Candidate Full Name: Jesse L. Jackson, Jr.
Office: U. S. House of Representatives U. S. Congressional District 2
Email Address: email@example.com
Web Site: www.jessejacksonjr.com
Campaign Name: Jackson for Congress
Campaign Office Mailing Address: 7129 South Yates Blvd
Survey Questions (Character limit of 2,000 per response)
1. Can the budget deficit be controlled only by spending cuts or does the federal government need to raise more revenue? If you favor more revenue, should there be a general tax hike?
No, the budget deficit cannot be controlled by spending cuts only. Reducing budget deficits over time must contain a balanced approach that includes budget cuts and increased taxes on those making over $250,000 as President Obama has proposed. I would oppose any cuts to Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. However, what is really needed to reduce budget deficits and the nation's $15 trillion debt are jobs, because jobs would stimulate economic growth and aggregate demand and generate increased taxes paid by everyone working. And we already have an economic model - the CCC, WPA and PWA of direct hiring by the Federal Government in FDR's New Deal. If we could generate the political will my proposal is the following: the first phase of an over-all 6-year $2.4 trillion proposal includes $600 billion to jump start this economy by hiring 15 million workers directly at an average annual salary of $40,000 - some $20,000; some $60,000 depending on the job - to invest in America. The projects would begin to rebuild our infrastructure, invest in education, health care, housing and the environment, putting Americans back to work and creating aggregate demand - the greatest need of this economy - and the aggregate demand would bring the $2 trillion in private money sitting on the sideline back into the game because there will be a market for the goods and services the private economy produces. The investment of private money will create even more jobs and all of these workers both in the public and private economies will be paying taxes. At the same time the number of Americans dependent on the federal government for unemployment compensation and Food Stamps and more will be reduced, which will help to lower the deficit and the debt faster than any other current proposal. At this time I am opposed to a general tax hike.
2. Did you favor the 2011 pullout of U.S. military forces from Iraq? Why or why not?
Yes, that has already happened. President Obama probably won the presidency because of his opposition to what he called "dumb wars" and he promised to end the war in Iraq - and he kept his promise. We were led into that war as a result of lies from the Bush Administration. I was strongly opposed to the Iraq War because they were not involved in 9/11, and even though Saddam Hussein was a dictator and had committed horrendous crimes against his own people in the past, he posed no imminent threat to the United States. We soon learned, also, that he did not have weapons of mass destruction, the major reason given by the Bush Administration for invading and going to war in Iraq.
3. Do you favor President Obama's planned 2014 military withdrawal from Afghanistan? Why or why not?
Yes. The attack on 9/11 was hatched in Afghanistan so there was some moral and political justification for going into Afghanistan in the beginning. I had serious reservations about the escalation by President Obama. My rationale for him at the time was that "he thought" by using a surge then it was the fastest way out of Afghanistan. I do not support our continuing presence in Afghanistan. It will cost too much US time, treasure and blood to do what needs to be done to put that country on its feet. We have given their leadership the opportunity to provide security for their people and to provide a better life for the Afghan people. I'm not sure that the corrupt leadership in Afghanistan, including President Karzi, is capable of taking advantage of the opportunity we have given him for his country and people. But we did the best we could.
4. Do you believe there is global warming? If so, is any of it man made and can we do anything about it?
Yes, I believe there is global warming and that a major source of it is man-made. There are many things we can do to reduce global warming, but it is extremely important that we take action as quickly as possible. Most experts believe that we are approaching a critical time when, if we fail to act effectively, the consequences could lead to an end of life on earth as we know it, with tremendous changes in our weather that would destabilize our lives. We need to demand that automobile manufactures reduce pollution from cars - a major factor in global warming. We need to move to renewable energy sources to replace fossil fuels as quickly as possible. And in developing countries, efforts must be made to stabilize the climate and end poverty at the same time. We must rely on a combination of the best science, where effective, market solutions, and renewable energy policies with partners' at the local level to make real progress. In many ways this may be the most important issue of our time. That's why I have proposed legislation to add an environmental amendment to our Constitution to guarantee in our highest law the "right" to a clean, safe and sustainable environment (H.J. Res. 33) and I have 28 co-sponsors.
5. How will you balance your personal views and beliefs with those of your constituents and the need to compromise for legislation to pass?
Obviously, I bring personal values and views, along with political beliefs, to Congress - as everyone does - and I always consider the views and factor in the interests of my constituents when I vote. But legislating is inherently a compromising process. No one person or party ever gets everything it wants. In over 16 years of serving the 2nd Congressional District in Congress I don't believe I've ever voted for or against a significant piece of legislation with which I fully agreed or disagreed, so compromise is always part of the legislative process. I think the goal is to do your best to never compromise on principle, but be willing to compromise on the details of the legislation. If it's a reasonable, humane and progressive issue that I feel strongly about I fight to have the legislation passed into law as is. I only compromise if I have to or to get a partial loaf instead of nothing. Then I set about to fight in a timely manner in the future for the portion(s) of the bill that I/we didn't get.