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League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and asked of all candidates for this office.
Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).
Questions & Answers
1. In this time of high unemployment, what are the most important steps that should be taken to improve our nationís economy?
The biggest problem facing Americans today is the lack of available jobs. The employment rate for Los Angeles County in March 2012 was 11.8%, which means nearly 1-in-8 people are still looking for a job, and there has been little to no change over the past year. Add to that the number of people who settled for any job, retired early or just stopped looking. It is clear "government" is not the solution to creating new jobs.
America is the greatest country in the world because anyone who has an idea or talent and is willing to work hard can achieve their goals. 50% of all of the jobs in America are generated from small businesses, those companies with fewer than 500 employees. They are the "mom and pop shops" in your neighborhood.
And during downturns in the economy, small businesses need access to capital to continue operating. We need to make more commercial and Small Business Administration loans available to existing small businesses, so they can hire new employees and buy new equipment. Entrepreneurs and inventors also need access to capital so they can make their dreams a reality. We are a nation with a "can-do" spirit, so let's reduce or eliminate rules and regulations that are strangling the flow of capital to small businesses. Government needs to encourage people to turn their dreams into realities. And the best way to do that is to step aside and watch what happens.
2. How should the federal budget deficit be addressed, now and into the future? How should budget priorities for defense and domestic programs be adjusted?
Excessive, wasteful spending has produced a national debt that will be an enormous financial burden to our children and grandchildren. We have not had a budget in the past three years, and the federal government continues to spend 33% more than it takes in as revenue. Congress must be honest with all Americans, and prepare budgets in the future that limit spending to providing those essential services we need, not want.
3. What are your priorities with respect to our nationís energy policy? Should there be an emphasis on clean energy and reducing carbon emissions, and/or on reducing our dependence on foreign sources?
The Department of Energy was created in 1977 with the goal of making America energy independent from foreign sources. 35 years later and having spent billions of taxpayers' dollars, there is still no National Energy Policy that provides America with stable, affordable and sustainable energy. Our economy and national defense depend on consistent flow of energy.
We need leadership in Washington, not government roadblocks or subsidies to companies like Solyndra which cost American taxpayers $535 million. We have the resources available inside the United States to be energy independent and with a National Energy Policy, we could be an energy exporter and start paying off the national debt.
4. What, if any, changes should be made to federal health care policies or programs?
The National Health Care System, enacted in 2010, was created to provide affordable health care for every American. I agree with the intent of the program, but as a former FBI Agent who worked government fraud and abuse cases, I believe the current program will cost American taxpayers billions of dollars in fraud and abuse, wasting valuable resources for Americans needing professional healthcare. My experience tells me there are people right now creating companies with the single purpose of defrauding the government healthcare system.
Healthcare is a personal service requiring personal choices. We need a system that allows individuals affordable choices, and that everyone is included, even those with "pre-existing medical conditions." We already have established free and low-cost healthcare programs, including Medicaid, which provides services for people who cannot afford health insurance at any price. We need to eliminate the current national healthcare system requiring participation and create an open, competitive health insurance market. We should remove the restrictions that prevent insurance companies throughout the United States from competing in California. With a larger supply of available health insurance companies, we will all have the ability to choose the right healthcare program for our families at an affordable price.
5. What, if any, changes should be made to federal rules on campaign financing?
The old expression "money talks" certainly rings true when it comes to determining the results of an election. According to an article posted on http://www.opensecrets.org after the 2008 elections, 93 percent of the House of Representative races were won by candidates who spent the most money. The average amount spent on a House race in 2008 was nearly $1.1 million and in 2010 special interest groups contributed more than $7 for every $1 received from small donors.
If we are to return to a government of the people, by the people and for the people, we need to level the playing field for all candidates. We need a fair election system that will eliminate the constant chase for money and allow elected officials to listen to the voices of the people.
Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League. Candidates' statements are presented as submitted. References to opponents are not permitted.
Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).
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