John R. Wood: Candidate 43rd Congressional District, California answers 14 questions for 2014
John R. Wood, Jr. is a young, exciting Black republican from Los Angeles currently running for congress in the 43rd congressional district of California. John R. Wood is a politician that represents a new slice of the political loaf that wants seeks an elected body that lives among and works on behalf of the people they represent, not Washington, D.C. and secondary and financial interests represented by lobbyists and special interest money.
A writer and musician from the Los Angeles area, John Randolph Wood, Jr. is the grandson of the late record industry pioneer Randy Wood, known for founding Dot Records in the 1950′s . He is the son of John Wood, Sr., noted Jazz pianist and R&B vocalist Deonda Theus.
John Wood, Jr. has worked in various fields, including marketing, the legal and medical industries, and is active in politics. A student of theology, philosophy, history, economics and political science, he lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and 2-year old son.
You can learn more about John R. Woods issues at his website:
1. Transforming our Politics
In 2008, President Barack Obama ran a political campaign that called on the better angels of our nature. He inspired us with a message of hope and change. But sadly, due to the egotism and intransigence of Democrats and Republicans alike, American politics have remained mired in division and dysfunction.
2. Transforming the American Economy
With the national unemployment rate standing at 7.7% (that’s 12 million Americans unemployed), 9.5 % in California and 10.6% in Los Angeles with even greater joblessness in the Latino and particularly the African-American community (almost 20% last year in Los Angeles) we are seeing the great lakes of economic opportunity in this country drying up
3. Social Safety Net to Social Spring Board
Of the more than $3.5 trillion the federal government will spend this year, more than 2 trillion dollars worth of that will come out of mandatory spending: these are programs designed to spent upon automatically when people become qualified to receive benefits and services through them, such as welfare, unemployment, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
4. Advancing Healthcare
There is no more contentious issue in American politics today than the issue of healthcare reform, and that for a multitude of reasons. Healthcare is too expensive, both for consumers and for government. It breaks the budgets of states and families, and its expensiveness has life wrecking consequences for those who can’t afford it.
5. Streamlining Immigration
That the United States of America reform her immigration system is of vital importance, both to the American people and to those immigrants who, often times for the most understandable of reasons, have come here illegally.
John R. Wood Social Media
14 Questions for John Wood, Jr.
1. What do you see as the biggest challenge to Republicans / Democrats in 2014 and 2016?
Politically each party will have to demonstrate a vision for America’s future that is optimistic and persuades people that the systematic problems of a stagnate economy, a still imperfect healthcare system and a broken immigration system can be solved, particularly in the 2016 presidential election.
2. What is the biggest issue for voters in Los Angeles this year and in the presidential election year?
Jobs and the economy are the biggest policy concern for the people of Los Angeles, where unemployment is high and wages for many are low.
3. What policy change do you think is the most important change that should be made?
The simplification of our tax code and the lower of tax rates generally is the first step to revitalizing the national economy.
4. Do we repeal, or fix, Obamacare and can either be done?
Obamacare does not necessarily have to be repealed; there are things that it does that are positive. It can be fixed but the revisions would be substantial, and should perhaps begin with measures to encourage the use of health savings accounts that can help reduce the cost of health insurance coverage.
5. What will be the biggest challenge for the next president – Republican or Democrat or Both?
The biggest challenge facing any president may possibly be governing in a time of extreme ideology polarization. He or she must strive to be a unifier, a very difficult task in this climate.
6. Every politician says “reduce waste” and no politician actually does. How do we eliminate the ridiculous waste – from money burned to resources wasted – that is so endemic in Los Angeles and Washington?
There are many areas where this can be accomplished. A good start would between the Medicare and Medicaid programs, where the inability of administrators to adequately share patient information has led to the duplication of and procedures for “dual eligible” seniors who receive treatment under both programs, and likewise allow some providers to fraudulent duplicate insurance claims.
7. Every American is affected, one-way or another, by wages. Why is, or isn’t, minimum wage hikes a positive next step for America?
By itself, a minimum wage is a potentially dangerous way of seeking to stimulate the economy, simply because one must take from profits in order to increase wages, profits that are often used for hiring people, with the potential result that we manage to raise wages for two people at the expense of hiring three. But it is possible to institute a minimum wage in a relatively productive fashion, so long as taxes are reduced to ease the pressure on businesses as well.
8. Are the very rich a problem or is it that we have too many of the working or very poor?
The very rich are not necessarily a problem, but the increasing amount of Americans living in poverty is. It is also a problem when the very few richest individuals in society possess such a disproportionate amount of wealth, economically speaking, because they tend not to spend that money in a consumer capacity, meaning that the potential productivity of the economy is therefore limited.
9. In detail, what steps would you take to create a leadership position for the United States in the global energy marketplace?
Though there would be environmental risks, it would be wise for us to aggressively expand domestic oil production, and to use this production both as an export and to reduce the cost of fuel in the states.
Long term however, it is vital that we diversify our energy sources, and to even use our fossil fuel production to power a long-term transition into a more diverse energy economy. Part of this has to do with finding ways to encourage the development of wind and solar energy without inefficiently spending tax payer money.
In spite of the high profile failure of projects such as Solyndra, it may nevertheless be important to continue to invest in, or incentivize through tax credits, alternative energy enterprises, as well as research and development.
The development of nuclear energy however, should also be a priority for the United States of America. Though it comes with risk, it is the cleanest and most efficient energy source available to us, and stands now totally under developed.
10. Do you agree with President Obama’s move to make America less than the preeminent world power, to level the playing field between US, Western Europe and the Middle East?
I do not know that President Obama has actively sought to make the US less than the preeminent world power; I have heard him say on several occasions that the United States of America is the one indispensable nation in the global community, presumably when it comes to bringing stability to world affairs. America’s position of dominance relative to other world powers however may well be on a trajectory of decline, owning largely to the growth of economies and militaries which have little to do directly with US policy.
11. Which Federal government agencies would you eliminate to reduce wasted costs?
I do not intend to eliminate any major government agencies at this time, though there is money to be saved in the consolidation of the department of Education, of Health and Human Services, and potentially the Environmental Protection Agency.
12. What is your position about the United States’ role in the world…..A shining city on the hill or just another large country?
It is a shining light on a hill. It was founded on a love of freedom, and the idea that all men are created equal.
13. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Mint chocolate chip.
14. Do you and your family attend church, temple or other religious services on a weekly basis? If so, why and do you think voters have a right to ask?
My family and me attend church regularly because our faith and our relationship to the church is important to us. I believe voters have a right to inquire.