How do you assess the Trump administration so far?
Cooper: President Trump seems to work hard to keep his campaign promises. His administration has matured since the first days of taking office.
Do you support or oppose the federal tax cuts passed in 2017? What effect do you believe they will have on the economy?
Cooper: I support the tax cuts passed in 2017. The tax cuts will have a positive effect on the economy. Not only will the tax cuts mean more take-home pay, but it also means American citizens, families, and businesses will have more control. It will also individuals to put money back into their small business, save, and put money into local business boosting the economy. The tax cuts will give an opportunity to more people in more states through opportunity zones. It will stimulate economic growth in low-income areas.
Is the level of national debt a concern? What, if anything, should be done to reduce it or constrain its increase?
Cooper: Reducing the national debt is a concern and we must do everything we can to reduce it. Right now, one of the best solutions are the tax cuts and creation of opportunity zones which will then put money back into reducing the debt.
Is the level of economic inequality in the United States a problem, and if so, what should the federal government do to address it?
Cooper: As a former educator, I taught in several economically disadvantaged areas of Washington DC and Maryland. Economic inequality in the United States is a significant problem. Opportunity Zones will offset economic disparities by allowing money to flow back into the local economy and helping businesses flourish through partnerships with new investors who will now be able to offer support to underserved communities and local companies with more jobs, more accessible and affordable housing. Less regulation means more companies will be able to thrive and offer more direct opportunities to their communities.
Should federal gun laws be changed, and if so, how?
Cooper: There are hundreds of gun laws that are already in place that are used to protect the gun owner and citizens. There is also legislation “loopholes” that are notably outdated and now open to misinterpretation by courts. We can start to do this by educating the public about gun control laws in their specific state, respecting second amendment rights by upholding the founding freedoms of our country.
What should Congress do with respect to the Affordable Care Act? Should it be strengthened, and if so, how? Should it be scrapped? If so, what if anything should replace it?
Cooper: Congress needs to look at what is working , build on it instead of wasting taxpayers dollars by reinventing the wheel. ACA was a good effort towards a solution for millions of Americans who could not support health insurance and were being taken advantage of by insurance companies. However, what it ended up doing over a short period was increased premiums, and deductibles spiraling out of control. It should be strengthened by lowering prescription medications, making sure people are not denied due to pre-existing conditions, reducing federal spending and lowering taxes, banning insurance companies from increasing premiums or plan renewal due to illness.
What role should the federal government play in helping cities like Baltimore?
Cooper: The only role federal government should play in helping cities like Baltimore is to create more opportunities for businesses to be able to invest in communities, such as opportunity zones. Cities like Baltimore need to hold themselves accountable by stopping unfair practices that prevent small businesses in underserved areas from applying for loans to grow or improve their business. They should consider offering tax incentives for local corporations who “buy back” into the city by partnering with small businesses as a resource. Local urban universities should provide downpayment assistance to potential homeowners to stabilize the local economy.
What can Congress do to address the opioid epidemic?
Cooper: Congress can assist in making federal funding available for opioid education and to fight addiction, enhancing prescription monitoring programs, reimbursements for nonopiod pain treatments, provide records for patients who have had a history of opioid abuse to be able to offer a better treatment plan.
What changes if any should Congress make to our immigration and deportation laws and policies?
Cooper: Immigration policies, including deportation laws and procedures in place, should specifically serve our national interest.
Should the United States continue with the free trade policies it pursued for the last several decades, or should it enact restrictions in an attempt to help domestic industries?
Cooper: The United States should make sure that the policies in place can provide financial security by eliminating bad deals that take advantage of the United States, as well as working to negotiate contracts that will help Americans, including restructuring WTO deals if needed.
Do you support the Iran nuclear deal?
Cooper: I support the Iran nuclear if the specific flaws in the deal are addressed, and resolved.
How should the United States address the rise of North Korea’s nuclear program?
Cooper: The United States should address the rise of North Korea’s nuclear program by continuing to support diplomacy between not only the United States and North Korea but also North Korea and South Korea.