Where Eric Brakey Stands on the ISSUES

What is the most pressing issue facing the nation, and what’s the first thing you would do to address it?

Maine people deserve a better deal. Maine people are among the highest taxed and least paid in America. Meanwhile, Washington, D.C., is now the richest region in America, with an average income twice that of Maine people.

Because Washington’s economy is built on stealing from the rest of us, hardworking Maine people are the ones paying for it.
A better deal for Maine means better jobs, so our children can stay here in Maine and raise their own families.

We can achieve this by getting Washington off our backs: cutting taxes for everyone, eliminating job-killing regulations and ending handouts to Washington's special interests.

A better deal for Maine means better health care, so we can afford our own care and make our own choices.

We can achieve this by focusing on solutions that empower people and cut out the health care middlemen standing between us and our doctors, increasing competition and bargaining power to make providers cater to us while cutting the expensive bureaucracy that drives up health care costs.

Maine people deserve a better deal and I am ready to fight for Maine.

President Donald Trump has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum. In your view, will those tariffs help Maine workers and businesses or hurt them?

For decades, we’ve been living under unfair trade deals as other nations freely sell their products in America while restricting our goods in their markets. We deserve a better deal.

Make no mistake: tariffs hurt. Prices on many of the goods we commonly purchase go up, while retaliatory tariffs from other nations further restrict our exports.

This is not the strategy I would choose, but I recognize that President Trump is increasing economic pressure on other nations to bring them to the table and negotiate better trade deals. Thankfully, progress is already being made with nations like Mexico and the European Union. But other nations, like China, are slower to negotiate, slapping large tariffs on our own lobster exports in retaliation.

As long as the trade war continues, I will advocate for targeted tax breaks for affected industries while working to bring other nations to the table so we can end these tariffs and secure better trade deals.

Maine’s population is aging. Do you support any specific changes to Medicare or Social Security?

Maine’s seniors are getting a bad deal from Washington. According to Social Security Trustees, the Social Security Trust Fund will go bankrupt within the next 16 years while the Medicare Trust Fund will run out of money in 8 years. We can stick our heads in the sand and ignore these looming disasters or we can get to work and fix the problems.

First, we must end the raiding of these funds by Washington politicians, who regularly borrow from these programs to pay for pet projects. Unlike my opponent, I will vote against any budget that raids the Social Security and Medicare trust funds to pay for other programs.

Next, we must reinvest to make these programs solvent and keep our promises. That means we must prioritize our seniors and cut spending elsewhere in the budget.

We spend trillions of dollars overseas on wars that have lasted too long, foreign aid to countries that hate us and subsidizing security for wealthy nations. We should bring that money home now and keep our promises to our seniors.

Finally, I will support reforms that give younger people greater control over their own retirement. Every millennial knows they will never receive a dime from Social Security. Young people should be given the choice to opt-out and save for their own futures.

Recreational use of marijuana is now legal in Maine. Do you support Congress legalizing recreational use nationally, and why or why not?​​​​​​​

It’s time for Washington to respect our decisions as Maine people. Under the 10th Amendment of our Constitution, Washington, D.C., is required to respect our policy choices, but instead they threaten law-abiding people with prison.
As state senator, I expanded Maine’s medical cannabis program and supported the legalization of adult use. A free society means adults have the right to make their own choices.

Congress is considering measures related to gun violence. Where do you stand on raising the age to purchase a rifle to 21, banning sales of semiautomatic weapons and banning the sale of large ammunition magazines?

As the author of Maine’s constitutional carry law, I believe our right to self-defense is an essential ingredient for a free society and secure communities. Criminals don’t obey gun laws and erecting barriers on law-abiding citizens makes us all less safe.

As one of the most pro-gun states in America, Maine is ranked the safest state in America, with the lowest overall violent crime rate nationwide. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.

Further, the Second Amendment is very clear that Congress does not have any authority to infringe on the individual right to keep and bear arms. I will oppose any and all federal gun control laws.

The opioid crisis continues to claim the life of at least a person a day in Maine. What specific policies would you advocate for in Congress to address this problem?​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

To stem the tide of increasing opioid addiction, Congress must end prohibitions on safer, nonaddictive alternative treatments for pain, including medical cannabis.

States that have legalized medical cannabis have lower rates of opioid deaths than states that have not done so.

It’s time for Washington to stop obstructing.

To help those currently suffering with opioid addiction, we must recognize this is a health crisis that will never be solved by throwing those suffering with addiction in jail. We must focus our efforts on harm reduction.
Eric Brakey and others by Gage Skidmore is licensed under Flickr Creative Commons

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