IMTIAZ MOHAMMAD

A Little About me

 

As an immigrant, I too came to America to sip on “The Land of opportunities” and had big dreams to prosper the world in 1991. 

My father was a teacher who had larger dreams for his children's bright future. Growing up I’ve seen him work hard to make ends meet. Life struck us hard when my farther was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and could no longer support his family financially. I migrated to America in hope to make my father proud and make a name for myself on the land of freedom. With selfless support from my loving wife and two children, we started off with a small beauty salon business that eventually grew into a franchise. Over the years we’ve become the source for creating jobs, employing over 200 employees as of today, in South Florida.

I am very passionate about American Politics but concerned about the inequality and injustice meted out at immigrants. I started my political career as a grass root level political worker to establish my political base as a representative of ignored minorities, regardless of their origin and religious beliefs. As a community representative at a local level, I intend to take my passion and care for all immigrants and Americans at a national level. 

I’m proud to be running for US Congress from Florida's Congressional District #22

Educational Qualification

MBA from AIU - 2003 

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Why am I running for Congress?

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I see many issues in our country and my community, and I believe that it is possible to rectify those problems and build a better future. Trump’s presidency and the rising tide of populism, not only in America, but across many parts of the world is a symptom of economic problems that the public is facing. I believe that the government has to reinvest in its people and rekindle the spirit of optimism that was foundation to much of this nation’s history.  Many of the problems faced by this country and my district has a similar root cause, that root cause is poverty. Poverty and the suffering it foments tends to manifest itself in aberrant behavior. The anarchic tendencies of the public and their loss of faith in government is largely caused by an underlying economic fear.   

Housing and healthcare and the ever increasing costs of these commodities are also causing a lot of anxiety among the population. It is time for the government to once again create sensible interventions in order ease the housing and healthcare crisis. We must recognize the particularities of housing and healthcare that make them different from other commodities that people purchase. People view housing and healthcare as necessities, as a result, there is no limit to how much consumers are willing to pay for these commodities. This leaves a situation where their costs are likely to inflate indefinitely. As more and more of consumer income is diverted to these commodities less and less is left over to circulate to other sectors of the economy. I believe that sensible government intervention in housing and healthcare will re-energize other sectors of the American economy.  I believe that in order to cure the problems that ails us as a nation and re-energize the public and the American economy, we need to embrace positive change. We can no longer be stagnant and dogmatically hold on to policies of the past. I wish to be the candidate who can bring positive change.

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My Political Platform

  • Medicare for All
  • Living Wages
  • Public Safety
  • Affordable Housing
  • Free College
  • Student Loan Forgiveness
  • Immigration and Tax Reform
  • Global Humanitarian Crisis

Issues I Plan to Address

How Medicare for All will increase revenue?

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My friends from the opposition speculate that Medicare for all will cost too much and it will be an inordinate burden on the government and taxpayers. However, this is an incorrect view. Medicare will ultimately save the US government more money and here is how:
 

A large segment of US taxes come from taxes paid by businesses and small businesses. Medicare for all will increase revenue generated by businesses and therefore leave more money for tax contributions.
 

Here is how Medicare for all will increase revenue generated by businesses: When workers become ill and leave, or even die due to illness, this represents a significant cost for businesses because they have to reinvest in retraining for new workers. With guaranteed healthcare for all workers, this becomes less of a risk and businesses stand to make more profits. More profits for businesses also mean more tax revenue going to the government.
 

Furthermore, with a Medicare for all option, small businesses will feel less pressure to provide costly healthcare for their workers. The reduced costs and reduced risk incurred by business owners will re-energize interest in small business investments which will undoubtedly be a boon to the US economy.
 

Medicare for all also increases general public health and wellness which should be a goal for any first world country. If diseases, especially communicable diseases, run rampant among the populace, it is bad for the economy because it reduces labor participation rates. Not only this, untreated diseases may advance into disabilities, and people with disabilities represent a significant tax burden on the US. If improving healthcare influences a reduction in people with disabilities, this will save taxpayer money.
 

The government already gives the option for Medicare to individuals above 65 years old. My proposal is to simply remove this limit and allow everyone the option to have Medicare. I do not believe in abolishing private insurers. People should still have the freedom to seek out their own private insurance companies if they so desire. With my plan people simply have a government granted public option with guaranteed approval which private insurance companies often cannot offer at affordable rates.

Living Wage Implementation

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Wages are a contentious issue with many arguments for or against higher wages. Price of goods is at best nominally influenced by wages.

One of the biggest arguments in favor of a higher wage is that we have found ourselves is a bizarre scenario where government is subsidizing employment. All or most of the current workers who make the federally mandated minimum wage must simultaneously be on welfare or food stamps in order to make ends meet. Taxpayers should not be subsidizing wages in a free market. Businesses are not paying enough for the service of labor if their laborers are unable to afford to live on the wage without government intervention. My friends on the opposition will say that the minimum wage is not supposed to be a living wage, but instead is meant for young people whose existence is subsidized by their parents. But, reality often does not synchronize with ideals. We may still see middle aged people working at minimum wage jobs because they lack leverage. They cannot engage in collective bargaining to improve their wages because of the dissolution of unions.
 

Giving people a stable living wage stimulates consumption in different sectors of the economy. My friends on the opposition often forget that consumers are also workers and workers are consumers. As workers have more money to spend, they can consume more products. This stimulation of consumption is undoubtedly good for the economy. More consumers mean that the market will get bigger and businesses can flourish.
 

Furthermore, workers having more money to spend means that they can pursue investments into new small businesses. This gives them the potential to get out of the cycle of poverty. Currently, a large majority of the people who invest in new businesses are wealthy and for whom monetary risk taking does not pose a significant risk. The poor simply cannot take the same risks because they own less capital. This puts the poor in a cycle of poverty that they cannot get out of.
 

Having stable incomes have been shown to be linked to reduced rates of crime and increased rates of educational attainment. Having a well educated and thoughtful voter base and a population base with a low predisposition towards criminal activity should be the goal of any first world country. 


Public Safety

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One of the primary duties of the government is protection of its citizenry. Accordingly, it should be in the interest of any public official to focus on public safety.
 

A means of deterrence that is often talked about is depriving potential criminals of the means of performing criminal action, such as increased gun control. However, another solution that is seldom talked about is increasing access to mental health facilities. It needs to be recognized that the precursors of criminal activity, especially murder, is mental health problems.
 

Gun control is a contentious issue, as it should be. It’s not a simple issue. The US was founded by an armed militia which fought against colonial tyranny. The founding fathers understood the importance of public gun ownership in order to resist tyranny. The public should be a check and balance against incredibly unpopular government laws. However, simultaneously I recognize that the types of guns that the founding fathers encouraged owning by the public are not the same kinds of guns that are possible to own currently in the United States. Owning hunting rifles and pistols for self defense r recreation is one thing, but owning assault rifles is a different thing altogether. It is my opinion that the founding fathers did not intend for the public to own weapons that are intended to cause mass murder by a single individual.

A potential counter argument might be that only assault rifles can be used to prevent encroachment of government tyranny. This is a bad argument because the ownership of guns is meant as a deterrence to unpopular laws only if the dissent is sufficiently large. If a sufficient number of people take up even hunting rifles, the government will not kill so many people because the government requires a people to govern. Furthermore, the government has a global reputation to uphold. Killing masses of people would foment even more dissent.
 

While I fully support the second amendment, I am against the public ownership of weapons of mass murder such as assault rifles.

Affordable Housing for All

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The cost of living has been growing steadily over the decades while wages have remained relatively stagnant. Besides healthcare, a large factor in the increase of cost of living has been the cost of housing particularly rents.
 

Just like with healthcare, a problem with allowing the cost of housing to be dictated by the free market alone is that there is almost no limit to how much consumers are willing to pay for housing. This is due ti the difficulty of existence without a house. The fact that a lot of modern-day social functionalities require a physical address does not ease matters. The public require a physical address in order to vote, have a driver’s license, apply for a job, have a bank account, receive healthcare etc. Given these limitations it becomes incredibly undesirable to not have a permanent address.
 

I believe that government can make reasonable interventions in the free market in order to ease the housing crisis. One example might be to give subsidies to banks if they give loans to housing developers. An increase in the supply of housing might reduce the price.

It is also important to eliminate any regulations that prevent housing developers from creating high rise buildings. Land is a scarce commodity and as more housing is fit into a small land footprint it may ease the scarcity of housing and thereby reduce the cost of housing through free market mechanisms.

I am not opposed to having a mix of free market and non-free market solutions. Government subsidized housing in certain areas might produce good outcomes.
 

We must think about creative solutions to housing problems because homelessness is a blight upon our society. It creates great suffering for both the homeless and the general public. Homelessness is causing a public health risk.

 

Free College for All

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 A lot of the current cycle of poverty and lack of class mobility is driven by the high financial barriers to higher education. Workers become stuck in low paying unskilled jobs because they cannot afford higher education through their low salaries. Furthermore, as automation increases to take over more and more unskilled jobs, this will displace a lot of unskilled laborers in the economy.
 

We also need to look at higher education facilities and the causes for their ever-increasing price. Currently there are massive parasitic bureaucratic structures ailing our educational institutions. A way to reduce price of the education would be to eliminate unnecessary apparatuses within the higher education system.
 

Another problem currently being faces by young people is that they are getting out of university with a mountain of student dept. At the exact moment that they should be taking creative economic risks in order to innovate in the market, their freedom to take risks is being vastly undermined by the burden of debt.

 

Student Debt Forgiveness

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Millions are leaving school with no degree and thousands of dollars in debt. Nearly 40% of college students would consider dropping out to avoid incurring more student loan debt. And this isn’t a crisis just for young students and graduates. 

More than three million older Americans still have student loan debt, and thousands are currently having their Social Security checks garnished to pay them off 

we will cap student loan interest rates at 1.88 percent 

 Student debt in modern times have become a kind of indentured servitude. Unlike most other kinds of debts which can be erased through filing for bankruptcy, student loans can never be erased. A problem with the student loan system is that many of the young students who took the loans did not fully understand the material circumstances that would result as a result of taking the loan. They could not have anticipated that they would become a modern day indentured servant.
 

A vast majority of American’s 1.57 trillion dollars of student debt is owned by the government. It is possible to erase this debt.
 

Immigration and Tax Reform

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As much as it’s desirable for immigrants to become naturalized citizens through legal conduits, the facts of reality dictate that illegal immigration can never be fully curbed. History has shown that people with go to great lengths and incur great personal risk in order to move their families to lands with greater opportunity. We should recognize this reality and we should recognize that when illegal immigrants do inevitably work illegally in this country, they are not paying taxes.
 

I want to give illegal immigrants a way to enter the queue to become legal residents. But, more importantly, if they are here, I want to allow them to be able to work legally so that they can pay taxes to the US government. This would generate a great deal of additional revenue for the government.
 

I also intend to increase taxes for the wealthy. In particular, I want a tax on businesses where the CEO makes many times the money that their average worker makes. A lot of the wealth of the wealthy is generated on the backs of the labor of their workers who are often poorly paid and are struggling. We have found ourselves in a situation where the business owners are affluent while their workers are on welfare or food stamps. This is unfair. The wealthy must pay their fair share. If they are unwilling to pay their workers the value of their labor, then the government should be responsible for aiding their workers. This is justice.

 

Global Humanitarian Crisis

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The US has been creating interventions across the world for the purposes of expanding human rights and reducing human suffering. By all means this is a good goal. However, many of the interventions that we have made have backfired, some have led to blowback. I believe that it is important for us to be more contentious with our intervention efforts. Certainly there are times when interventions are warranted and there are times when we should decide that intervention is not worth the significant loss of resources and US soldier lives.
 

I believe that some conflicts across the world should be resolved freely by the local populace and without US intervention. The US oversteps its intervention efforts typically there are negative consequences one side or both sides may sense biases in the US interventions and the US might gain the collective ire of an entire group of people even though the initial intentions for intervention were just.
 

I believe we should have a balanced approach to foreign interventions and prioritize domestic issues first.

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