In the four years since Hoosier voters hired Todd Rokita to serve as Indiana's Secretary of State, he has worked to protect the integrity of Indiana elections, bring security to Hoosier investors and cut the red tape to give Hoosier business the opportunity to take root and grow here at home. Every step of the way his focus has been the creation of a better Indiana for honest, hardworking Hoosiers.
Great progress has been made but there's more work to be done. Secretary Rokita looks ahead to the next four years and sees opportunities to bring greater transparency to the money spent in political campaigns by introducing campaign finance reform legislation. He sees a chance to bring greater efficiency and accountability to Indiana elections by seeking legislation to make the Secretary of State's Office the tie-breaking vote on the Indiana Election Commission and the head of the Election Division. He will continue to work to make it easier for the future business owners of Indiana to get on their feet without government weighing them down with red tape and bureaucracy.
Congressman Rokita and his wife Kathy welcomed their first child, Teddy, in February of 2008 and their second son, Ryan, in February of 2010. The family resides near Clermont.
He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wabash College, where he earned Wabash’s highest award by being selected as an Eli Lilly Fellow, and he went on to obtain a law degree from the Indiana University School of Law in Indianapolis.
Secretary of State (2002 - Present)
Deputy Secretary of State (1997-2002)
After law school, Secretary Rokita worked as a practicing attorney.
Knights of Columbus
Indiana Flying Farmers
Board of Advisors of the Election Assistance Commission, and served as president of the National Association of Secretaries of State from 2007 to 2008. Rokita and his staff are active in supporting charitable causes, and have participated in events for the St. Vincent Cancer Center, Angel Flight, the Find a Book a Home Foundation, and the Angelman Syndrome Foundation. Rokita also routinely volunteers his time as a commercial-rated pilot for charity.
Prior to his service in Congress, Representative Rokita served as Indiana’s Secretary of State.
As a member of the influential House Budget Committee, he is committed to maintaining the core values of limited government, constitutionalism and free enterprise, and to reforming bankrupt entitlement programs that, if left untouched, threaten to saddle our children and grandchildren with more than $100 trillion in unpaid bills. He successfully worked to include portions of his Medicaid block-grant plan in the House-passed budget.
Additionally, Representative Rokita serves on the House Education and Workforce Committee, where his top priorities are ensuring regulatory reform for Hoosier job creators and a strong educational system that guarantees local control while preparing our children to compete in a global economy. He is chairman of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education.
St. Malachy Parish. Rokita is also a member of St. Thomas More Parish in Munster.
As Secretary of State, Rokita was awarded the Friend of Foreign Service Medal in recognition for his leadership and diplomatic efforts in building a strong Indiana-Taiwan partnership. He was also selected for the Aspen-Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership. As a Congressman, Rokita has earned the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Spirit of Enterprise award, the Friend of Farm Bureau award, and the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association's "Industry Champion" award, along with awards from the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the American Conservative Union in recognition of his leadership in Congress on key issues.
Government and Business
* Businesses and the free market economy of the United States of America have produced one of the highest standards of living in the history of the world.
* The Rokita Recovery Plan strives to encourage honest business dealings, nurture innovation and expand the standard of living for every American by growing the free market economy.
* The role of government is to encourage honest dealing in business, while prosecuting those individuals who break the law and violate the public trust.
* The greatness of American's entrepreneurial spirit comes largely from the purposefully limited role of government in economic development. Wherever possible, government must not become a hindrance to economic progress.
* It is not the role of government to takeover, bailout, or otherwise run companies.
* It is not the role of government to pick winners and losers in the economy, but rather, let the American consumer decide which business ideas should succeed.
* Since the government does not grow the economy, it should use its power in a precise, laser-like fashion, to incentivize business growth and not dictate economic outcomes. Such mandated outcomes are illusionary at best and repressive at worst.
Source: www.toddrokitaforcongress.com (12/04/2010)
Group Rating and Small Business Protection --While existing law reduces insurance company competition, it also allows the sharing of actuarial data. The 4 Reforms Plan aims to retain this important feature of current law and leverage this information, by requiring the insurance carriers to use one uniform rating process. This will allow small businesses to receive the same insurance coverage rates offered to large employers. The sharing of risk is central to the theory of insurance and group rating moves health insurance in the direction to which insurance was originally intended.
Source: www.toddrokitaforcongress.com/healthcare.html (12/04/2010)
Unlike the President and his economic team in Washington, I know the economy does not grow as a result of bigger government. The key to growing the economy and creating jobs is to create climate in which businesses are comfortable taking risks. Private job creation is the key to economic prosperity. Every dollar the President confiscates from the financial markets, in the form of taxes or borrowing, there is less money available to entrepreneurs looking to hire Hoosier workers. We must encourage, not penalize private companies to take risks and grow the economy.
Economic growth can only come from an expansion of business. The ability of a business to grow is directly related to its ability to sell a product at a price above the cost to produce that product. The Rokita Recovery Plan seeks to reduce the cost of producing goods and services by reducing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent. The United States' corporate income tax rate is the second highest in the industrialized world. Reducing this rate will make American corporations more competitive with corporations in other countries with which Americans do business.
In addition, the double taxation of investor income must be eliminated. Company profits are taxed first at the corporate level and then again when they are distributed to owners in the form of capital gains or dividends. Considering a large portion of retirees live of the income from their life savings, this double taxation hits senior citizens the hardest. The government must stop finding creative way to extract money from hard working citizens and instead find ways to allow workers and investors to keep their hard earned money.
The ultimate result of a reduction in the cost of doing business will be an expansion of new capital projects. The means more jobs, and lots of them. Every time a company expands, it hires more workers, who in turn return require more services from the economy and creates even more jobs.
Medical Liability Reform - The nation should adopt Indiana's highly regarded medical malpractice rules, which fairly balance the rights of those injured and those of health care providers who are falsely accused. Such false claims drive up the cost of medical malpractice insurance. A significant amount of the nation's health care costs are driven by doctors and other providers practicing "defensive medicine" -- ordering extra tests, treatments, and services to make sure that patients have no grounds for claiming later that their treatment was inadequate and then filing a frivolous lawsuit. Both patients and doctors must be protected and this plan accomplishes both.
Punitive Damage Caps - Caps on punitive damages should be implemented and cases should be required to go through a medical review panel before being filed in court. People that are legitimately injured should be allowed compensation for their loss. Awards, however, should be limited to compensatory damages, so as to reduce incentives for fraud and abuse.
The Rokita Recovery Plan rejects the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The Act, as originally proposed, cost $787 billion and has done irreparable harm to the economy. In fact, unemployment has increased to around 10 percent and this budget allocation has ballooned to over $850 billion. Since President Obama took office on January 20, 2009, the national debt has increased from $10.6 trillion to $13.5 trillion as of September 23, 2010.
President Obama's own economic advisors think the current spending program will not help the economy. According to Christina Romer, former chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, in Congressional testimony on 10/22/09, she said "The government's economic stimulus spending has already had its biggest impact and probably won't contribute to significant growth next year."
According to the White House website (www.recovery.gov 9/3/10), only 34% of the money has been spent. The President's own economic team admits this earmark heavy bill has not produced economic prosperity or created job growth. The continuation of this bill merely passes a huge burden to our children in order to fund enormous pork barrel spending today.
* The Rokita Recovery Plan calls for an immediate repeal of these federal policies.
* Remaining funds must be used for deficit reduction, in addition to immediate and permanent tax relief.
The Rokita Recovery Plan focuses on creating high-quality, high-pay jobs in the United States and Indiana, while respecting the principles of free market economics. The underlying philosophy of the Rokita Recovery Plan is that economic growth is created by private business and entrepreneurs. The role of government is to protect our citizens and ensure interstate commerce, while creating a level and fair playing field for all participants. This is the type of environment I have worked to cultivate through the Secretary of State's office over the last eight years.
The production of energy is not only integral to the growth of an economy and a nation, but inseparable from that progress. Energy has and always will be directly correlated to the increasing standard of living of a nation. Production of energy, however, comes as at a cost to the environment. In almost all faith traditions, God has provided mankind with dominion over that environment and entrusted a duty of stewardship to us all. Therefore, while it is necessary to use our natural resources to grow the economy and increase the standard of living for all citizens, it is imperative that we do so responsibly. Alleviating poverty and expanding economic opportunity are absolutely necessary, yet each must be done in a manner that preserves those same natural resources for future generations.
Support Ethanol and Bio-Diesel
The United State's dependence on foreign oil is both a national security as well as an economic concern. This is why I would continue to support alternative energy efforts aimed at addressing our oil dependency. I believe that ethanol and bio-diesel fuels, made by Indiana corn and soybeans can play a major role in moving our energy independence forward. I also believe the Federal government should provide incentives in the form of tax credits to all forms of alternative energy. Indiana's R&D infrastructure is perfectly positioned to develop the next generation of fuel and lead the world to a new and brighter energy future.
Source: www.toddrokitaforcongress.com/agriculture.html (12/04/2010)
The current legislation gives little, if any, consideration to the economic needs of the nation. It begins with an unproven assumption that there exists a link between the mandates in the legislation and the supposed positive impact to the environment. Neither the assumed link nor the supposed benefits are objectively verifiable.
Additionally, the Act incorrectly uses the success of the "United States Acid Rain Program" as proof the current legislation will succeed in correcting the assumed problem. The Act furthermore inaccurately claims to employ a method of "Cap and Trade," when, in fact, the method used in the Act or more analogous to a "Cap, Tax, and Auction" method. The latter method violates basic principles of free market economics and will stunt, if not reverse, economic growth.
Cap and Trade (C&T) is rooted in the concept of emissions trading. This is a mechanism whereby economic incentives are established by government entities as a means to encourage companies to reduce their production of pollution generating emissions. Once emission levels are established, firms who successfully reduce emissions below target levels have the option to sell their "credits" to firms who have not yet reached the target emission levels. Where objectively harmful emissions can be identified and feasible cleaning solutions exist, this system has proven effective in reducing harmful emissions.
HR 2454 purports to establish a C&T market, when in fact, it does not. The C&T scheme contained in the Act is actually a system of taxes designed to punish firms that produce government defined excess emissions. The scheme does not factor in the legitimacy of the harmful impact of emissions, does not consider the reality of the emission levels, ignores the lack of feasible cleaning technology and replaces free market incentives with government taxes and penalties.
Source: www.toddrokitaforcongress.com/capntrade.html (12/04/2010)
Guidelines for Meaningful Environmental Reform
Environmental Policy Must Be Based on Scientific Fact
The problem of acid rain was objectively observed in the harm to streams, lakes, wildlife, foliage and even manmade structures. The link between manmade carbon emissions and measureable harm to the environment is a topic currently under debate. While there may exist a link, the current debate continues.
Only Proven Technology Can be Mandated
Technology existed to repair the factors that caused acid rain. The solution, flue gas desulfurization (FGD) or wet scrubbers, was known and available. Subtitle H of HR 2454 mandates the use of technology that does not exist.
Environmental Concerns Should Employ Free Market Principles: No new Taxes
HR 2454 requires the government auction off emission credits to the public. Companies will be required to purchase these credits in order to continue operations. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates these auctions will generate $873 billion in government receipts over ten years. Citizens should not be required to bear these costs.
Only Realistic Reduction Targets May Be Used
The Act mandates reductions in carbon emissions starting in 2012. These reductions continue and mandate an 83% overall reduction by 2050 over 2005 levels. Such a mandate is unrealistic and ignores the reality of economic growth.
The EPA Must Be Accountable to the Public and Work with Businesses
Many public utilities and other firms have been pressured into accepting some version of the Cap and Trade legislation in order to avoid much more onerous regulation. A complete review of the EPA must be conducted by congress immediately.
Environmental policy must be grounded in sound science, economic realities and discussed in a spirit of mutual respect. I am committed to ensuring the environment is protected and the economy is strong. There is every reason to believe both goals can be accomplished.
Expand Congressional Oversight of the EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently reviewing its airborne pollution standards, under the umbrella of the Clean Air Act and is considering regulating "farm dust." This is merely the dirt and dust produced from the normal farming process. This type of overregulation illustrates the need to reign in the out of control bureaucrats at the EPA. They are clearly disconnected from the reality of farming. Cases like these prove why representatives of the people need to have greater oversight of White House agencies, ensuring they are not regulating every aspect of our lives.
As Secretary of State, our office led the nation in protecting investors from securities fraud and providing every citizen with expanded access to financial literacy. I believe strongly that the current economic crisis could have been avoided by better and smarter enforcement of securities laws in Washington, DC and by better financial education for all Americans. I will take this message of "Protecting Your Pocketbook" to Washington, DC.
* All citizens should be encouraged to participate in financial literacy programs wherever they can be found. An informed citizen will help prevent another financial market meltdown.
* Securities law enforcement and banking regulations must be strengthened. Fraud, when found, must be vigorously prosecuted.
* Securities regulation must not merely be a job interview for Wall Street investment bankers. Instead, securities law enforcement must be a career for talented individuals.
* Shareholders' rights must be expanded at the Federal level in order to make corporate managers accountable to the owners of a company.
* Fiduciary duty standards should be employed across the industry.
Line-Item Veto -- Give the president authority over federal budget line items that are deemed non-essential; allow Congress to override the presidential veto within a specific time period by a majority vote. It would also hit earmarks.
Source: www.toddrokitaforcongress.com/issues.html (12/04/2010)
The last Bush budget contained a deficit of $459 billion. The first Obama budget deficit was $1.414 trillion. The forecasted 2010 Obama budget deficit is $1.349 trillion. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Obama budget deficits will all be higher than the last Bush deficit. The first two Obama budget deficits will represent the largest deficits in the history of our nation and the highest as a percentage of GDP since World War II. All of these deficits are unacceptable.
Government spending must stop growing at alarming rates. The government, like every Hoosier household, must be required to balance its checkbook and stop living on a credit card. While the President calls for fiscal restraint, he continues his out of control spending habits. His solution is more taxes. His request lacks sincerity, since he created the deficits he now asks we pay for with even higher taxes. This game is transparent and we have seen it before. The solution must be based upon spending restraint and not tax increases.
When government expands its role in the economy it crowds out the individual. A fundamental key to economic recovery and success is a purposeful limit on the size and scope of government. The role of government must be clear and non-invasive in order for our great nation to realize its highest potential. As our founding fathers clearly understood, the rights of individuals and private property can only be protected when the intrusive role of government is limited. Government must act to ensure economic opportunity for everyone by protecting individuals from abuse by others as well as abuse by government.
As the elected head of an executive office of state government, I have led by example and significantly reduced the reach of the five government offices under my authority. With fewer resources I have simultaneously expanded the protection afforded to all Hoosiers, be they workers, investors, or business owners.
The Secretary of State's office operates on a taxpayer budget that is, dollar-for-dollar and unadjusted for inflation, the same budget used in 1987. Since taking office in 2003, I have reduced the physical size footprint of the office by 30,000 square feet, while taking on an additional division from the BMV and improving services for taxpayers. I understand how to limit the size and scope of government, while improving services.
The federal government provides necessary services to our citizens in the form of national defense, transportation, and other areas. These services, while necessary, divert money that would otherwise be used by private industry to grow the economy. Whether money is borrowed from the capital markets or taken directly from citizens in the form of taxes, government spending reduces the funds available to grow the economy. The Rokita Recovery Plan strives to limit the size of government while providing necessary public services. Government spending, by definition, takes money from productive sectors of the economy.
Return to 2008 Spending Levels -- President Obama has increased Federal government spending from $2.9 trillion in 2008 to a proposed $3.83 trillion for the current (2011) fiscal year. After exempting certain mandatory items, we can revert to the 2008 budget, phase in a 15% reduction and save the government well in excess of $400 billion per year.
Constitutional Amendment to Cap Federal Spending -- A spending limit amendment, such as the one proposed by Rep. Mike Pence and Rep. Jeb Hensarling, would limit the size and scope of the federal government by allowing spending to be no more than one-fifth of the economy (the U.S. historical spending average post-World War II).
Presidential Impoundment Authority -- Return impoundment authority, which grants the president the authority to not spend discretionary program funding. Every president from George Washington to Richard Nixon had this authority, but Congress removed it in the 1970s.
Appropriation of Reauthorization Bills -- By requiring Congress to either reauthorize legislation within one year after expiration or discontinue funding for the program, the practice of appropriating funds for non-authorized programs is eliminated.
Indiana's 4th Congressional District has emerged as an agricultural leader of the state and of the nation. With the hard work and ingenuity of the people of the 4th district, Indiana is the fourth largest exporter of soybean and soybean related products in the country. This success is not the result of a federally managed agricultural industry, but the result of privately owned farms and advanced agricultural businesses. From the fields of White Country to the research labs at Dow AgroSciences, the 4th district continues to make great strides in all aspects of the agricultural industry. Hard work and ingenuity is the keys to success, not government control. My plan is designed to empower members of the industry and remove burdens placed on the industry by government.
Agriculture is not limited to the crops grown in Indiana fields. The livestock and poultry operations I have seen across the 4th district and throughout the state, during my eight years as Secretary of State, are productive, safe, humane and environmentally sound. All too often, they are demonized by overzealous regulators. I will fight efforts to drive animal agriculture off of America's shores and maintain the 4th district as an agricultural superstar.
The FDA will be mandated to move rapidly to review and approve new innovative medical treatments. Under the Obama administration fast track approval of innovative products has been almost halted. Nothing is more harmful to the creation of life saving treatments than penalizing innovation. Any FDA regulation that is moved by FDA that costs the economy more than $50 million will be subject to an up or down vote by Congress.
Regulatory Savings -- Require an up-or-down vote on all federal regulations costing more than $50 million to the U.S. economy.
Since President Obama took office, the use of executive branch authority has expended beyond anything the founding fathers could have ever predicted. The EPA has armies of bureaucrats pushing new rules on businesses without an act of Congress. The FDA is making it more difficult for innovative companies to bring new products to market. And the IRS now requires companies to issue 1099 forms for almost anything under the sun.
From health care expenditures to buying fish at the local market, a business must issue a 1099 form if the amount of a business transaction exceeds $600. Such a ridiculous burden placed on employers drives up the cost of doing business and ultimately leads to a reduction in work force. A simple change in the law, removing most 1099 requirements, can have an immediate positive impact on job creation. A further elimination of abuses of executive office privilege will also lead to a new found freedom on the part of employers, who will, in turn, put people back to work.
As a gun owner and a member of the National Rifle Association, I will defend the 2nd Amendment rights of Hoosiers. I'm proud of my "A" rating from the NRA. If we are going to keep up our traditions and pass them on to our children, we need leaders in Congress who understand, and will fight every day, to protect our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. That's what I've done as Secretary of State, and that's what I'll do in Congress.
I will defend the 2nd Amendment rights of Hoosiers. If we are going to keep up our traditions and pass them on to our children, we need leaders in Congress who understand, and will fight every day, to protect our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. That's what I've done as Secretary of State, and that's what I'll do in Congress.
As a gun owner and a member of the National Rifle Association, I will defend the 2nd Amendment rights of Hoosiers. I'm proud of my "A" rating from the NRA.
Increased supply of health care providers -- Higher education must expand their existing volume of medical training positions and universities not already training medical professionals should be incentivized to enter this arena. Barriers created by professional associations and other special interests must be removed so that existing programs can expand without hindrance. The shortage of nurses and doctors is well known. Vital to an overall reform package is an increase in the number of health care providers.
Create Pooling Mechanisms and Group Plan Choices for Everyone - This plan expands options for the purchase of low-cost insurance from new pooling mechanisms. Today, the only health insurance pool available to many Americans is their employer's pool. Americans not in an employer-sponsored pool purchase insurance in the "individual market." This plan dramatically expands the insurance pools Americans have access to by allowing churches, alumni associations, trade associations and other civic groups to set up new insurance pools and offer affordable health care packages to their members. Instead of having only one group policy to choose from, under this plan, every American will be able to choose from a number of "group plans." This will make health care more affordable and portable while not locking individuals into staying at a job simply to keep their health coverage. Families should not be forced to choose between leaving their employer and having health care.
Certain areas of the health care system are in need of reform. It is important that any reform be strictly focused on those areas in need of reform and not be used as an excuse to reduce innovation, reduce competition or expand government control. The 4Reforms Plan sees the problems in health care as falling into four broad categories and offers specific solutions to reform each.
1. Increase competition
2. Empower consumers
3. Expand access to insurance
4. Reduce Burdensome Legal and Regulatory Costs
If implemented in full, these practices will not only act to empower consumers, but will drive down costs, by preserving the ability to innovate and driving healthy competition. From these savings, society and the market could afford to insure more Americans, truly bring health coverage, in some for or fashion, even if catastrophic, within the reach of nearly every American. And for those afterward who are still so removed from society, the safety nets will still exist.
Fee Disclosure -- Health care providers will be required to publish fees schedules on the internet and as part of a national health care database. No other economic activity requires consumers to make a purchase prior to knowing the cost. Health care should be no different.
Although not perfect, the United States of America has the best health care system in the world. This is the direct result of a market driven economic engine, which rewards innovation. Health care innovation has resulted in the creation of life saving procedures, treatments and medicine beyond anything previously known to mankind. At the same time, access to this incredible health care is still beyond the reach of some citizens and the financing mechanisms have become less efficient, due to government intervention, lack of consumer choice and reduced competition. The Rokita Health Care Plan: 4 Reforms to Ensure Health Care for 4th District Hoosiers recognizes where reform and improvement is needed, while also recognizing the importance of preserving those aspects of the health care system that have created the best health care system in history. All proposals should encourage innovation and consumer choice.
Increase R&D Tax Deductions -- To nurture innovation, companies producing new medical treatments will have increased tax credits and deductions for money spent in the creation of such treatments. This provision recognizes the source of our great health care system and attempts to incentivize even more innovation.
Electronic Medical Records -- Transitioning to an electronic medical record system would aide doctors in the practice defensive medicine, reduce errors and fraud, and drive down costs by avoiding duplicate tests and procedures.
Transparency: Consumer-driven healthcare must rely on transparency so we, as consumers, can do our job of picking the best value provider and procedures for our HSA and insurance dollar. This requires data. More specifically, it requires data that focuses on providers' outcomes, not merely their input and processes. Information such as procedure mortality rates, readmission rates, average treatment costs, fee schedules, and even pre-procedure cost estimates are all items that could be provided to consumers. While purchasing health care is more sophisticated than buying other consumer products, we must empower consumers to make the correct decisions. All stakeholders should come together and decide what data is needed and how to provide this data to consumers, so they may make informed decisions.
Increased Insurance Company Competition -- Laws that prevent insurance companies from competing in multiple states must be changed. Under this plan, insurance companies will be allowed to offer policies in all states and the increased competition will create lower costs for Hoosiers by giving them more choices. Free market competition is vital to the success of any health care plan.
If You Like It You Can Keep It - Approximately 83% of Americans are satisfied with the health care they currently receive through their employer. Under this plan, Americans with employer-provided care can keep it without any change. Unlike other proposals, this proposal will NOT tax your employer-sponsored plan to pay for a government takeover of health care. And, unlike the Democrats plan, it will not force you to give up the health care coverage you currently have if you choose to keep it!
All Americans and Hoosiers Get Choice and Coverage -- This plan allows Americans who do not have employer-sponsored care or those not satisfied with their employer-sponsored plan to buy their own insurance with the same tax deductible feature currently only offered to employer sponsored plans. Americans who pay income taxes get a dollar for dollar reduction in their tax bill up to $2500 for individuals and $5000 for families. Americans who do not pay income taxes get the same amount from the government to buy a policy of their choice; $2500 for individuals and $5000 for families.
Portability -- Another benefit of group rating will be the option of creating portable insurance coverage. Group rating reduces the cost employers incur by extending benefits to employees no longer with the employer. Additionally, group rating will allow new companies to form, which specialize in providing "bridge coverage" to former employees, who wish to retain their prior coverage.
Medicare Reform -- Medicare is one of the least competitive parts of the health care system. Rather than let the free market determine reimbursement rates, the government mandates the amount paid to service providers. If the mandate it too low, seniors experience a shortage of health care services and providers may go out of business. If the mandate is too high, too much of service is offered and valuable resources are not properly allocated. Improved competition must include breaking the federal government's monopoly on health care for senior citizens.
Medicare Protection -- Employees have paid into the Medicare trust fund and are entitled to the benefits for which they have already paid. Under the 4Reforms Plan, seniors will be given the option to accept their current Medicare coverage or take those dollars and purchase non-Medicare based coverage. The risk of losing high volumes of patients will incentivize the Medicare program to create efficiencies, new products and compete directly with private plans. It is important the current system be responsive to patient needs and not the other way around.
Vouchers for the Poor -- Medicaid currently offers health care for low income families. The quality of this care varies by state. By restructuring the current payment mechanism, electronic health care benefit cards (with their payments on them) can be given to low income families and empower them to purchase coverage that fits their unique situation, rather than be forced into a government run health system.
Pre-Existing and Chronic Conditions Covered at Affordable Rates- Our fragmented health care system makes it difficult for Americans with pre-existing conditions and chronic illnesses to find affordable coverage. No American should go bankrupt because they get sick. This plan strengthens, expands and creates new avenues for affordable health care for the sickest Americans through high-risk pools and reinsurance mechanisms. The sick and those with chronic conditions will be able to buy coverage at competitive rates.
Preexisting condition benefits -- By implementing a group rating system, the exclusion of pre-existing conditions from newly issued policies can be eliminated. Since all employers will receive the benefits of group ratings, the need for such exclusions will be removed. To further strengthen this issue and to prevent loop holes, the banning of pre-existing condition exclusions will be written into law.
I strongly oppose both the Obama Plan which seeks to expand government control over health care and unreasonably restrict free market mechanisms.
Replace First Dollar with Catastrophic Coverage Policies -- Tax incentives will be created to incentivize the use of Health Care Savings Accounts (HSAs) in conjunction with catastrophic coverage. Health insurance should not cover routine items which drive up the cost of health care and remove the incentive of consumers to select cost effective choices. When combined with HSAs, consumers will have better coverage at a reduced cost. In addition, by having "skin-in-the game" consumers will make better decisions that will ultimately lead to lower costs. As with basic household expenditures, the wisdom of consumers will prevail and better cost-benefit decisions will be made.
Expand Health Savings Accounts (HSA) - HSAs offer a way to protect people from catastrophic costs while giving them tax protected savings from which to finance routine and expected health care expenses. Such accounts should be expanded dramatically as a way to encourage patients to be wise consumers of health care without putting them at risk of financial ruin in the event that serious and expensive health care conditions do arise. HSAs give consumers control of their health care purchases. The HSA reduces reliance on insurance company claims and increases the power of the consumer. Tax incentives will be introduced that encourage employers to grow the use of HSAs and employees to use HSAs.
Tax Free Health Care Purchases -- All health care transactions should be conducted tax free. Whether an individual receives health insurance coverage from an employer, purchases individual coverage from a variety of sources or uses the benefits of an HSA, each transaction should be tax free. In addition, the threshold for deducting health care expenses on income tax returns should be eliminated and all health care expenditures should be deductible from the first dollar spent.
Health insurance should be true insurance. In other words, it should protect individuals and families from unexpected or financially ruinous costs. It should not pay for normal and anticipated health care costs. One of the main reasons that health care costs are out of control is that there is little connection anymore between the user and payer of health care services. Thus, there is little or no incentive for the users of health care to find the best price for services. There is no reason to ask whether a proposed treatment is necessary or if a less expensive alternative exists.
The advent of Individual Retirement Accounts in 1974 and 401k plans in 1978 ushered in a new era of consumer driven retirement savings. Despite the ridiculous claims that they would only be savings accounts for the rich, IRAs, 401k, 403b plans provide millions of Americans with their primary source of retirement funds. The wisdom of the consumer has shown that a privately driven retirement system can be much more beneficial than a government mandated and operated system. The same can be true of health care when the consumer is empowered.
Federal Disclosure Mandates - The federal government should create transparency laws that mandate the disclosure of a wide range of medical information, ranging from the performance of all medical professionals and institutions to the detailed costs of every procedure. This information must be easily accessible via the internet to any consumer who wishes to use it. Such a law will let the sun shine in so consumers can make their own, informed decisions using reliable, useful data. The data should not come from the government. It can come from provider disclosures, which would soon be analyzed by independent third parties. This same technique was used by the Indiana Secretary of State's office to address campaign finance disclosures. Campaigns immediately publish campaign reports online and independent third parties (newspapers and community watch dog groups) review the data and report to the public. The public also has direct access to all the data, presented in a user friendly format.
Indiana has benefited tremendously from innovation in life sciences, advanced manufacturing, auto racing and logistics. Research and development are required for innovation to occur. I believe the government should encourage research, development and innovation in all industries.
* The Rokita Recovery Plan will expand existing R&D tax credits and encourage companies to spend more resources developing new products and bringing them to market.
* The profits generated by new products will be exempt from corporate incomes taxes for a period of 5 years.
* The R&D tax credit and reduced tax rate on new products will provide a huge incentive for companies to create new products.
Such incentives will ripple across the economy and benefit everything from alternative energy to health care. And most importantly, each step along the path to innovation and new product creation will result in the hiring of Hoosier workers.
To simplify the tax code, the number of tax brackets should be reduced from six to three -- ten percent, twenty percent, and thirty percent. Additionally, the Alternative Minimum Tax should be eliminated to simplify the tax code for individuals with families. The IRS estimates that Americans spend nearly $200 billion a year complying with the tax code. Freeing even a fraction of these costs would be an economic benefit to taxpayers and the economy.
Employee Pay Disclosure -- By requiring the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to supply each business with listings for all Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes for each employee's paycheck, including payments to income taxes, Social Security taxes, and Medicare payments, taxpayers would know exactly how much of their earnings the Federal government truly takes from their paycheck.
There are many good long-term ideas relative to income tax policy such as the Flat Tax and Fair Tax. A vigorous public debate should occur on which is best. The focus must first be on reducing the size and spending of government and cutting taxes to stimulate the economy.
The Rokita Recovery Plan seeks to stop looming tax hikes. If no action is taken, next year's income tax rates will increase for almost every working adult. The Congress should immediately pass legislation to make the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent. The ultimate goal should be a massive overhaul and simplification of the tax code.
If the Obama administration if successful in preventing an extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, the Estate or "Death" Tax will rise to 55%. This rise will lead to loss of 1.5 million jobs in the small business sector. Farms will be the hardest hit with this tax increase. Farms are mostly a large collection of capitalized assets, whereby 80% of the average farm value is composed of land. Because of the estate tax, the heirs of a farmer may be forced to sell the family form simply to pay the inheritance taxes. It is patently un-American for the government to confiscate the wealth a farmer has created for his or her family. For this reason and many others, I pledge to permanently eliminate the estate tax.
While I approve of tax rebates and most proposals that return money to the taxpayer, I oppose the temporary nature of such measures. Temporary income tax breaks are political ploys that produce no long-term economic benefit. Individuals and businesses make investment decisions based on long-term certainty, not short-term tricks. Policies should be geared towards long-term growth, wherever possible.
* The Rokita Recovery Plan seeks to stop looming tax hikes. If no action is taken, next year's income tax rates will increase for almost every working adult. The Congress should immediately pass legislation to make the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent. The ultimate goal should be a massive overhaul and simplification of the tax code.
* To simplify the tax code, the number of tax brackets should be reduced from six to three -- ten percent, twenty percent, and thirty percent. Additionally, the Alternative Minimum Tax should be eliminated to simplify the tax code for individuals with families. The IRS estimates that Americans spend nearly $200 billion a year complying with the tax code. Freeing even a fraction of these costs would be an economic benefit to taxpayers and the economy.
* Tax relief should be provided to all Americans and should not be used to punish any single category of wage earner.
* "Tax the rich" and "class warfare" are not compatible with American values. Americans should not covet or envy the success of others. Instead, we must all be treated equally and given the same opportunities. The Rokita Recovery Plan will respect our values, while making public policy decisions.
* There are many good long-term ideas relative to income tax policy such as the Flat Tax and Fair Tax. A vigorous public debate should occur on which is best. The focus must first be on reducing the size and spending of government and cutting taxes to stimulate the economy.
I will vote in favor of current free trade agreements pending in Congress, including those with Columbia and Panama.
Indiana is one of only a few states with a trade surplus. Many Hoosier businesses make profits around the globe. These companies pay taxes in the countries where they earn those profits. While some reciprocal tax agreements exist, current US law punishes firms that make profits overseas. During his campaign, President Obama announced he would seek more penalties on companies who move operations overseas or make profits overseas. As a result, many companies establish shell companies around the globe to protect profits from the government, create partnership arrangements to limit their liabilities, develop transfer-pricing mechanisms to avoid onerous taxes, or move their entire headquarters overseas. I believe the government should incentivize investment in the United States and Indiana. Free trade incentives are tools that have worked in creating economic growth.
* The Rokita Recovery Plan will implement an immediate 90% tax exemption for all repatriated profits of US companies, when those profits are used to expand businesses in the US, hire US workers and purchase capital assets.
* Foreign companies who agree to relocate headquarters or manufacturing facilities to the US will pay the same corporate income tax as they would in their home countries on profits generated from goods manufactured in the US and exported for sale in other countries.
* Given the industrial expertise of Indiana, it is likely that Indiana will see the fastest and most profound benefit from such a policy.
* Examples such as Caterpillar Inc.'s recall of 100 workers at their Large Engine Center and Subaru's announcement of 100 new full time positions, both in Lafayette, shows that the 4th district of Indiana can compete and win in a global economy.
Businesses grow and jobs are created when companies expand into new markets. I believe Hoosiers should be on the offensive in creating global partnerships, which will bring jobs back to Indiana.
I believe our nation must have markets around the globe to export our goods and products. I will vote in favor of current free trade agreements pending in Congress, including those with Columbia, South Korea, and Panama. Indiana is one of the few states currently with a trade surplus. This is due in large part that our soybeans, soybean products, feed grain, feed grain products, livestock, and poultry exports. We are among the top 10 national exporters in each category. Trade barriers work to harm the most important exporter in our state, the farmer.
I will vote in favor of current free trade agreements pending in Congress, including those with South Korea.
Air - Within view of the state of the art Col. H Weir Cook Terminal, are several aging areas of the Indianapolis International Airport. Providing a tax credit will spur an immediate increase in infrastructure investments. The incentives to invest will lead to job creation, increased air traffic, and income for the 4th district. Air cargo carriers such as FedEx, will have an incentive to upgrade their facilities, which will lead to increased capacity and further economic growth in the region.
Local air -- As a result of this tax credit, numerous municipal airports throughout the 4th district will see an increase in capital expenditures that will fund much needed improvements. As a commercial rated pilot, I am keenly aware of the struggles faced by these important local airport facilities.
As other parts of the nation seek to isolate themselves from the rest of the world, Indiana's 4th district should request special status for the Indianapolis International Airport and make it an international free trade zone. The airport already benefits from its status as a Foreign Trade Zone (INZone). Goods shipped into the airport are free from U.S. Custom duties, provided they are exported again. This makes the airport an ideal location for international trade. By making all goods received through the airport free from customs duties, even those not being re-exported, Indiana will quickly become the number one entry point for goods shipped from all over the world destined for U.S. customers.
Source: www.toddrokitaforcongress.com/transportation.html (12/04/2010)
Waterborne - Similar to trucking, waterborne firms are struggling to raise capital in the existing financial markets. As with trucking, a tax credit will aid ports, such as the Port of Indiana, to access capital and make necessary investments. Such activity will lead to new tenants, increased cargo traffic, and increased employment.
The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 contains a section known as the Jones Act. This provision requires all goods transported by water between U.S. ports, must be carried in vessels built in the United States, owned by American citizens and operated by Americans. While the goal may seem noble, such archaic law has done significant harm to the US economy, worldwide consumers, and the state of Indiana. Instead of creating jobs, it has driven them away. The restriction only serve to raise shipping costs, deter investment and actually prevented the purchase of new, more efficient vessels. As such, U.S. shipbuilders and water logistics firms have been prevented from entering the international markets due to the antiquated nature of their equipment. The lack of U.S. made international vessels is a clear indicator that this out dated law is only hurting the ship building industry it was designed to help. If Indiana has such a ridiculous law for roads and trucks, we would not be the logistics hub of the world. A 1999 U.S. International Trade Commission economic study suggested that a repeal of the Jones Act would lower domestic shipping prices by 22%. Another 2002 economic study from the same commission found that repealing the Jones Act would have an annual positive effect of $656 million dollars on the United States economy. Based on our access to Lake Michigan and he Ohio River, combined with our logistics expertise, Indiana stands to gain the most from that new inflow of $656 million.
Fair Share of Highway Funding -- Currently Indiana only receives 92 cents for every $1 it collects in fuel taxes. The remaining .08 cents is largely spent to fund the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) in Washington, DC. The USDOT must be modernized so as to eliminate bureaucratic waste and ensure the maximum amount of the revenue is returned to state where it is collected. One way to accomplish this goal is to replace the current budget allocation model with a system whereby the state retains its portion of the proceeds and forwards 5% or less to the USDOT. Tremendous inefficiency exists when tax revenues are sent to the Federal government, only to be processed and returned to the state with a processing fee removed. In addition, gas tax revenues must be spent using objective criteria, so as to remove the impact of political decisions and prevent future "Bridges to Nowhere."
Rail - Neighboring states already offer tax credits for rail improvements. A Federal tax credit will help bring parity among states and make Indiana more competitive in receiving capital investments by Tier I railroads such as CSX, Norfolk Southern, and Canadian National.
The Avon Rail Yard has the potential to expand to a major intermodal transportation hub. Near the Indianapolis International Airport and with easy access to the five interstate systems that cut through the 4th district, the Avon Rail Yard has unlimited potential to be a national bypass to the rail congestion issues always prevalent when moving goods through the Chicago area. I would fully support and encourage the above mentioned tax credits as well as a State Issued Bond paid for by private users to reengineer the Rail Yard. The potential would then be there to have rail firms come together to provide direct rail service from California to Indiana.
The motto of Indiana is "The Crossroads of America." If Indiana's 4th Congressional District had a motto it would be the "Crossroads of the Crossroad." The 4th district contains five of the state's fourteen highway systems, the 6th largest air cargo transport hub in the nation, and one of the leading rail yards in the Midwest. It is clear why so many distribution centers and logistics companies call the 4th district their home. Indiana has firmly placed itself at the heart of global supply chain management. As a result, Indiana is one of the few states with an international trade surplus. As technology has created the Silicon Valley economic miracle, so too will logistics create an economic boom for Indiana. Most importantly, the 4th district will be the center of that economic expansion.
Many areas of our national transportation infrastructure are in need of reform. Due to poor policies and pork barrel earmarks, the days of "Bridges to Nowhere" have left strategic parts of our nation's logistical infrastructure at risk of destroying an already weak economy. The 4 Initiatives Plan introduces four simple policy and cultural changes which will ensure our economy is not is not ruined by political self-interest and neglect.
If implemented , these policies will allow our nation's air, road, rail, and waterway infrastructure to keep pace with the increasing demand for capacity, as well as increase revenues for every member of the global supply chain. The result will be lower costs to consumers as well as increased resources for companies looking to put Hoosiers back to work. These initiatives, combined with specific projects impacting the 4th district, will ensure that our district remains the primary intersection within the Crossroads of America.
Highway Trust Fund Firewall - When created in 1956, the Highway Trust Fund was designed to provide a long term source of funding for the creation, repair and maintenance of the nation's interstate highway system. The need was so great, that the Highway Trust Fund was created to protect this revenue from the special interest spending of Washington politicians. By establishing a permanent firewall, only authorized programs, aimed at maintaining our vital yet aging infrastructure, would draw funding from the Highway Trust Fund.
Fair Share of Highway Funding -- Currently Indiana only receives 92 cents for every $1 it collects in fuel taxes. The remaining .08 cents is largely spent to fund the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) in Washington, DC. The USDOT must be modernized so as to eliminate bureaucratic waste and ensure the maximum amount of the revenue is returned to state where it is collected.
In order to further enhance the status of West Central Indiana, and the 4th district, as the logistics hub of the nation, the last legs of the Reagan Parkway need to be completed in order to make the Commerce Connector a reality for Central Indiana.
The completion of I-69 will provide the 4th district with a 6th interstate highway. This thoroughfare will also help build a vital North American transportation route and further enhance the logistics stature of our region. By providing a direct line of transportation to Memphis, TN and beyond, more of the nation will be within a one day's drive of the 4th district and will attract even more supply chain management industries. With 70% of the nation currently within a one-day's drive, the economic viability of firms placing their logistics hubs in the 4th district would also increase. The effect would be a stronger economy and more viable jobs for the citizens of the district.
HR 1409 and S 560, commonly referred to as the "Employee Free Choice Act" (EFCA), are bills currently in congress that, if implemented, would eliminate free choice of workers by effectively eliminating their voting rights through use of a secret ballot, and encourage a system which history has proven ripe with corruption and abuse. I do not support this legislation, as it will harm economic growth and damage the rights of workers.
I strongly support the right of every worker to decide for him or her self where to work and under what conditions to seek employment. The founding documents of our great nation explicitly provide citizens with freedom and liberty, be it in their personal or professional lives. The EFCA is designed to strengthen the hand of union bosses at the expense or rank and file workers. The intent of the EFCA is to remove the freedom of workers to affiliate or not affiliate with an organized labor entity.
Source: www.toddrokitaforcongress.com/check.html (12/04/2010)