Restore Our Republic
Ninety-two percent of Americans believe “the government is pretty much run by a few big interests looking out for themselves.” The bad news is they’re right. A 20-year comparison of public opinion and the laws passed by Congress found average American voices “have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” Restoring a fair balance between citizens and elites requires shining a light on money in politics, repairing our broken elections, and outlawing legalized corruption.
The American Anti-Corruption Act accomplishes all three of these reforms, and Cooper will fight to pass it.
Save the American Dream
America’s middle class is in bad shape. Michigan’s is even worse. Between 2000 and 2015, metro Detroit’s population of suburban poor increased by 87 percent. This isn’t random. Our public officials continue to get in bed with big business, putting Wall Street before Main Street. They should remember: Our government was designed to serve the common good by balancing private and public interests.
Cooper will fight to restore that balance by putting the needs of his district above the demands of special interests.
Stop Crony Capitalism
Google defines crony capitalism as “an economic system characterized by close, mutually advantageous relationships between business and government.” These cronies trade campaign donations for legal favors, such as subsidies, contracts, grants, tax breaks, or the occasional $700 billion bailout. These forms of corporate welfare cost federal taxpayers $100 billion every year. Adding state and local subsidies, plus other loopholes, the average working family winds up paying $6,000 in taxes every year to keep corporations on welfare.
Taxing families to tilt the playing field—allowing government to play favorites—is fundamentally un-American. To combat it, Cooper will fight for a new federal commission tasked with identifying and eliminating corporate welfare.
Reform the Bureaucracy
Many bureaucrats are talented, good people. But bureaucracy itself is a beast. Recently, scholars from Michigan State University examining the budget from 1998 to 2015 found $21 trillionin unauthorized spending. Documentation was either withheld or deleted—and nobody was held responsible. Between its massive size and mind-numbing complexity, bureaucracy has outgrown accountability. Government employs one in seven American workers who have produced 100 million words of federal laws, plus 2 billion words of state and local rules. This labyrinth is beyond human understanding—even seasoned reporters and law professors get lost.
Fixing gridlock begins with cleaning the gears of government, and Cooper will prioritize commonsense reforms that begin to take on this challenge.