I grew up building a small business with my family from the ground up. I understand the struggles many business owners face due to regulatory burdens and taxes that make it hard to survive, let alone thrive. I’m also the only candidate in this race who has experience building consensus among members of Congress and moving legislation at the federal level. I saw how dysfunctional the institution is and how to make it far better, which is why I will be able to start working to get Congress functional again on Day One.”

24th Congressional District Candidate Q&A: Justin Fareed

Posted on May 20

Noozhawk

Justin Fareed, 27, a Republican, is a Santa Barbara businessman and rancher. He previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide to Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky.

Click here for more information about Justin Fareed.

Noozhawk: If elected, what specific issue will be your No. 1 priority in Congress?

JF: The issues we currently face as a nation are due to the short-sighted policies pushed by political insiders who care more about winning their next election than the people they were elected represent.

I’m running for Congress to reform the institution, rein in federal overreach, and put forth 21st-century policies to ensure a better future for our country.

My No. 1 priority will be to represent the people of the Central Coast and to get Congress working again so that taxpayer dollars are allocated and invested wisely.

Q: Given the extreme division and polarization in Congress and the nation, what specifically will you do to help break the deadlock?

JF: Today, Congress is run by political insiders who care more about winning their next election than the policies that are affecting this and the next generation. They will say and do anything to get elected, but fail to do the things necessary to move our country forward.

As the only candidate with experience in drafting and moving legislation at the federal level by building consensus among members, I will work to reform the institution so there is better oversight for the way taxpayer dollars are spent and less room for empty political rhetoric.

Q: How would you describe your political philosophy? Liberal, moderate, conservative, progressive, socialist, libertarian, other? Explain why.

JF: It’s important to understand that a representative’s job in Congress, above all else, is to serve the people who sent them there, and do what is best for the future of our country, regardless of party lines.

Although, I do consider myself a next-generation conservative, I will work to ensure that every voice of the Central Coast is heard in Washington.

Q: What personal and work experience prepared you for this job?

JF: I grew up building a small business with my family from the ground up. I understand the struggles many business owners face due to regulatory burdens and taxes that make it hard to survive, let alone thrive.

I’m also the only candidate in this race who has experience building consensus among members of Congress and moving legislation at the federal level. I saw how dysfunctional the institution is and how to make it far better, which is why I will be able to start working to get Congress functional again on Day One.

Q: How well is the United States doing in the area of military preparedness? What, if anything, would you change?

JF: As someone who worked on foreign policy at the federal level and after discussions with military leaders like Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., a retired Navy SEAL commander; Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., a retired U.S. Marine Corps major; and Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of theHouse Foreign Affairs Committee, who I’m honored to have supporting my campaign, I can tell you that our military readiness is troubling.

It’s undeniable that there’s instability in the world, with threats to our nation’s security both at home and abroad.

With the crisis in Syria, the rise of radical Islamic groups across the Middle East, this administration’s unwillingness to stand up to North Korea, Russia and China, and the promotion of an incredibly flawed and negligent nuclear deal with Iran, we have left our nation’s security and allies vulnerable, including one of our most trusted partners in Israel.

I will advocate for a concerted approach to defeat radical Islamic terrorism, strengthen relationships with our allies, show leadership, and stand up for America’s interests in order to ensure safety for our families and future generations.

Q: California will have a $15 minimum wage in a few years. Do you support raising the federal minimum wage, and if so, to what rate?

JF: Raising the minimum wage hurts every individual and entity involved, from those who are unemployed to small business owners, by weakening our economy and driving down job growth.

There isn’t an economic framework in existence that could be used to justify this hike. Even Gov. Jerry Brown himself admitted that the policy doesn’t make sense economically.

Furthermore, this new minimum wage increase completely undermines the diversity of the Central Coast by ignoring the intricacies to employment opportunities, living costs and skill levels.

Ultimately, this minimum wage discussion further proves that political insiders care more about talking points than the future of our nation.

Q: Briefly outline your position on climate change. What, if anything, should we as a nation be doing about it?

JF: I support a balanced approach to the issues surrounding our environment and energy sectors, one that promotes energy independence and innovation.

With new technological advancements, I believe that we should and will move toward a more decarbonized future. However, until we perfect these new developments, we need to continue to reduce our dependence on foreign oil by using the natural resources available to us.

In turn, we’ll be able to strengthen our own economy, which will provide innovators with the resources to use to develop new energy solutions.

Q: What changes, if any, would you like to see made in the federal tax code?

JF: As the vice president of my family’s small business, I understand how burdensome overregulation and excess taxes can be, which is why I will work to implement a flatter, simpler tax code.

By doing this, Americans and small businesses will be able to keep more of their own money in their pockets, which will allow for job creation and a stronger economy.

Q: Share your views on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. What, if anything, would you change?

JF: Every American deserves access to quality health care at fair and competitive prices.

Obamacare’s false promises are a prime example of what happens when the federal government attempts to overstep its boundaries.

Families and businesses are being forced to pay more for less coverage, physicians and insurance companies have opted out of the system, and the promise of keeping your doctor and insurance have vanished.

I will work to establish a system that defends patient choice, keeps costs competitive, and allows everyone to acquire the health care they need and want. It is only through a market-based system that innovation can be encouraged, prices can be kept low, and the best quality health care can be achieved.

Q: What changes in abortion law, if any, would you support as a member of Congress?

JF: Personally, I’m pro-life. However, I believe that there are numerous potential scenarios wherein a woman, her family and her doctor may in fact find a medically and or theologically sound reason to perform the procedure early in the pregnancy.

Q: The debate over immigration and guest-worker programs hits close to home for this district, with ICE raids on Santa Maria-area farm businesses and an alleged arson at a Nipomo farmworker housing complex. What changes, if any, would like to see made in immigration law and enforcement?

JF: Politicians have failed to address the core issues surrounding immigration for decades due to partisan politics and dysfunction in both parties, which is why we need to systematically reform Congress and address immigration on a step-by-step basis.

The Central Coast has a unique understanding of immigration due to its agricultural needs and student visa system. I will support a robust, fair and enforceable guest-worker program, especially for our farms and agriculture community, but the federal government must secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws.

Additionally, we need to implement a universal verification system that allows employers to ensure that they are hiring employees legally. Overall, legal immigration policies should be merit-based and support economic growth in order to ensure America maintains its standing as a worldwide beacon of opportunity.

Q: What changes, if any, should be made in federally funded college loan programs?

JF: The biggest issue facing our students is the lack of jobs available to them after they graduate. To truly help our students, we need to focus on reducing taxes, and boosting our economy by eliminating the excess burdens imposed on businesses that stifle job growth.

The second largest form of household debt in our country is student-loan debt. We need to make college more accessible and more affordable through fiscal management and responsibility by government bodies, and modernize and expand programs like the 529 tax-free college savings account that allows parents and students to invest and save for college.

We also need to focus on providing alternative options to the traditional four-year university, such as technical and vocational training, in order to give students the ability to choose the best option to make them successful in the 21st-century workforce.

Q: The Refugio oil spill put a spotlight on federal pipeline safety regulations. What can regulators do to prevent future spills?

JF: I believe we must work to conserve the beauty of the Central Coast for future generations to enjoy, but we must do this in a way that does not also jeopardize our economic vitality. In Congress, I will support reasonable proposals that are environmentally and economically responsible.

The Refugio oil spill was caused by corrosion of an onshore pipeline that was regulated by the Transportation Department in D.C.

Furthermore, there were a number of federal agencies with jurisdiction over the spill zones. This could have been avoided and this spill could have been managed much better.

It certainly begs the question of whether D.C. bureaucracies are the best governing bodies without local oversight.