Name: Mark Strauss
Occupation: National sales manger
Education: High school
What are the three most important issues facing Iowans and our country, and how would you address them as a U.S. representative?
Money in politics is the most destructive force we are facing. If Congress would write precise laws, not open to interpretation, we would not end up with law being written by the Supreme Court like in the case of Citizens United. I would propose a law limiting donations per person and per election cycle to $1,000. No corporate super PACs, no corporate donations.
Do you support President Donald Trump’s approach to trade and tariffs? Why or why not?
I do, but I would go at it a bit differently. My plan would address trade imbalances with a broad market approach. A six-year plan to even out trade with the world. In short: Year one, 1/50th of 1 percent tariff on all finished goods, per $1 billion deficit; year 2 and onward, 1/40th, 1/30th, 1/20th, 1/10th of 1 percent reaching year 6 with a full 1 percent per $1 billion. This would give markets time to adjust.
What will you propose or support in Congress to protect and promote Iowa’s farming economy?
I feel we need to get out of our farmers’ business. No more paying farmers to grow certain crops, no more paying farmers not to grow crops. Farming is a business, while many are family farms, this practice favors corporate farms. End all subsidies!
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What steps are needed to help grow and retain Iowa’s workforce, especially in more rural areas?
Artificial intelligence and robotics will be a disruptive force over the next decade. We need to be concentrating on jobs least affected in the market. This means vocational training for plumbers, electricians, mechanics, etc.
Do you believe Congress should increase the federal minimum wage, currently at $7.25?
I do not want to tell companies what the least amount they can pay someone. I want a max to average pay on publicly traded companies of 20 to 1, from the guy at the top, to the average employee. If you come to the public trough for funding, there needs to be rules.
What steps are needed to control the rising costs of health premiums and health care?
We need to address the cost of health care. Costs are high for many reasons, in some cases, we need to set maximum allowable charges, say the cost of an aspirin. We also need to get back to basic health care. We need sterile hospitals, not pretty hotels. We also need to be able to buy health insurance across state lines and increase competition. No mandatory insurance.
What is your approach to immigration reform? What steps will you propose or support in Congress?
DACA, make them citizens; it’s the only country they have ever known. And let’s get the rest out of the shadows. If you have been here as a productive immigrant, five-year probation, then path to citizenship. Criminals must go. Then secure our border.
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If you are elected, what efforts would you make to listen to and include those who have political beliefs which don’t match your own? How would you communicate with your constituents?
I have no party bosses telling me how to vote on issues, or who I represent. I represent individuals, voters, Iowans, not global corporate interests. I have not accepted any money in my campaign. I will allow no lobbyists in my office, and will be in constant communication with the people who elected me via news outlets and social media.
Why are you the best candidate to represent this district in Iowa?
I feel the people of Iowa, like those across the nation are appalled with what they see every day with our current two-party system. We need more parties in the Congress and the Senate.