Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board questionnaire responses

Legislative priorities:

Q) What are your three top national legislative priorities for the country?

A) From the top of my campaign home page:

ENVIRONMENTAL, LABOR AND FISCAL SANITY

These three issues are the foundation of my campaign.

Global warming is real. We need to stop it. I will sponsor legislation to reduce air and water pollution by big corporations to the greatest extent possible.

I will also sponsor legislation that eliminates any and all tax breaks for big corporations who ship our jobs out of the country or overseas.

We need to stop Debt Dumping, where one group gets a financial benefit while another group gets stuck with the bill. In particular, we need to stop running up the national debt, which is where government spends money it doesn't have and sticks the bill on people who don't have a vote to stop it, namely our children, the unborn and future immigrants. I will stop that from happening through strong legislation.

Send Rob Sherman to Congress and I'll make these three issues the top priorities of my term in office.

Q: What are the three most important issues in your district on which you believe the federal government needs to act?

A)

1. BETTER O'HARE AIRPORT NOISE MITIGATION

I have a real and legitimate plan to reduce the impact of noise on neighbors of O'Hare. As a licensed pilot, I know what planes, the City of Chicago and the FAA can do to spread the noise out. Changing the runway setup isn't the way to do it. Runways are just driveways for airplanes to land on or take off from.

The solution is to significantly increase the array of designated air routes that planes can use after they take off or before they land. That would move the planes over different regions to distribute the noise more effectively.

Send Rob Sherman to Congress and, as a licensed pilot, I'll get the job done to mitigate O'Hare noise.

2. BAN RED LIGHT CAMERAS AND SPEED CAMERAS

Red light cameras and speed cameras are not about safety. They are simply revenue scam cameras whose primary goal is to enrich red light camera companies and municipalities. Any safety benefit is incidental and not the primary purpose for having the cameras. We don't need them.

I will also sponsor legislation to require that, at all signalized intersections, a 12-inch-wide red stripe shall be painted across all lanes of traffic to indicate the point from which you will not make it through the intersection on a yellow light. If you are past the Rob Sherman Line and going the speed limit, you will know that you can make it through the intersection on the yellow light. If the traffic light turns yellow and you have not crossed the RobSherman Line, you need to stop because you will not make it through the intersection before the light turns red.

In addition, I will sponsor legislation to establish a minimum yellow light length standard of one second for every ten miles per hour of the speed limit plus one-half of a second. That was the standard that I was required to use when I worked for the City of Chicago, Department of Public Works, Bureau of Traffic Engineering and Operations in 1983, where one of my jobs was to write traffic signal timing sequences for individual intersections.

Here's the important part: For any signalized intersection with a sub-standard yellow light duration that is shorter than the length mandated above, the controlling jurisdiction shall be required to post a large, short-yellow warning sign with large bold black letters on a yellow background which says,

WARNING:
SHORT YELLOW
X.X SECONDS

where x.x is the number of seconds and tenths of a second in duration.

This type of warning sign is already standard and required for Low Clearance under a bridge or for a viaduct. It should also be a required warning notice for intersections which use a sub-standard Short Yellow combined with a Red Light camera to defraud motorists out of their money by scamming them with a yellow light that has been deliberately shortened, not for safety, but rather for the purpose of producing unjust red light camera ticket revenue, such as is done by the City of Chicago to rip off motorists who have done nothing wrong. Since our State Legislature is controlled by Chicago Democrats, they aren't going to allow this kind of legislation to be enacted within the State to protect motorists from this revenue scam and revenue fraud by the City of Chicago, so I will sponsor the legislation in Washington to make it a national standard.

Send Rob Sherman to Congress and I'll ban red light cameras and speed cameras, nationwide, and enact the supplemental legislation indicated above.

3. NO MORE INCOME TAXES

I will lower your taxes by replacing the income tax with a consumption tax. Here's why your taxes will be lower:

If you spend $20,000 in a year, you would pay a consumption tax (value added tax or federal sales tax) on $20,000 worth of purchases. If a rich person spends half a million dollars in a year, he or she would pay consumption taxes on $500,000 worth of purchases. No wiggling out of it with exemptions. No evading taxes with accounting tricks or lawyer tricks, like shifting income or profits overseas. Since rich people could no longer evade the taxes that the rest of us pay, this would ensure that the wealthy really do pay their fair share and we pay less because we aren't paying their share, any more.

This would also end the nightmare and the con games related to filing income tax returns. The Cayman Islands have no income tax. They use the value added tax, instead, and have no problem getting everybody to pay their fair share in a simple, understandable and fair way that doesn't consume huge quantities of your time. We should adopt their system.

Send Rob Sherman to Congress and I'll get rid of the income tax nightmare and replace it with a much more fair national consumption tax that would cost ordinary Americans like us far less in both money and time.

Q) What is your biggest fundamental difference with your opponent(s)?

A) Mr. Grimsley told me that the big difference between him and me is that I want to be a Congressman and he doesn't; that he was reluctantly pushed into running by local members of the Green Party when nobody else would do it; and that his goal, should he win the nomination, would be to get 5% of the vote in November to maintain Established Party status for the Green Party in the 5th Congressional District versus my intention and expectation of getting at least 50% plus 1.

Transparency:

Q) Will you pledge to make public: a) your campaign schedule; b) your fundraiser schedule and the names of all fundraiser hosts ; c) if elected, your daily schedule of meetings? If not, why not?

A) Absolutely. In fact, your ideas on this are so great that I will sponsor legislation in Washington to require that these things be done by all candidates for public office.

Q) Please list all relatives on public or campaign payrolls and their jobs on those payrolls.

A) None.

National security:

Q) What are the most important actions Congress can take to reduce the threat of ISIS abroad and at home?

A) Again, directly from my campaign web site:

ELIMINATE THE CHRISTIAN TALIBAN FROM THE UNITED STATES MILITARY

Cadets, officers and civilian staff have been complaining for years about being pressured to convert to evangelical Christianity by Command Staff and other uniformed personnel. The problem seems to be the worst at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, according to reports that I've read on the Military Religious Freedom Foundation web site.

The Air Force Academy used to display a banner in their football team locker room proclaiming I am a member of Team Jesus. Now, the players do a Christian prayer circle on the football field before the game while wearing uniforms that were issued to them by the federal government to be used for secular purposes. This sort of thing provides Muslim extremists with justification for their call for defensive jihad against America and Americans, claiming with a great deal of accuracy that the American military is on a Christian crusade against Islam.

Our uniformed heroes deserve better than to be nagged by Command Staff to get stupid on Jesus in order to be a good soldier.

Send Rob Sherman to Congress and I'll eliminate the Christian Taliban from the United States Military by launching a Congressional investigation into unconstitutional proselytizing at the Air Force Academy and anywhere else that it exists in our Armed Forces.

Q) What bans, if any, do you support on Muslim admissions to the United States? Please explain your position.

A) None.

Q) Specifically, how would you have, or how did you, vote on the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015 and its efforts to make it harder for Syrian and Iraqi refugees to enter the U.S.? Please explain your position.

A) No. Investigations of refugees from all countries should be equally stringent. Terrorists seeking immigration could be from any country on the planet.

Q) Do you support a Syrian no-fly zone or the U.S. enforcement of Syrian humanitarian safe zones? Why or why not?

A) I would have to study the pros and cons on that issue to make an informed decision, rather than shoot from the hip or make an instant decision based on emotion.

Q) Regarding the House Benghazi Select Committee, should its investigation remain open-ended, or should the panel be given a deadline to complete its work? Please explain.

A) It should be terminated. The sole purpose of the Benghazi Committee is to politically damage Hillary to the greatest extent possible.

Q) What measures, if any, do you support to give U.S. authorities access to encrypted or "dark web" communications about potential terrorist plots? Please explain.

A) If it is done at all, there should be bi-partisan close Congressional oversight to ensure that the federal government isn't using the threat of terrorism as a gimmick to spy on Americans for political purposes.

Q) Do you support transferring the detention of terrorism suspects from Guantanamo Bay to the United States? Why or why not?

A) Whether the transfers are to the US or elsewhere, we should close Guantanamo. We have no business being on that island.

Gun violence:

Q) What is the single most important action Congress can take to reduce U.S. gun violence?

A) Encourage as many people as possible to participate in Concealed Carry. That way, the bad guys would know that if they use a gun for an improper purpose, they are likely to find out immediately that Rob Sherman was right, all along: There is no God.

Q) Do you support or oppose the ‘‘Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act?" Please explain your position.

A) I haven't read the Act, but the title makes it sounds like it is more of a feel-good public relations stunt than a real solution to any problem.

Climate change:

Q) Do you believe there is scientific evidence of climate change, and is it caused by human activity? What is your position on the Paris climate change agreement?

A) Here, again, is the first substantive paragraph from my campaign web site:

Global warming is real. We need to stop it. I will sponsor legislation to reduce air and water pollution by big corporations to the greatest extent possible.

The Paris agreement is a starting point. The real solution is to implement as much renewable energy as quickly as possible.

Economy:

Q) What changes, if any, to the U.S. tax code do you support and why?

A) Repeating from an earlier answer, and taken from my campaign web site:

NO MORE INCOME TAXES

I will lower your taxes by replacing the income tax with a consumption tax. Here's why your taxes will be lower:

If you spend $20,000 in a year, you would pay a consumption tax (value added tax or federal sales tax) on $20,000 worth of purchases. If a rich person spends half a million dollars in a year, he or she would pay consumption taxes on $500,000 worth of purchases. No wiggling out of it with exemptions. No evading taxes with accounting tricks or lawyer tricks, like shifting income or profits overseas. Since rich people could no longer evade the taxes that the rest of us pay, this would ensure that the wealthy really do pay their fair share and we pay less because we aren't paying their share, any more.

This would also end the nightmare and the con games related to filing income tax returns. The Cayman Islands have no income tax. They use the value added tax, instead, and have no problem getting everybody to pay their fair share in a simple, understandable and fair way that doesn't consume huge quantities of your time. We should adopt their system.

Q) What are the most important actions Congress can take to ensure the solvency of Social Security?

A) Stop corporations from exporting jobs overseas. We need Americans doing those jobs so that a share of the wages from those jobs go into funding Social Security.

Q) Do you support a "risk fee" on big banks? Why or why not?

A) No. That's just a way of screwing yet another demographic out of their money.

Health care:

Q) Should Obamacare be overturned, left intact, or changed — and if so how?

A) We need to ban Medical Practice Membership Fees, sometimes known as Concierge Medicine fees. These fees don't pay for any services. They are simply fees for the privilege of being the doctor's patient, and sometimes run as high as several thousand dollars per year. The cost of your medical care is in addition to these fees, meaning that you still have to pay for insurance. Your care continues to be billed to your insurance with you still paying deductibles and co-pays. These fees are a scam to unjustly enrich doctors and to block out minorities and the poor from medical care because they can't afford these kinds of fees.

Q) Do you favor stripping federal funds from Planned Parenthood? Why or why not?

A) No. I favor increasing funding for Planned Parenthood.

Immigration:

Q) President Obama used his executive powers to prevent the deportation of "DREAMers—youths who came to the U.S. illegally as children with their parents. Would you support legislation to prevent DREAMer deportations? Do you support putting DREAMers on a path to citizenship?

A) Conservatives seem to forget that we are all illegal immigrants, except for the few indigenous people left in this country from whom White people stole their land and massacred their people. Since we are therefore all here illegally, we have no business telling others that they can't do it, too.

Education:

Q) What congressional reforms do you favor to address America’s student loan crisis?

A) I strongly oppose efforts to forgive or "nationalize" student loan debt, because it does not make the debt go away. Instead, it just transfers their debt to somebody else; namely, us taxpayers. Our taxes are already high enough without getting hit with yet another burden of paying off somebody else's debt, where they get the service and we get stuck with their bill. Besides, it would actually harm those students who were successful in college, because now they would not only be burdened with paying off their own loans through taxation, they would then have to pay off the loans from everybody else who was not successful in college and is therefore not earning money to pay the taxes to pay off their loans. It would also greatly harm families who were responsible in saving for college so that their kids would graduate either debt free or with reduced debt, because now, as their reward for being frugal and responsible, they get stuck with everybody else's debt. The solution is better education on fiscal reality, so that students know what it's going to cost them if they choose to do this and so they can be in a better position to decide whether it's worth the cost and the risk.

Rob Sherman

District running for: 5th Congressional District Illinois

Political/civic background: Longtime prominent atheist and social justice activist. Candidate for State Rep 53rd District Illinois in 2006 and 2008. Candidate for Buffalo Grove Village Clerk in 2011. Cook County Green Party Chairman 2012.

Occupation: Owner of Rob Sherman Airplanes http://www.robsherman.com/airplanes/home.htm

Education: 2 years college. National College of Education (now National-Louis University), Northwestern University and Harper College

Campaign website: Rob Sherman for Congress www.robsherman.com