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Vision for Michigan

Battle-tested leadership

The challenges Michigan faces on the road ahead have not and will not be solved by career politicians. Michiganders have been failed for too long by career politicians and their empty promises.

  • I have a proven record of battle-tested leadership in combat and as a job provider.
  • I have experience protecting American lives and accomplishing missions in combat and saving workers' jobs after the recession and financial crisis that Michigan faced.
  • I care about getting results while career politicians only care about getting reelected. My whole life I have been taught to lead by example which is why all of my employees are on the same exact health insurance that my family and I are on.

COVID-19 has created a health care crisis and an economic crisis. We need battle-tested leadership to overcome these crises and to prepare for tomorrow’s crises.

  • We need Senators who have real-world experience in Washington, not career politicians.
  • We need people who can work to solve problems.
  • We need battle-tested leadership.

Restore the American Dream

We need to restore the American Dream. Anyone who wants it and is willing to work hard should be able to achieve it. My family went from poverty to prosperity in one generation. For those who want to work for it, there needs to be opportunity to achieve the American Dream.

Today, however, our American Dream is endangered. In these turbulent times, Americans’ economic anxieties are mounting. Career politicians and their special interest contributors have imperiled the American dream by imposing onerous and punitive tax policies; bloated federal spending; unnecessary and costly regulations; unfair trade agreements; and other ills upon our economy.

Despite the past three and half years of significant progress eliminating these ills— our economy boomed and families’ financial anxiety eased— the destruction brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic sent Americans’ economic anxieties rushing back.

  • Now, more than ever, we must free Americans' innovative capabilities in the core areas of ideation, capitalization, production, distribution, and consumption.
  • Now, more than ever, we must strive to build an innovation-driven economy that will revitalize economic liberty and restore prosperity for all Americans.
  • And now, more than ever, we must restore our American Dream.

I am the walking result of the American Dream. My father, John A. James was born in 1941 in Starksville, Mississippi, across the street from Mississippi State University where, as a black man, he wasn't allowed to attend. But my father refused to be a victim and went to Detroit for opportunity where he took one truck and a dream and grew it into a business that became the family business that thrived. My father chose to believe in the idea of America and American capitalism, even though he had ample reason not to. And that idea is that anyone can accomplish anything in a country that provides opportunity and freedom.

Path to Prosperity

Michigan is facing some of the toughest challenges in its history. Our neglected neighborhoods and forgotten farm communities never recovered from the recession 10 years ago and the COVID pandemic situation made it worse.

We must take action to offer, for those who wish to achieve it, a path to prosperity by tearing down barriers, increasing access, and providing economic opportunity to those who are willing to work for it.

An imperative step to widening the path to prosperity is to focus, not just on creating more jobs, but creating more job creators. Let’s build on the Administration’s historic economic achievements, reignite the economy, and lay out a pathway to prosperity for urban and rural America to achieve the American Dream.

Michigan is the manufacturing capital of the world. From food to rocket ships, our workforce can out-work and out-produce any workforce in the world. But we need the right training and skills.

  • I support allowing 4-day 10-hour work weeks where employees use the time outside to learn a trade or develop higher skills.
  • In the U.S. Senate I would back key incentives defraying the cost of transportation and childcare.

A child’s education should not be determined by their zip code.

  • We must support all education options—public, charter, and private.
  • We need to give our teachers the resources they need including class supplies. The pandemic demonstrated how valuable good teachers are to society. Good teachers need to have incentives and compensation to reward them.
  • K-12 needs to teach critical skills including math, English, financial literacy and essential life skills of responsibility, communication, accountability and leadership.
  • Next, we need to train kids for a career, not for college. College is one option. Skilled workforce training is another.

We must expand the tax base in this country and build up our workforce and our manufacturing at home so that we are more prosperous and more secure. We must act on ways to get more capital in the hands of rural and urban entrepreneurs and let them open up small businesses in disadvantaged and distressed communities.

  • Building on Opportunity Zones in the Administration's landmark Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 there should be full support of Senator Tim Scott's proposal to let state and local governments use the census tract to change opportunity zones to help those in need.
  • Here at home, we must tend to the pillars of prosperity: low taxes, and tort and regulatory reform.
  • We must oppose higher, job killing taxes, increase the research and development tax credit, expand small business' tax credits, amortization, and depreciation schedules for investing and implementing technological innovations and improvements, and index capital gains taxes to the rate of inflation.

It’s time we committed to Operation Overhaul and fixed Michigan’s infrastructure by land, sea, and air.

  • In urban and rural communities, it involves improving our roads, bridges, dams, and sewers.
  • It also involves blight programs which tear down dilapidated structures that lower property values and increase criminal activity.
  • Finally, we need to provide broadband to all families. Students need it. Parents need it. A 21st century economy needs broadband.

Expanding Health Care

In too many parts of our state, health, “wealth” and security are constantly under threat. This is what happens when our leaders put their personal concerns first and lose sight of those hurting the most. Michiganders deserve better. They deserve leadership that will put their health and their concerns above political gamesmanship

  • We must emphasize preventative care and more wellness coverage including trauma, addiction, nutrition and fitness, and health insurance options that are affordable and increase access.
  • After a lifetime of hard work, we must protect social security and Medicare from career politicians who will raid today what they promised yesterday.
  • We must stop any attempts to raid and/or underfund the Social Security trust fund or cut our Senior Citizens' benefits.
  • And, we must absolutely continue to safeguard health insurance for those with pre- existing conditions.

Better Health Care

We need to have a market-based, patient-centered approach that must protect people with pre-existing conditions. And whatever plan I support must include tort reform and regulatory reform in a manner that lowers cost while increasing quality of care. We must increase transparency and competition to get the best care for folks.

I run an automotive supplier company where I make sure my employees are on the same insurance plan that me and my own family is on. I want to reform the parts of the Affordable Care Act that don’t work, increase the cost of health care, give too many decisions to the government, and offer patients too few options. People in this country have a right to own their own healthcare.

I oppose the movement to eliminate employer-provided health care in exchange for a nationalized, socialized, single-payer health care system.

We need people to be healthy. In addition to healthcare reform, we must get to the root causes of overall health in this country. We need a system that emphasizes preventive wellness care so to stop risks before they start. This means more wellness coverage including trauma, addiction, mental health, nutrition and fitness, and health insurance options that are affordable and increase access.

Expanding Education

Everyone deserves a quality education regardless of geography, income, or age. We must support all of our schools and encourage education at all levels, including adult workforce development.

When it comes to our kids, we need to ensure that we are focused on learning. In-person education needs to be based on if we can return our kids to class safely and sensibly. Kids rely on schooling for education, nutrition, social welfare, and so many other needs. We need to provide the resources to families, teachers, and schools to ensure a top-notch education.

Taking Care of Our Veterans

Our veterans laid their life on the line to protect our nation and freedom around the world. The toughest battles our veterans face should not happen after they return home. We must keep our promises to our veterans, ease the transition to civilian life, and provide our heroes the best possible care.

John knows firsthand that the hardest battle our veterans face shouldn’t be the transition back into civilian life. John will work tirelessly for our veterans and military members, to make sure they receive the care, benefits, and respect that our nation’s heroes deserve.

Most people that enter the Armed Forces are going to get out. Recognizing that fact is something that should be ingrained in our in-processing and throughout military service. We don’t show up to battle and start looking for our essential gear, we go to battle with everything we need including the training that we need to be successful. We need to make sure service members have the resources and tools to be successful in transition before they get there.

We must ensure that ALL veterans are taken care of, including Vietnam veterans still suffering from exposure to Agent Orange.

Veterans who may have been erroneously discharged from the military because of mental traumas like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) deserve to receive fair treatment and should not lose access to the benefits they have earned through their service.

Our veterans deserve the most up-to-date, best information available to get the health care and additional services that they've earned. We need to expand telehealth services for our veterans and make it easier to authorize, compile, and share medical records with various providers, schedule appointments, and learn and apply for benefits.

Skillsets developed in the military need to be paired with and recruited for skilled civilian job opportunities in the public/private sector. We must also focus on quality veterans’ job training programs and assist those seeking higher educational opportunities.

We must incentivize, attract, and retain the best medical professionals and administrators while holding the few bad actors at the VA accountable. The Veterans Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 was a great step in the right direction.

Protecting Our Environment

Everyone wants clean air and clean water. I grew up in Michigan enjoying the outdoors. My family enjoys the Great Lakes, like all Michiganders. Our natural resources, especially here in Michigan, need to be protected through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

We don’t have time to wait for career politicians to decide how to politicize the problem instead of doing what’s practical. We can’t do this with pie-in-the-sky, socialist aspirations like the Green New Deal, a dangerous plan supported by my opponent which threatens industries that pay the bills in Michigan.

We don’t need socialism. We need realistic, bottom up regulatory reform which must be environmentally and economically sustainable. Regulation needs to be based upon science and common sense. Its mandates need to be affordable, achievable, and Constitutional.

  • We need to remove burdensome regulations making it harder for our farmers and small businesses to operate. As a member of the US Senate I would join the Senate Climate Solutions Caucus to seek creative, practical solutions.
  • We can be pragmatic about good environmental stewardship by incentivizing private sector innovation especially around energy, transportation and plastic production.
  • We can invest in our infrastructure with a future-focus.
  • And we must work with our allies to hold the world's biggest polluters accountable and assist where possible by exporting American made goods. Our economy and national security are strengthened through the increased use of domestic fuel supplies and innovation.

Secure the Border, Protect our Country

Securing our borders and implementing legal immigration is essential to national security and our economy. I understand how to secure a border because I’ve done it before. Sovereign nations must have secure borders and entry points. I support Kate’s Law and I will support defunding “sanctuary cities.”

Legal immigration is an economic and moral imperative for the United States of America. We need more legal immigrants in the US, not less, but we need to ensure that our borders are secure. Preference should always be given to American workers willing to do a job, but there are many jobs in this country American workers don’t want to do that are simply going unfilled.

Unify the Nation

We need leaders who are proven unifiers because partisanship is tearing the Nation apart. Americans are hurting and scared right now. Whether it’s concern for their health well-being, concern about inequality, or simply hopelessness associated with financial anxiety and socio-economic immobility, Americans are desperately seeking wise and compassionate leadership.

We need real unity in Michigan and this nation. As malign forces, foreign and domestic, seek to destroy us, we need tested leadership to address the root causes of our persistent challenges with a future focus on a brighter future for America.

We must clearly identify both our real enemy and our common purpose - and pursue them both with abandon. I have been a leader and a unifier for my entire life and I will continue to be for the rest of it. But nothing will happen until we fix the partisanship that divides Washington.

Individual Rights

I joined the Army to protect our constitutional rights, including our precious Bill of Rights. I believe all Americans have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

As a teenager the U.S. Army taught me how to use firearms, and as an adult, our Constitution gives me the right to defend my family.

But we have a problem for kids’ safety in this nation. I was in high school when Columbine happened. I know what it’s like to walk through the halls with fear of gun violence heavy in the air. I am now a dad. My first-born son just graduated kindergarten. In the past 20 years, career politicians haven’t made our children any safer than I was. I want all children to grow up in a world where they do not fear going to school.

I do believe we should keep weapons away from those with mental illness, and those who demonstrate a desire to harm themselves and others. I believe we can do this, without taking away rights from law abiding citizens, especially veterans.

We also have a mental health problem in this country. We also need to take a serious look at what is wrong with our culture that we are producing an alarming number of disturbed and anonymous individuals who place no value on human life. I am open to a conversation that protects lives and protects individual rights.

I am pro-life. I believe children are a gift from God. My faith teaches me to defend the defenseless and do all we can to take care of “the least of these” as God has instructed us in scripture. But I don’t attack or diminish people who disagree with me. I think we can and must have a civil discussion.

Too many women are forced to make hard choices that have rough consequences. The choice of having a child or finishing high school, the choice of having a child and raising it alone. Women must be offered better options. Those of us who are pro-life must work to solve these problems, so that every child CAN be welcomed into life.

If we are serious about reducing the number of abortions in this country, we must make adoption much easier and take away the financial burden from both the mother and the new parents.

I’m pro-life AND pro-woman, AND pro-child.

I believe we must make life better for moms. As a U.S. Senator, I will fight for equal pay, removing barriers to upward mobility, modernizing family leave, ending sexual harassment, and allowing more flexible work schedules that make it easier for women to work and raise a family.