NAME: C.J. Baricevic
IMMEDIATE FAMILY: Father: John Baricevic; Mother: Marti Baricevic; Brothers: Chris and Brice; Sister: Bri
OFFICE SOUGHT: 12th Congressional District
PREVIOUS ELECTED POSITIONS: None
Q. What changes, if any, should be made in the Affordable Care Act?
A. The Affordable Care Act should be changed in the following way - taxes on healthcare plans for dangerous jobs (the so-called Cadillac Tax) should be eliminated. Subsidies to middle class families should be expanded to encourage more sign ups and grow the market place. The Medicaid expansion should be given more time to phase in from the federal government and the aid to the states should remain high until competition has brought new insurance companies to the market to control costs.
Q. What are you views on the Trans Pacific Partnership?
A. Trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership help Wall Street and corporate executives, but send jobs abroad and lower wages here at home. Deals like NAFTA proposed to help the middle class, but ended up hurting the middle class. We lost over one million jobs to overseas markets. We are experiencing the same threat of job loss to China with the TPP. “Made in America” is what makes this country great and I will fight on behalf of American workers and middle class families.
Q. Granite City Steel had to lay off its workforce. What should be done to get them back to work? What can Congress do to help those workers?
A. I worked at Granite City Steel to help pay off my student loans and strongly believe that these workers are the backbone of our community. We have to do everything possible to help them and that is why U.S. Steelworkers Union has endorsed my campaign. I support legislation that rewards companies for keeping jobs in the U.S. instead of shipping jobs overseas. We need to bolster the manufacturing community and labor community by taking a stand against trade deals that do not promote American interests and prevent foreign governments from unfairly subsidizing industries. Congress should also focus on worker retraining programs so that there are options for laid off workers to learn new skills.
Q. On what issues do you disagree with your party’s nominee for president and how would you approach those issues if you both were elected?
A. I strongly disagree with the Democratic Party’s views on coal and its future as an energy source. Carbon capture sequestration and storage deserves the same investments as any other renewable energy source so that we can preserve Southern Illinois’ place as a home to good paying middle class jobs.
Q. The unemployment rate is 4.9 percent in the country and 6 percent in Illinois. What does that say about our economy? What would you do to improve our economy?
A. It shows that our economy is improving, but there is more work to be done. I would support policies in Congress that invest heavily in infrastructure to provide good paying jobs as well as investments in research and technology to create the jobs of the future. I would also prioritize and champion policies that strengthen American manufacturing and punish companies for shipping jobs overseas and taking the tax breaks associated with them.
Q. What would you do to protect Scott Air Force Base from closing or from cutbacks?
A. We have to fight harder for next generation military advances and technologies to be centered around assets like Scott Air Force Base. I was disappointed that National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency did not construct a new facility in our district, but this is an example of what will permanently secure SAFB’s future. I will look for projects and programming that compliments SAFB across various agencies and work to center them in the 12th.
Q. The country's debt is growing as the nation continues to run a budget deficit. How would you balance the country's budget? At what point, if any, does the continued deficit spell disaster?
A. If we fail to put people back to work, then our economy will not grow to address this issue. The answer is to spend what we need, invest in critical growth areas like infrastructure, and keep taxes low so that our economy expands. The increase in tax revenue to address the deficit will follow.
Q. What changes, if any, need to be made in entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare?
A. I will protect Social Security and oppose any cuts to this program. Retirement security is a critical issue for residents in the 12th and Social Security keeps millions of seniors out of poverty and allows them the dignity to not have to depend on others. I strongly support Medicare and oppose any efforts to make it a voucher program. This program is vital to so many citizens of our part of Illinois.
Q. The cost of college, and student debt itself, can be a large obstacle to people getting an education, or having a firm financial footing after graduating. What should be done to make college more affordable?
A. For current borrowers, they should be able to refinance loans at current rates. I also support Secretary Clinton’s plan that every student should have the option to graduate from a public college or university in their state without taking on any student debt. For those who do not want to attend college, we should provide them access to training programs for 21st-century skills in technology that lead to good paying jobs.
Q. Why should people vote for you?
A. I am running for Congress to ensure that the 12th District—my home district--- remains a great place to raise a family, work and live. The hard-working people of my district deserve a fresh new voice in Congress committed to getting things done to improve their lives. I believe I can make a positive difference. My priorities for Illinois and the nation are supporting tax policies to keep manufacturing jobs in our state and strengthen our manufacturing base. I want to invest resources in our education and push for reforms to make college accessible to middle-class families. I will also fight to protect Social Security and Medicare for future generations.