Patrick Lee knows he has a steep uphill battle in his quest to win Missouri’s U.S. Senate seat.

Patrick Lee knows he has a steep uphill battle in his quest to win Missouri’s U.S. Senate seat.
He is an officially declared independent candidate with the Missouri Secretary of State’s office but voters will not see his name on the November general election ballot.
Wearing lime green running shoes and with a tin can handcuffed to his wrist, Lee may at first appear to be more like a carnival sideshow huckster. The can indicates “no more kicking the can,” as he claims politicians have been doing for years in ignoring the nation’s growing debt and thereby putting it off for future generations to deal with.
He is dead serious about his concerns.
“Death to debt,” he said of the importance of not burdening future generations with the rising debt of the current generations. The nation’s debt load was about $19.5 trillion as of Wednesday when he stopped at the Daily News office for a brief interview.
“In the nine minutes I’ve been talking its grown by $5.6 million — or about $700,000 a minute,” Lee said. “We’re spending over $400 billion a year on interest on our debt.”
Lee feels the message he is spreading in his statewide grassroots campaign is well worth nearly a year of his time and putting thousands of miles on his vehicle.
“I know this is the longest of long shots,” Lee said during a stop at the Daily News offices on Wednesday. “The other candidates are spending millions on their campaigns,” Lee said. “I realize my candidacy is an utter improbability but I’m dead serious about my message and I just hope to be able to influence the debate.”
Lee feels at the forefront of the debate for any government office on the national level should be the national debt. He feels leaders in Washington, D.C., are ignoring the national debt and the growing deficit.
He proposes freezing all federal spending for three years and then limit increases to only 3 percent a year. With that practice and by simplifying federal income tax he feels the national debt could be eliminated by between 2033 and 2043. His proposal on income tax would include eliminating all deductions, exemptions and credits for everyone — combined with a graduated tax rate running from 1 percent for the lowest wage earners up to 30 percent for people making $1 million or more a year.
“That alone would raise another $100 billion,” he said.
“I’ve been a student of government and politics all my life and am for campaign reform,” Lee said. Among the other planks of his campaign platform are:
* Eliminate deductions on corporate income tax for the direct costs of doing business and eliminate all provisions favoring certain industries and professions.
* Secure Social Security by eliminating the earnings cap so all income is taxed for Social Security purposes and exempt the first $5,000 from tax for both employer and employee.
* Rein in regulations by easing regulatory burden with a moratorium on all new or proposed regulations which have a cost or a negative impact on employment.
* Replace, but not repeal Obamacare, with a market-based replacement rather than one dictated by Washington.
* Resolve immigration issues by providing a pathway to legal residency, not citizenship to the U.S., as either a guest worker or a permanent resident. He is for deporting all who do not complete those requirement and who overstay their visas or who came fraudulently or who have felony convictions.
* Cleanup campaigns by requiring all political donations of more than $100 and expenditures of more than $1,000 be made public within 48 hours. Make public all interest groups and Political Action Committees with names, addresses and phone numbers of their top five officials.
* Simplify the process for introducing bills by having only one clearly described subject and limit the wording of bills to 5,000 words and ban unfunded mandates to state and local governments.
* While gasoline taxes are low, increase the federal motor fuel tax for five years to fund infrastructure improvements.
Lee said he hopes voters will ask the major party candidates for specifics on their plan for debt reduction.
“If you get a sound bite rather than an answer, ask the same question again and again,” he said.