Democratic candidates field queries

by Lucys Xig lucysxig

Democratic candidates field queries

The Iranian regime has repeatedly shown its true colors by brutally oppressing its own people, threatening to wipe Israel off the map, denying the Holocaust happened, and funding terrorist groups such as Hizbullah, an organization that is committed to continuing its killing of Americans and to Israel’s extinction. Allowing such a regime to acquire a nuclear weapon is plainly unacceptable. A nuclear-armed Iran represents not only an existential threat to Israel but also a grave threat to the region, the United States, and to global stability. It could well ignite a dangerous regional arms race and heighten the prospects of a bomb falling into the hands of terrorists.

For these reasons, every option — including military action — must be on the table. I will always support ensuring that Israel has the necessary tools to protect itself from the Iranian threat while strengthening U.S. and multilateral sanctions on the Iranian regime. That said, we must continue to vigorously pursue diplomatic and economic solutions because the cost of military action to substantially disrupt the Iranian nuclear program would be extraordinarily high for the U.S., Israel, and our other allies.

In an increasingly uncertain world, Israel continues to be an advocate for freedom, equality, and democracy in the Middle East. My focused study of Israel, its values, and its unique relationship with the United States began during my time at Oxford, where I was the president of the Chabad House’s L’Chaim Society and at Yale, where I founded the Eliezer Society. Since then, during my trips to the country, I have seen first-hand Israel’s dedication to its values and its friendship with the United States.

The United States must continue to support Israel as a secure homeland for the Jewish people. Where Israel’s security is at stake, America’s security is at stake. American support for Israel has been at the center of our Middle East policy for over six decades and must continue to be a central component of our foreign policy in the region.

Real security for Israel will only come with an enduring peace. Therefore, I strongly support a two-state solution with a Jewish state of Israel existing in peace alongside a sovereign Palestinian state. The United States should continue to facilitate direct negotiations that seek a two-state solution. However, it is the right of the Israeli government to make the tough decisions that are necessary to secure its future. The Palestinian People deserve a state that allows them to prosper and thrive, but that state must not be a vehicle for launching attacks against Israel. During any negotiation, certain things must remain non-negotiable, namely conditions that speak to Israel’s right to exist as a secure Jewish state.

These problems are not just concurrent — they are inextricably linked, and Congress has been responding in precisely the wrong way. A laser focus on immediate and extraordinary deficit reduction to help stabilize the debt at the expense of investing in putting Americans back to work has provided short-term deficit reduction, but has also extended the recession’s tragic impact on unemployment and has hampered our growth.

Our failure to prioritize unemployment reduction and economic growth does more than hurt American families today; it hurts our prospects of growing our way out of our debt challenges.

Make no mistake about it: We must be diligent about our debt, and it is currently too high. The president has already signed into law about $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction between 2013 and 2023. However, we will not be able to cut our way out of our problems, and the sequester remains a blunt instrument cutting in the wrong places. Furthermore, defeat of many aspects of President Obama’s American Jobs Act, on the basis that the country could not afford to invest in critical priorities to alleviate joblessness and strengthen our long-term competitiveness, is emblematic of Congress’s inability to understand the connection between smart spending and investment now and long-term debt reduction.

The U.S. must continue to promote democracy, freedom, and the rule of law in the Middle East. The Arab Spring will require our patience, and our understanding. The transition from oppression for tens of millions presents many opportunities as well as uncertainties for the U.S., Israel, and everyone in the region struggling for democracy. These efforts begin with protecting America’s special alliance with Israel, and include providing significant, targeted aid throughout the region.

The civil war in Syria is an unthinkable atrocity that has resulted in an estimated 100,000 deaths and has forced over 1.6 million Syrians to become refugees. The U.S. should take whatever steps it can to safely support moderate opposition fighters, aid refugees, and prevent the spillover of fighting into neighboring countries. Putting U.S. troops on the ground in Syria is not an option given the complexity of the situation and all we’ve learned from our past 12 years of war. Any military aid or support must be carefully targeted and measured against the risk of arms falling into the hands of extremist, rather than moderate, rebels.

As far as Egypt is concerned, we should continually review the extent and composition of the substantial aid we provide, keeping in mind that this aid is vital to the stability of the region and important to the well-being of the Egyptian people. Despite my deep displeasure with Egypt’s former regime, I have grave concerns about the Egyptian military’s forceful hand in removing a democratically elected government from power and feel that we should be abundantly clear with the Egyptian military that we expect the beginnings of a transition to a democratically elected civilian government immediately. America knows the difficulties of transitioning to democracy. It took us two wars — our revolution and the civil war — before we reached a point where our democratic evolution, which remains in process today, didn’t involve widespread armed conflict. Democracy — self-determination — is a fundamental human right, and we must support it the best we can, wherever we can.

The charitable contribution deduction rewards altruism and plays an important role in promoting philanthropy. Here in Newark, we’ve seen how philanthropy can help transform a city. For example, we have raised over $200 million from innovators to strengthen our schools. This has allowed Newark to create programs such as “My Very Own Library,” which has provided 120,000 books for nearly 12,000 low-income students to help build home libraries. Partnering with private foundations also allowed us to create immediate access to affordable medications for thousands of uninsured Newark residents through the Newark Rx program. Put simply, philanthropy has provided vital support to my community’s collective efforts to transform Newark and solve some of our most difficult problems.

There is plainly a need to clean up the tax code, and close inefficient loopholes that make our code far less progressive and add to our deficits. However, tax reform should not remove incentives to donate to charity. My experience as mayor of Newark will inform how I look at any proposals to change the tax status of charitable contributions, and I will work with members of both parties to ensure that we continue to promote philanthropy.

Medicaid provides millions of low-income and disabled Americans with essential healthcare services and has been one of the most important programs in U.S. history. I strongly oppose turning Medicaid into a block grant program or capping the amount of Medicaid funding provided to states based on a per capita rate. These changes would likely lead millions of Americans to lose access to healthcare insurance and significantly decrease the quality of care provided by Medicaid.

It is also deeply troubling that over a dozen states have rejected the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion. Elected officials should not deny healthcare to millions of their constituents to advance a political agenda. Rejecting this expansion is the wrong decision from budget, healthcare system quality, and moral perspectives. The states that have turned down expanded coverage will lose $8.4 billion in federal funding and spend $1 billion more on uncompensated healthcare. Here in New Jersey, Medicaid expansion will provide healthcare coverage to more than 100,000 more New Jerseyans and save the state $227 million in one year.

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About Lucys Xig Junior   lucysxig

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Joined APSense since, June 19th, 2013, From anhui, China.

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