My name is Thomas Tarantella and I’m seeking the nomination of the Democratic Party for the 5th Congressional District of Pennsylvania.
To introduce myself, I was born at Williamsport Hospital and raised in the small town of Renovo, Pennsylvania, located in Clinton County. I have been married 31 years to my wife, Ann Tarantella. Throughout those years, we’ve had three children and now five grandchildren.
I had spent 22 years in the U.S. Army. During my tenure, I was a member of the rapid deployment force, a paratrooper and a lite fighter. I was deployed around the world and was awarded seven Campaign ribbons, a Bronze Star, five Meritorious Service Medals, four Army Commendation Medals and 13 Army Achievement Medals. I was honorably discharged in 2002.
I stand for equal opportunity for all citizens through minimum wage and the equality of our education. Quality education can give all citizens the opportunity to reach their potential. There should be freedom from government interference in our private lives and personal decisions. The right to privacy is a basic human right. The Constitution does not specifically mention a right to privacy. However, Supreme Court decisions over the years have established that the right to privacy is a basic human right, and as such is protected by virtue of the Ninth Amendment. The people of the United States should feel security in their homes and safety in their streets through better police force training.
I believe that a strong United States is needed – morally, diplomatically and militarily. There needs to be more talking on our end and less fighting, at lease without more information. It’s important, morally, that we have quality education, more training, family values and appropriate discipline.
Militarily – our soldiers need better taken care of when at war and when home, they need medical care and should not have to try and survive on food stamps after fighting for our country.
Let’s face it, what is going on Washington? It’s been a perfect storm, a Recession, a Government shutdown, a near Default of the Debt. Let’s start taking responsibility for our actions. If you believe in your heart that in today’s world we need a government of the people, by the people, and for the people; then I ask for your support as the Democratic Party nominee for the 5th Congressional District.
This is the land of the free because it is the home of the brave.
The Fight Is to the Front and We Are Moving Forward
This election for the 5th Congressional District of Pennsylvania is not simply a choice between two candidates or different political parties, but between fundamentally different ways to get our country back on track and lead from the front once again. I believe we can continue to make our country stronger by working together toward a common goal to unite our people as one nation. America has the greatest diversity of talent the world has ever seen. I believe we can use this once again. We are a nation of people who came to this land from all corners of the globe. I believe in America and I believe in our way of life. I know that as freedom loving people we will succeed because the American people are survivors. There is nothing we cannot accomplish together. You must understand the willingness to take chances and the tenacity of the American people before counting us out. We have won two world wars; we rebuilt and feed the world there after. We defended the free world for 50 years and won the Cold War. We even put a man on the moon. Now you tell me we can’t overcome our differences as a freedom loving nation to work toward the common good? I cannot believe this, and I will not stand for this.
The problems we are facing right now have been long in the making. We must be a country of inclusion and respect different perspectives and beliefs. Even though we may we disagree, we must work together to keep our great nation moving forward. I believe we need a government of the people that will stand up for the hopes, values, and interests of all working people, and give everyone a chance to live the American dream.
Putting Americans Back to Work
As a nation we must continue to work on rebuilding our infrastructure by investing in our roads, bridges, schools and water systems. By doing this we will continue toward the direction of recovery and in turn create jobs. We must keep teachers, police officers and first responders on the job. We must help middle class families refinance their mortgages to save them hundreds of dollars a month. I’ll fight to give small businesses tax incentives that would foster re-investing in their businesses and hiring of new people. We must put our returning veterans back to work by forming and expanding skilled labor training. And we must also provide more job search assistance to all displaced workers regardless of how they lost their jobs.
Standing Up For Workers
I believe that the right to organize and collectively bargain is a fundamental American value. I believe every American should have a voice on the job and a chance to negotiate a living wage for a fair day’s work. I will fight for the right of all workers to organize and join a union. Labor built the greatest middle class the world has ever seen. Unions won for the worker: a 40-hour work week; paid leave; pensions; respectable minimum wage; and affordable health insurance. I will fight for labor laws that provide a fair process for workers to choose union representation, which will facilitate the collective bargaining process, and strengthen recourse for violations of the law. I will support the collective bargaining rights for police officers, nurses, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, teachers, and other public service workers – these are jobs that are a proven path to the middle class for millions of Americans. I will continue to oppose the “Right to Work” and “paycheck protection” efforts, and the so-called “Save our Secret Ballot” measures whenever they are proposed.
I will fight for a living wage. I believe in an America that people looking for work should be able to find a job, where hard work pays, and where responsibility is rewarded.
Social Security and Medicare
I believe every American deserves a secure, healthy, and dignified retirement. Our seniors have paid their Medicare and Social Security tax through a lifetime of hard work. I am committed to preserving that promise for all future generations. During their working years, Americans contribute to the Social Security fund in exchange for a promise that they will receive an income during retirement. We as Americans must fight to find a solution to protect our seniors and Social Security for all future generations. I stand with the Democratic Party to reject the approach that insists that cutting benefits is the only answer to save Social Security and Medicare. I will fight for legislation that will also make it easier for Americans to save for their own retirement and prepare for unforeseen expenses by participating in retirement accounts at work.
Cutting Waste, Reducing the Deficit, Asking All to Pay Their Fair Share
In order to reduce the deficit while still making investments in America we have to set goals as a Nation and then set priorities in government and hold them accountable. We must make cuts on ideas that are not progressing and refocus our attention toward more important tasks at hand. I believe that Congress must be committed to reforming our tax code so that it is fair and simple. We have to take into consideration the Buffett Rule, so no millionaire pays a smaller share of his or her income in taxes than middle class families do. We have to re-work the corporate tax code to lower tax rates for companies in the United States, with additional relief for those locating manufacturing and increase research and development on our shores. While also closing loopholes by reducing incentives for corporations that shift jobs overseas. We must ask for all Americans to do their fair share; to make the commitment we need to build an economy that will last the test of time. We must not roll back the tax relief we have for working families and college students. I will fight against new tax on the middle class that would pay for giving additional tax cuts to the wealthiest of Americans.
Supporting the Military, Their Families, and Our Veterans
We as freedom loving people must have a commitment to keep the sacred trust we have with our military, their families, and our veterans. These brave Americans and their families have braved the burden of war and have always made us proud to say we are Americans. Our military is the best on the land, in the air, and on the sea. I will not only continue to support them in the line of duty, but I will also continue to support them at home. If we are a grateful nation, a proud nation, then we must ask our self; why is it that an E-4 rank or below American with a family of four that we send to defend our freedom is eligible for WIC and food stamp? This not right, and I will fight for better pay for our military and their families. I will fight for our wounded warriors, mentally ill, and the well-being of our military families and veterans. I will work to give our veterans the health care, benefits, education, and the job opportunities they deserve.
Access to Higher Education and Technical Training
If our goal is to is to further better educate the American people and if we believe that getting an education is the path to the American dream, then we must give all students the opportunity to fulfill their dreams. We must be committed to ensuring that every child in our great country has access to a world-class public education. I believe if we set goals and priories in education, we can educate our people. By education we will ensure a path to the middle class, giving all of our students the opportunity to fulfill their dreams that will contribute to our economy and democracy. Public education is one of our critical Democratic institutions that we have.
To make college affordable for students of all backgrounds and confront the loan burden on our students’ shoulders, we must give them the same rate we give our largest financial institutions in our country. By creating these avenues for students we are investing in America’s long term goals.
Trade, Global Interdependence
The United State is where the world comes to sell its goods. I am a firm believer that the first rule for free trade, must always be fair trade. Now, why isn’t this happening? It is because America is not demanding it from our trading partners. Now I know this concept of self-interest as Americans sounds unfriendly, but this is what some of our trading partners are doing to us. I believe once we determined a country is using unfair trade practices they should be labeled as a predatory state, and all trade must be frozen or holed. We must realize that the countries we trade with need our market more than we need their trade.
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We live in the land of the free because it is the home of the brave. We must continue to move forward towards a future of strong and sustained growth in our economy. We’re fighting back from the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression. By making investments, to create jobs, grow the middle class, and lay the foundations for an economy that will out-educate and out-build the rest of the world. America will be both stronger and safer than it is today. Now, we must continue the fight knowing it is to the front and we are moving forward.