CHICAGO TRIBUNE EDITORIAL BOARD
Q & A
The Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land but is struggling financially. What steps do you advocate for fixing or repealing Obamacare? What role, if any, should the government play in making health insurance available? Please be specific about concepts or programs you advocate, including the scope and how you would pay for them.
I would advocate for the expansion of section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act. This would allow the Government (Department of Health and Human Services) to grant waivers to States to come up with strategies that will give their citizens access to quality affordable health care while keeping the basic protection of the Affordable Care Act.
The economy continues to expand and the jobless rate is low. Did you support or oppose the federal tax plan Congress passed in December? What role are those changes playing in the growth? What’s your take on the state of economy and what steps do you advocate to keep the recovery going? Identify at least one jobs-related program or bill you would support and how you would pay for it.
I supported the federal tax plan passed by Congress in December. Many working-class Americans saw an increase in their paychecks. This created more disposable income that was used to pay bills, cut down personal debt, and was pumped backed into the economy. I feel that the U.S. Economy is doing very well. Black America's unemployment rate is low and consumer confidence is high. To continue this, I would be an advocate for Fair Trade and the return of manufacturing jobs to America. I would be in support of the President's Executive Order on Workforce Development that encourages employers to increase on-the-job training. 23 companies and trade groups have already pledged to train 3.8 million workers and to expand their Apprenticeship Programs.
President Trump is skeptical of trade agreements and has imposed sanctions on other countries in an attempt to force concessions or renegotiation of trade deals. Is he pursuing the right or wrong path, and why? Tell us your views on trade and investment, focusing on what's at stake for Illinois.
The President is pursuing the right path. I agree that renegotiating our China, NAFTA, and other international agreements and making them fair is good for America . Fair trade would open up the markets for Illinois businesses, particularly Illinois farmers. There is no denying that the bad deal NAFTA has cost Americans thousands of jobs. It forced shop classes out of high schools, closed factories, and made skilled laborers unemployed. It turned America from a manufacturing economy to a service economy. Why can't we make more American steel, cars, or washing machines? We should invest in our roads and highways to help farmers and manufacturers better access to the market.
North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs represent a threat to the United States and its allies. President Obama chose to freeze out North Korea, while President Trump has pursued talks after using the threat of military action against Kim Jong Un’s regime. Is Trump on the right or wrong path? What level of danger does North Korea represent and what course of action do you advocate?
I feel that the President is on the right path with Kim Jon Un's regime. Many have forgotten that the war in Korea never ended. If the tough talks got Kim Jon Un to the table and the return of the remains of our fallen soldiers, why should I question that? We must remember that Kim Jon Un has a missile that can hit Chicago so I advocate Peace by Strength as a course of action.
Do you support or oppose federal action to strengthen gun laws, such as a unified, federal background check system for gun sales? Name specific steps you would advocate, or tell us why current laws are sufficient.
Being a Chicago resident, with the nation's strictest gun laws on the books and as many as 30 people shot each weekend, I believe more federal legislation is unnecessary. Not enough law abiding citizens have the option to protect themselves. If they do not carry a firearm they run risk of becoming a victim of a crime. If they do carry a firearm they run the risk of being shot by law enforcement. It must be noted that most gun-related crimes are carried out using illegally owned firearms. Citizens who legally own firearms use them for lawful purposes much more often than they are used to commit crimes. Congress should focus on the complex societal problems at the root of gun violence instead of creating new laws that violate Americans' constitutional rights.
What steps should the country take to fix the broken immigration system? How would you resolve the matter of 11 million people living in the country without legal documentation? If supporting President Trump’s wall sealed a comprehensive immigration deal, would you agree to fund it?
I believe that the Congress should revisit the Immigration Act of 1990 and make some serious changes like not allowing illegals immigrants to enter the Lottery System and placing caps on the number of immigrants we allow in the country. We could resolve the problem of 11 million people living in the country illegally by sending parents with children under the age of 12 back to their country of origin. Children over the age 12, because this is the only country that they know, should be allowed to stay if they have a relative in the country that can support them. If not, they should go into the DCFS or foster care system like American children whose parents commit a crime. The illegal adults immigrant without children should join the Armed Services to support and defend our country, then we can work on a pathway to citizenship. I support whatever it takes to build the wall on the southern border to seal up the onslaught of illegal guns and drugs that find its way to the streets of Chicago.
Medicare and Social Security face eventual insolvency. What if any restructuring do you propose? Be specific about your willingness to change or reduce benefits.
I do not propose any restructuring. One of the main reasons that Medicare and Social Security face insolvency is that there are not enough citizens in the workforce to put solvency in these programs. I feel that the tax cuts, regulation reform, and the new trade agreements will add workers to the workforce who could contribute to the system. This should help to sustain it without making major changes or reductions to benefits.
Give us an example of your political independence by citing a time in which you voted against party leadership or otherwise defied party convention on a controversial issue.
I voted for Barack Obama over Mitt Romney for President of the United States.
If you are an incumbent, tell us the most significant accomplishment of your current term. If you are a challenger, what is your proudest career accomplishment?
I have made it this far without major support from my Party, just support from the people.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us.
I am a loving, God-fearing father, son, and brother who has a mind for the community at hand. Where we go one we go all.