1. What is the biggest issue facing Hawaii, and what would you do about it?
My top priority when elected to the U.S. Senate will be to attack out-of-control inflation and fix our broken economy. I will be the champion for lowering personal income and corporate taxes, rolling back regulations that stifle business development and growth, encouraging market competition and repealing the death tax.
I will work to stimulate the economy, encourage innovation and increase job creation by entrepreneurs and business leaders. I will fight socialism and will work tirelessly to rebuild confidence in our government and pride in our nation.
2. What can the U.S. Congress do about mass shootings in America? Would you support banning military-style assault weapons and establishing universal background checks? What other measures would you propose to reduce gun violence?
Congress should reduce gun violence by keeping weapons out of the hands of known violent criminals, fully funding and supporting law enforcement, protecting the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, hardening security at our schools, and addressing the root cause of violence through investment in resources to treat our societal mental health crisis.
3. The Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and the questions of whether the 2020 election was stolen have shown how seriously divided the nation is. Some say democracy itself is in trouble. How would you work to end the political polarization that divides both the Congress and the country?
Voters must speak loudly by rooting out career politicians who have lost touch with the reality of families trying to make a good life for themselves and their loved ones. We must elect citizens to office who have more experience than just being a government officeholder.
Voters should also demand term limits for elected officials to prevent politicians from doing whatever they think will get them elected again like a tree bending to the wind.
4. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, while currently financially sound, risk future funding concerns because of changing demographics. What would you propose to shore up the country’s major safety net programs?
Any government benefits program must be adjusted as time passes, economic factors fluctuate, and demographics change. Congress should commission a review and adjustment to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid every five years to keep them solvent amid the ever-changing influences on these programs.
We should also work to create an economy where families are not dependent on government programs and have ample opportunities to achieve their dreams.
5. What is your position on the Senate filibuster?
I support the Senate filibuster as an important part of robust debate on important national issues.
6. Is the U.S. on the right path when it comes to mitigating climate change and growing renewable energy production? What specific things should Congress be considering?
We must use our earth’s resources wisely while providing economic growth and stability to families. We should protect our natural environment and, at the same time, support the financial well-being of Americans. There must be a coordinated effort to use our resources wisely for the benefit of all.
I support energy independence for the United States by leveraging our fossil fuel resources in the near term. I also support developing coordinated, effective and efficient plans for future transition to additional renewable resources.
America is never truly secure if we allow foreign countries to control our energy supply.
7. The Jones Act requires that domestic freight transport on U.S. waterways be conducted by crews that are at least three-fourths American, and on vessels built in U.S. shipyards, and that are American-owned. What is your position on this law and its effects on Hawaii? Does it need to be amended or repealed?
I am opposed to any government regulation that needlessly stifles competition in the marketplace because it will always result in inflated prices. The Jones Act is an example of this and should be repealed or amended.
Whenever there is increased competition in an industry, the consumer benefits and the economy strengthens. Hawaii residents are paying too much for everything and as your U.S. senator I will fight to lower your cost of living, increase your buying power and improve your family’s life and future.
8. The Biden administration says China is the greatest long-term threat to the U.S. and has been trying to expand its influence, especially in the Pacific. What can the U.S. do to build better relations with the Asia-Pacific region?
China has shown its aggression toward the United States for many decades. We must approach relationships in the Asia-Pacific region from a position of economic and military strength, and political will to command their respect and cooperation.
9. The Red Hill fuel crisis illustrated not only how critical the military’s role is in Hawaii but also the serious problems it sometimes causes. It is also a central component of the local economy. What would you do to ensure the military behaves responsibly in the islands?
The military is critically important to Hawaii’s security as the most remote and exposed part of the United States. This cannot be overstated after the lessons of WWII. The Hawaii economy also has a long and prosperous relationship to military facilities and personnel in the islands.
We should partner with the military in every possible way, including accountability for their impact to our land, ocean and citizens. Closer working relationships between the state and the Department of Defense must be fostered to enable transparency, planning and risk management.
10. The coronavirus pandemic has exposed numerous flaws in Hawaii’s structure and systems, from outdated technology to economic disparity. If you could take this moment to reinvent Hawaii, to build on what we’ve learned and create a better state, a better way of doing things, what would you do? Please share One Big Idea you have for Hawaii. Be innovative, but be specific.
The tourism industry is the cash crop of Hawaii creating most businesses and jobs. During the pandemic, the state shut down that entire industry with zero notice or time to plan, thereby shuttering businesses, spiking unemployment, devastating families and overall destroying our economy.
The state should do better by partnering with business leaders to create a master plan for how to increase tourism profit, deregulate the industry, and transfer the burden of funding the state budget to tourists who visit our islands. This in turn should enable the reduction of income, property and General Excise Tax on Hawaii residents, increasing buying power for our local families.
Further, the state should create a business environment that encourages and incentivizes additional industries to grow off-island business revenue such as remote work, financial services, knowledge management and IT call centers that provide more career opportunities for Hawaii residents and diversify the state economy from being solely dependent on tourism.
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