Mark Pickrell for U.S. Senate
Born and raised in Oak Ridge, Mark is a UT graduate who lives in Nashville. Mark is a family man, married for 25 years to his wonderful wife, and he is the father of three amazing daughters. Mark has practiced law at the highest levels for 28 years, and he is an ordained Baptist deacon who loves to hunt and fish.
ECONOMIC ISSUES FIRST
Mark's 7-Point Plan for Economic Security
1. Emergency Action -- Take the Necessary Steps to Save the Economy, without Bailing Out Wall Street
2. Financial Market Reform -- Take the Necessary Steps to Make a More Stable Foundation for Our Economy
3. Health Insurance -- Increase Availability and Flexibility and Reduce Costs
4. Employment -- Increase the Individual Dignity of the American Worker, Particularly Women Who Work
5. Pensions -- Simplify and Make More Flexible & Available for the American Worker
6. Higher Education -- Make College Affordable without Excessive Student Debt
7. National Debt -- Bend the Curve & Impose Self-Restraint
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1. Emergency Economic Measures
a. Take such emergency measures as are necessary to stabilize the economy & protect the American people now, without bailing out Wall Street.
2. Health Insurance -- Increase Availability and Flexibility
a. Health insurance options for individuals must include: 1) non-mandatory ACA, 2) opt-in to Medicare, and 3) emergency health insurance (high deductible, no coverage for pre-existing conditions).
b. One national market for health insurance.
c. De-link health insurance from employment by making health-insurance costs deductible from personal income tax.
3. Financial Market Reform -- Stop the Bubble Economy
a. Re-enact Glass-Steagall.
b. Ban stock buybacks from publicly-traded companies with any non-trade debt (another re-enactment, with a twist).
c. Federal Reserve Reform
i. Define existing Fed Reserve inflation mandate to include annual target of -2 1/2% to +2 1/2% per year.
ii. Define existing third Fed mandate as: long-term interest rates (10 years or longer) on U.S. Treasuries to be at least 4%; if the Fed possesses long-term Treasuries, must sell in an orderly fashion until the rate is over 4% or the Fed no longer possesses any Treasuries.
iii. Eliminate Fed ability to pay interest on excess reserves.
iv. Eliminate Fed ability to establish swap lines with foreign central banks.
d. Index capital gains to inflation & tax at ordinary rates.
4. Employment -- Increase Individual Dignity
a. Eliminate the marriage penalty.
b. Comp time for salaried employees over 40 hrs./week, payable in cash if not used by the end of the year, based on 40-hour work week.
c. Make voluntary union dues tax deductible.
5. Retirement Plans -- Increase Availability, Simplicity and Individual Flexibility
a. Simplified Employee Pension plans, available under existing law, up to 10% of an employee's compensation, should be the only tax-deductible business pensions.
b. Individual IRA contribution (ordinary or Roth, it's up to the individual) should also be available for all workers, up to 10% of the worker's compensation/profits.
6. Higher Education -- Increase Availability without Excessive Student Debt
a. Provide direct student loans for any trade school, college or graduate student with passing grades & full attendance, up to $20,000/year, with interest rate of 0%.
b. Provide direct debt restructuring, with 20-year amortization at 0% interest, for existing student debt.
7. National Debt-- Bend the Curve, Encourage Self-Restraint & Reduce Over Time
a. Reduce military expenditures by bringing ground forces and air forces home.
b. Eliminate foreign aid unless prior year's national deficit is less than $100b.
c. Reduce the national debt by linking gasoline, coal, and jet-fuel taxes to the amount of national debt.
d. Make tax brackets contingent on prior year's national deficit.
e. Reduce the national deficit by eliminating special-interest exemptions, phasing out over time where necessary.
f. See 3(d) above.
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