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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito, Santa Clara Counties, CA June 5, 2012 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
United States Representative; District 20


The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and asked of all candidates for this office.     See below for questions on Economy, Budget, Energy, Health care, Campaign financing

Click on a name for candidate information.   See also more information about this contest.

? 1. In this time of high unemployment, what are the most important steps that should be taken to improve our nationís economy?

Answer from Ronald Paul Kabat:

A.) The government can assist in creating an environment to help private industry create jobs. One step can be instituted via a well designed tax system.

We must make a substantial change to our income tax system to: a.) create more productivity (jobs) in our economy; b.) increase tax revenues for our government to use to lower our national debt and shore up our Social Security and Medicare crisis; and c.) eliminate the harmful effects of Washington lobbyists.

1.) How it works - - The price of the products you buy includes a cost provision to account for income tax. The product's price could be lowered by a major tax system design change and product competition.

If the price could be lowered, then more individuals could afford to buy the product. If more individuals buy it, then more products might have to be produced to meet that increased demand.

End result - - more individuals would have to be hired to keep up with higher product demand. Additional income tax revenue would be provided to the government because of the increase in products sold due lower prices caused by the tax system design change. Again, part of the increased income tax revenue must be used to decrease our national debt and shore up our Social Security and Medicare crisis.

2. Food for thought - - - Our highest corporate income tax rate is currently 38%. It is the highest corporate income tax rate in the world. Our tax system and the rates must be changed to make our country competitive with the rest of the world. We also must undo much of the damage and unfairness that has been put into the current tax system by Washington lobbyists, special favors of our government officials and unintended consequences of poorly thought out income tax law changes.

Why would jobs go offshore to places like Ireland? Ireland currently has a -0-% corporate manufacturing tax for the first three years a company brings its jobs to their shores. After the fourth year, the tax rate goes to 10%. We CAN bring those jobs back to the USA.

3.) My idea to add to the system - - - I mostly agree with the Simson-Bowles Report on changing our tax system. However, I would also recommend that we change the individual income tax benefit currently given to individuals with dividend income.

My proposal would allow an individual income tax rate of -0-% to 15% to those citizens who want to invest in companies that have at least 60% of their job force here in the U.S.A.. It would cause higher taxes on the dividend income of those individuals who would want to invest in companies who have sent most of their jobs off shore.

For our international companies, I also agree with the Simpson-Bowles Report's position that we must transition to a Territorial Tax System.

Additional steps that the government can also take to help create a better environment for private industry to create jobs would be to a.) focus on trying to change economic policies, b.)reduce regulatory policies on business and c.) move quickly to transition our Federal 660,000 vehicle fleet into using our abundant supply of natural gas.

Answer from Dan Caudle:

We need to get the federal government out of the way of the private sector and let them create jobs.

Answer from Art Dunn:

Return to the credit system of national banking that prevailed before the Federal Reserve system was put into effect. Under this system which was used in the 1930's we were able to build the Tennesse Valley Authority which then gave us the electrical grid necessary to win World War II.

Answer from Mike LeBarre:

Energy is the lifeblood of any country and low energy prices are necessary for a vibrant and expanding economy. Our Country needs to increase domestic energy production to lower costs for all Americans and business. Reform the tax code by implementing the Simplified Revenue plan that leaves more money in our pockets and brings fairness to all taxpayers. This grows our economy, encourages domestic and foreign investment, and puts millions of Americans back to work.

? 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?

Answer from Art Dunn:

By returning to the Glass Steagel legislation separating the Wall Street Banks from the local Commercial Banks the Wall Street gamblers would have to pay for their own losses. This would save the taxpaying public trillions. This is what we did in the 1930's.

Answer from Mike LeBarre:

Enact the Common Sense 10 year budget plan to responsibly trim the size and scope of the Federal budget over 10 years. It is too easy to trim costs by cutting jobs. This only hurts Americans and weakens our economy. I will focus on spending efficiently and eliminating redundancies not by cutting paychecks.

Answer from Ronald Paul Kabat:

I agree mostly with the recommendations listed in the Simson-Bowles Report.

Drastically change the tax system as we know it, limit the Federal income tax revenue to about 21% of our Gross Domestic Product, cut program costs and apply the increase in tax revenue savings to the debt.

Unfortunately, the recommendations from the Simpson-Bowles Report are almost two years old. We must hurry to address our financial woes before our Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid systems come to a screaming halt.

? 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?

Answer from Ronald Paul Kabat:

Our country doesn't seem to have an energy policy.

Since we have more than 100 years of natural gas, we must take advantage of that blessing. Natural gas is currently being used in some of the trucks that Waste Management uses for garbage pick up and some of the Monterey Transit System buses. The same gas can be applied to other vehicles. The exhaust emissions are cleaner than current vehicle emissions. Since our Federal fleet consists of more than 660,000 vehicles, we should also start there.

Our use of electric vehicles sounds great BUT they are currently primarily recharged with electricity that comes from coal fired electric generating plants. If we want to incorporate the use of electric vehicles, then we should convert to safe nuclear electric generating plants and avoid the tons of air pollution we currently get from the coal burning plants.

The same nuclear source goes for electricity needed for our homes. There's nothing bad about using solar, wind or bio-fuel BUT their time may not currently be now. We need more work in this area.

Answer from Dan Caudle:

We need to take smart steps toward clean energy, but use the resources that we have now as we improve the clean energy sector.

Answer from Mike LeBarre:

It is vitally important that we increase domestic energy production in the U.S. We should be expanding production of proven energy sources like safe nuclear, natural gas, clean coal and domestic oil. Concurrently invest in research to develop high capacity battery technologies to utilize green energy production. This will create a bridge to a clean and renewable energy future while growing our economy now.

Answer from Art Dunn:

We need clean energy and carbon reduction but we also need safe atomic energy and improved technology. Atomic submarines have been a part of our defense system for over fifty years with no accidents. Our atomic subs still prowl the seas today.

? 4. What, if any, changes should be made to federal health care policies or programs?

Answer from Ronald Paul Kabat:

I am waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act this June.

I do believe that we have to support our medical care and safety net programs. However, I personally do not currently believe that the Federal government can Constitutionally order us to buy a product that we do not want to buy. If we don't buy the product, we are financially penalized. If we don't pay the IRS the penalties, then we are imprisoned. If we are imprisoned, then we get the product for free?

While waiting for that decision, I believe that we should 1.) allow the purchase of health insurance policies across state lines; 2.) limit the size of health related law suits across the nation; 3.) continue to focus on fraud within the system; 4.) increase the penalties upon professionals who are convicted of Medicare and Medicaid fraud; 5.) increase availability of Health Savings Account programs; and 6.) have the government negotiate the price of drugs from pharmacutical that are used for Medicare and Medicaid. (The Veteran's Administration has negotiated drug prices. Why shouldn't we do the same for Medicare and Medicaid?)

If the Supreme Court decision strikes down the A.C.A., it would be noble to continue to 1.) allow individuals with pre-existing conditions to be covered by health insurance; and 2.) allow students or dependents to continue to be covered under their parent's insurance coverage until age 26.

I would also consider the recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles Report.

Answer from Dan Caudle:

We need to review what we have in place, improve them, remove fraud and waste and then add new policies as needed. We should not try to rewrite the book and make the same mistakes as before.

Answer from Art Dunn:

I believe in single payer.

? 5. What, if any, changes should be made to federal rules on campaign financing?

Answer from Ronald Paul Kabat:

I believe that the amount of money in politics today is disrupting to our political systems. Gathering $1,000,000,000 for one political office race does not feel fair while our underemployment rate exceeds 15%.

I personally have not solicited funds for my campaign. However, to those who have offered me campaign contributions, I asked that the contributions be limited to no more than $99.

I am humbled that individuals have given me unsolicited campaign funds to help me help our Nation.

Answer from Art Dunn:

Corporations are not people and only people should be able to contibute to political campaigns and no more than $150.00 (one hundred fifty dollars) per person.


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.

The order of the candidates is random and changes daily. Candidates who did not respond are not listed on this page.


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Created: July 26, 2012 13:02 PDT
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