My view of government:
1. Government should allow more freedoms. Our prisons are overrun and enormously expensive when compared to other first-world countries, largely because we imprison people, sometimes for long periods of time, for things like possession of marijuana. I'm not necessarily saying that marijuana should be made legal, but perhaps we should make the consequences involve community service and/or fines, instead of serious jail time.
2. The Constitution supports religious freedoms, but our current Supreme Court doesn't quite buy into it. Religious practices, and not just religious beliefs, that don't harm 3rd parties need to be protected. And the government needs to continue to keep its hands out of religion, and not provide special privileges or even subtle endorsements to its favorite religions. All religions, no matter how small, should have an equal playing field with regards to the government.
3. People should continue to have plenty of freedoms of speech. I don't believe corporations deserve quite so much protection, and I don't believe speech that functions merely to sell something deserves quite that high level of freedom of speech.
4. I believe in an adequate safety net. The U.S. pays twice as much per person as other first-world countries for healthcare, and yet many in the U.S. are without health insurance. Both those facts need to change, and they can with a single-payer system. Employer-based health insurance may have worked when it was cheap and people stuck with the same job their whole lives. It doesn't work any more. If everyone had access to free or cheap healthcare, people would be more willing to take the risk of starting their own businesses, thus fueling creativity and innovation. Major health issues could be resolved before a trip to the expensive E.R. I also believe in an adequate safety net with concern to food and basic housing.
5. I believe that in times of low unemployment, the government should cut costs, raise taxes, and save up money, and that in times of high unemployment, the government should create low-income job opportunities. My grandfather was forever grateful that FDR did this during the Great Depression. Many of the projects that my grandfather and others like him worked on still stand today. The U.S. decided to pay for a cheap labor force instead of letting that potential go to waste. If only they had done the same this time around.
6. I believe it's ridiculous for the U.S. to have a military far, far, far greater than any other military currently existing. Based on my father's brief time working as a civilian for an air force base, I also believe there is a tremendous amount of waste in the military.
7. I believe every child has a right to a good education. Teachers should be well-compensated based on skill and field, and not just experience, and they should be easy to fire. Classroom sizes should be small.
8. Most tax loopholes and breaks should be eliminated, including the mortgage interest and health insurance loopholes. Loopholes distort the market and, although they may help the middle class in some cases, the ones who profit the most from these are those who don't need them--the rich.
9. Health care for old people on the verge of death (Medicare) should not be significantly better than health care for children (Medicaid).
10. Everyone should pay the same percentage of their income to social security--rich people should not get major breaks on this like they do now.
11. The U.S. should work towards paying off its debt--but perhaps it should wait to do so until it's no longer in the greatest Recession since the Great Depression.