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This page will be used for me to work on posting my stances on issues.  If you have a question on where I stand on an issue that isn't listed here, please e-mail me at johnnyccochran4al@gmail.com and I intend to answer. Most people I speak with are not satisfied with their representatives and feel like they aren't being heard. I hear you.

I also tend to think that the issues are complex and nuanced, so while this page will reflect a short answer, I'd love to have a longer conversation about them with you via one of the virtual or in person events we will be having.

Economy - we currently have a mixed economy, a mixture of free-market capitalism and state interference.  I advocate for less state interference, which will lead to greater prosperity.

Taxes - the people are taxed too much. Taxed on income, taxed when we spend, taxed on the property we own,  taxed if investments do well, taxed when we die.  The entire tax code is rotten and I've been lied too before. Remember Paul Ryan? The former GOP Speaker said the tax code will be reformed so that you could "easily fill out your taxes on something the size of a postcard".  I advocate (big picture) for scrapping the entire tax code and starting over from scratch. There have been too many carve outs by special interests to salvage the existing tax structure. We need to reduce the tax burden on the individuals.  If an entire rework isn't possible, I will introduce legislation to try and do as much as I could to help the middle class & most vulnerable among us. What does that look like? A small example might include gratuity (think servers, barbers, food delivery drivers, taxi/rideshare drivers, streamers, etc) should be exempt from income tax.

Inflation - the price of everything is spiraling upwards. Regular people have to tighten their belts and make hard decisions. This is due to the government spending more money than it raises through taxes.  The Federal Reserve enables this.  We need a full audit of the Federal Reserve, which will most likely shock the nation to the incompetency in which it is ran. We must return to a sound money system, such as a Gold Standard, a Bitcoin Standard, or some basket of hard commodities. 

 Education - I don't believe our education system is properly setup for the success of all students.  Just like our government, we have a TOP-DOWN approach currently.  All students are unique and have different talents, interests, strengths, and weaknesses. There is a standard that we need to ensure that all of our students are proficient in reading, writing, math, and a basic understanding of our country's history equivalent to what those immigrants must take in order to become U.S. citizens.   We need to introduce things like financial literacy and actual life skills needed to navigate the world.  But there should be some flexibility based on students' interests. For example, some students learn best by "doing". These students should be in "hands on" situations or makerspaces.  I believe that we need to take a few steps back and evaluate the existing education system and ask ourselves "is it delivering the results that parents want"?

Criminal Reform, Cannabis, & Policing - I strongly believe for an act to be considered a crime, there needs to be a victim. There are many incarcerated individuals for crimes like possession of marijuana.  If elected, I would work towards decriminalizing and legalizing cannabis. I would work to help get people out of prison for what now citizens of states that have legalized recreational marijuana.  Our police resources would be better spent protecting the community against violent crimes. Cannabis is a crop that Alabama farmers could choose whether or not made sense for them to grow for the many different uses of the plant.

Immigration - as a country, I want to attract talent of all types. We should be that shining city on the hill that people all over the world want to move to.  Our current system is broken.  We first must be in control of the border. We need to utilize a mixture of technology, Border Patrol, and wall to ensure it is secure. Then we need to develop a better system. I would advocate the idea of creating an "Ellis Island" style operation at the border. Immigrants would receive background checks and receive a legal status. The "Ellis Island 2.0" would work with states, communities, and businesses around the country to determine where and what kind of labor is needed. This would help ensure that the existing residents have first chance at job openings. If openings didn't fill, this could be communicated to the recruiters at "Ellis Island 2.0". This ensures that any labor coming into the country is headed to a particular geography has a need and a paying job waiting for them. 

Foreign Affairs, War & Peace -  we should put forward an honest attempt to maintain warm relations with other countries for the purposes of friendship, trade, investment, and cultural exchange.  We should stay out of entangling alliances and should not be the policeman of the world.  Our taxes shouldn't subsidize the defense of other countries, such as Germany.  We need to bring our troops home from around the world to protect our country - a strong national defense.  For decades we have lost how many American lives and spent our treasure on nation building & foreign excursions? We need a Congress that will follow the Constitution and vote on a Declaration of War. It is my belief that adults from any nation engaged in good faith negotiations can resolve disagreements without the use of force.

Healthcare - the nation's healthcare is a mess. It's confusing to determine how much different services and procedures cost, you get a bill six months after you leave for what your insurance decided not to cover....this is a mess. We need to move away from the current "SickCare" system to a "Health Care" system by:

1.) Promoting and incentivizing people to eat healthy and exercise. Perhaps this allows for fresh whole foods & gym membership / exercise equipment to be exempt from sales tax.

2.) Insurance has to be one of the most frustrating things in the world. You pay month after month and when you finally do use it, they try to get out of taking care of the bill. I believe we need an insurance system that allows for people to plan for unforeseen catastrophic outcomes and have the option to pay cash for lower cost and well advertised services and procedures from healthcare providers.

Election Law - States have the right to run their elections as they see fit, but I will advocate for things like blockchain technologies that would allow quick and cost effective tallying & audits.

Rights - Rights are natural to us and are not given to us by the government. The government exists to protect our rights. The government should pass no law that infringes on our rights and I will work to repeal any laws that seek to do so.

Energy - America is blessed to have the opportunity to become energy independent.  We need to enhance all forms of energy our country has access to, but in particular I advocate for nuclear power.  Many in our country are unaware of the advancements of third and fourth generation nuclear power plants. I will advocate to open up the American energy sector and particularly by reducing the red tape necessary to advance the United States as the leader in nuclear power.

Term Limits - I believe our current system gives us the results we have - too many octogenarians that have been in D.C. for too long. I think the original intent of the Founders were for people of different geographies to take a break from their career, spend some time as elected leaders, and then return home. Now they serve forever, not helping develop the next generation of leaders, and when they die in office their children run as if they are own the seat.  I am willing to listen to others on the specifics of how long the term limit should be, but I have signed on to the TermLimits.com pledge to co-sponor legislation that caps federal service to no more than 3 terms in the House of Represenatives and two terms as a United States Senator.

2A - Shall not be infringed.

I/R (Initiative and Referendum) - In the U.S., the terms initiative and referendum refer to processes that allow citizens of states to vote on particular pieces of legislation.

  • The initiative process allows citizens to propose a new statute or constitutional amendment.
  • The referendum process allows citizens to refer a law that passed the legislature to the ballot for voters to decide whether to uphold or repeal the law.

In 26 states, a statewide initiative and/or referendum process is available to citizens. Some states that lack statewide initiatives and referendums allow for initiatives and referendums in local jurisdictions. There is no federal initiative and referendum process in the U.S.  I believe Alabama needs to join the 26 states that have the I/R process.  I would encourage the members of the state Legislature and Governor’s office to the right of the people.  Individuals should have this right and I support it.

Bitcoin - this technology is something that is of imperative for both U.S. individuals as well as local, state, and federal governments must understand and plan accordingly. I highly recommend "The Bitcoin Standard" book by Saifedean Ammous & the "What is Money?" podcast by Robert Breedlove. At the federal level, I would advocate the government to have a coherent plan and approach to bitcoin. 

Committee to Elect Johnny C. Cochran
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