John Tree Q & A

1) What is the No. 1 issue in your district and how would you address it?

The number one issues in the 10th Congressional District is improving the economy and creating jobs. First and foremost we must improve economic development by helping small business get access to credit so they can acquire the equipment and tools they need to hire and prosper.  I’ve worked as an executive in Fortune 500 companies such as Procter & Gamble and Kellogg’s.  I’ve also served as the President of a small granola company that employed just twenty people and I can tell you first hand that small businesses comparatively enjoy very few advantages in our tax code and it is extremely difficult, especially today, for small businesses to get loans necessary to open, hire and grow.  I’m the only candidate running in the 10th Congressional District who hasn’t simply provided business strategy consulting to businesses, which I have, but also actually had to lay in bed at night worrying how to meet payroll, provide healthcare to workers and produce more product at a lower cost. The giant corporations have plenty of advantages, lobbyists and friends in Congress. I think Congress needs more small business people on hand to craft an economic agenda aimed at helping those who employee 20, 50 or a 100 workers. 

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2) How would you promote job growth in your district?

Partisan shouting matches in Washington and the extreme agenda of the Tea Party are pitting small business, large businesses and their employees against each other, but we all know that we need all types of clean, modern and efficient businesses to grow our economy. We need employers and their employees to be successful in order to create lasting economic growth. As the U.S. Congressman from the Illinois Tenth Congressional District, I will fight for the Win-Win Jobs agenda.

I am the only candidate running in the 10th Congressional District to have engaged the American economy from every angle, from the world’s biggest companies down to the smallest. I know what we must do as a country to get us back on our feet. In Congress I will work to support and work to create:

  • Small Business Incentives:  I will push for tax credits and low interest loans for small business to open and expand
  • R&D: I will push for R & D incentives so all businesses, large and small, have an opportunity to be leaders in innovation
  • Transportation and Communications Infrastructure:  I want America to begin rebuilding our transportation and communications infrastructure — which will make us safer, more modern and create hundreds of thousands of jobs. This includes developing high speed rail, increasing federal support for mass transit, upgrading the Internet and making it more accessible, and building a modernized electric grid
  • Alternative Energy: Let’s use our own wind, sun and water to generate clean power while creating jobs right here that can never be outsourced. Solar panels require electricians, high efficiency windows are installed by carpenters, and thermal water heating technology requires trained plumbers. I want our district to have as many of these employers as any other in the nation

3)    Should the federal government cut spending and where?

The best way to improve our economy is not through simply cutting spending, but by actually growing the economy.  We need a balanced approach of growth and spending cuts.  I’m calling for cuts in the defense budget to be able to pay for critical domestic spending in education and infrastructure.  And as a full Colonel in the Air Force Reserve, with almost 22 years of military service, I can successfully make the case for how and where to take the cuts in the defense budget without jeopardizing our national security.  I have the credibility and resume to get on the House Armed Services Committee as a freshman member of Congress, and to immediately make a difference for our district.

4) If Republican, which GOP presidential candidate do you support?


5) Give an example of something you’ve done that is bipartisanship in nature.

I’ve worked in the defense community for nearly 22 years, and have been involved with numerous initiatives that were Democratic or Republican agenda items, including the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

6) Name one good policy idea that comes from the opposing party.

The Republicans believe that we should reduce our federal deficit.  I agree that we need to reduce our deficit, but I just completely reject the way in which the Republicans want to get that done.

7) How do you define family values?

The core essence of what a family stands for, how they interact with each other, and with the greater society.  It is often intertwined with religion, nationality, culture, etc.  It is the essential fabric of a people.

8) What are your thoughts on the healthcare law?

I will fight those who stand with Tea Party extremists, as Congressman Rob Dold has done -- those who are seeking to go back to having more than 40 million Americans living with no hope of finding affordable health care coverage for them and their families. It is unconscionable that Congressman Dold has not spoken out against those in his party who would repeal the ban on pre-existing conditions, take away coverage for children up to age 26, and eliminate small business tax credits to cover employee insurance. Bob Dold would even go so far as to strip the power of state insurance commissioners to force big insurance to cut their premiums if they are making excessive profits gauged by medical cost ratios. Don’t the big insurance companies have enough advantages in Washington?

In Washington I will work with anyone – Republican or Democrat – who will work with me to tackle the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs. Medicare - the single largest purchaser of prescription drugs in the world pays the retail price for drugs. The VA has shown that leveraging purchasing power can dramatically lower the cost of drugs. In Congress I’ll work to ensure Medicare does exactly the same thing for our citizens who are paying too much for medications.

I will make sure that middle class families have a voice, and that hard fought victories to improve health care are not reversed on the altar of Tea Party extremism.

9) Who is your political role model?

My contemporary political role model is President Barack Obama. He has faced a lot of criticism yet has displayed moral courage by standing up for what he believes is best.

10) What’s on your iPod?

Billy Joel’s Allentown, where every man’s got a pretty good shot, to get at least as far as his old man got…  Sadly, with the Republican’s in charge of the U.S. House of Representatives, that idea has never been more unobtainable, which is why I’m running for Congress.

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