A driver has died after being trapped inside a burning car.
A driver has died after being trapped inside a burning car.
Northbound US 131 was shutdown near the Plainwell exit for a …
The team of Red Cross volunteers will be in Oklahoma for about …
Grand Rapids Police asked residents in a southeast neighborhood…
A list of some of the many Memorial Day 2013 events taking …
Published : Monday, 01 Oct 2012, 3:41 PM EDT
Name: Kurt Richard Haskell
Office you are Seeking: Michigan’s 7th Congressional District
Current Profession: Self-Employed Attorney/Managing Partner
Where Do you Live: Newport, Michigan
Marital Status and Children: Married (Wife: Lori); no children.
Why did you decide to run for this office (or for re-election) ?
I chose to run for U.S. Congress because I was tired of the middle class not having a voice. I grew up poor and I have worked very hard to become successful. However, our system is making it more and more difficult for hard work to lead to success. The middle class’s buying power continues to be eroded by inflation and stagnant wages. America needs a strong middle class to have a strong economy. America does not need another politician who will vote against the middle class over and over again. I also believe that my background as a trial advocate will enable me to speak forcefully for those with no voice our political system. My experience in building a successful small business will provide perspective about economic policies. The citizens also deserve a legislator who works to combat corruption. When elected, I pledge to have honest conversations with Michigan citizens about the problems which we are facing.
What particular skill set or experience would you bring to this office?
I have a broad range of experiences during my professional life. I've worked in the public sector as an IRS Attorney. I also have owned my own business for the last 11 years. This business-owner perspective will be helpful when dealing with jobs proposals and business regulations and taxes. I also have experienced several different lifestyles during my life. I grew up poor and have worked hard to be successful. For these reasons, I have a unique perspective which would be invaluable in Congress.
What, in your opinion, is the primary cause for the political polarization that we see in Washington, and what could or should be done about it?
America is facing major problems which will impact this country for the next generation including the national debt, the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash, the continued draw down in Afghanistan, and Health Care Reform. Congress has had a real opportunity to put policies in place that will help to rebuild the middle class through government investment in education, job training, and infrastructure; however, at this time members of Congress have preferred to pander to their base and avoid dealing with these pressing problems. I believe that policies that work to rebuild the middle class are common sense solutions which both parties can get behind. If policies are popular enough with both parties, then public pressure will build to get in line or get out of the way. I will support campaign finance reform which will force members of Congress to listen to their constituents rather than just big donors. Overall, I will continue to support big ideas which address the major problems that America is facing. I also will support good ideas from either side of the aisle because it is the right thing to do.
If the deficit is a major concern, how best should we deal with it as a nation, spending cuts, tax increases or both?
The underlying factor is that we have a debt problem in this country. As a country, we must deal with this problem before America will be able to have a long-term economic recovery. The national debt requires nearly fifteen percent of the United States revenues simply to service the debt and loose monetary policy is causing long-term inflation which destroys the wage power of the middle class. The United States financial troubles are a combination of too much debt, too much easy spending by our government, and too many tax cuts which have lowered tax revenues to some of the lowest percentage of GDP in almost 60 years.
For this reason, we must have shared sacrifice to work toward controlling our national debt and deficits. First, corporate tax rates, business tax incentives, tax credits, deductions, and loopholes should be reviewed to ensure they are incentivizing American jobs. If those tax incentives are not encouraging American jobs then they should be repealed. Second, the tax system must be made more equitable by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for those making over $250,000. Third, personal tax credits and deductions should be reviewed and rationalized. These proposals will help to increase revenues. However, the United States government must also address our spending problems. First, the defense budget must be addressed as unnecessary wars and police actions have cost the United States over a trillion dollars in the last ten years. Second, all foreign aid should be reviewed to ensure that it is in line with our national interest, human rights and moral convictions. If the foreign aid does not line up with those interests, then it should be cut. These steps in combination with a long-term plan to deal with
our national debt and deficit should help to rebuild the middle class, encourage economic growth, and restore America's honor.
What is the biggest issue facing Michigan that you believe you could positively impact by holding the federal office that you are seeking?
The biggest issue is the decline of the middle class. The middle class is being bankrupted by debt, high energy costs, and economic policies that incentivize moving American jobs overseas. Michigan must have a strong middle class if Michigan is to have a strong economy. For this reason, the middle class must be rebuilt by government investment in infrastructure, education, and American workers. These common sense solutions will help put America back to work. Unemployed and underemployed workers should be encouraged to complete job training. Workers' rights to organize and bargain must be protected. Tax policies must incentivize creating American jobs rather than creating jobs in foreign countries.
This may be hard to believe in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, but an annual …