For Free Markets and a Free People

After much prayer, reflection, and discussion with family and friends, I have decided to run for election to the U.S. House of Representatives for Oklahoma’s District 2.

Panel 1

Why Campaign?

The decision to run for public office is not something I have reached lightly.  I have arrived at a season of my life where I can give my undivided attention to my community and my country. As a free-market economist, I will promote solutions to our nation’s fiscal challenges. As a father and grandfather, I will seek to preserve and protect our constitutional rights. As a Christian, I will defend America’s long-standing respect for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I want my children and grandchildren to have the same rights and opportunities that I have enjoyed. My country has given so much to me, and it is time to give back. Here in America, we each have the unique opportunity to pursue our dreams according to our individual values. But liberty is a fragile thing, so we must be vigilant to preserve it for the next generation.

I would like to thank Representative Markwayne Mullin for his service to our great state and the citizens of District 2, and especially for his efforts to oppose The Affordable Care Act (i.e. Obamacare). With his term limit pledge coming up in 2018, I want to continue the tradition of carrying Oklahoma’s conservative values to Washington.

Panel 2

Meet Brian

Brian Jackson is an associate professor of economics and accounting at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma where he has served university students since 2008. Prior to joining the NSU faculty, Brian worked as a scientist for the U.S. Government / Central Intelligence Agency and has taught at several colleges and universities in Oklahoma and Texas. Brian is also a longtime volunteer chapel speaker for the Gospel Rescue Mission of Muskogee, where he previously served on the Board of Directors. A member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, he earned a B.S. in mathematics and chemistry from Northeastern State University in 1982, an M.S. in mathematics from the University of Oklahoma in 1984, a Ph.D. in economics from Oklahoma State University in 2005, and a post-doctoral certificate from the Warrington College of Business Administration at the University of Florida. He has authored or coauthored articles in several peer-reviewed economics journals. Finally, as the managing member of Three Rivers Economics, LLC, Brian puts his economic experience to work by performing economic impact analyses for various municipalities and development associations across Oklahoma. 

Brian grew up in Muskogee County. After graduating from Oktaha High School in 1978, he worked his way through college as an employee of Safeway Stores in Muskogee and Norman. Always eager to be “the indispensable man” to his employer, Brian worked in nearly every department in each of these stores. He carried this same attitude and work ethic to Washington when he worked for the federal government and later when he taught business and mathematics courses at various colleges and universities.

Brian has two grown children. His daughter, Katie Harlin, and her husband, Caleb, live in Muskogee. His son, Jonathan, lives in Verdigris with his wife, Rachael, and their infant son, Titus Luke Jackson. The late Kathy Jackson was Brian’s dear wife for 28 years and the mother of both children. Brian faithfully attends New Hope Baptist Church in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

Panel 3

Issues

Pro-Life

As the proud father of two grown children, and recently the proud grandfather of my very first grandchild, I firmly believe that human life begins at conception and should be protected from that moment forward.  I believe that the federal government should respect and protect the lives of all its citizens, especially those who are not able to protect themselves.

The abortion industry has snuffed out the lives of some 50 million children. I cannot even begin to express how tragic this is. My heart aches for the countless lives that have been sacrificed on the altar of abortion. THEY were never given a choice.

First Amendment Rights

I am a committed Christian and I believe that religious freedoms must be protected.  Like the Founders, I believe that the federal government has the responsibility to avoid an establishment of religion, but still protect religious expression.

One example of government overreach in this area is the Johnson Amendment from 1954. It allows the IRS to revoke a church’s tax exempt status if the church participates too heavily in the political arena. This is wrong. American pastors should not have to scrub their sermons of political references before they step into the pulpit. Political topics are frequently addressed in the Bible and our pastors should have the freedom to speak out on these issues without the fear of reprisal.

Second Amendment Right

I support the personal, individual right of American citizens to keep and bear arms. As detailed more fully in the influential case of D.C. v. Heller, the second amendment means more than simply a collective right to keep and bear arms only in a militia. Instead, it is a personal right held by each individual citizen. I believe that gun-control laws only succeed in taking guns away from law-abiding Americans. Criminals and terrorists do not follow the law anyway, so gun control will not have any effect on them.

National Security and Immigration

National security should be a top priority.  Having worked in the intelligence community, I believe that protecting America from threats—both foreign and domestic—is the primary Constitutional duty of our government.  Without a strong national security focus, the freedoms that America has championed for over 200 years will become a thing of the past.

Part of our national security is having a strong and workable immigration policy that first secures the border and then welcomes new law-abiding citizens into our culture. Legal immigration is one of America’s brightest beacons of hope to people around the globe. But our current immigration situation is unworkable.  We need to secure our borders. Period.

Israel and the Middle East

We should support the nation of Israel. It is our strongest ally in the Middle East. Its government is stable and its political stances are moderate. It stands with us in opposing terror in the region.

I also believe that the American embassy rightfully belongs in Jerusalem.  It is the true capital and we should respect that.

Military and Veterans

The U.S. Armed Forces deserve our complete respect and support.  We need to dramatically increase funding for the U.S. military, including all our veterans’ support systems here at home.

My dad served in the U.S. Army and I am thankful for what he did and stood for.  Without a strong military, America will crumble. All of our veterans deserve our utmost respect and I strongly believe that this means we should stand behind those who need support services here at home. The VA is not perfect, but the services it provides are critical. Our veterans deserve only the very best.

Taxes, Budget, and Government Spending

I am a committed Christian and I believe that religious freedoms must be protected.  Like the Founders, I believe that the federal government has the responsibility to avoid an establishment of religion, but still protect religious expression.

One example of government overreach in this area is the Johnson Amendment from 1954. It allows the IRS to revoke a church’s tax exempt status if the church participates too heavily in the political arena. This is wrong. American pastors should not have to scrub their sermons of political references before they step into the pulpit. Political topics are frequently addressed in the Bible and our pastors should have the freedom to speak out on these issues without the fear of reprisal.

Education

I come from a family of teachers. I am a college professor myself. Education is an important part of the American way of life. But our teachers are often told what to do from an office that is hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Decision-making authority needs to be returned to parents and teachers. Local communities are far better equipped to monitor their own needs than a bureaucrat in an office over a thousand miles away. We need trust our teachers and let them do what they do best.

Health Care

I support the complete repeal of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”).  Access to healthcare and insurance are wonderful blessings that we, as Americans, have the privilege to enjoy.  The federal government should promote market-based solutions that put our citizens back in the driver’s seat. One example would be to encourage association health plans that allow people to purchase insurance at group rates through their church or other civic organizations. Another example would be to allow for individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines.

Individuals should be able to purchase insurance that is tailored to their needs. No one should be forced to purchase coverage they do not want.

We should expand health savings accounts allowing individuals with high-deductible insurance to pay insurance premiums with pre-tax dollars.  This will help make insurance less employer-based and more portable.

I am against forcing insurance companies to cover people with preexisting conditions. This requirement in Obamacare allows some people to “game” the system by waiting until they are sick to purchase insurance. So instead, I recommend block-granting of Medicaid to states, and still providing healthcare to people who otherwise could not afford insurance.

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