Proco "Joe" Moreno
Democratic candidate for U.S. House (4th 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?
We must pass a much broader income tax with many more levels. The current system is to reliant on the middle class. And, our defense spending is larger than during the days of the Cold War. We need and can significantly reduce this.
Can you identify any major federal expenditures or programs that you would eliminate?
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.
I am not willing to reduce benefits. We need to go to a single payer system in this country. Not only does it work and saves money, long term, in other countries, I believe Health Care is a human right
What if anything should be the federal government's role in helping Americans obtain health insurance coverage?
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?
As someone who came from a midsize manufacturing company, I truly believe and the statistics support, that a thriving small and medium size business environment is best for this country. We need to invest in the "new" manufactuing-- 3D printing, solar and and LED production, etc. I have first hand business experience that no other candidate can claim. We also need a federal $15/ hr minimum wage that is tied to increased inflation. I authored and sponsored the $15/ hr minimum wage and the Administration sponsored a $10/hr minimum wage. We compromised on $13/ hr. But, this needs to a federal rate. Not simply a city rate,
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?
This is very personal to me. My Grandfather, and namesake, Proco Sr., came to this country undocumented in his teen tears from Mexico. He jumped on D-Day when he was 20 years old. I have his Honorable discharge papers framed that ask if he was a citizen or not. It is marked "non citizen".
We have grappled with mass immigration in this country before. Ellis Island was a fantastic success. Less than 3% of immigrants were rejected to enter this country because of criminal background and/ or illness. If it took three weeks to evaluate an immigrant it was a long time. All of this was done at Ellis Island without the benefit of the technology we have today. We can do better. Set up "Ellis Island Southwest" and 99% of our immigration issues will be satisfied.
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?
Continue to reach out to our allies, principally China, to place the harshest sanctions on North Korea. Every option must be on the table. But we must exhaust every non violent tool we have before discussing military engagement.
ISIS is contained in Syria and Iraq but terrorism remains a threat. What are your priorities in keeping the country safe?
Continuing to fund and support those in the region that share our values and interests. We have had sone recent victories that reflect this strategy. We need to utilize NAFTA, more so than we do today. We should not be inflaming our enemies with empty rhetoric.
Should the U.S. continue to abide by the terms of the nuclear agreement with Iran?
Yes... with some changes. Primarily, changing the provisions that have an "end game time table".
What is your position on the continued presence of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan?
A minor amount of troops need to remain for training and non-aggression support.
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.
Yes. Yes. The ease and proliferation of weapons is absurd in the United States. Protect those who want to legally hunt and legally have a firearm in their home. Besides that, weapons should be banned. Let us remember, and people forget , the second amendment states "... to maintain a well armed militia." The days of muskets are gone
Should the U.S. government take steps to curb emissions of greenhouse gas? If so, what steps? If not, why not?
Yes. Carbon trading for one. FDR era investments in clean energy- wind, solar, etc.
Tell us something about you that might surprise us.
I am literally scarred of (almost) nothing--- heights, public speaking, bad guy in a dark alley, sharks, you name it. But I am TERRIFIED OF MICE!
If you are an incumbent, tell us the most significant accomplishment of your current term.
Earned Sick Time Ordinance for all working Chicagoans. I did not simply vote yes or no on an ordinance, I authored, introduced, and passed Earned Sick Time. Before my ordinance, close to 40% of Chicagoans could not earn a sick day off. Now they can.