How do you assess the Trump administration so far?
Jetmir: The Trump administration continues to fail the test of leadership, effective policy and managing the growth and prosperity for the entire nation. Withdrawing from the Paris agreement demonstrates that he lacks vision and an operating understanding of the basics of climate change. Continuing to push for a travel ban a lack in US fundamental history and the essential value the national has placed on its on strong and extensive immigrant heritage. The obsession with the Wall a xenophobic personal flaw only matched by an inability to learn from the facts and an obsession of repealing the Affordable Care act that can only be characterized as both ill-informed and committed to staying that way. The Trump administration shortfalls with the LGBT community are tragic and clearly express a world view shared by increasingly less within the nation and world.
Do you support or oppose the federal tax cuts passed in 2017? What effect do you believe they will have on the economy?
Jetmir: Oppose. The tax cuts where a bet placed against the middle class and the poor at the expense of giving the wealthy a significant tax break. This will increase the deficit by driving up interest rates.
Is the level of national debt a concern? What, if anything, should be done to reduce it or constrain its increase?
Jetmir: The level of national debt is a serious concern. Under the Trump administration we are see extraordinary increased in national debt to the tune of an 84% jump from the previous year. Add to this a massive debt created by the Bush administration fighting 2 wars, we are seeing that choosing poor leadership costs the poor and middle class of the nation.
Is the level of economic inequality in the United States a problem, and if so, what should the federal government do to address it?
Jetmir: The level of economic inequality in the United States is a tragic problem. Labor grow has not improved with the growth of profits. This is a reality. Americans are doing a lot more work, producing a lot more output and giving their companies a great ability to resell the products and services they create. Essentially, you are working harder and doing more every year, your company is utilizing that labor to increasingly turn a profit, but they are not compensating the workforce for this increase in productivity! Compensation is not keeping up with productivity. If you are wealthy, you have mastered the process of acquiring and keeping capital. The federal government should focus on areas that drive social mobility like education and innovation.
Should federal gun laws be changed, and if so, how?
Jetmir: The nation need to coalesce around the idea that our young people are demanding that we increase the safety of schools and neighborhoods. To achieve this there needs to be landmark bipartisan agreements to come to the table with solutions that address this. This includes bipartisan support for research that defines the role of guns in this kind of violence, and bipartisan support for change that effects the root-causes. What protects the second amendment rights of our citizens should not be at the cost of the lives of our young people.
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?
Jetmir: Health Insurance has an impact on all Americans and represents challenges that directly affect all communities. Congress needs to support s single-payer health insurance program with a strong mandate (backed by incentives) to innovate and root out waste insures a system that addresses the entire population. The key is to mandate and fund incentives to innovate all processes and ensure waste is addressed at every level. The Affordable Care Act is essential to the nation developing real solutions and needs to be strengthened.
What role should the federal government play in helping cities like Baltimore?
Jetmir: The cost of living continues to challenge Baltimoreans and the impacts to these costs like water, and utilities are squarely in federal government’s ability to support state wide changes. The lack of political will to establish affordability programs speaks directly to that. This combined with a critical need to ensure there is reform in addressing persistent challenges with violence in our Baltimore communities needs to see more than the status quo response in respect to policy reform and community involvement in these critical areas.
What can Congress do to address the opioid epidemic?
Jetmir: Substance Use Disorders continue to rise and now presents a national crisis. States need to effectively budget for this growing problem and without these additional resources there will continue to be an increase in this use. The top thing congress can do is expand access and funding to programs that have been proven to be effective in driving change on this critical issue.
What changes if any should Congress make to our immigration and deportation laws and policies?
Jetmir: DACA represents a way forward to ensure we are providing a path of citizenship to many of the folks that are already here and doing great things in our country. We need to look at our immigration policy in the perspective (1) as the foundation that built this nation (2) our enduring legacy of inclusion and multiculturalism. I would build on that foundation with a strong focus on national security. We need to support a path to citizenship and improve the processed of naturalization.
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?
Jetmir: Trade deficits demonstrate underlying economic issues that are impacting the nation. This includes those kinds of economic impacts that are often a result of people’s ability to buy and consume goods. Driving or resisting the mechanics of this process have limited impact when compared to investing and driving innovation and investment into business growth and business innovation. This can be impacted by supporting domestic policies that directly affect consumption, business growth and exchange rates.
Do you support the Iran nuclear deal?
Jetmir: I support the Iran Nuclear Deal. The sanctions against missile technology are critical, sanctions that limit the ability of Iranian connected actors to in any way support terror is essential. We must strengthen these important areas and ensure we limit Iran’s involvement in destabilizing activities. This combined with increased focus on limiting human rights violations establishes a framework for addressing these persistent issues.
How should the United States address the rise of North Korea’s nuclear program?
Jetmir: Since leaving the Six Party negotiations on denuclearization in 2008, denuclearization for North Korea has been deeply challenging. To make real progress the US will have to put great pressure on Pyongyang to make clear that there is only one path; denuclearization. It must be clearly established any other path jeopardizes their survival. This would need to be supported with five-party talks and ensure extensive pressure is made with China and Russia to cease the support they have provided to North Korea.