Candidate Profile
Harry Burger

Green , New York

Biography

Name
Harry Burger
Party
Green
Race
U.S. Rep., Dist. 2
Incumbent
No
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Panel Rating

Liberal Information icon

Questionnaire

Please note: Responses are entered electronically by the candidate and are listed verbatim.

Right to Life

Human life begins at conception and deserves legal protection at every stage until natural death.

Strongly Disagree   

Abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, should not receive taxpayer funds or grants from federal, state, or local governments.

Strongly Disagree   

I support the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which requires health care providers to provide life-saving treatment for infants who survive an attempted abortion.

Agree   

Under what circumstances should abortion be allowed?

Short answer - whenever the pregnant person wants one. Sure if a baby comes out that can survive independently, then they're a live human and deserve medical treatment to keep them alive. Until they cry, it's not a person. Every human's bodily autonomy is sovereign & inviolate. There is no circumstance where any person can be required to sacrifice their health against their consent for the benefit of another. If I will die tomorrow without a kidney transplant, and you're the only viable donor, there's no way to force you to give me your kidney, and even if you say yes once, up until the moment they put you under anesthesia, you can revoke that consent at any time, and they have to ask you to affirmatively consent to it again at the last opportunity. Why should a fetus have more right to demand a woman accept negative impacts on her personal health, mobility, etc. than I have a right to demand your kidney? It doesn't.


Economy

It is the government’s responsibility to ensure everyone has a livable income.

Strongly Agree   

Free enterprise and the right to private property are essential elements of a productive economic system.

Disagree   

How would you guarantee Social Security benefits for future generations?

We should seriously investigate a Universal Basic Income. That would replace the need for social security, disability, unemployment. Give everyone enough to meet their needs without punishing those who aren't able to work, or have limitations on how much or what kind of work they can do for any reason, like taking care of children. Forcing women to give birth but then abandoning them once the child is born is morally bankrupt - I want the exact opposite. Education should be free, with student loans forgiven, & a UBI would allow all students to afford living expenses while study full time- right now only rich families can do that, especially for grad school. Then people won't work because they fear poverty, but because they want better. "Essential" but dirty low-skill work will need to pay enough for people to want to do it, or everyone can take a turn sweeping & scrubbing. Those who earn over maybe $125k will pay increased taxes to take back their UBI money

What government spending would you reduce in order to balance the budget?

The military is first on the chopping block as I said above, & The Wall is a waste we need to just stop. Fossil fuel subsidies need to end. We also need higher marginal tax rates for very high earners, something like 50% over $1M/year, 75% past $10M, 90% past $50M, & tax on accumulated wealth. America should have no billionaires. We need a punitive tax on any employees or investors earning more than 20X the earnings of the 25th percentile hourly/salaried employee, including contractors

Under what circumstances should taxpayers help pay off existing student loans?

All student loans should be forgiven completely, many are downright predatory & can't be discharged in bankruptcy. All education should be free, admission based on merit with affirmative action to compensate for prejudices past & present. A student with very high intelligence who's not given the opportunity to take appropriate classes because they grew up in a poor neighborhood could easily test poorly - that shouldn't hold them back forever.


Religious Liberty

Governments should not discriminate against individuals, organizations or small businesses because of their belief that marriage is only a union of one man and one woman.

No Answer   

Religious liberty is at risk in the United States and deserves the highest level of protection in the law.

Strongly Disagree   

I promise to protect the freedom of Christians to share the Gospel and to practice Biblical principles.

Yes   

What does "separation of church and state" mean to you?

All people are free to BELIEVE whatever they want. When its practice begins to infringe upon others without their consent, that freedom ends. Be that harassment, verbal abuse, inflicting injury or fear of it, your freedom doesn't allow you to infringe on mine. There must be universal standards of education, even in religious schools, that communicates rights guaranteed by our government & proven facts about science & health. These are essential to children being able to make factually informed decisions about their lives. A faith based school might teach additional, separate lessons about the values & opinions of that faith. I've listened to many LGBTQUIA+ people's stories of being raised in a culture that insisted that their personal truths were defects- all of them have trauma & lasting mental harm that they had to overcome before accepting themselves, being free. I can't condone hurting minors over outdated rules against activity that doesn't harm anyone.


Healthcare

It is the government’s responsibility to ensure everyone has health insurance.

Strongly Agree   

I support the elimination of private healthcare insurance.

Strongly Agree   

How would you promote healthcare coverage that is adequate, affordable and accessible for all?

Healthcare is a human right. It's disgusting that of over 50 "highly developed nations", we're the only one without universal healthcare, where executives of companies that deny claims, pushing families into bankruptcy to keep someone alive, can earn more in a day than I've ever earned in a year. Capitalism has no place in medicine- the entire system should be socialist. Members of Congress & our families should only receive the exact same treatment as a homeless person with not even a penny to their name, prohibited from spending our own money for more treatment. In engineering the principle is known as "eat your own dog food" - we should all personally suffer for any failures in the system, as our incentive to make sure it's truly comprehensive. That includes mental, dental, & vision treatment - if any part of your body that don't work right, that's a health issue. While there may be some switching costs, 100% of countries with universal coverage spends less per person than we do.


National Security

The best way to maintain peace is through a strong military.

Agree   

What should the United States do to help eradicate the threat of radical Islamic terrorism?

What does "Radical Islamic" have to do with it? It should be treated exactly the same as "Radical Christian" terrorism, or "Militant Atheist" terrorism - there's no difference. If you let the government punish a person more for doing the same thing because they're a Muslim, that's religious discrimination, violating the 1st Amendment. The first step is to stop making new enemies, stop dropping bombs on them, just like on our home turf we need less police and more social services. Use soft power, make lives better. It's hard to recruit more people to hate the United States when we're doing good things for them. The People know what they need, be it trained doctors, farm equipment, or protection from rogue militias. If their government is hurting them, that's a human rights complaint which belongs at the UN, for it to determine if intervention is needed, share the costs, & supervise free & fair elections. The US doesn't get to pick a dictator to rule them.


Immigration

I am in favor of construction of a wall and other necessary infrastructure on our border that gives complete control over entering and exiting the United States.

Strongly Disagree   

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should be abolished.

Agree   

State and federal funds should be denied to any public or private entity, including but not limited to sanctuary cities, that are not in compliance with immigration laws.

Strongly Disagree   

Employers should be required to use E-verify to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States.

Strongly Disagree   

Who should be allowed to immigrate to the U.S. and under what circumstances?

We should be asking the people who are coming in why they want to uproot their lives, leave their communities & families to come to a foreign land, & direct our foreign policy towards fixing the problems we have caused & sharing our wealth more equitably. Many flee violence & crime in South America that the US has caused. I took a Spanish Cinema class in high school, lots of films from South America were about the damage we caused in the 20th century, but most Americans don't watch foreign movies with subtitles & our schools don't usually teach that history. The Latinx exodus to the United States is us reaping what we have sown. "Wait in Mexico" has produced a humanitarian disaster just across the border, terribly unsanitary camps that must be even worse now with COVID- Mexico doesn't acknowledge them or ask for UN help, so people with nothing are getting sick & dying right across the river. Walls have been overpriced ecological disasters, cartels get through anyway.


Education

Taxpayer-funded public education should be guaranteed through college.

Strongly Agree   


Values

Judeo-Christian values established a framework of morality which is necessary for our system of limited government.

Strongly Disagree   

I support adding sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression as protected classes in non-discrimination laws.

Strongly Agree   

Briefly describe your spiritual beliefs and values.

I'm a Unitarian Universalist. Every Sunday I might be in a hall (now a Zoom) with Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Wiccans, Heathens, Buddhists, Humanists, Agnostics, Atheists, or people of any other belief system, of any race or color or national origin, LGBTQUIA+ or cis-het. Promoting "the inherent worth and dignity of every person" is our first Principle, there are 6 others if people want to Google, but that's where it starts. I was raised Catholic, had all the sacraments, but now I don't believe that any single faith tradition is all right, but most of them have some lessons to teach. Where multiple traditions developed independently agree on the same principles, like "do to others as you'd have them do to you" is in most of them somewhere, that's not something to disregard lightly. I'm also an Eagle Scout & a Mason (neither group endorses candidates), those reinforce that we're all equal & responsible for leaving the world better than we found it, protecting the Earth.


Qualifications

When you consider your views on a wide range of issues from economic and social matters to foreign policy and immigration, which of the following best describes you overall?

Very Liberal   

Please provide publicly available information validating your answer to the previous question.

burger4congress.com is my campaign website, I've laid out most of what I want to do in office there. I only take campaign contributions from real people, no corporations. That's a permanent commitment & the only way any elected official can be trusted to hold what's best for People & Planet ahead of profits. My first 2 years in college. I was in Army officer training to see if that was a career path I wanted to go down - being an Eagle Scout was a nice head start. To start the 3rd year required signing on to serve after graduation. I decided that I don’t want the story of my life to be about death, so I left. Being consistent with that also meant not working for defense contractors when I graduated, which is a big deal for a mechanical engineer on Long Island. It eliminated a lot of job opportunities, including many of the best paid options, but I've stuck to that for 15 years now.

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or been penalized for sexual misconduct? If so, please explain.

The worst I ever got was a speeding ticket. I'm very aware that I'm on the autistic spectrum - for me this means that certain skills like manipulating 3D geometry are much easier for me to learn, but I've had to work a lot harder on social skills, recognizing more subtle signals. In my intimate life, I've always been very explicit with any partner about boundaries & specific signals to stop. I never did anything they didn't ask me to do.

Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you?

I'm an engineer first - my focus is on practical solutions to do the most good for the most people, NOT more wealth & power of the few already at the top who have controlled both of the Big Two parties for decades. While I do agree that we need a strong military, we do NOT have the right to be bullies with it; the purpose should be to deter other nations from attacking us out of concern for our "second strike". In the short term, we need to bail the People out of this COVID depression so they can pay rent, landlords pay the mortgage, banks stay solvent, everybody's happy. Means testing only slows the process down - just help everybody now & tax the benefits back from the rich. It's past time for the People to restore real democracy & take back control of our country from the oligarchy. Even if the Greens don't win, just spoiling my election would give the Democrats selfish incentive to give us Ranked Choice Voting in NY, to improve the system instead of trying to silence us


Criminal Justice

Mandatory minimum sentencing should be required and enforced for violent crimes.

Strongly Disagree   


2nd Amendment

What restrictions on gun ownership are needed to protect public safety?

I own multiple firearms, enjoy shooting sports. I agree with restricting automatic weapons & magazine capacity, but restricting cosmetic features like in the NY SAFE ACT is ridiculous. I'm a survivor of domestic abuse; I agree with the need for "red flag" laws to take firearms away from accused abusers for a limited time so that a grand jury to decide if there's enough evidence for criminal charges & keep the guns away until a verdict.


Other Important Issues

I support BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanction) against Israel if they refuse to allow the creation of a Palestinian state.

Neutral   

I support the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Strongly Agree   

Reparations should be given to people on the basis of race.

Strongly Agree   

The Electoral College should be abolished.

Agree   

In priority order, what three areas of legislation do you propose to author or sponsor if elected?

The top 3 work together - universal healthcare, the Ecosocialist Green New Deal, & dramatic reductions in military spending. Healthcare I've explained, the GND is a massive effort to make America a zero emissions nation by 2030. Climate change is an existential threat to all human life, we're seeing it now in rampant wildfires, more, stronger, earlier hurricanes, vanishing polar ice caps, 100F days in Siberia & the North Pole. We need to stop burning fossil fuels, fast. This will require big infrastructure developments & guarantee a job at a real living wage to every American who wants one. When the construction is done, rather than it being privately owned, the community that uses it will own & operate it as a cooperative. We can afford this if we stop wasting money on war & death - reduce military spending by 50% over the next 5 years. We now spend more than the next 10 nations combined on war- halving it will keep us ahead of the next 3 combined.

Is racism a threat to domestic security in the United States? Why or why not?

Absolutely. BIPOC (Black/Indigenous/People of Color) are over-policed in America compared to white people, far more likely to see the inside of a prison cell. The average Black college graduate has a household wealth just over half that of the average white high school dropout ($25,900 to $51,300) due to centuries of systematic persecution. White masters ripped apart the families of slaves from 1619 to the Emancipation, took away THEIR culture & religion, tortured them, exploited them. Then Jim Crow, redlining, the list of abuses goes on, even today they face white supremacist violence. They have every right to be angry at not being given a fair shot. We're lucky they are asking for equality, not revenge. Reparations are certainly in order to decedents of slaves and Native Americans whose land we stole at gunpoint. It is the white supremacists marching on state houses with rifles that we should be far more worried about than the BIPOC.


Background

Education
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, BS, 2005
Work & Military
  • Lightbringer Designs LLC, Owner, 13
  • Sage Parts, Project Engineer, 8
  • Cooper Lighting, Mechanical Engineer, 3
  • Roe Biomedical Products, Mechanical Engineer, 3
Affiliations
  • Green Party, Town Representative
  • Jephtha Lodge #494, F&AM, Secretary, Corresponding Secretary
  • Suffolk County Community Emergency Response Team, Team Leader 2007-present
  • National Eagle Scout Association, Suffolk County, Co-chairman 2005-2015
Offices
  • (Candidate did not provide)
 

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