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updated: 10/9/2014 11:30 AM

6th District U.S. Representative Mason: Candidate Profile

6th District U.S. Representative (Democratic)

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  • 6th District U.S. Representative Mason, running for 6th District U.S. Representative

      6th District U.S. Representative Mason, running for 6th District U.S. Representative

 

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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.

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BioQ&A

 

Bio

City: Naperville

Website: michaelmasonforcongress.com

Office sought:

6th District U.S. Representative

Age: 61

Family: Married 3 children 2 grandchildren

Occupation: Retired

Education: Illinois State University - Political Science, Keller Graduate School of Management - MBA

Civic involvement: Volunteer - Fox Valley Hospice Naperville Ribfest, Briarcliffe Youth Baseball - Team Manager

Elected offices held: None

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: Yes. I was arrested when I was 20 years old for possession of alcohol by a minor.

Questions & Answers

Many Americans see gridlock as the greatest problem facing Washington today, and public opinions are at historic lows regarding the job their Senators and congressmen are doing. Specifically, what will you do to make Congress more productive and effective?

Congress is no longer doing the People's business. The polarization has taken Congress into a state of dysfunction. There should never be a time when Congress irresponsibly votes to shut down the government. According to the August 2014 WSJ/NBC poll, Congress has a 14% approval rating with only 19% viewing Republicans positively. It is critical that members of Congress cross the aisle to craft solutions to America's problems. Working across the aisle happens too infrequently. When it does, it seems that it is usually on issues that have little consequence for the average Middle Class family. Besides working across the aisle, which is called governing, fundamental structural and procedural changes need to be made. The campaign finance system needs to be drastically reformed and bills need to be brought to the floor for votes. Americans need to hold Representatives accountable.

What immigration policies do you support? Where, if at all, do you see room for compromise to produce an effective policy on immigration? How will these policies have an impact in your district?

Comprehensive immigration reform needs to be passed and the provisions need to be enforced. I am in support of the already passed Senate Bill 744. Securing the border has to be completed. There are provisions in the bill that would help alleviate some of the inherent issues and provide for long term stability. Some components of the bill that are positive and would help with immigration reform are the E Verify provision and the “W” worker provision. A comprehensive immigration reform plan would, by some estimates, contribute $200 billion to the federal government. For economic reasons and for humane considerations, this bill needs to be passed. Yet once again, the gridlock and polarization of Congress has prevented any progress on this issue. Not only has this bill lingered in Congress, there has been no active effort by anyone on the majority side to move this bill forward.

How do you assess the state of the federal budget? Do you see a need for changes in how revenue is produced or in spending priorities? What specific changes do you consider necessary regarding federal tax policy and practice?

All Americans realize the deficit is too high. However the necessity of large deficit spending during the great recession of 2008 has subsided to some degree. Tax revenues from increased employment have contributed to a decrease in the fiscal deficit. The federal tax code has not had a complete revision since 1986. Specifically; “Carried Interest” needs to be eliminated, tax subsidies for companies that are showing a profit need to be reanalyzed along with a complete overhaul of the corporate tax structure, tax considerations for small business health plans need to be enacted along with tax deductions for increasing small business employment. The practice of inversion needs to be addressed. On the expense side, there has to be a thorough analysis of governmental agencies to ensure there is no work duplication and to ensure that the agencies are providing effective, efficient, responsive and necessary services.

How would you work to produce a stable, affordable, effective federal health care policy? What shortcomings do you see in the Affordable Care Act, and how do you propose addressing them? If you favor scrapping the Act altogether, what do you propose as an alternative?

Affordable health care should be available to all people. Voting 50 times to repeal the program with no acceptable replacement provisions once again demonstrates the current Congressional gridlock and dysfunction. The 6th District deserves better. For preventive care, we could develop a partnership between students and the government. The government would help offset a students’ tremendous educational cost for a commitment of 5 years working free clinics for the poor. The desired preventive and immediate health care would be provided, emergency room and hospital costs would decrease as would the expensive student debt incurred by future doctors. The belief that all human beings deserve the right to health care coverage should be a guiding principle even though it might bring into conflict our religious beliefs of what is right and wrong and the capitalistic principles this country is built upon.

What can be done at the federal level to aid Illinois' economy and your district in particular?

The loss of good paying manufacturing jobs has proven to be devastating to the Middle Class. Congress should pass the American Jobs Act. Estimates are that this would produce almost 50,000 jobs for Illinois. While this calls for government investment in job creation, for every dollar Congress invests in the economy, the treasury receives $1.53 in return from increased tax revenue. Government only receives $1.03 in return for tax reductions. In addition, Congress should increase the minimum wage. The economy has changed drastically since the 2008 recession and jobs previoously held by teens and part time workers are now held by primary household providers. Companies paying $7.25 an hour are practicing corporate welfare in that these workers now must rely on some form of government subsidy to get by instead of the company paying a livable wage. Also, recent studies show that over 60% of minimum wage earners are women.

What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?

The most important issues facing the 6th District and our country are stabilizing and improving America’s Middle Class, job creation and sustained economic growth, responsible deficit reduction, investment in our children’s education, Women’s rights (health care, equal pay issues), social safety net preservation, campaign finance reform, comprehensive tax reform, environment sustainability and the current Veterans Administration issues. Congress should bring bills to the floor that will help strengthen the Middle Class and help reduce the income inequality that exists in our country. It is time for Congress to become responsive to the needs of the People and start moving the country forward again. This dysfunctional Congress has cost the country billions in lost revenue ($24 billion alone form the government shutdown)and negatively impacted the Middle Class. In addition, all government agencies need to insure that they are providing the services necessary in the most cost efficient manner.

Please name one current leader who most inspires you.

Because of her commitment to getting the Consumer Finance Protection Board functional and her commitment to Middle Class values, Senator Elizabeth Warren.

What's the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?

You can achieve whatever you put your mind to. There are no limits other than those you impose upon yourself.

If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?

Living up to my fullest potential. Sometimes, when you are young, you take shortcuts instead of putting in the time and work necessary.

What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?

History. I have always been intrigued by the way things used to be. You can always learn from what others have done before you.

If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?

Always treat people the same way you would want them to treat you and always be true to yourself and your own code.

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