Full Name: Susan Hathaway-Altman
What office are you seeking? Congress - US House of Representatives
What offices, if any, have you previously held? None
Occupation: Vice President, Business Development
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, Business Management
Campaign Website: www.susan4congress.com
What is your position re-establishing the Child Tax Credit at $3,500 per child as set in the American Rescue Plan?
The Child Tax Credit was intended to reduce/eliminate child poverty, and I did support monetary support of families during the global pandemic and the mandatory shutdowns of business causing a lack of opportunities to work in general. There is a not enough data to determine what impact this credit in its current form had directly on child poverty and it is difficult to form a position on whether/not to make enhancements to the plan or to consider it as-is. Above all, I believe in reducing US child poverty in the most effective way, and will ensure that a main priority of mine will be reducing childhood poverty, and poverty of U.S. citizens in general.
Do you believe that corporations pay enough in taxes?
Federal corporate tax is between 21% - 25% currently, and states tax corporations up to 11% (7% in Illinois). I believe corporate tax is right where it should be for now. The act limits itemized deductions, making it a truer tax. The corporate tax burden was reduced from 35% by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, built on the idea that lower business and corporate tax rates, and other related factors would increase investment, make workers more productive, and ultimately raise output and wages. Post-pandemic this outcome should prove itself, but it’s in jeopardy due to other pressures of impending recession and supply chain shortages may not yield the intended results. Even so, increasing corporate tax would only make these issues worse not better. We cannot “wage war” on American business, and risk companies’ deciding not expand to meet the higher demand due to higher taxes and other deterrents to their success.
Would you support increases or decreases in the amount of taxes corporations pay? Why?
I would support tax levels remaining the same as it relates to corporate tax for a period of time to understand how they are working post-pandemic, as we need to return to “the new normal” in order to lay a baseline for measurement as it relates to output and wages. I believe in opposite strategies where we reward successful business practices that help our economy. I am in support of positive reinforcement, and to incentivize businesses that open or expand on our soil and create more jobs and Domestic production.
Do the rich, defined as the wealthiest 1%, pay enough in taxes?
Today the top 1% pay 8.2% income tax, per the white house (wh.gov). Other reports that the share the the top 1% — those earning $540,009 or more — accounted for 40% of the federal income taxes collected in recent years (statesman.com). The tax percentage of the top 1% is not proportionate to those of other tax brackets, however, the total amount of tax is also disproportionate (1% of Americans paying 40% of total federal tax). And more importantly, the bottom 1% of American earners paid only 2.9% federal tax on average, and with refundable tax credits, it was a negative amount of tax. So asking me if I agree if the wealthiest Americans should be taxed more, I say no. We are in a free enterprise system, unlike any country around the globe, where each and every American has the ability to become one of the 1%. As a true patriot, I ask why should we dis-incentivize an American from becoming wealthy? Most wealthy Americans donate a great portion of their income to charity, setting up Foundations and donating money and resources to incredible causes that help low- income Americans and others around the world. We should not look at them as “bad people”, rather, fellow Americans that because of our unique freedoms in the United States of America, we have the right to earn money in a lawful way, uncapped. And conversely, the poorest of Americans pay little to no tax now (less than 2.9% and in some cases zero or a negative amount) so they are being taken care of related to tax burden. Additionally, tax increases NEVER stop at the 1% of wealthiest people. Historically these “do good” tax increases proposed for only the wealthy have resulted in tax increases across the board for all Americans, including the poorest of Americans – and this is mostly true when Democrats are in office. And for the record, I am one of the Americans that earn under $400,000.00, and above the lower income levels mentioned, so I have no horse in this race. My beliefs come straight from the Constitution.
Would you support changes in the tax code that would increase or decrease their tax burden? Why?
I would support eliminating tax on unemployment benefits included in the America Rescue Plan in 2020 and unfortunately not extended in 2021 by the new administration. America’s economy is getting worse, not better, and those on unemployment had quite a shock in 2021 when they had to flip the bill for taxes on their already- reduced income caused mainly by the pandemic. Additionally, the Build Back Better plan needs to be completely overhauled. Right now as it stands, Build Back Better is basically “mailing checks to people with fake money”, which makes inflation worse. This can destroy our nation. We need to make changes that are sustainable and create an “America Builds Better” plan, where we support the middle class and everyone in this country by building up our businesses and resources, creating jobs that last, and decreasing our supply dependencies on China and other countries by producing more of our GDP on American soil. That includes bringing domestic oil production back. Our federal government’s deficit is a whopping $30 trillion (debt clock) and climbing. We cannot keep going in this direction and expect to remain relevant on the global economic front. We are already on the brink of a full recession (only another quarter until the measurable results come out). If our deficit keeps increasing and we are in a position of default, the stock market would go into a tailspin. And American’s already have less than 35% confidence in Joe Biden’s handling of the economy (and that is a direct quote from news outlets like CNBC and others). Can you imagine how a dire economic situation like that would be handled by our present leaders and lawmakers? That is why I believe a wave of Red will sweep over our great nation in the Fall. Americans are very smart, and will vote the right way, and candidates like myself and other amazing individuals will impact great change in areas of economic importance.
Do you support raising taxes on capital gains and dividends? Why?
No – there is scuttle about this as well as the administration intimating taxing unrealized gains on stocks, which in my opinion is preposterous. There have been remarks by the White House that “untaxed capital gains income is dramatically smaller than wage income for most families”, however, now more younger Americans and middle class people are entering into the stock market, and actually reaping the benefits of a free market. Why should we do anything to limit that ability of low to middle income Americans? And how can we possibly administer a tax structure on unrealized stock gains? We would then have to have millions of dollars in infrastructure to measure each stock, it’s increase, and how much tax would be assessed at any given point in time. Not to mention, we would also have to have a mechanism and resources in place to issue refunds for stocks that are exercised at a lower amount than was initially taxed. It would create pandemonium....could you even imagine waiting on hold with the IRS for answers to individual stock tax questions with the millions of stock- owners in America?
The COVID-19 pandemic saw a breakdown in this country’s supply chain. What would you propose to fix it?
We need to do three things: 1) incentivize people to go back to work instead of to stay at home, 2) support the increase of domestic production, farming, and yes, bring back oil on American soil, and 3) decrease the regulatory burdens that are making the supply chain problems worse. Mix in the need to drastically cap and reduce the growing inflation so that input goods to make raw materials aren’t so high that manufacturers have to step back from production. I have worked for almost 30 years as a leader in the supply chain, and in the transportation segment, and I am shaking my head on a daily basis wondering how this catastrophe is being tolerated in our great nation. I can tell you we are not placing enough emphasis on these and other real and impending dangers. This country needs strong representatives with business and supply chain experience to lead the charge in mending our fractured supply chain. If we don’t, we will definitely not have enough supply for ourselves, and not nearly enough with the added 1.7 million illegal migrants that have entered this country in the past year, and the predicted 17,000 per day increase in these illegal migrants that we may see once Title 42 is potentially lifted by our administration in May. But I digress...
How would you bring back manufacturing jobs?
I will make it my priority to bring back good-paying manufacturing jobs in America. And I will for the direct benefit of the constituents of District 11, where there needs to be less talk about job creation and more actual jobs created. A big part of that is providing an environment in which businesses can thrive and be able to offer these types of positions. The extreme spending this administration has done at a federal level has caused blowback to job creation throughout the nation. The incentives should be both for businesses to create jobs and domestic production, and for Americans to go to work and do a good job and be compensated well for it. In addition to my normal duties in Congress, I will also use my skills and experience gained in over 30 years of business experience to make an impact on this issue.
What plans do you have to help the lower and middle class?
It all starts with Education. The more access lower and middle class Americans have to good quality education, the better equipped they will be to think critically, problem solve, and innovate. And this solid foundation opens up a new world of opportunity in business and in many professions where students need the education, skills and confidence to compete, both in their local communities as well as in the national and global marketplace. But even more important is to ensure that education delivers students truly beneficial life skills where they can perform the “simple but critical” things well in daily living. And my focus will be on the content and delivery of the most important subjects: Math, English and Science. I feel we have fallen well behind many other nations (China #1, and Russia #2!) in these subjects. And the way to excel (especially for younger Americans) is to lay a great foundation of content and learning through skilled teachers in a positive and supportive environment. I plan to dig deep into what’s not working today in the education system, and advocate for changes that allocate money and resources in the right areas, with a goal of enriching content for students in math, science and English, providing the right resources and environment to learn in, and to distribute this knowledge through our highly skilled and dedicated teachers that we have throughout Illinois 11th district. All the while I will be scrutinizing programs, processes and infrastructure that does not align with optimizing the education of this core content in the most successful learning and teaching environment for students and teachers.
Do you support the idea that government can require immunizations against COVID-19 or other communicable diseases?
No, I am not in support of mandates related to pharmaceuticals or personal wellbeing. We live in a free society, and we the people should decide what is best for ourselves and our children in respect to these issues, and in our home environments.
How do you feel about mask mandates?
Again, I do not support mask mandates or mandates of any type by the government.
Is America prepared for either another round of the current pandemic, or the next one?
America is absolutely not prepared for another pandemic on any level. The primary reason is that our country is so very divided in our thinking about how to react to a pandemic. This, in my opinion, was perpetrated by the cloud of suspicion Americans had about how this pandemic initially started (the who and why), and the onslaught of politics that ensued during an election year, causing massive opposition on how to react to it, and in the end turned into a grand separation of not only beliefs on the pandemic, but almost every issue in the country today. Division will bring our great nation down. I propose to be a catalyst in bringing both sides back together, by coming to common ground on paramount issues such as the pandemic and many others. How we do that is to collaborate. Not only should House members and the Senate collaborate, we the American people must collaborate. We can set this up now very easily through technology, creating forums and task forces and focus groups with every day Americans, and ultimately come up with proactive plans on how to prepare for the next pandemic and beyond.
Do you support new laws or regulations to safeguard people in the event of another pandemic?
I do feel that there should be regulations to safeguard people in certain situations arising from this issue. But first, I need to dig into the many laws, mandates, and regulations formed during the Covid-19 era, and from there look at the studies that are currently being conducted and ones in future months/years to understand which of those programs had proven and positive results. And from there, I plan on making recommendations on what to do based on these analytics.
Should Medicare be expanded to include dental coverage for older Americans?
As someone who works part time in the Insurance field and is licensed in Health and Life insurance in Illinois, I do feel a conflict of interest in answering this question, and I do not want it to be construed as answering to benefit myself vs. the great citizens of the 11th district of Illinois.
Should pregnant women have the right to get an abortion?
No, every life (which begins at conception) should be allowed to live in the country, based on the U.S. Constitution. The exception to that is where it jeopardizes the mother’s life. I am a Constitutionalist, and I am also a mom (both of my own biological children, as well as an adopted child from a foster care program), and so I understand the emotional side of this. And I truly believe in adoption as well as in the right to life. Thousands of Americans try to adopt each year, and are either never able to, or wait years in order to receive one of these beautiful children into their homes. If you have agreed to the risks of getting pregnant, you should then agree to the miracle of having a baby, and you will still have the absolute best alternative to choose, which is to either keep it and reconsider (which many people do) or to put this wonderful life up for adoption and not only make a parent overjoyed, but also allow that life to achieve to greatness in this wonderful nation.
Do American cities have a crime problem?
Yes. Violent crime is out of control in many large cities in this country. This crime is fueled primarily by political prosecutors and mayors who are more concerned with keeping their jobs instead of upholding the laws of the land which protect our citizens. Sadly, the populations which suffer the most are the poor and lower middle classes. In Congress, I would be a staunch supporter of law-and-order policies including supporting local law enforcement training and funding. There is no reason that the rise in crime cannot be reversed allowing our citizens to once again walk the streets of our cities with confidence and security.
Are there any limits to the Second Amendment?
Yes. Responsible citizens understand that there are limits on all the freedoms and rights found in the Bill of Rights. For instance, one cannot yell “fire” in a crowded theatre under the guise of freedom of the press; print premeditated lies under freedom of the press to damage or destroy someone’s character; etc. The State of Illinois already has many guidelines and regulations which must be followed by law abiding citizens – Firearm Owner Identification Card (FOID Card) in order to buy a firearm or ammunition, 72 hour waiting period to purchase a firearm, Concealed Carry License classroom and range requirements, etc. The issue is not the law-abiding citizens who purchase firearms legally and follow the law as is their natural right to protect themselves. The problem involves the criminals who do not follow the law regarding firearms. In Congress, I would support more stringent laws and penalties for criminals using firearms in a crime, felons caught with a firearm, or those individuals possessing an illegal firearm.
Did Joe Biden win the 2020 election?
Joe Biden won the election because he is currently the President of the United States of America. I think you may be hinting of election fraud, and if so, it is not for me to speculate as a normal citizen of the United States on whether or not there was conclusively election fraud in the 2020 election, because as a regular citizen I would not have access to that type of insight. Even so, nearly 80 million people in our nation are very upset about this issue. You can guarantee that if I am elected, I will make it my mission to ensure that there is election integrity, and that every vote that is cast in the United States is a good vote.
Would you have voted to ratify his presidency?
I was not in Congress at that time, so it is hard to say. At that time I was (as I am now) a normal citizen of the USA. The way I make decisions is to analyze data that is presented to me, and make my conclusions based on accurate and complete information before making any commitments with a profound impact such as this.
What is your position on the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol?
I believe in the First Amendment right to assembly peacefully and protest as stated in the Bill of Rights. I was not at the Capitol on that day, and this incident is so highly charged that it is difficult to discerned what exactly happened. There are many conflicting reports in the press. I do not know of anyone personally that was involved in the incident to gain knowledge from.
Was it an insurrection?
I am not sure, and we will have to let the courts of this great nation decide. However, if this was an insurrection, then clearly so were the incidents that happened in Portland, Philadelphia, Chicago, Miami, and about every large city during the violent riots of 2020 in each of these cities. Especially those that “claimed a territory” of the city as their own. We should not be so one-sided in this country, and allow one party with one set of beliefs to be unpunished while another party with another set of beliefs gets punished. And we need to get back together as one nation before our Constitution is jeopardized, and our freedoms disappear – let’s not be conquered by division.
Should people convicted of a crime related to their participation in the riot ever be pardoned?
In my position I will have no authority to pardon someone that is incarcerated. We will have to stand behind our President and Governors if they so choose to grant pardons in the riots that occurred in 2020 and 2021.
Should voters be required to show an ID to vote?
Yes. Almost everything in our society requires an ID - flying on an airplane, cell phone service, renting a motel room, applying for public assistance, purchasing an alcoholic beverage, etc. There are not many actions which do not require an ID. We need to ensure that our elections are fair, above suspicion, and viewed with confidence by the voting public. Showing an ID to vote is a step in that direction.
Would you, as a member of Congress, ever vote against certifying presidential electoral votes submitted by states’ official voting authorities?
I cannot predict the future. But as I said before, I make my decisions based on analysis of data, and evidence that shows the truth or a strong inclination thereof. I will always stand by the truth, no matter if it’s against my beliefs or my special interest in a case such as this.