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EDITORIAL BOARD QUESTIONNAIRES

Preston Nelson

Republican candidate for U.S. House (12th district)

Preston Nelson

Preston Nelson

Republican candidate for U.S. House (12th district)

Education
2011 A.A.S Rend Lake College - IT Systems Specialist 2008 Benton Consolidated High School
Occupation
Wireless Network Technician - 4SIWI
Home
Benton
Past Political/Civic Experience
Former Volunteer & Communications Director - Libertarian Party of Illinois Vice Chairman - Southern Illinois Libertarian Party

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?

This debt and the nearly half-trillion in yearly interest, coupled with inflation are the greatest threat to our nation and national security.

Taxes are already too high, although loopholes and corporate welfare should be fixed. The main issue is certainly spending. There is no incentive for agencies to save money. If appropriated dollars go unspent, then budgets are lowered, so everyone in government is always sure to spend every last penny. This has caused government spending to balloon, and it may pop, consuming all of us.

As two of the largest contributors to the debt, Social Security and Medicare must be reformed, although this will be slow because those who have already paid in should receive their benefits, but government is clearly a poor provider/manager of retirement and healthcare, so it should distance itself from these vital markets.

The other major debt contributor is the Military Industrial Complex. It consumes over half the budget, and may be bloated beyond any other government entity because it is practically worshiped by the establishment-right. It receives massive increases every year, including this year, while any veteran can tell you about the money they waste in the field and the inefficiencies of the VA afterward.

Most importantly, we can immediately save hundreds of billions by ending our destructive involvement in other nations' affairs, including Iran, Afghanistan, Libya, Niger, Yemen, Pakistan, Syria, Somalia, and Iraq. That said, I do not want to appear weak on national defense, but we can be much more prudent in the affair, while not working against our own interests. We should certainly not spend any more money arming terrorists.

As for raising revenue, federal government has billions in unused real estate assets that can be sold off to private developers. I am not advocating to sell National Parks, but rather to sell off unused land and buildings that was previously used for office spaces, military training, or storage. The Bureau of Land Management controls over 80% of all the land in Nevada; much of that land can be put to better use by private ranchers or farmers without requiring taxpayers dollars to maintain it.

Can you identify any major federal expenditures or programs that you would eliminate?

Start with programs like the Export Import Bank, that exist to loan money to foreign companies at low rates so they purchase from chosen American businesses, leaving taxpayers on the hook for roughly $140 billion. It is corporate welfare at the expense of taxpayers, and it should end.

Eliminating Mike Bost's farm subsidies, one of the largest forms of corporate welfare, and replacing them with Farmers Saving Accounts would help protect both large and small farmers and save taxpayer dollars. Allowing them to set up private crop insurance plans would save taxpayers up to $100 billion per year.

Federal transportation Infrastructure costs taxpayers over $300 billion a year, and could be eliminated by allowing states to cover the costs themselves of only one they need, instead of special interest pet projects sucking up deficit dollars. Making them user fee based, or even privately funded, would save even more money, and possibly make them run more efficiently.

My biggest contribution would be to end foreign aid to all other nations, so that money can be reinvested here at home, preferably back into the hands of the citizens who created the wealth in the first place.

End the Fed, for obvious reasons.

Eliminate the CIA which works criminally around the world often with little oversight and without even the President's knowledge. They smuggle drugs, arm terrorists and create war. Sometimes the CIA even considers bombing American cities (see: Miami), plus there are 15 other intelligence 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.

If our nation (the world's largest economy) were managed well, we could make a national profit by selling bonds. This could be used to pay for the societal safety net that most Americans do want.

First, we must reform Washington's lobbies, which control Congress and legislation. Big pharma and big food, coupled with the FDA, work to keep prices and profits high. Nothing will improve until we the people take control of Washington from special interests. Then, people will be healthier with healthier food and diet, and medicine will be less demanded and less expensive.

Citizens should be able to opt out of public programs and able to buy into any private plan they desire, and regulation should be removed that dictates what insurance plans we may or may not buy. "Cost control" means one of two things, either government is fixing prices in the market, which throws everything out of balance and typically has bad results, or the government is is denying coverage for certain procedures and healthcare, which defeats the purpose of these medical programs.

So, the emphasis should be on maintaining a healthy private market where health providers compete by providing better services at lower prices. Again, the greatest threat to Medicare/aid is rising inflation, and eventual financial collapse, which is why fixing our debt is so crucial. We must stop throwing away trillions in the Middle-East.

What if anything should be the federal government's role in helping Americans obtain health insurance coverage?

Government's role in helping Americans obtain health insurance coverage is to ensure that we are free to buy whichever plan we so desire, without force. Allowing health insurance companies to compete across state lines, and to act freely without endless state and federal mandates that artificially increase costs, means they can offer a wide range of services to everyone and anyone. It is certainly not government's role to cause millions of Americans to lose their already good healthcare (see: Obamacare) to provide a one-size-fits-all plan (with a special interest agenda attached to it). Government role should mostly be limited to resolving claims of fraud that occur between citizens and insurance companies.

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?

I understand that much 'economic growth' has come by the government printing and spending so much money. Increasing debt and decreasing dollar value are not signs of growth, but rather trouble. The military industrial complex has certainly seen massive growth over the last decade plus, and they lobby Washington heavily to ensure it continues. Also, the Fed manipulates interest rates so much that who really knows the actual state of the economy? Maybe they are hindering growth, or maybe they are barely maintaining control of our debt which could soon spiral out of control. I am not content with the state of the economy because a truly free market would grow much better. It would eliminate poverty over time and instantly grow the middle class.

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?

Legal immigration should be much easier. Thorough background checks are a must, especially for people from suspect regions. It should be easy for peaceful people to come and work here, and this is good for the economy. Immigrants should not qualify for government benefits, ie welfare, and actual citizenship with the right to vote should be difficult to attain.

Dreamers are in a tricky situation and I doubt a one-size-fits-all solution would work well. If children are here alone and their families are somewhere else, then they should go home to be with them. If the children have no home abroad, then they should get to stay here. Non-citizen criminals should certainly be deported after facing the justice system. The political games being played by certain leaders, pardoning criminals to avoid their deportation, is dangerous and despicable.

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?

We must admit: US policy towards North Korea has failed. They have the bomb, and there is no going back. They are already equipping their SCUDs with nukes. We have entered a new chapter of dealing with NK. Sanctions do not work. We should have tried peace decades ago. In peace time, people and nations are less concerned with arms and more with economy and welfare, but we have maintained troops and nuclear submarines on North Korea's borders for nearly seven decades.

The greatest gripe from the North is over our regular "war games" with South Korea. The last I heard, Kim wants three things: An end to the "war games," an official end to the Korean war (beyond the armistice), and official diplomatic relations with us. If this is all the paranoid North demands in order to stop nuclear and missile tests, then we should give it to them!

One, we should all want an end to wars. Two, our military should not rely, or even work so much in conjunction with other nations'. We should be independent. South Korea should be independent. They should not rely on us, neither us on them. If then the North wants diplomatic relations and ends the missile tests, as Kim said, then this is good and peace can prevail. I do not support the North's inhumane and stupid dictatorship, but only peace and deescalation can fix the situation.

ISIS is contained in Syria and Iraq but terrorism remains a threat. What are your priorities in keeping the country safe?

ISIS is contained, but there is already word: we are arming more factions in Syria in 2018! This is how ISIS began in the first place: our arming of "moderate Syrian rebels," as John McCain insisted. I am committed to righting this situation more than anything, because our disastrous policy has wrought havoc in the middle east for decades. Millions of people in the region are suffering in the wake of our invasion of Iraq. Our own CIA was arming terrorists, including Al Qaeda in Syria as early as 2011. In fact, their may have been no "democratic uprising" in Syria. It may have all been theatrics set up to usher in regime change. It all backfired and it is well documented how ISIS marauded from Syria to Iraq in American Humvees. In the end, we "lost track" of billions of dollars in weapons and tanks in the country. This much we know, we can only imagine how much more the CIA worked to destabilize Syria, Libya, et al.

I am committed to an immediate halt of our government's criminal support of terrorists and terrorism. If elected, I will speak every session in favor of HR 608 until it is brought to vote. Besides Saudi Arabia's unchecked exportation of Wahhabism (SA is not on the travel ban, despite 15 of 19 9/11 hijackers being Saudi), the greatest terror threat is the refugee crisis created by these wars. Our nation is culturally and economically unfit for Middle Eastern refugees. Instead refugees should be resettled in large, wealthy Middle Eastern nation, like Saudi Arabia.

Should the U.S. continue to abide by the terms of the nuclear agreement with Iran?

The nuclear agreement is meaningless. Only Iran knows what goes on under the sand in the middle of their deserts. Sanctions are also meaningless, except to further conflict and push war. Sanctions never have solved or arguably aided any crisis anywhere, and it is the average people of a nation who are most hurt by economic sanctions. Also, we must remember history in that it was our CIA's staged coup that ousted Iran's popular and first democratically elected president. We literally installed the Shaw, a brutal dictator, and so we are living with the fruit of our own actions.

The world's best chance is to lift all economic sanctions so that nations will A) be less inclined to drop the dollar as the global trading currency and B) see their economies, wealth and standard of living all increase and therefore be less interested in bomb building. Ultimately, nations like Iran know that hostile action towards us or our friends would result in immediate invasion and destruction, so the incentive against bombing is already maximized.

What is your position on the continued presence of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan?

Bring. Them. Home. 17 years is far too long, and we never should have entered to begin with. The Bush and 9/11 connection to Saudi Arabia was never properly investigated, yet soldiers lost their lives combing through Afghan cave country, only to find Bin Laden hiding under Bush's other friend's nose in Pakistan. Those Bin Laden videos were another CIA sham for all we know. What else we know is that poppy production mysteriously exploded in the years following our invasion.

Afghanistan helped to bankrupt the Soviet Union (as our CIA was arming the Mujaheddin) and it will only continue bankrupting us, the longer we stay. At 17 years, we are literally fighting against the children of terrorists that we killed back in 2001. We know that when we surge troops, they retreat to Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, etc, so unless we are willing to invade 5 more regional nations, then there will always be tribesmen willing to take up arms against who they see as foreign occupants. We have already spent more money aiding Afghanistan than we did rebuilding Europe after WW2. It is past time to let Afghanistan defend Afghanistan.

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.

Legislation will not fix gun violence. This is an issue of enforcing the laws we already have. There are two main areas of violence: mass casualty killings and every-day inner-city violence. The former pales in comparison to the latter. Event organizers and facilities should be tasked with providing security to ensure that gunmen do not shoot freely into crowds for ten or fifteen minutes. In neighborhoods where people are shot literally every night, there should be more police stationed and real investigations to bring justice to criminals.

No amount of law will have an effect on the gun situation for many years to come. There are millions and millions of guns here, and they are not going away. If the 2nd amendment were repealed, it would create a massive black market. I do not support magazine limits. The last gun show I attended required background checks and 3-day waits, so it seems that this loophole is already being closed.

Should the U.S. government take steps to curb emissions of greenhouse gas? If so, what steps? If not, why not?

The first step to decrease greenhouse emissions is to eliminate oil subsidies. Beyond this, everyone should clean up their messes. Technological advancement now allows us to remove CO2 from the air, and the technology will only get better. If someone does not clean up their mess, then we can do it for them and send them the bill.

Tell us something about you that might surprise us.

I love learning languages, and meeting new people from different places. I lived and worked for over a year as a model in China, the most diverse experience of my life. I spent time with people from every corner of Europe and Russia. The coolest part was getting to talk politics with them.

One major difference between the average American and the average European is that, here, much media works hard to ignore and even hide some of the sad truths of our foreign policy, like our CIA arming arming terrorists. Most Americans have never even heard this! European media is more outspoken about it, as they are feeling the brunt of the refugee crisis. There, it is common knowledge that ISIS came about because of our support for Syrian terrorists. People would ask me "Man, what is your government doing?", to which I could only reply "I don't know... but I and others I know are working to stop it." It is really bad... Just look at Libya now. We do not even talk about Libya anymore.

Also, I am a Christian. I believe in God and I believe in his blessings. We can do good by caring for the poor and needy, and there are elements of society, and even government that do do this. But in the meanwhile, literally millions of people throughout the world are suffering, principally because of actions we have taken in Africa and the Middle-East: arming terrorists and pushing regime change, and often for motives more selfish than our leaders are willing to admit (oil, Saudi Arabia, Qaddafi threatening to drop the dollar for Africa's own gold currency, etc). As a nation, we cannot expect God's blessings if these are the most outstanding effects of our actions on Earth. If we do not right our actions for goodness' sake, then we should at least do it for the deficit.

If you are an incumbent, tell us the most significant accomplishment of your current term.

not an incumbent

Candidates for U.S. House (12th district)

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