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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 and budget deficits, what are the most important steps that should be taken to improve our nationís economy and sustain job creation?
1) Restore and Repeal. 2) Invest. 3) Purchase. 4) Eliminate
1. RESTORE America's Manufacturing Base and repeal Unfair Trade Deals. The 33rd district can lead by adopting and pursuing a national manufacturing strategy. The Economic Policy Institute, ranked CA 1st in the US with over 124,000 jobs exported as a result of NAFTA. NAFTA has cost the US over one millions manufacturing jobs, and pushed wages downward. Repeal it.
2. INVEST in California's Transportation Infrastructure + By expanding mass transit in rural areas, we can upgrade our transportation system and get thousands of California workers back on the job. Let's bring the parties together to pass legislation upgrading and expanding California's highways, roads, and bridges.
3. PURCHASE Goods Made in America- In America today, a 1% increase in the purchase of American goods would create 200,000 jobs. Our goal should be to create 3M American jobs by purchasing American-made goods. Let's upgrade the Buy American Enhancement Act, which requires that at least 75% of goods and material purchased by the federal government be made in America.
4. ELIMINATE Tax Loopholes and Lower Taxes + The Simpson Bowles Commission reported that the US could generate $100B per year by eliminating tax loopholes for corporations and individuals who are not paying their fair share. I disagree with the notion of raising taxes for Americans If an American is not paying their fair share of taxes on 36%, what makes us think that they will pay them on 39.5%? The goal is to be revenue neutral: where the US, as a result of the elimination of tax loopholes of corporations and individuals, is increasing its revenue stream without cutting vital government programs or raising taxes on hard-working Americans.
Also, if elected I pledge to follow Colorado's lead and push for the legalization of recreational marijuana use in all 50 states. "Colorado and Washington have set the foundation. Decriminalizing the recreational use of marijuana will bring this district millions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs. The time has come to legalize it as outlined by Representatives Blumenthal and Polis:http://blumenauer.house.gov/images/stories/2013/The_Path_Forward.pdf
2. What, if any, changes should be made to federal health care policies or programs?
The important issue that we don't yet know about Health Care Reform is whether or not it will lower health care costs. That to me is the single most important issue. I support many aspects of the health care reform law; ending discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions, closing the prescription loophole for seniors, extending from 18 to 26 the age to remain on parents coverage. However, I question if we should be mandated to purchase coverage only to see premiums skyrocket. I'm concerned that the cost-control mechanisms (the health insurance exchanges) will not work. If that is the case, then we need to re-examine the mandate and instead `encourage' people to buy via incentives.
3. What are your priorities with respect to our nationís energy policy?
Putting America on a path to a lead the world in addressing climate change must become a priority in Congress. Meeting the challenges of global warming will require reforming our energy policies, reducing carbon emissions, and investing in clean energy. We must address the environmental and safety issues that hydraulic fracking poses.
4. What, if any, changes should be made with respect to our nationís security, including our national defense or anti-terrorism measures?
I support a complete and responsible withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan, and a continued reduction of the US nuclear arsenal. Too many lawmakers demand that weapons systems be built, even when the Pentagon says those systems are not needed, simply because they are built in the lawmakers' districts. Moreover, the Constitution Envisioned a military to "provide for the common defense" of the United States, not one that serves as the world's policeman. Indeed, Many observers believe our penchant for foreign intervention makes us Less safe. Congress should reduce overseas military commitments, avoid foreign wars, and create a leaner force structure. In 2011 Republican Senator Tom Coburn encouraged the President to freeze defense spending, saying `America's defenses are decaying as a result of increasing defense budgets'. Senator Coburn points out that bloated bureaucracies are counterproductive, and that government spending attracts waste, fraud and abuse and compromises the efficiency of our fighting forces. Increased military spending is yielding a weaker military.
5. What is your position on the issue of immigration reform? What, if any, changes to legislation or policy would you support?
With the Dream Act, we are witnessing the severe partisan gridlock in Washington -- the inability to simply do the right thing. I'm a avid supporter of the Dream Act. It is a sensible alternative to deporting 14 million people, by allowing eligible immigrants to contribute to society. The US has an economic initiative to help Mexico get rid of the cartels, and build the Mexican economy to discourage. The U.S. and Mexico conduct over $50 billion in trade at the Juarez/El Paso border crossing alone. It is in our nation's best economic interest that the border remain an open trade zone, and that we do not let Mexico become a failed state. There are 50 Million Mexican citizens on the other side of the border subsisting on $2 per day.
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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