Running for: U.S. Senate
Political/civic background: Republican, Board of Trustees-Burr Ridge
Education: Oberlin College/Harvard Medical School
The Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board sent candidates for the U.S. Senate a list of questions to find out their views on a range of important issues facing the state of Illinois and the country. Robert Marshall submitted the following responses:
Please tell us about your civic work in the last two years, whether it’s legislation you have sponsored or other paid or volunteer work to improve your community.
I have not been participating in civic work in the past two years since I have been busy with my family and my three part-time jobs as a physician. I was on the Board of Directors of the Berywn YMCA and I was a member of Kiwanis years ago.
What are your views on the decision by the U.S. House to impeach President Donald Trump? Has the impeachment process been fair or not? How so? If, in your view, the president should not have been impeached, would you have supported censure? Please explain.
See the press release of December 20, 2019.
How would you reduce the federal budget deficit, which now stands at about $1 trillion for 2020? What changes, if any, to the U.S. tax code do you support and why?
We need to balance the budget by reforming Social Security as I mention in #10. We must end our involvement in all of these wars throughout the world, mainly the Mideast and Afghanistan. President Trump is attempting to do this and this is one of the main reasons why I am supporting him. The wars in the Mideast will possibly cost five trillion dollars according to a recent Chicago Tribune article. We are pushing ourselves into bankruptcy from all these military involvements throughout the entire world. It is time for us to withdraw completely from these wars and let the rest of the world solve their own problems. We should decrease foreign aid unless it is for humanitarian purposes. If other countries want to buy military equipment from us, they should use their money and not ours.
I am opposed to the Progressive Income Tax. I believe that it is unconstitutional since it discriminates against people who are working hard and long hours. I believe we should have a flat tax. We should also slowly try to eliminate the income tax and replace it with a consumption tax.
What changes would you like to see made to our nation’s healthcare system? Would you shore up the Affordable Care Act or work to repeal it in full? What’s your view on Medicare for All? And what should be done, if anything, to bring down the cost of prescription drugs?
Much of the ACA has been a benefit, especially the parts concerning pre-existing conditions and keeping children on their parents' insurance until age 26. I would be against repealing the ACA in full unless we have a substitution. I was in favor of eliminating the mandate. I am opposed to Medicare for All. This is basically socialized medicine and would increase taxes greatly and decrease the quality of care that people get with private insurance. The cost of prescription drugs should be decreased by increasing competition through free enterprise or capitalistic measures.
The Trump administration is awaiting a ruling from the Supreme Court as to whether it can end the DACA program — Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — which shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation. Do you support or oppose DACA and why? Should a path to citizenship be created for the so-called DREAMers? Please explain.
My criteria for immigration is three fold: 1. People should become citizens if they want to love America and not blow it up, 2. They should be able to support themselves to a minimal degree and 3. They should be able to speak some English or willing to learn it. Many of the DACA people satisfy these three criteria but many other people who are not DACA immigrants also satisfy these requirements. People should not be placed in a favored category just because of their age or their situations in life. They should satisfy the three criteria that I mentioned above and then they should all go through the same legal process that millions of other people have gone through in the past.
What are the three most important issues in your district on which the federal government can and should act?
1. Eliminating the Progressive Income Tax and replacing it with a flat tax. Beginning to phase out the income tax and replacing it with consumption tax.
2. Help the State of Illinois divide itself into smaller states, either two or three states.
3. If number 2 cannot be achieved, then the Federal Government should aid the State of Illinois in reorganizing or renegotiating all of its contracts and pension plans so that we can begin to change the economic mess that we are in and start on a better economic footing.
What is the biggest difference between you and your opponent(s)?
1. My desire to divide Illinois up into smaller states, two or three states.
2. Social issues represent a large difference. On abortion, I am against late term abortion but I believe abortions should remain legal up to 24 weeks. I am in favor of legalized recreational marijuana and have been so for the past 10 years. I am in favor of gay marriage. On women’s issues and issues concerning young people, I have a much more moderate stance than the other candidates.
What action should Congress take, if any, to reduce gun violence?
On the basis of the recent gun violence at a church in Texas, we should continue to follow the NRA advice that a good man with a gun stops a bad man with a gun. We should continue to train people so that they can protect themselves better in churches, schools, colleges, shopping centers and other places where these mass murders occur.
Is climate change real? Is it significantly man-made? Is it a threat to humankind? What if anything should Congress and the federal government do about it?
I believe that there is a large amount of scientific evidence in favor of climate change, possibly man-made to some degree. How much of a threat it is is unknown. The threat is probably exaggerated. I would be opposed to a Carbon Tax or any other taxes or measures which would destroy or harm our other energy producing industries in this country, such as oil and gas or coal. We should encourage the continued growth of sustainable energies. There are inexpensive ways to fight climate change, such as planting a large number of new trees throughout the entire world.
What should Congress do to ensure the solvency of Social Security and Medicare?
I am opposed to further increases in taxes for Social Security and Medicare and I am opposed to decreasing benefits. Increasing the retirement age is therefore the only other option. I am 76 and still working at three part-time jobs and I believe I am, therefore, the best candidate to argue for this solution rather than any other solution. There should be an overhaul to the disability system. I believe there are far too many people getting Social Security benefits who have minimal disabilities.
What should Congress do to address the student loan crisis? Would you use the word “crisis”?
We should keep interest rates as low as possible so that students can pay back their loans at a reasonable rate. There is not really a crisis. When people choose to go to a college or university, they are making a free will decision to take on this debt and other obligations. Their education and the cost of it is an investment in their own future and will pay off in the long run with better incomes, which they can use to pay off their loans.
What should our nation’s relationship be with Russia?
We should continue to improve our relations with Russia, as President Trump is doing. President Trump has improved our relations with many countries throughout the world, including North Korea, Russia and many countries in the Middle East and we should continue along those lines.
What’s your view on the use of tariffs in international commerce? Has President Trump imposed tariffs properly and effectively? Please explain.
I am in favor of all of President Trump’ss tariff proposals to improve our trade relationships and to preserve jobs for Americans throughout the United States.
Does the United States have a responsibility to promote democracy in other countries? Please explain.
We should not promote democracy throughout the world with military force as we have done several times over the past 50 years. We should improve our democracy here at home as much as possible. If we do that, other countries will emulate us and improve their own democracies that way.
What should Congress do to limit the proliferation of nuclear arms?
We should continue as President Trump is doing to discourage nuclear arms in Korea, Iran and other countries throughout the world.
Please list all relatives on public or campaign payrolls and their jobs on those payrolls.
What historical figure from Illinois, other than Abraham Lincoln (because everybody’s big on Abe), do you most admire or draw inspiration from? Please explain.
Senator Everett Dirksen. He was conservative on fiscal and economic measures but moderate on social and civil rights issues. This is the model which I hope to follow myself if I am elected.
What’s your favorite TV, streaming or web-based show of all time. Why?
Most shows on the History Channel, especially involving biographies, histories of wars and of political figures.