Education and technology were hot topics for U.S. Senate-hopeful Cory Booker Tuesday when he sat down to chat with users of the influential social news site Reddit.
Booker answered about a dozen of the hundreds of questions asked by site users—commonly called Redditors.
He hammered at social welfare issues such as affordable education and childhood poverty, taking a shot at his opponent, Steven Lonegan, who recently told The Star-Ledger that “debt is the enemy of prosperity and should be avoided at all costs, even if this means working a job or two while being in school... Hit up your parents for money before you borrow it from the government."
Booker blasted Lonegan’s statement as a “crass and ridiculous understanding” of the reality for many students in The Garden State.
“[I]t also reflects his belief that the government should have limited or no role in helping to make college more affordable. I strongly disagree - from the GI Bill to current Pell Grants, government investments in college education have produced great growth for America,” Booker wrote.
Linking to a policy paper on business competitiveness, Booker said he supports quadrupling the startup tax deduction, boosting investment in science parks and making permanent a 1981 research and development tax credit.
“I also think we need to make the tax code simpler so that entrepreneurs aren't wasting time filling out forms when they could be growing their business,” Booker wrote. “That’s why I proposed eliminating wasteful loopholes and lowering the corporate tax rate to near 28 percent.”
A technological early-adopter, Booker did admit one dinosaur-age habit he’s loathe to give up: the Blackberry on which, first thing every morning, he catches up on city government emails.
“My staff is still trying to pry it out of my hands with an iPhone,” he wrote.
Booker caught some flak from a few Redditors, however, for dodging top-voted questions in Tuesday’s AMA—questions pertaining to his opinions on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Glass-Steagall, Wall Street regulation, and his stance on the fed-level decriminalization of marijuana use.
In a previous AMA—a regular Reddit feature, which stands for "Ask Me Anything," in which anonymous Redditors ask questions to famous figures or ordinary folk with interesting stories—the Newark mayor wrote an extensive response dealing with his views on the decriminalization of marijuana.