Franklin Delano Roth II Answered Our Survey

Franklin Delano Roth II

Franklin Delano Roth II

Alton, Mo. – Franklin Delano Roth II is running for the eighth congressional district, which includes Oregon County. In May, he visited the Court Square Cafe and spoke to local citizens about their concerns. Recently, he answered the AltonMo.com survey. Although some of the answers are the same as in May, he had more opportunities to expound on certain topics.

Are you aware that many schoolchildren cannot read or write cursive? What would you do to solve this problem?

I don’t know that it is a problem.  I am more concerned with whether we can keep good teachers in our rural schools by paying them a good salary.  Half the people who write in cursive write so poorly you can’t read it.  I’m one of them.  I’m more concerned with kids being able to read, write well, whether in cursive or print, understand science, history, civics, geography, basic math, and accounting skills.

Do you believe that self-defense is a right? Why? Should there be any limitations?

I absolutely believe self-defense is a right.  I don’t agree with some of the stand-your-ground laws which have turned some people into vigilantes.  Some of these people have used this law to harass people and instigate a fight, then shoot them claiming self-defense.  I think that is wrong.

In light of the Bill of Rights, how do you propose supporting our enumerated freedoms and rights?

By keeping the separation of church and state for one.  The founding fathers were worried about mixing religion and government because they knew European history and what a bloodbath that led to.  If you want an example of mixing religion and government look no farther than Saudi Arabia or Iran.  The people that push mixing religion and government in this country wouldn’t be so agreeable to it if it was a different religion from their own, making the rules.  I believe the founders made the Constitution a fluid document because they were smart enough to know that times change and the needs of society change.  That’s why slavery had to be eliminated when it wasn’t prohibited in the original document, or women given the right to vote, etc.

As illegal persons come to Missouri, do you see their presence as a help or a hindrance? What will they do to our economy?

We need to control the number of immigrants coming into this country.  However, by our own law, immigrants have a right to seek asylum here.  We have bogged the process down so much that people bypass legal entry points and try to cross illegally, out of desperation.  Immigrants do a lot of work Americans won’t do.  Take a drive through the San Joaquin Valley in California and see how many non-immigrants are on their hands and knees cutting lettuce, picking fruit or any of the other labor-intensive jobs there.  You won’t find them.  People forget that in our past if you weren’t a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant from England, you weren’t wanted here.  That included French, Polish, Eastern European, Chinese, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and any other country or religion you can think of.  Our current unemployment rate is 3.4%, so it’s not like they’re taking jobs from people who want to work.  But they do need to go through the system and apply for citizenship legally.  We need more judges to help expedite the process but our current Congress doesn’t want to fund it, just like they didn’t pass the bipartisan immigration plan because some republican politicians want to use immigration as a political issue.  That appears to be more important than actually solving the problem.

What is the biggest problem facing Missourians/Americans?

The biggest problems are a lack of good-paying jobs and access to affordable healthcare.  I want to bring manufacturing back to this country by taking away the cheap labor incentive companies have by relocating to third-world countries.  I also want Medicare for all and get private insurance out of healthcare completely.  I want to go back to a fair tax system where billionaires pay their fair share so we can fund our infrastructure, healthcare, schools, farm programs that benefit small farms and not just the giant farms, programs to help those in need and funding Social Security.  We built the interstate highway system in the sixties and seventies because we taxed the wealthy and corporations.  Now we can’t even keep them maintained.

The traditional family consists of a father, mother, and children. Is this type of family good for our culture?

I think the traditional family is the best environment to raise kids.  That being said, many children are better off in single-family households or gay households if the traditional family environment is toxic or dangerous.  Children need love and guidance, not threats of abuse or watching one of their parents being abused.  There are many children raised in a single-parent home or a home with gay parents who thrive.  Did they miss out on some things by not having both parents there, absolutely.  It can’t always be a perfect world, but the traditional home isn’t always the best.

What are the most pressing needs for infrastructure or capital projects in the state?

The most pressing needs are getting our crumbling bridges replaced, roads repaired, and in the case of interstates, widening them to three or more lanes.  We also need to turn busy roads into four-lane highways, straightening and widening others to make them safer.  We also need to provide high-speed internet to our rural communities, update rural school buildings or build new ones.

How would you protect Oregon County from big government interference? Tax manipulation?

I think more decision-making should be left in the hands of local governments.  With federal funding comes government oversight.  Some of it is good, like protecting the environment from companies who will destroy the land or pollute our rivers and streams to make a dollar.  Some of it is bad, like micro-managing decisions that affect local residents without input from those local people or their representatives.

What laws would you like to see passed or repealed in your term?

The first law I would pass would be for universal healthcare and get private insurance out of our healthcare altogether.  We are the only developed country that doesn’t have it.  We are the only country that bankrupts its citizens, or forces them to ration medication like insulin because they can’t afford it.  How many people don’t seek treatment until the illness is life and death because they either don’t have health insurance or have very high deductibles?  The nonsense you hear about having to wait to see a doctor in other countries is propaganda pushed by the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.  I also want to pass a tax law that forces billionaires to pay their fair share.  We’ve transferred 50 trillion dollars from the bottom 90% of our population to the top 1%.  We need to change this. I would also like to pass a bill ending the cap on Social Security tax.  Now, after a person reaches $168,800 dollars in income, they no longer pay Social Security tax.  I would end the cap.  I would also require the government to pay back the almost three trillion dollars they owe the Social Security fund, plus interest.  By doing this, we could increase benefits and fund Social Security for years.

What is your greatest accomplishment that you want voters to know about?

I raised a son as a single parent while farming and owning a trucking business.  I can relate to people who have been in my shoes and struggled to raise a child as a single parent.  My parents, especially my mother during planting and harvesting, were a big help.

Can you give a short bio on why you chose to run for office?

I chose to run because I don’t like what I see happening in this state or this country.  Working people are being left behind, in this district particularly.  Our rural hospitals are closing or barely hanging on, we have a higher infant mortality rate than some third world countries, we’re losing factories and jobs and not replacing them, we have the lowest starting pay for teachers in the country, and by every economic measure, we are the poorest district in Missouri and one of the ten poorest districts in the country.  I don’t think this is the life we want.  We pass tax laws to benefit people who are beyond wealthy, but some Republican politicians now want to cut Medicare and Social Security.  According to these politicians, more tax cuts for Jeff Bezos (Amazon) and Elon Musk (Tesla) is not the problem, it’s grandma and grandpa collecting their $1,500.00 per month and having Medicare is the problem.  Enough!  Are we really going to cut benefits for people who have worked all their lives and paid into the system, thinking they were going to be ok in retirement, only to have their benefits cut so we can give more to the obscenely wealthy?  It’s ridiculous and shouldn’t happen.

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