On October 29th, 2010, the Korean American Voters’ Council sponsored the New York Congressional District 5 Candidate Debate & Open Forum for the first time in the Korean community. There were many debates and open forums before, but this is the first time congressional candidates were invited to debate with the Korean community as the audience.
1. Question regarding employment to improve the American economy
Milano: We must help small businesses grow to encourage employment. Although President Obama and the Democratic Party poured great amounts of our taxes into the big corporations and banks, unemployment rates still flounder around 17-18%. To help small businesses grow, I will create a support center around Flushing.
Ackerman: The Democratic Party inherited the economy which the Bush Administration ruined. Assisting large companies and banks had to be done to keep jobs afloat. Assisting small businesses is already being done in my office. The Republican Party is against everything.
2. Small businesses are having trouble finding loans with banks, and loan frauds are extremely prevalent. How will you tackle this issue?
Milano: Since the banks failed, we used our taxes to keep the banks alive. Yet they still cannot help small businesses. The act in which helped the banks were created by the Democrats and Ackerman signed it. First, I will work very hard to make sure that the banks provide loans to small businesses.
Ackerman: The banks did not fail. We gave our full efforts to keep the banks afloat. We must help small businesses receive loans from banks. Also we must be careful about not becoming victims of fraud. I am currently campaigning the importance of not signing anything we have in sight.
3. Question regarding the end of tax cuts in 2010.
Milano: The increase of tax during economy crises is a big problem. Democrats’ proposal of increasing taxes for SB owners that make 250,000 or more will be make a negative impact on taxpayers.
Ackerman: Most people in Queens make less than 250,000 a year. There will be many households that are similar in certain parts of Nassau County. The Democrats’ tax cut proposal deals with increaisng taxes for the 2% of the population. 98% of the population will still reap the benefits of the tax cuts. The Republicans are persuading voters with false information.
4. Question regarding Healthcare
Milano: The Health Insurance Reform is just wrong. Most of the congressmen that voted for it didn’t even read the proposal. Also, 500 billion dollars will be cut from Medicaid which will impact our elderly for the worst. Also, funding for preventative medicine wasn’t even included. Allegations of sick people being rejected because they lacked insurance is different from the truth. The healthcare reform is wrong and we should be rid of it before it takes effect in 2015.
Ackerman: Health insurance is something Americans wanted for a very long time. We had many discussions about this. If there’s something wrong in the the law, we can revise it. To have everything gotten rid of is preposterous. First, we don’t have to worry about getting the bill of death when we are sick but without insurance. Also, we won’t have the problem of insurance companies refusing or dismissing membership because of pre-existing conditions.
5. Issues Regarding North Korea
Milano: Forty-six people lost their lives with the North Koreans’ attack on the Cheonan. We must be more strict on North Korea. Also, we must make sure the divided families must meet again. In addition, we must work to hasten the release of foreigners in north Korea.
Ackerman: I personally sponsored the act which criticized the North’s attack on the Cheon-an in Congress. I conversed with the North before. During the Five-Party Talks in the mid-90s, the North Koreans spoke for conditions on which we must act while they accepted Japanese assistance. The regime doesn’t care about its citizens. Therefore we must add additional pressure on the North to make changes. I personally sent signed letters to the White House and the Congress to add North Korea on the list of nations that support terrorist activities.
6. The DREAM Act and Immigration Reform
Milano: The DREAM Act is supported by both Republicans and Democrats alike. American-educated people leaving US for a different country is simply a waste of resources. Many Koreans are studying in Ivy League schools. The DREAM Act must be passed to help them find jobs here in the US. The immigration reform must be done quickly. However, the obstacle was created by the Democrats by Senator Kennedy adding the $2000 fine onto the Act. $2000 is a large sum. This amount should be used on families and businesses but since it was added on as a fine, the Act wasn’t passed.
Ackerman: Senator Kennedy passed away a long time ago. Although $2000 is a lot, it is worth the trouble if it helps illegal residents participate in American economical affairs normally. The reason for the hiatus in immigration reform is the Republican Party which insists on saying “No” all the time. I will work hard to make sure that the immigration reform act is passed.
7. Korean-Us FTA
Milano: The FTA must be passed quickly. We cannot allow the EU to pass the FTA with Korea before us. Since the Democrats are blocking our path, the FTA is yet to be passed. The Korean electronic, shipbuilding, and automotive industry should expand in the US and the US the same to increase profits for both of our nations. Korean companies are providing us with essential growth.
Ackerman: I visited Korea several times. I am playing a critical part in supporting the Korea-US FTA. I signed the petition which supports the FTA as well. As the Vice Chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, I believe that the FTA will be passed.