PAID FOR BY WUNDERLICH FOR CONGRESS

Robert Wunderlich is a retired member of the US Army. Use of military rank, job titles, and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement by the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.

I believe that the people should come before the parties.  Our congress has become ineffective, and to support their ineffectiveness they either lie to you outright, or they tell mistruths. 

I have served our country faithfully, and sacrificed to protect our constitution. I will continue to fight for you in congress, ensuring that your rights are protected and ensuring that there is transparency in all that we do.

The fear and hate leadership that has been demonstrated in the past is not what you need. The reason that you are presented with "fear and hate," is because you are expected to be afraid, and the promises to lead you through this are supposed to make you vote for them. I disagree with this approach to leadership. I believe that we have a great country, and I believe the parties will lie, cheat, and steal to stay in power. I will bring hope and transparency; I will put your needs above the needs of a party; I will communicate with you to ensure that my representation is for your needs, not a party's needs. I will work by, with, and through to achieve success in serving you.

I spent most of my career, planning and executing various operations. I will bring my military experience with me to congress and apply a modified Military Decision Making Process to the difficult issues we face; we face these issues together.

 LIST OF ISSUES

AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE

Bottom Line: We need a solution to government healthcare and having the government run healthcare is a mistake. A free market will always result in lower costs. Better medical savings accounts, high deductible catastrophic insurance for every family in the United States.

Healthcare is a concern for everyone. We all want to be able to seek medical attention when we need it. In the government’s attempt to “fix” healthcare, they pushed us from a reactive system to a proactive system, mandating visits to your primary care provider and potentially wasting your time and the doctor’s time, and creating a mountain of administrative paper work, thus increasing costs. In reality, the government’s good intentions end up costing everyone more money and wastes everyone’s time. In the military we used to say, “good initiative, poor judgment,” in other words it was a good idea, but a failure in execution; usually the result of ill-conceived plans and lack of foresight as to consequences.

  • We need to keep government out of healthcare. Milton Friedman had the following insight that he calls Gammon’s Law – which is defined as bureaucratization that causes both a rise in inputs and expense alongside a decrease in outputs and outcomes. This is what we see in the healthcare industry today. What we need is a healthcare system that is as efficient and as consumer-centric as the likes of Amazon. We should have care-based, not insurance-based relationships with our health care providers.

  • As your congressman, I will investigate a free market in healthcare. Competition should drive healthcare providers to provide meaningful information to consumers in order to capture market share., in other words, if they want your money, they will cater to your needs, again, care-based, not insurance-based). My cash price should not be twenty times the insurance price. The demonstrated efficiency of private enterprise would have a chance to improve the quality and lower the cost of medical care.

  • First, I would like to investigate eliminating the need for third-party payments, except for major medical expenses, by encouraging and supercharging medical savings accounts(i.e., no penalties). These accounts allow participants to spend their own money on themselves for routine medical care and medical problems, rather than having to go through HMOs and insurance companies, while at the same time providing protection against medical catastrophes. These accounts are usable only for medical expense, allowing a high-deductible insurance policy that limits the maximum out-of-pocket expense. 

  • Second, ensure every family in the United States is provided with catastrophic insurance (i.e., a major medical policy with a high deductible). The family would be relieved of one of its major concerns—the possibility of being impoverished by a major medical catastrophe—and most could readily finance the remaining medical costs. 

 

The above paragraphs are heavily attributed to Milton Friedman. If you have the time, read anything he has written or watch some of his YouTube videos.

NATIONAL SECURITY

Bottom Line: I believe that we need a responsible plan to address immigration and border security. I will work for a better managed and expanded guest worker programs, and I will ignore the political infighting, as I report to you, the people, instead of a political party, and that allows me to host bipartisan discussions and negotiations, make tough non-party affiliated decisions,  and find sensible solutions that work for you, not a political party.

National Security: I believe very strongly in protecting our sovereignty and our citizens. There are many ways to damage a nation and I will make it a top priority to ensure all potential threats are addressed.

  • Border – The past 5 presidents, both Democrat and Republican have admitted and made public, that we have a crisis on our southern border. The hypocrisy from both parties is fun to watch. We need to ensure that people understand the difference between legal and illegal immigrants. We are a nation of immigrants, this is true, but the people that came to this great nation came here legally. 

  • The Border Wall – When discussing a border wall, we have to stop focusing on the ideal illegal immigrant, if there is such a thing, and instead focus on what or who else can sneak across our borders, such as drugs, sex trafficking, terrorists, etc. There are almost 2,000 miles of southern border, there are 73 Border Patrol stations along this border; that’s one every 27.3 miles. We have sensors along this border and when triggered, we send agents to go investigate. Do we need a fence/wall? Well again, we have to look what has happened from a bipartisan perspective, both parties have claimed that we need a wall/fence. I find it amusing that their dislike for President Trump has caused these memory issues. How do we fund it, what is the design, when do we need it, how much do we need? These are all things that need to be discussed in a bipartisan fashion after the hypocrisy is called out, and I plan to call out hypocrisy on both sides of the aisle.  

  • Illegal Immigrations impact on local community – This is a highly contested topic that can be very confusing, so I will try to be articulate and ensure the issues are clear. Obviously, we should all welcome legal immigration. When you hear about diversity, etc. people should be referring to legal immigrants. It is hard to believe, but there is a huge backlog in applications for citizenship; this is a travesty and must be addressed. If you qualify for citizenship, you shouldn’t have to wait a year to become a citizen. Let’s talk about illegal immigrants; illegal immigration to the United States in recent decades has tended to increase the supply of low-skilled, low-wage labor available in the U.S. labor market. We aren’t talking about migrant workers that are here on an H2-A work visa, these are people that are here illegally and will work for whatever someone will pay them, thus adding to low-skilled labor force and reducing opportunities for low-skilled legal immigrants and migrant workers. In addition to growing the labor force, illegal immigrants are frequently mistreated with no recourse available to them or their families. The solution is quite complex, but to start, we need an expanded and better-managed guest worker process that allows migrants to travel freely between the U.S. and their native countries. We need to re-evaluate the current immigration process and ensure that all of our population is accounted for and protected.

EDUCATION

Bottom Line: As your Congressman, I’ll work with local leaders to make sure our kids receive the best education possible and have the brightest futures. Pay increase for teachers, they are the custodians and mentors for our children. We also need to encourage cooperation between parents and teachers; Vocational school is a viable and noble option; interest free student loans.

I am a proud father, and a lifetime learner. Education is very important to me, and being a bit older, I can see how education at the K-12 levels has changed. I now have grandchildren in school, so I am not far removed from the education system. I think that teachers need to have a significant pay increase. I would like to get with educators and come up with a plan to increase their pay for that is equal to the effort that they put forth with our children. 

  • Education (K-12) – Education is actually a three-way street, not just a two-way street. We have the teachers that put forth their best effort, we need the kids to put forth their best effort, and for that to happen we need the parents to be involved in their child’s development. While kids learn a lot about society while in school, it is still up to the parents to enforce rules, ensure homework gets done, and to act in the event there is an incident at school. Parents need to stop treating teachers like they are the enemy; teachers want to see your child succeed. We need to address the rate at which children learn and emplace programs for those children that exceed the norms, and programs for children that are struggling.

  • Education (Beyond K-12) – The Viet Nam era had an effect on college attendance. Since that era kids have been told that they must go to college in order to succeed. I received my bachelor’s degree when I was 35, I received my master’s degree when I was 42, and I received my Law degree when I was 51. I had a very successful career entering the Army three days after I graduated from High School. Kids should not feel obligated to go to college; by taking that mindset, we have created paper mills, and ridiculous tuition costs, because people think they have to attend. We have given the colleges the right to choose the student, instead of the student the right to choose the college; and we rack up unsurmountable debt in student loans. We need to tell the kids that tech schools are a viable option. There is no shame in working with your hands and getting dirty, and there are actually very high paying jobs in the trade industry. 

  • Student Debt – This is largely in part to the mandatory college mindset. Students graduate college with unsurmountable debt that compounds interest, albeit it at a low rate. These loans need to be interest free, and this needs to be retroactive. These kids ae already stating out with a debt to pay, there is no reason to compound that by expanding the debt with interest. If you get a government loan, it needs to be interest free and this needs to apply to all current outstanding debts.

ECONOMY

Bottom Line: I believe in small government and individual liberties. We must create opportunities for people so that they may advance themselves; lack of opportunity brings despair and depression. These opportunities can come in many forms, such as job training and job access, affordable daycare, etc.

 

I believe in a Free Market and fair competition. I again subscribe to the great American economist, Milton Friedman. It has been proven time and time again that socialism does not work. There is no alternative way of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by the free-enterprise system. 

 

Government has three primary functions: (1) provide for military defense of the nation, (2) enforce contracts between individuals, and (3) protect citizens from crimes against themselves or their property. The government frequently, with all good intentions, tries to rearrange the economy, legislate morality, or help special interests, instead of the desired results, we end up with inefficiency, lack of motivation, and loss of freedom. A bloated government is costly and inefficient.

We are blessed in the Tampa Bay area to have MacDill Air Force Base, the Port of Tampa, the Tampa International Airport, and a network of highways that allow quick access anywhere we need to go (I-75, I-275, I-4, to name a few). Within these blessings lie vast opportunities in staffing, maintaining, securing, and many others. One of these opportunities I would like to focus on is using our blessings to entice a Space Force unit to our area; this is a budding agency and we have so much to offer them. We need to capitalize in not only taking advantage of the opportunities but in showing the country what we can accomplish here in District 14. We can be a magnet for businesses that are looking for the best place to grow and maintain their organizations.

ENVIRONMENT

Bottom Line: We all like to breath air, we all know it is important, we love our oceans and our lakes. We like the food that we consume, and we don’t want to ingest any more toxins than the government already allows. When addressing our environment, we must ensure the science is correct and our solutions won’t have negative consequences to our citizens. The environment shouldn’t be a Democrat OR Republican issue, it is an everyone issue.

The topic of “Global Warming” and “Climate Change” have created a lot of angst and partisan fighting. The media and others have provided mountains of examples of bad things and Ms. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal that the Democrats supported eliminated much of our advances that we have made. The port of Tampa, MacDill Air Force Base, the Tampa International Airport, and our network of highways all rely on fossil fuels. Under the Democrat plan, we would lose all of the advances that we have made in these areas.  We need to be sensible when it comes to our environment. We must be socially conscious and socially responsible.

Disagreements on climate science often aren’t really about climate; they’re about identity. The way in which people interpret scientific results can change depending on whether those results support policies that bolster or undermine an individual’s moral and political beliefs.

CUBA RELATIONS

Bottom Line: We must address the concerns of the Cuban-American community and ensure that the plight of the great people of Cuba are not ignored. We must not tolerate the oppression of the people living in Cuba, and our enthusiasm must be tempered. De Oppresso Liber.

We own the best port for trade between Cuba and the United States. Before we take advantage of all that the great people of Cuba have to offer, we must ensure that the ongoing human rights violations are addressed. We cannot turn a blind eye to the current oppression that is taking place. In addition to the future opportunities, we have a large Cuban-American community here in Tampa, second only to Miami. This affords us a great opportunity to discuss the path ahead with community leaders to ensure that we don’t rush in to anything that will prolong the suffering of the people in Cuba. We must show Cuban leaders that the opportunities for themselves, their people, and their country, lies in negotiating with the United States because the opportunities that lie here in District 14 outweigh the oppression of the great people of Cuba. I look forward to representing the district that can claim such a rich heritage of Cuban culture, and I look forward to representing their concerns regarding our trade with Cuba.  

 

FEDERAL TORT CLAIMS ACT (FTCA)

Bottom Line: The FTCA is poorly written and judicial expansion has made it a travesty for our active duty service personnel. Several judges have asked for legislation to address this problem, I plan to present that legislation.

 

I would venture to guess that many of you are reading about the FTCA for the first time right here. The FTCA is the legal mechanism, passed in 1946, for compensating people who have suffered personal injury due to the negligent or wrongful action of employees of the U.S. government. In reality, it pretty much eliminates the ability for a federal employee, including military personnel from taking legal action against the U.S. Government for the negligent or wrongful action of employees of the U.S. government. Due to judicial expansion, beginning with what is known as the Ferris Doctrine, the doctrine bars claims against the federal government by members of the armed forces and their families for injuries arising from or in the course of activity incident to military service. This means that if a member of the Armed Forces is injured due to the negligent acts of federal employees, they have no recourse. I ask you to do an internet search for Army SFC Richard Stayskal for a recent case that demonstrates why this law needs to be revisited. Many judges have admitted this is unfair but are awaiting legislation to correct the problem; so basically, they are waiting on me, because I plan to make this a priority. We are all proud of our military and most of us either have a friend or family member serving and we all want them to be treated fairly when government negligence results in injury, illness, or death.

MARIJUANA

Bottom Line: Recent studies show that there are multiple uses for marijuana in treating severe medical conditions, and has shown proven results for both physical and mental health. The time has come to accept that it can replace many pharmaceuticals that can become addictive or have severe side effects.

I believe that marijuana should be legal and taxed, period. Marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug because it has “no medicinal value.” I think it is time that we admit that there is certainly medicinal value to marijuana. You should be able to grow your own marijuana for personal use. Although I couldn’t and wouldn’t have smoked marijuana while I was in the service, I had civilian friends that had smoked marijuana, and I always found it funny that the folks that smoked marijuana were mellow, and the folks that drank alcohol, not so much. One of the concerns is that people will drive while under the influence, fortunately for us, we have laws that prohibit such a thing, just as we do with alcohol. The critics frequently say marijuana is a gateway drug, and they are right but not for the reasons they put forth. In order for people to purchase the marijuana they have to go to someone that sells illegal drugs, so it isn’t the marijuana use that makes it a gateway drug, it is the method in which it must be obtained, therefore, legalizing marijuana eliminates the drug dealer and thus the gateway altogether.  Obviously there needs to be rules similar to those of cigarettes and alcohol, but arresting people for recreational use has always been an over reach by the government, infringing on an individual’s personal rights.