Name as it Appears on the Ballot: Brent Shypulefski
Full legal name, if different: John Brent Shypulefski
Date of Birth: 09/09/1970
Mailing address: PO Box 5, Rocky Mount NC 27802
Campaign Web Site: www.brentforcongress.com
Occupation & Employer: Self-employed- Sell life insurance for Armed Forces Benefit Association
Home Phone: 252-903-0415
Twitter handle, if applicable: @brentshyp
1. If elected to the House, what is your highest priority for the next Congress? Please discuss what you would do to help it be achieved.
The highest priority would be to shore up Social Security trust reserve. The CBO predicts that social security will be broke by 2033. Social Security is financed by employers and payroll taxes of employees. Politicians in Washington have raided the reserve for pet projects. We need to stop taking that money out for the general fund and live within our means.
2. Some House candidates favor term limits and pledge, if elected, to limit the number of terms they will seek? Is that a good idea? Will you, if elected, impose terms limits on yourself?
Term limits are necessary because they remove officials that are entrenched in Washington thinking. New people bring new ideas. I would look at five terms in the House which works out to ten years. Two terms in the Senate would come to twelve years. If a person worked both House and Senate, they would be in Washington a total of twenty-two years. America needs fewer career politicians and more people oriented officials.
3. As a result of Citizens United and related factors, so-called “dark money” is pouring into American political campaigns without voters knowing where it came from. Do you favor or oppose measures to require that contributors be identified when their money is used to pay for political ads and other activities?
I favor policies that would require contributors to be identified. The money spent on campaigns is absurd. Imagine spending three, four or ten times what you would make for an opportunity at a job. Congressmen and women spending millions to run does not make sense. We should go back to the old days and actually make people “stump” and give in- person speeches for votes. I believe no one should spend more than one times his or her yearly salary on an election. This flaw in our election process reeks of corruption.
4. The American economy is not producing enough jobs for everyone who wants one, especially not enough jobs that pay enough to support a family. Conservative critics say the reason is too much federal spending which crowds out private investment. Critics on the left say there’s not enough public investment in job-producing sectors, while private capital is flowing to other countries. Where do you come down on this issue?
People are the job engine of America, not the government. The reason we have high unemployment is that companies moved their operations overseas so that they could make more money. We need to bring those jobs back. The way to do that would be to reward domestic companies with more tax incentives and fewer government regulations.
5. Do you support increasing the federal minimum wage? If so, to what amount? And should it be indexed for inflation?
I realize that there are many people out there who are working multiple minimum wage jobs to make ends meet. However, raising the minimum wage will actually hurt more people than help. I have spoken to many small companies that tell me that they are hardly making any money as it is, and if some politician signs a law in Washington that makes their labor cost jump almost forty percent, they are closing their doors. And just as companies moved to other countries for lower wages; raising the minimum wage will only add to the exodus of American jobs.
Here is what I have asked many minimum wage earners, “The job that you are currently in right now, is it a stepping stone to something better or a finish line?” If it is a finish line (they will not or don’t expect to rise above where they are now) they want the minimum wage raised. However, if they believe their current job is a stepping stone, they want to keep the wage where it is. These hard working employees know that if they want to succeed, they must earn the next pay raise instead of having someone give it to them.
6. On the Affordable Care Act, what should the next Congress do? Repeal it? Change it? If so, how?
Congress should repeal the Affordable Care Act for multiple reasons, but the main reason is that Washington is breaking the main tenants of insurance by not having people disclose previous conditions. It becomes virtually impossible for insurance actuaries to accurately predict possible outlays when they don’t know a person’s family history, eating habits, or health lifestyle. Because of this “blind guess,” insurance companies raise everyone’s rates to make up for the potential loss. What’s even more discouraging is that those who really need the insurance don’t want to pay for it at any price. With all the advertising on radio, television and websites, twenty million (minimum) should have signed up, but they haven’t. They only want insurance when they get sick and that isn’t how insurance works.
7. Should undocumented immigrants be offered a path to citizenship? If so, what requirements would you impose? How should the law treat undocumented young adults and children who’ve grown up in the U.S. after being brought here by their parents?
If we as a nation don’t have borders, what good is it being a citizen?The government has caused the immigrant problem by not securing our borders years ago. Now that there is a huge problem, we are trying to deal with symptoms. First, we must strengthen our boarders. More fences and higher penalties for those who help illegals get in. Two, we must acknowledge our current immigration laws and abide by them. Immigrants who came here legally ask me the question, “I immigrated here and went through the proper channels to become a U.S. citizen. Why doesn’t everyone else?” Amnesty is terrible for America and should not happen.
8. Do you think climate change is a serious, even urgent problem? Do you think human beings are causing it? What environmental policies should the U.S. adopt to combat climate change, if any?
I personally don’t agree with the notion of climate change. I do believe that God placed the responsibility for man to be a steward of the world in which he lives in. This means that we should do everything possible to leave the planet in the best shape possible. However, we must also extract our natural resources from the earth in an environmentally safe way to provide energy. Clean water and air should always be a priority so that the next generation can experience the same world in which we lived.
9. Is it time to pass a federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to protect the rights of LGBTQ people in the workplace?
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is not needed. What a person does behind closed doors in their bedrooms is up to them, as long as it is with a mature consenting adult. I am afraid that individuals who don’t agree with the LGBTQ life style may be required to accept a life style that they believe is unconscionable. This then would lead the government into making someone not only accept, but approve of someone’s life style that they believe is wrong. This issue is not a civil right. I do believe that we should treat everyone with respect no matter what sexual orientation they are.
10. Should union organizing be facilitated by changes to labor laws, including the proposed Employee Free Choice Act (ECRA)?
Unions have lost their historical bargaining power due to individuals coming to the conclusion that working for something is better than not working at all. I do believe that current safety regulations are important for the health of employees. Individuals should be given the choice as to who and where, and for what pay they will accept. Hard working employees have more choices and better personal negotiating power, because employers understand a hard working employee when they see one.
11. Do you support or oppose increasing tax rates on the wealthy, either to reduce federal debt or as part of a package to raise money for public investments and/or cut taxes for the middle-class?
I do not support increasing tax rates on the wealthy. By doing so, this encourages them to take their money overseas. Everyone should pay their fair share of taxes. Everyone enjoys services provided by the government. Everyone should have skin in the game.
12.What do you think of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s idea of expanding Social Security benefits as private pensions become less and less common?
We cannot expand Social Security benefits because we cannot afford what we already promised to people. Increasing the benefits will only quicken its bankruptcy. The fund has been raided by Washington for too long.