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This is the official website for the campaign to elect Scott Sturm to Congress as Representative for District 17 in Texas! Please feel free to look around and get to know Scott and what he believes in and hopes to accomplish in the future as your Congressman!


Sunday, September 10, 2017 1:07 PM

Statement on Undocumented Immigrants

Immigration has long supported the growth and dynamism of the U.S. economy. Immigrants and refugees are entrepreneurs, job creators, taxpayers, and consumers. They add trillions of dollars to the U.S. gross domestic product, or GDP, and their economic importance will only increase in the coming decades as America’s largest generation—the baby boomers—begin their retirement, spurring labor demand and placing an unprecedented burden on the social safety net. Still, additional benefits to the U.S. economy and society more broadly could be obtained through legislative reforms designed to modernize the U.S. immigration system and provide undocumented immigrants in the country today with a path to citizenship.

From 2020 to 2030, 7 million U.S.-born individuals are expected to leave the labor force. 2 million immigrants and 6.9 million children of immigrants are projected to join the labor force during the same time period. Looking further, from 2015 to 2065, immigrants and their descendants are expected to account for 88 percent of U.S. population growth. As such, immigrants and their children will be critical both in replacing retiring workers—preventing labor market contraction—and also in meeting the demands of the future economy.

In 2010, undocumented immigrants paid $13 billion into Social Security and received only $1 billion in services—a net contribution of $12 billion. Further, from 2000 to 2011, undocumented immigrants paid $35.1 billion more into Medicare than they withdrew.

Undocumented immigrants pay an estimated $11.7 billion a year in state and local taxes. This includes more than $7 billion in sales and excise taxes, $3.6 billion in property taxes, and nearly $1.1 billion in personal income taxes. Granting all undocumented immigrants legal status would boost their tax contributions an additional $2.2 billion per year. Immigrants—even legal immigrants—pay to support many of the benefits they are statutorily barred from receiving.

DACA increased recipients’ average hourly wages 42 percent, and many moved into jobs with better pay and working conditions. A further 6 percent started their own businesses. With better jobs and higher wages, many individuals are buying cars and homes, leading to more state and local revenue in the form of property and sales taxes.

Legislative reform that includes a path to citizenship would create extensive economic benefits. Such reform would increase the GDP $1.2 trillion over 10 years and create 145,000 jobs annually. Americans’ income would increase by a cumulative $625 billion. Immigrants added an estimated $2 trillion to the U.S. GDP in 2016.

By contrast, the removal of undocumented immigrants from the workforce would lead to a 2.6 percent decline in GDP—an average annual loss of $434 billion. Such a policy would reduce the GDP $4.7 trillion over 10 years. Mass deportation would additionally cost the federal government nearly $900 billion in lost revenue over 10 years. Further, industries could lose large shares of their workforces, up to 18 percent for some.

Mass deportation of undocumented workers would create income losses for large and important industries such as financial activities, manufacturing, and wholesale and retail trade. Annual long-run GDP losses in those industries would reach $54.3 billion, $73.8 billion, and $64.9 billion, respectively.

Mass deportation of the undocumented immigrant population would also cost the federal government billions of dollars. Deporting the entire undocumented population would cost $114 billion over 20 years—an average of $10,070 per person removed—including the costs of detaining these individuals while they wait for removal, processing them through the immigration courts, and transporting them abroad.

If mass deportation of undocumented workers were to occur, states with the most undocumented workers would experience the largest declines in GDP.

Texas would lose $60 billion.

Sunday, September 10, 2017 1:06 PM

Statement on Abortion

Actively denying a woman of her right to choose is a reprehensible and violent attempt to control her body. There are boundless reasons as to why a woman may not be capable of carrying a fetus, should not carry a fetus, or simply does not want to carry a fetus. These reasons, however, should not matter. Regardless of her reason to abort, denying a woman of that personal choice would effectively deny her of the most basic human liberties.

Since 1980, women have faced a 61 percent decrease in funding for the Title X program, which supports low-cost family planning services. Socially-charged issues including the inaccurate persecution of Planned Parenthood, supreme court cases such as Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, and state-enacted refusal clauses have all contributed to the declining availability of contraception. Ironically, those who are attacking contraception providers are also attacking abortion providers. Without contraception, the need for abortion will logically increase at exponential rates.

Over 33 percent of women obtaining abortions lack health insurance, while 31 percent are covered by Medicaid. For the uninsured, the average cost of pregnancy ranges from $30,000 to $50,000. This is a 50 percent increase over the past two decades. Forcing a financially insecure woman to carry out a pregnancy can wreak havoc on both the woman and the child.

And despite the pleas and vows of adoption by pro-life advocates, there are still over 100,000 adoption eligible, already-born U.S. children in the foster care system, and the 13 million children without parents throughout the world.

Another pressing issue with many pro-life advocates is the prevalence of a religious argument. In the United States, freedom of religion includes the protection of and protection from religion. This means that an individual’s religious beliefs have no authority over another individual’s actions. One person’s God, morals, and religious beliefs are not the universal standards that all people must live by.

Every year approximately 20 million unsafe abortions occur globally, resulting in some 68,000 maternal deaths and leaving 5 million women with chronic health complications so let me say this: A woman is an autonomous being, and bodily autonomy is a basic human right.

I am pro-choice because I support the empowerment and advancement of women.

I am pro-choice because a woman’s sexual, health, and reproductive choices are none of my business.

Sunday, September 10, 2017 1:03 PM

Statement on Social Security

Privatization is not a plan to save Social Security; it is a plan to dismantle Social Security. Privatization means increased retirement risks, severe cuts in Social Security benefits, and a multi-trillion dollar increase in the federal debt.

Privatization diverts money out of Social Security into individual accounts leaving an even larger solvency problem. Privatizers fill this funding gap by dramatically cutting Social Security benefits. They cover the rest by borrowing money, thereby increasing the debt burden on all taxpayers by trillions of dollars over the next half century.

If Congress does nothing - makes no changes or "reforms" - Social Security is projected to deliver full guaranteed benefits until at least 2037. Even after 2037, again without any changes, the trust funds will continue to pay 76 percent of benefits for years after that.

Right now, Social Security provides a guaranteed income, paying benefits every month for life, with increases for inflation. After adjusting for risk, Social Security has a rate of return equal to that of any mix of financial assets in private accounts.

In fact, the Boomers have helped pre-fund part of their benefits by building a huge surplus that should keep Social Security alive and well for many years. With privatization, however, workers would end up in a double bind - paying taxes to support the Boomers' retirement plus investing money in their own individual accounts, in hopes of building retirement funds for themselves.

To make matters even worse, today's workers would have to bear the transition costs of switching to privatization, estimated at nearly $5 trillion over just the first twenty years- a cost that would fall on today's young people.

Administrative costs for Social Security are very low - less than 1% of the program's budget. Diverting money to the stock market would incur the very high costs of brokers' commissions, mutual fund management fees, and other expenses inherent in buying and selling stocks and bonds.

Small investment accounts are very expensive to administer. Commissions and fees could easily burn up as much as 15 cents out of every dollar of a worker's annual investment as they do in some countries with privatized systems.

Wall Street brokers and fund managers would stand to make billions of dollars a year thanks to privatization, so it's no surprise that they strongly support the privatization movement!

I will fight the "privatization" movement and to keep Social Security solvent.

Sunday, September 10, 2017 1:03 PM

Statement on School Vouchers

Charter schools, vouchers, and other “choice” options redirect public money to privately operated education enterprises, which often operate for profit. That harms public schools by siphoning off students, resources, and funding while reducing the ability of your public schools to serve the full range of student needs and interests.

When schools lose students, they have to cut services. Because schools can’t reduce expenses incrementally, they cut support staff – such as a reading specialist or librarian – and courses – such as art and music – that engage the diverse needs and interests of students.

In Nashville, TN, an independent research firm MGT of America estimated the net negative fiscal impact of charter school growth on the district’s public schools result in more than $300 million in direct costs to public schools over a five-year period.

Another study by MGT in Los Angeles, CA found district public schools lost $591 million due to dropping enrollment rates among students who leave and go to charters.

Privatizers Believe: Money should follow the child; I Believe: Children should not have a price tag.
Privatizers Believe: Parents need choice; I Believe: Parents need a guarantee of high-quality schools, close to home, for every child.
Privatizers Believe: Parents should vote with their feet; I Believe: Parents should have a voice in schools that serve the whole community.
Privatizers Believe: School governance should be corporate; I Believe: Communities should govern schools by electing school boards.

Another problem is that school vouchers are little more than a backdoor way for the government to subsidize religious and other private schools. Under most voucher bills, private schools can take taxpayer money and still deny admission to any student they choose. Unlike public schools, private schools can and do discriminate against students based on various criteria, including religion, disability, economic background, academic record, English language ability or disciplinary history. Public funds should pay only for public schools that are open to all children and accountable to the people.

In other words, vouchers force Americans to pay taxes to support religion. This runs counter to the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty. In America, all religious activities should be supported with voluntary contributions.

In any policy discussion of education, the goal should be to provide the best possible system for all children, given the resources available. While alternatives to public schools may provide better options for some children, on the whole, charter and voucher schools perform no better than the public school system, and often worse. At they same time they have a negative fiscal impact on existing public schools, and are creating a parallel school system that duplicates services and costs. Let’s stop draining our public schools and work together to strengthen them instead.

Sunday, September 10, 2017 1:02 PM

Statement on Women's Issues

Although the female uninsured rate has improved dramatically, from 21% to 16% since 2013, Texas remains the state with the highest uninsured rate overall and the highest number of uninsured women and girls in the United States. Of the nearly 14 million women and girls in Texas, more than 2.2 million are uninsured (16%).

WalletHub examined factors relating to women’s economic and social well-being, as well as health care and safety, in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Texas came in at No. 42.

For highest uninsured ranking Texas placed at 51.

Local governments now pay half the matching funds needed for Texas Medicaid payments to hospitals, because of high numbers of uninsured and low payments approved by the Legislature. In 2013, uncompensated care costs for Texas hospitals — which are largely supported by local property taxes — totaled $2.4 billion.

In Texas, 61 percent of families rely wholly or substantially on women’s incomes. 30 percent of all households are female-headed, yet 53 percent of all households living in poverty are female-headed. 17 percent of all women and girls in Texas live in poverty. For adult Texans, women are 1.4 times more likely to live in poverty than men in the same age group. About 63 percent of workers earning minimum wage or less are women.

And women in poverty spend 30 percent of their income on child care, cutting into what they can spend on quality housing or education. The cost of higher education in Texas has risen 40 percent in 16 years. And studies show that the average annual cost of child care in Texas is between $7,000 and $9,000, higher than the average yearly college tuition fees.

And for non-caucasian women it is worse. Only 25 percent of Hispanic women between 25 and 34 in Texas have some level of higher education, compared with 34 percent of African-American women, 55 percent of white women and 72 percent of Asian women.

Even women who are living above the poverty line in Texas face significant challenges to achieving economic security – from low-paying jobs, the high cost of child care, the lack of insurance benefits or the high costs of housing

Among those who have received a bachelor's degree or graduate degree, men on average make $27,000 more a year than women.

With a medicare-for-all system in place, with an increase of the Federal minimum wage to a living wage of $15 an hour, and working to ensure equal pay for equal work we can raise the socio-economic and healthcare status of women across Texas.

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