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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
San Bernardino County, CA June 5, 2012 Election
Smart Voter

Justin Kim
Answers Questions

Candidate for
United States Representative; District 31

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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?

High unemployment hurts the entire community and reduces everyone's standard of living. When one family's income plunges due to joblessness, so does their spending in the local economy. We need aggressive measures to create jobs quickly and prevent more job losses. Drastic cuts in critical investments will irresponsibly hurt the creation of more jobs. When unemployment remains high, government revenues will fall, budget deficits will rise, and the downward spiral of our economy will continue.

To break this cycle, Congress needs to pass a robust jobs bill that aids working Americans by creating temporary jobs in projects that strengthen the local community and attract new business--thereby fostering new long-term employment opportunities. Projects that could provide temporary relief, invest for the future, and revive the economy include:

These are important investments because the long history of our government's role in facilitating technological innovation--from railroads and interstate highways to medical research and development--demonstrates why public investment must be a foundation for our economic growth.

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?

A little over 10 years ago, the federal government was running a surplus. Since then, Congress has enacted two large, unfunded tax cuts that disproportionately benefited high-income households, two long and protracted wars have cost us more than $1.2 trillion, and the worst economic recession in several generations that was precipitated by a financial crisis left millions unemployed, weakened our economy, and caused a severe downturn in revenues. In this light, it is no surprise that our federal budget has ballooned.

The first steps to curbing the federal deficit must be to undo these harmful policies that exacerbated the deficit and hasten the economic recovery that will bring new jobs, strengthen the finances of middle-class households, and invest in the long-term growth and future of this country. We should let the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts expire for the top income brackets, we should withdraw our troops from Afghanistan on the timetable proposed by the President.

I support broad reform of our tax system, both for corporate and individual income taxes, to simplify what has become an unwieldy, unfair, loophole-ridden structure that is subject to abuse. Any reform proposal that reduces complexity, eliminates loopholes, broadens the base, and maintains progressivity to ensure that everyone pays their fair share is something I will take seriously.

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?

Clean air and water are public goods that we all share. As a child growing up in the Inland Empire, I remember the smoggy days when a red flag in the schoolyard signaled that the air quality was too dangerous for students to have recess outside. While the air quality has improved to some degree, San Bernardino County continues to suffer from some of the worst air quality in the United States. This needs to change.

I support strong, sensible policies that protect our environment and meaningfully address climate change caused by human activity. We must invest in and aggressively develop alternative energy sources that are clean, sustainable, and reduce our dependence on carbon-based fuels.

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

We are all vulnerable to events beyond our control that threaten our health and well-being. For most Americans, our families are one personal or medical crisis away from financial ruin. Social Security and Medicare are broad social insurance programs that provide the minimum level of safety for all Americans in order to ensure economic security and dignity for many generations. I want to strengthen these public insurance programs by giving more Americans the opportunity to choose between private insurance and a public option while making some common sense fixes to the system.

The projected shortfalls facing Medicare are much more challenging because they are linked to the high--and alarmingly growing--cost of health care in the United States, both now and more steeply so in coming decades. We need reforms that control rising health care expenditures without merely shifting those costs to individuals. That is what the Affordable Care Act, which I support, initiates--a comprehensive reform package that begins needed fixes to both the private insurance sector and public programs

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

Recent court rulings that affirmed unlimited corporate and union spending through 527 groups and Super-PACs have further eroded the role of individual citizens in our system of government. I support reform efforts to reestablish limits on outside and special-interest spending and to strengthen public financing options for federal elections.


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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Created from information supplied by the candidate: May 30, 2012 11:06
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