he is venturing into public service. The views expressed are his own:
I am candidate for Congress (CA district 17). I wish to have an opportunity to talk to you to present my credentials and position on various issues face-to-face before you make your recommendations through your papers for upcoming elections.
I want to be a voice of sanity, moderation, and innovative solutions in congress. I believe in issue-based democracy, not ideology-based. I am pained by the divisive rhetoric of both sides of the political spectrum and will work on toning it down, such that we can all work towards “progress-oriented” solutions to our issues.
I came to Silicon Valley over 20 years ago to realize my dreams through higher education and participate in the amazing high-tech economy. I earned a Master’s in Computer Science and an MBA from Santa Clara University and started my Cisco career.
Since I arrived in the Valley, I have been volunteering my time and resources through various organizations to help needy children and women in our diverse south bay communities. I particularly focused on helping the Latino community on housing issues. Similarly, I have been helping people with eyesight issues in India through a well-known foundation.
Summary of Plan & Position:
I have a strong desire to expand on my current humanitarian work for the community, and help constituents of the 17th congressional district in various aspects to improve their quality of life. Some of my immediate priorities for our constituents are:
- Increase their take-home pay via innovative start-up tax proposals and wage growth;
- Ensure fair admissions in education for their children
- Increase the safety of neighborhoods with better policing and harmonious community relations
- Increase affordable healthcare choices by supporting policies that increase the supply of healthcare personnel and services, drugs, and devices, and by introducing smarter ways to provide healthcare
I have a powerful vision for the next hundred years for Silicon Valley. I want to encourage both high-tech and biotech to grow tremendously with innovative tax policies and manufacturing incentives.
I want fair and compassionate immigration policies. Highly qualified immigrant’s wait line needs to be reduced, while low skilled wages need to be protected with need-based legal immigration of guest workers. High tech methods should be considered to implement our immigration entry and exit control laws. In the future, we must avoid politically divisive situations of today – millions of people with visa overstay status, and millions unauthorized border crossings into our country. We must execute our laws with diligence and treat all potential immigrants humanely.
Following are my summary positions, and how they contrast with my opponent:
I strongly oppose Prop 16!
Prop 16 proposes UC admissions, public jobs, and contracts based on the racial mix of California. It is fundamentally an unfair proposition and is against the basic American value of hard work and fair competition to move ahead in life. Race-based allocations of educational opportunities, public jobs, and contracts will HURT our children’s future opportunities and jobs. We need different, fair, and dignified solutions to help our deserving diverse communities, including the Asians, Blacks, and Latinos.
- My opponent Ro Khanna supports Prop-16. He signed a pledge in 2014 to oppose Prop16 type (SCA5 then) law but has flipped to support it now. Constituents feel betrayed by him. He is not a trustworthy representative.
To help disadvantaged communities:
● I support a substantial reform in the K-12 education system with more school choices, increased use of technology, better college prep courses, and greater teacher accountability.
● I support better vocational training programs to encourage better wage growth for semi-skilled workers.
Silicon Valley Jobs for the next century: A Bio-Silicon Valley Concept:
● I will propose a lower tax rate for employees of start-up companies for a period to encourage innovation and reward hard work.
● I will promote higher wage growth for employees in larger corporations by proposing attaching corporate tax rates to wage growth.
● I will propose to reinstate SALT tax deductions, and promote lesser property taxes in California, to encourage housing affordability.
● I will propose incentives to set up manufacturing locally and in the US.
- My opponent has no proposals to help people with better wages, lesser taxes, long-term job opportunities, or improve the economic health of the Valley.
Support harmonious policing for safer neighborhoods:
● I support re-imagining police procedures that enhance harmonious community interactions with the Police.
- On the other hand, my opponent, Ro Khanna, wants to defund Police, abolish ICE, and let criminal illegals stay back in the US.
Support our hardworking and law-abiding immigrant community:
● many law-abiding immigrants, who are skilled and contribute significantly to society, wait forever to get their Green Cards. Wrong! We need to streamline our immigration policies and reduce wait times for skilled workforce immigrants.
● we must secure our system of entry and exits of individuals on our borders. There is bipartisan agreement at a higher level, except its implementation has been poor for the past 40 years. We need to get serious about it and institute foolproof, and high tech solutions for visa overstays and illegal border crossings.
- Ro Khanna wants OPEN Borders (Co-sponsor of HR 5383) and supports allowing criminal illegals to remain in our country. Totally Wrong!
Reduce healthcare costs, streamline regulations, and have healthy competition:
● Allow import of FDA approved drugs made and sold by a certain company with minimal further FDA issues
● I will propose price transparency from Medicare, Hospitals, and Insurance companies. This will facilitate competition in drug and procedure costs, and thereby premiums. I will promote laws that will require disclosure of costs to the patients before procedures are done.
● I will encourage more primary care and preventive medicine practice, and expanded usage of smaller clinics by patients. These measures will result in better health outcomes of the community with lesser costs.
● Re-examine drug price increases due to intermediaries and regulations.
● Reduce the length of college requirements to enter medical school education. Two years of college is sufficient. Increase the supply of medical care personnel, and have a national license instead of state-level license boards. This will increase personnel mobility and increase competition. It will also increase the use of telemedicine and tele-healthcare.
● I will encourage an increase in insurance plan options outside of the employer-based options. We need insurance to operate freely across all states for competitive rates. Government insurance that is NOT subsidized by tax-payers is a reasonable option to offer.
● I will encourage personnel health records to be owned by patients, carried securely with them – possibly in the cloud – to allow doctors to treat them without duplication of tests and diagnostics. This will reduce hospital overheads.
- Medicare for All, promoted by Ro Khanna, is COSTLY and Reduces Quality. His argument that it can be paid by the operational savings (estimates of $40-60B per year) fall way short of the required expense of $2-3 Trillion per year. Tax increases for the middle class would become inevitable.
Build Bay area infrastructure and regional cooperation for better traffic flows:
To improve our Quality of life, we need a highly connected and well-coordinated public transit network of Trains, BART, Buses, and Highways for the greater Bay area. To achieve this goal, we need to use high tech solutions to increase the utilization of public transportation resources. Local cities must be encouraged to create general plans for cities of the next generation, i.e., smart cities that will provide well-integrated spaces to work, live, educate, and play. These hubs will have shorter commutes and should be self-sufficient in energy footprint.
Solve Climate Change through High-tech Innovations:
● I will try hard to create a Congressional Scientific and Industrial Council (CSIC) focused on promoting Industrial breakthroughs for more efficient and safe energy generation from Solar, Nuclear, and other climate-friendly sources without impacting people’s economic well-being.
● I will promote policies that help in energy conservation and encourage innovative energy management solutions for all consumption segments.
● Put pressure on all industrialized nations to use better fuels and co-operate in research for cleaner energy solutions.
For more details on my policies, please visit my website: tandonforcongress.com