How do you assess the Trump administration so far?
Martin: Although the Trump administration reflects the Trump corporate brand, with no surprise, it is with the 115th Congress in which my opinion is strongest. Currently, our federal legislative membership has failed to place citizens above their own agendas. We should not be subjected to partisan legislative battles and school yard bullying when it comes to the livelihood of the American people. Personal agendas should always be set aside with, legislation protecting our liberties and sovereignty at the forefront.
Do you support or oppose the federal tax cuts passed in 2017? What effect do you believe they will have on the economy?
Martin: Cutting taxes is always a positive policy choice however, more needs to be done. For example, legislation should foster universal savings accounts for all families to build wealth without double taxation. We can also make greater improvements like, replacing the income tax with a consumption-based flat tax.
Is the level of national debt a concern? What, if anything, should be done to reduce it or constrain its increase?
Martin: Current federal spending is undermining our economic growth. This can push the nation into a financial crisis. Instead, legislation should cut federal spending from 21 percent to 18 percent of our gross domestic product. Concentration should encompass paying down our national debt and eliminating damaging programs.
Is the level of economic inequality in the United States a problem, and if so, what should the federal government do to address it?
Martin: To combat economic inequality, we must first address those greatest in need. The current federal welfare system stigmatizes the poor. They endure neighborhoods with poor schools, few jobs, and high crime rates. Federal welfare programs should be transferred to the State level with stipulations that success will be measured based on program metrics, not funding or enrollment.
Should federal gun laws be changed, and if so, how?
Martin: The McDonald v. Chicago Supreme Court decision ensured Second Amendment protection for citizens from onerous firearm regulations passed by federal and local governments. Because I seek to uphold the Constitution for all American citizens, until Constitutional precedence proves that implementation of federal gun restriction laws is not unconstitutional, I support the individual freedom.
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?
Martin: The Affordable Care Act should be completely repealed and eliminated. It has failed to secure health insurance and creates gaps in coverage. Additionally, the ACA has failed to contain the cost of health insurance with, premiums in the individual health insurance market increasing steadily. Consequently, we find the Affordable Care Act imposing a series of hidden taxes that hinder economic productivity and trap Americans in low-wage jobs.
What role should the federal government play in helping cities like Baltimore?
Martin: Baltimore is under the State level jurisdiction of Maryland, and I believe that the federal government should hold no role in intervening in Maryland’s legislative activities enacted for its city.
What can Congress do to address the opioid epidemic?
Martin: Legislation should hold opioid manufacturers and distributors accountable through funding requirements for cessation options and greater educational resources for patients prescribed opioids. Additionally, legislation should foster accountability where opioid drug providers fund local programs implemented to combat overdose and abuse. This also includes the protection of opioid distribution regulations at the State level.
What changes if any should Congress make to our immigration and deportation laws and policies?
Martin: Legislation should allow the regulation and operation of migrant worker programs at the State level. There is also a need to eliminate the cap on the H-1B visa program for highly skilled migrant workers. By allowing more portability and deregulating the hiring process, we can expand legal immigration opportunities. Consequently, limitations on illegal immigrant legalization and restricting non-citizen access to means-tested welfare is also achieved.
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?
Martin: International trade is the heart beat of our economy. By implementing trade barriers, we hurt American consumers, American taxpayers, American workers, American producers, and American investors. When economic factors flow freely across borders, American citizens can take full advantage of the opportunities found within the international marketplace.
Do you support the Iran nuclear deal?
Martin: While not the most perfect accord, the Iranian nuclear deal does impose significant restrictions on Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon. However, it is imperative that Congress focus on ensuring implementation of the deal’s key provisions and, fully understand that utilizing excessive pressure will not deter Iran from supporting militant Shiite organizations throughout the Middle East. Instead, we should continue to foster trust while seeking diplomatic solutions to ongoing crises in the Middle East.
How should the United States address the rise of North Korea’s nuclear program?
Martin: Eliminating international military intervention and allowing the United Nations to police international laws should be the U.S. Foreign Policy towards North Korea. Although engaging in diplomatic activities with our international neighbors is a product of our trade market, we should not offer and/or incorporate international intervention via military force, or the threat of that force.