Full Name: Jerry Evans
What office are you seeking? US Representative, Illinois’ 11th Congressional District
What offices, if any, have you previously held? None. I am proudly running as a political outsider.
City: Warrenville, IL
Occupation: Music Teacher and Small Business Owner
Education: BA in Music from Wheaton College
Campaign Website: www.JerryForCongress.com
What is your position re-establishing the Child Tax Credit at $3,500 per child as set in the American Rescue Plan?
I believe that the American Economy needs to work for all American families. It sounds nice on paper but is just a bait and switch maneuver. This program will not provide any long-term relief to working-class families. Welfare programs should be tied to work requirements and aim to lift Americans out of poverty.
Do you believe that corporations pay enough in taxes?
Raising taxes on corporations is not the socially just policy some make it out to be. Corporations pass the cost of these taxes on to their customers by raising prices. In other words, those who purchase their products from these corporations are the ones who really end up paying the tax. Oftentimes these taxes end up hitting working-class Americans the hardest. We should instead work with businesses both small and large to create new jobs and opportunities, enabling a higher quality of life for every American.
Would you support increases or decreases in the amount of taxes corporations pay? Why?
Corporations are not ultimately the ones who actually pay these taxes- the American people do in the form of higher costs, or in jobs lost because businesses can’t stay in business. Further raising taxes on corporations only makes it more profitable to move their business elsewhere, reducing jobs and opportunity in the United States. This contrasts strongly with when the corporate tax rate was lowered under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Under the TCJA, we saw a historic economic boom and an economy at full employment. I would support returning the corporate tax rate to these levels.
Do the rich, defined as the wealthiest 1%, pay enough in taxes?
It depends what you consider to be “enough” in taxes. If you consider “enough” to be a rate at which the government is able to legislate us into prosperity, then no. Because there will never be enough, no matter how much anyone pays. We should focus on keeping tax rates low enough to create the economic opportunity deserved by every American, creating good paying jobs, providing for world-class education and infrastructure, a military strong enough to secure peace through strength, and provide a safety net for those unable to care for themselves.
Would support changes in the tax code that would increase or decrease their tax burden? Why?
I would support a restoring and making permanent the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which led to a historically strong economy and full employment. Given our current budget deficit, I do not think it is appropriate to further cut taxes until we have reduced federal spending and balanced the budget.
Do you support raising taxes on capital gains and dividends? Why?
I would be open to considering taxing capital gains and dividends at the same level as personal income, provided we reduce more harmful taxes elsewhere to prevent a net increase in taxation.
The COVID-19 pandemic saw a breakdown in this country’s supply chain. What would you propose to fix it?
##### We need to have an American pro-business environment to produce more products made here in the United States. I strongly support free trade, but we should be able to provide for ourselves. We must invest in modernizing American ports to better accommodate growing e-commerce. Secondly, the pandemic massively shifted consumer habits, leading to an increase in online orders. This increase helped overwhelm the supply chain, along with excessive government regulations & restrictions, and workers leaving the work force and not returning.
How would you bring back manufacturing jobs?
The United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) was a great step in the right direction. We should also restore the tax cuts provided by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Finally, we need to invest more in Career and Technical Education to ensure the United States has the workforce we need for manufacturing to grow and prosper in the United States.
What plans do you have to help the lower and middle class?
The most impactful policies the federal government can enact to help lower and middle-class Americans are those which promote a strong economy and strong education. That means investing and innovating in education, and supporting school choice - especially for those in poorer areas with failing schools. Every child should have phenomenal educational opportunities. It also means building the infrastructure the nation needs to deliver goods and services throughout the United States and the world. And it means reducing burdensome taxes and regulations in order to allow businesses both small and large to grow. In turn, these policies create an economy in which every American has access to bountiful opportunity, the cost of living is lower, and more income is in the pockets of lower- and middle-class Americans.
Do you support the idea that government can require immunizations against COVID-19 or other communicable diseases?
I do not. As a child, I had a severe adverse reaction to a vaccine I received. I understand that, for the overwhelming majority of Americans, this does not pose a significant risk. But it does how the flaws in top-down, one-size-fits-all policy making. Americans deserve the freedom to make this decision for themselves. It’s a decision for them to make in consultation with their doctor or another qualified medical professional.
How do you feel about mask mandates?
When it comes to making public health decisions, we need to follow the facts. But despite the emphasis placed on wearing masks, there is little to no evidence suggesting cloth masks made any significant difference in the pandemic. After over two years, if there is still no conclusive evidence showing masks are effective at limiting the transmission of COVID-19, then it is time to accept that evidence probably does not exist. It is time to end mask mandates.
Is America prepared for either another round of the current pandemic, or the next one?
No, I do not think we are. Our government’s very unscientific actions over the last two years have undermined public confidence in the government’s public health recommendations. Government, at all levels, needs to earn back the American peoples’ trust. Instead, they continue to focus on political science rather than medical science.
Do you support new laws or regulations to safeguard people in the event of another pandemic?
I believe whatever policies we decide upon should be backed by strong scientific evidence and data. Furthermore, these policies must always respect individual liberty & Constitutional rights, and take other factors, including their economic impact, into strong consideration.
Should Medicare be expanded to include dental coverage for older Americans?
Medicare is currently running a massive deficit, threatening the long-term viability of the program. It is imperative the United States focus on lowering the overall cost of healthcare in order to lower Medicare costs and protect these benefits for future generations. There is so much room for improvement in terms of healthcare costs that I believe we can potentially get to a point where it is financially viable to include dental coverage. But until we ensure Medicare will even exist for future generations, expanding benefits is irresponsible.
What are the top two threats to our national security?
The United States serves as a giant and powerful pillar upholding freedom throughout the world. But, in recent decades, cracks have begun to show in its foundation. Maintaining a global presence and influence strong enough to successfully deter conflict requires the United States to be strong. Accordingly, our number one national security threat is actually failing domestic energy policies that have left Americans divided and jeopardized our long-term fiscal viability. But our greatest external threat is Communist China. China is dead set on toppling the United States as the world’s leading power. Should China succeed in breaking the pillar upholding freedom throughout the world, that would significantly hurt America in multiple ways, and hurt free countries, like Ukraine & Taiwan, depending upon the strength of US resolve.
What should be done to eliminate them?
We as Americans need to remember who we are. America is truly exceptional, and the greatest nation in the history of man. Though we find ourselves in heated disagreements, we all ultimately want what is best for us all. And, as is sage advice in any negotiation, focus on the problem, not the person. When it comes to China, we need to understand the CCP represents a multispectral threat operating around the world. We need to counter their expansionist ambitions through both traditional military strength as a deterrent, but also utilize all facets of soft power, including energy independence, diplomacy, economic actions, and intelligence activities.
What is your position on climate change and what should be done about it?
Climate change is a real problem that needs addressed. However, addressing climate change does not require we embrace socialism or the Green New Deal. On the contrary, the innovation spurred by our free-market economy is why the United States leads the world in reduced carbon emissions, even compared to the EU as a whole. We should continue to embrace free enterprise in order to develop both sustainable energy solutions and carbon sequestration technologies. I support an all of the above approach to energy in which the United States continues to use fossil fuels as well as renewable energy, including nuclear, as the market shifts towards a sustainable future.
What is your position on nuclear energy expansion?
I am in favor of expanding nuclear energy production. Nuclear energy is our most readily available means of clean energy production. Furthermore, expanding the production of nuclear power will help the United States return to energy independence.
Should America invest in other forms of renewable energy? Please explain.
Yes. I support an “All of the Above” approach to energy. The greatest challenge with other sources of renewable energy, such as wind and solar, is that it is not currently possible to store the energy produced. And obviously it is not always sunny or windy. Furthermore, wind and solar due not produce enough energy to reasonably power the nation on their own. They are presently best used as a supplement to fossil fuels and nuclear power.
Should pregnant women have the right to get an abortion?
I am 100% pro-life. I believe life begins at conception. I oppose abortion except in cases of the life of the mother.
Is the immigration system a problem in this country? If so, what is your plan to fix it?
Our immigration system is overly complex. We should stream line the process and prioritize immigrants based on merit. In particularly, we should prioritize immigrants with the skills needed to fill jobs we cannot fill with Americans.
Do American cities have a crime problem?
Yes. Chicago especially. Weak-on-crime judges and calls to defund the police have emboldened criminals. This has led to a surge of violent crime, including a 50% increase to the homicide rate in suburban Chicago. We must restore the rule of law.
If so, what is your suggestion to solve it?
In the short-term, we need to provide law enforcement with the funding and resources necessary to reassert the rule of law. In the long-term, we need to embrace policies that foster economic growth and opportunity, as well as improve education, to increase employment and lower poverty.
Should police officers have qualified immunity in cases involving alleged excessive force or other misconduct?
I support qualified immunity. What separates law enforcement from everyday Americans is that law enforcement officers are expected to routinely place themselves in dangerous situations. These situations often require split second decision making. If we remove qualified immunity, police officers will hesitate to keep themselves and our communities safe against threats. In turn, that moment of hesitation could easily be enough to cost law enforcement officers their lives. There are better ways to prevent the excessive use of force.
Are there any limits to the Second Amendment?
The Second Amendment is critical to protecting the rest of our rights and I oppose further restrictions. Frequently proposed restrictions would not -and have not- done anything to curb gun violence. They would only disarm law- abiding Americans rather than criminals. We should instead work to improve access to mental health services and develop a high-employment economy to minimize violent crime.
Do you support any restrictions on gun purchases or other stricter gun control measures including citizens’ access to military style weaponry?
I do not. Especially as”military style weaponry” is not a term in common usage. If by this, you mean semi-automatic hand guns or rifles, which are the most commonly owned weapons, then no. If you are referring to fully automatic machine guns or other similar weapons, then these are already heavily restricted under the National Firearms Act. If you mean weapons resembling those used by the military, such as some AR-15′s, then I would question why we are focused on purely aesthetic features
Illinois, along with many states across the country, have legalized marijuana making it legal for people to buy and use it. Marijuana, however, is still illegal at the federal level. Do you support legalizing marijuana nationally? Why or why not?
I support decriminalizing the possession of marijuana while maintaining federal laws against the distribution and trafficking of marijuana. The federal government has allowed states to set their own policies for years. Federal law should reflect this. I support continuing to allow states to decide their marijuana policies for themselves.
Did Joe Biden win the 2020 election?
Joe Biden has been sworn in as the winner of the 2020 Presidential Election, and he has been President for well over a year.
Would you have voted to ratify his presidency?
Roughly half the country, both Democrats and Republicans, had serious concerns about the electors from states like Pennsylvania, and others. Because the Supreme Court did not hear out those concerns, those Americans did no get the answers they needed to feel fully confident with the election outcome. I would not have voted to certify these electors until more extensive investigation was done to bring confidence in the outcomes of said states. I believe strongly in transparency and accountability, and that’s what Americans always deserve.
What is your position on the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol?
I strongly oppose political violence in any capacity by either side.
Was it an insurrection?
While I condemned the violence on January 6th, 2021, and I believe the violence and breaching of the capitol should have never occurred, I do not believe the riot satisfied the dictionary definition of an insurrection. It lacked the organization and weapons necessary to be a considered a true insurrection.
Should people convicted of a crime related to their participation in the riot ever be pardoned?
Justice should be applied equally to every American. All those guilty of crimes related to their participation should be appropriately punished based on the severity of the charges. We should not allow political motivations to have an undue influence on the legal system.
Should voters be required to show an ID to vote?
Yes. The majority of Americans support voter ID as a means to safeguard the integrity of our elections.
Would you, as a member of Congress, ever vote against certifying presidential electoral votes submitted by states’ official voting authorities?
I would weigh the merits of their argument and act in good faith according to the Constitution of the United States.