For Rome resident Allan Levene, running for Georgia’s 14th District seat in Congress boils down to one thing: fixing the economy.

“I’m all about business,” said Levene, a London native who is Jewish. “Everybody needs a job. They need to make more than minimum wage. Minimum wage is starvation pay. You can’t live on minimum wage. You were never meant to.”

The path to improving the country’s economy comes down to bringing the manufacturing industry back from China, Levene said.

Allan Levene

Allan Levene

“China is eating our lunch,” he said. “Their growth is accelerating, and ours is stuck in the mud. We’re in deep trouble. In the very near future, it will be announced that the global leader is China and not the U.S. That’s the key reason I’m running for office. It’s easy to stop.”

Bringing manufacturing back is as easy as offering incentives, such as eliminating corporate taxes for companies that manufacture their products in the United States and providing the benefit to suppliers that manufacture in the United States as well, Levene said.

“Everybody in the supply chain, as long as they procure their components in the United States and manufacture in the United States, they won’t be taxed,” Levene said. “That’s an incentive to (work here) and set up new factories. Suddenly, there will be a tremendous increase in competence. There will be an increase in opening new factories and new jobs. When you have new jobs and more jobs than people, the wages go up. That’s where I’m coming from: to provide a reward for doing the work we want rather than a punishment, which doesn’t work.”

Another issue that is important to Levene is helping Israelis yearning for peace flee the embattled Middle East.

Under Levene’s plan, a portion of Texas along the Gulf of Mexico that’s the same size as Israel would be designated New Israel — with the land purchased or seized by eminent domain — and serve as a peaceful extension of the Middle Eastern country. In exchange, Israel would give up the West Bank and allow the establishment of a Palestinian state.

“Instead of continuing to give millions and millions of dollars to maintain the status quo, which is a train wreck, they could give that money to develop New Israel, and the Israelis who don’t want to deal with the trauma could move to New Israel,” Levene said. “It would create huge job opportunities for the Texans.”

In addition to focusing on the economy and his New Israel plan, Levene wants to lessen the role of the federal government in areas that should be overseen by the state, such as education. Creating rules and benchmarks for K-12 education is each state’s role and something the federal government should stay out of, he said.

“The states provide for the education of the children, and that’s the way it should be,” Levene said. The federal government “should stay out of it. They get their noses stuck in places they shouldn’t be in all the time. We have enough problems with our inept and mindless politicians than for them to get involved micromanaging the states, which are quite capable of managing themselves.”

The issue of micromanaging also filters down to social issues, such as the controversy over transgender people being allowed to choose their bathrooms based on their gender identification. The U.S. Department of Justice and the state of North Carolina are wrapped up in a civil rights lawsuit over the matter.

“This is one more example of dumb, mindless politicians passing laws under pressure that are not effective,” Levene said. “I haven’t had a problem with anybody doing anything they want to as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody else. If men want to marry men or women want to marry women, I don’t have a problem with it. I don’t want to stick my nose in their personal lives. I’m interested in helping all of them make more money.”