John J. Hosta
Democratic candidate for U.S. House (14th district)
Responses to our questions
The U.S. government is now $20 trillion in debt. To address that historic level of public indebtedness, the country would need to raise revenue and/or decrease spending. What is your position on the budget and debt?
They say that honesty is the best policy. Our elected representatives have been foolishly influenced by corporate leadership and have taken an unprecedented, radical, unproven approach to the U.S. Budget since 1980 by continuously lowering corporate taxes and eliminating tariffs. The direct result has been a treacherous U.S. Debt which is essentially unheard of in U.S. history even when adjusted for inflation and GNP. And yet, we scratch our heads and wonder how this astronomical debt occurred. In addition, our leadership in government and really many media channels continue to sell our citizenry on this foolish, unsuccessful approach to government finance.
So the Chicago Tribune asks the question on how do we address this problem. It must be noted that this level of debt has not been caused by financing a war as it has in the past and when the wars ceased so did the spending; instead, the current U.S. Debt is caused by continued unwise budget decisions which has only motivated corporations to expand globally to the delight of foreign countries and to the dismay of middle America. So,,,, obviously we increase revenue and cut spending but with (watch it) conventional historical proven budget proposals. And, what does conventional revenue and tax structures achieve;, leashes corporations domestically, stimulates the economy, and reduces debt, contrary to what is happening now
Can you identify any major federal expenditures or programs that you would eliminate?
First I would drastically reduce, if not eliminate certain government funded agencies that are geared toward simply giving away tax dollars to politically energized interest groups. We can begin budget cuts in programs like these and then trim down many wasteful agencies or eliminate them if they are proven to be ineffective. It has been estimated that we could cut as much as 50 billion dollars in costs with this approach alone.
Second, I would cut funding to segments within the financial markets that receive approximately 70 billion dollars of American Taxpayer Money and then pass that taxpayer funding to shareholders. This would save American Taxpayer about 70 Billion Dollars a year.
Third, I would eliminate funding to many international agencies. The federal government does not need to be involved in interests that belong in the private sector. I simply do not see the need for American taxpayers to support foreign international agencies.
Medicare and Medicaid costs continue to spiral. How can these programs be restructured to control costs and avoid collapse? Be specific about your willingness to change or reduce future benefits.
Is the dog wagging its tail or is the tail wagging the dog? Medicare and Medicaid are struggling ,not because those programs need to be restructured, but because the U.S. health system construct is providing exorbitant profits at the expense of the American public. The current health care construct is geared with unfair pharmaceutical monopolies, unfair business practices, unproven health treatments, pricing alliances, and is regulated to restrict competition, ect., A willingness to reduce benefits is a complete disservice to the American public and a complete misunderstanding of the real problems that have infected, if you will, the health care construct.
What if anything should be the federal government's role in helping Americans obtain health insurance coverage?
Free up national insurance competition and pull back regulations for non-profit insurance groups while maintaining availability of insurance to every American who desires to have it. Fix the health construct, free up insurance competition, the result will be lower health costs.
Economic growth has been steady but wage growth is slow. Are you content with the state of the economy? What is your recipe for enhancing American prosperity?
Again, the anemic and impoverished wages being offered to Middle Americans is a direct result of our approach to the U.S. Budget. If, as years prior has proven, we leash American Corporations through revenue increasing tariffs the result is higher wages and a stronger economy. When Middle America wages are increasing then spending increases domestically and the economy is stimulated. Corporate welfare, corporate profits do not directly result in a robust economy and/or reduce U.S Debt. What is our debt again with the current cut corporate taxes and free trade policies,,, oh ya 20 trillion. It has been shown that corporations will not do what is best for American People.
If you could fix longstanding problems with this country's immigration system tomorrow, what would you do? What is your position on the future of DACA and the Dreamers?
As I mention in question 9, I believe in border security, controlled immigration, and intense vetting. In addition, I support the DACA and Dreamers program because it is consistent with the values on which our country is based.
North Korea's nuclear weapons program represents a direct threat to the security of the United States and its Pacific allies. How should the U.S. confront or contain Kim Jong Un's regime?
Throughout history people have been frequently misinformed about their neighboring countries which has often resulted in wars. I cannot be certain that I or we know all the facts in this situation. Based on the choices of your question I would chose to contain and negotiate. If elected I would be willing to arraign and/or participate in meeting personally with Kim Jong Un.
ISIS is contained in Syria and Iraq but terrorism remains a threat. What are your priorities in keeping the country safe?
First and foremost it is important to recognize that the U.S. foreign policies starting with George Bush has destabilized the Middle East which has accelerated terrorism. I believe in border security, controlled immigration, and intense vetting.
Should the U.S. continue to abide by the terms of the nuclear agreement with Iran?
What is your position on the continued presence of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan?
Again, we have made many mistakes which has lead to the destabilization in the Middle East. It is best at this time to slowly discontinue our presence in Afghanistan. There will be a time of unrest, however, Afghanistan is not our land, or our colony. Our mission of disarming a major terrorist that was present in that region has been achieved so now we should leave. However, it should be internationally recognize that if the U.S. perceives that our specials interests are attacked then the U.S. must respond forcibly.
Do you support a unified, federal background check system for gun sales? Do you support magazine limits or a ban on certain rifles? Describe, briefly, your position on how to balance safety with the Second Amendment.
When it comes to the background check systems for gun sales and/or magazine limits ect,; this responsibility should fall ultimately upon the state in which the sale is taking place. It is important that our country has balances of power, and balance of control, and this is an ideal matter where the responsibility of a background check system should fall upon a network among, and controlled by the states and not by the Federal Government.
Should the U.S. government take steps to curb emissions of greenhouse gas? If so, what steps? If not, why not?
Approximately 100 years ago, Einstein was asked what it was like to be the smartest man alive. He said he didn't know you would have to ask Nikola Tesla. Nikola Tesla said that it was possible to "illuminate the whole earth." Tesla believed that there is enough energy to illuminate the entire world. Today, I believe we have an archaic energy system which relies purposely on fossil fuels which is primarily responsible for greenhouse gas emission. We have this problem because we choose to have this problem
Tell us something about you that might surprise us.
I suspect I already have.
If you are an incumbent, tell us the most significant accomplishment of your current term.
I am not the incumbent.