U.S. Congressman Mike Honda visited Pacifica Institute, Sunnyvale Branch on Wednesday, September 28th to join to a luncheon. Over a hundred people attended the event.

Congressman Honda represents the 15th District which includes Cupertino, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Milpitas and Freemont and which has the highest concentration of high tech companies in the country.

The theme of the luncheon was “People’s Budget: a Solution to America’s Fiscal Crisis”.

Mr. Honda’s budget proposal, termed as the “People’s Budget”, is targeting to close the deficit in 10 years. The proposal addresses job creation both in short term and in long term by enabling infrastructure building and maintanence projects. ‘Remember the bridge that collapsed in Minnesota.’, he said. ‘How long did it take to get to that point, probably decades and how long for us to fix it, a matter of couple months maybe? Then why didn’t we maintain it properly not to put people’s lives in jeopardy. Over 60% of our bridges in this country are at that point right now. That should just scare you.’

In addition, Mr. Honda stressed the need to keep manufacturing capability in the US: ‘We need to make manufacturing to stay here in the US. One of the bills I currently have is to give manufacturers a tax credit so that when they build their factories here it is an inviting environment for them to do business here. ‘, he said.

He also talked about his proposal to encourage innovation: ‘… we should have a commission or a group of scientists who will look at the top 10 disruptive innovations in this country and have the companies to produce those innovations and we help them to get to the commercialization of their product. If they build those products in this country we give them a tax credit for creating/manufacturing that product. We give tax credit to the buyer for purchasing that item if it’s built in this country. So we just create an environment that companies are looking to find overseas. This way money flows back into our country.’, he explained.

Regarding other budget proposals that target reduction in social programs, the Congressman commented that the ‘budget is nothing more than a document of our value systems. In a capitalistic society there are winners and losers. But in a democracy like ours we care about the people who are at the bottom of the spectrum. We do not want to see orphans, disabled, and poverty and we have a health safety net for them. So we devise our health programs, social security, etc. We devise these programs to benefit people who may have had hard times.’

In closing, he summarized the main points of the People’s Budget and emphasized that it is concise and does everything that needs to be done;
Works on reducing deficit
Creates short term and long term jobs
It has a tax system that’s fair, asking rich people to contribute more
Stops giving handouts to oil companies and other entities that does not need it
Reduces defense spending by bringing our troops home
And, finally, takes care of the health of our country by making sure that every American has the kind of health protection that all of us want. Health is not a privilege but it is a right.

More information can be found regarding the People’s Budget proposal on his web site: www.honda.house.gov.

Pacifica Institute Silicon Valley Branch President Fatih Sarigoz presented Congressman Honda with a traditional Ottoman marbling art example, called Ebru. Also, Congressman Honda was presented with a plaque to remember the day’s event to which he concluded: ‘I will keep this where I can see it every day so that it reminds me the kind of work you do and the standard you would hold me to my word also, thank you.’