Candidate Full Name:
5th Congressional District
Citizens for David Anderson for Congress
Campaign Office Mailing Address:
3809 North Milwaukee Avenue, Unit #B
Chicago IL 60641
Candidate did not provide
Please tell us about yourself, your background and why you believe you are qualified to hold this office.
I am a concerned taxpayer and resident of Illinois. My aspiration is to become a CITIZEN PUBLIC SERVANT. I reject the premise that your last name needs to be Kennedy, Daley, Madigan, Stroger or Bush to be a good public servant. I am not interested in a long career in politics. If elected, I would serve for 2-4 terms in the house, and then return to the private sector, unless something amazing and unpredictable happened to call me to higher office, or some other special appointment. I am a small businessman, and have done some community volunteering and donating to many charitable local causes in Chicago, including Junior League, Mercy Home for Boys, Misericordia, CAAF (Children Affected by AIDS Foundation) etc. Effective analytical thinking and honesty make the best public servants.
I have voted consistently since turning 18, and enthusiastically studied current events, and engaged lots of people in debates and discussions over the years. I have volunteered to serve on our condo board as well, and, through powers only of persuasion and the simple statement of my case, I have prevented the board from several SPENDING projects, consistent with my general feeling that less is more in terms of governance and collective spending. I have no experience in elected office. On the other hand, I have plenty of experience in politics, after 11 years of working in Fortune 500 corporate environments. In the last 8 years, I have watched my traditional Republican party values deteriorate by the confusing behavior of President Bush and the Republican ex-majority in Washington. The Bush administration has increased the size of government obscenely! John McCain was planning to continue the trend and this leaves Republicans confused about what is happening in our government. The difference between Washington Democrats and Republicans is vanishing. I believe we should have more turn-over in these offices, among people who do not NEED the job!
As a child, my goal was to be in inventor/scientist, sell my invention and make lots of money. I have accomplished this goal to a great extent in microelectronics. Movies about Thomas Edison inspired me. I have 6 US patents, and invented some new technology that no US manufacturer wanted to adopt, but manufacturers in Taiwan and Chinese adopted it, and partnered with my small company to develop new business derived from my inventions in automotive electronics. I have a good understanding of how the domestic automotive industry is run, having serviced it for 14 years, both as a Motorola employee, and as a partner to component fabricators. I have a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry with a minor in Quantum Mechanics. I can understand any topic, scientific or financial. This training makes me the person who understands the complexities of alternative energy options BETTER THAN ANYBODY IN THIS RACE. I believe that we do not need another Chicago machine politician to fill this seat, and we don't need another Republican lawyer either! The Democrat machine supported Blagojevich TWICE, and it was obvious that he was dangerous to Illinois by the time the 2006 election was held. Their failure to reject him and nominate a new Democrat disqualifies them from deserving to hold this congressional seat. We need somebody with a genuinely NEW perspective and a mature, analytical thought process to solve the problems we face. I also believe we need MODESTY in elected officials. So many candidates huff and puff that they have some magic program in mind, or some new law that will solve all your problems. I believe that freedom and minimal government intervention set the stage for the best economic growth and the highest standard of living for everybody.
Thank you for your consideration of CITIZEN PUBLIC SERVANT DR. DAVID J. ANDERSON.
Please tell us your general views about the role of government and some of the most important things you would like to accomplish in office?
The federal government is far too large, and more interventional than ever in our history. Taxes are too high. We are paying roughly 50% of our personal income in taxes to local, state and federal agencies. Government is responsible for about 47% of the dollars spent in healthcare annually. I understand that there are people who genuinely need a helping hand from time to time, and a compassionate avenue should be available. However, the bureaucracies and inefficiencies of federal programs suggest strongly that these programs should be funded and operated LOCALLY, at the state or county level, NOT the federal level. Give the decision-making power back to the voters where the money is spent. Let the local taxpayer influence the terms and conditions of public assistance. Also, we need to consider the difference between NEED and CONVENIENCE. Why is the federal government considering paying for digital-to-analog TV converters at a potential cost of nearly half a $billion?! Voters have become numb to the absurdities of federal spending.
The inheritance tax should be abolished. Taxes have already been paid on those dollars, and people should be able to pass their wealth to their children. The government has NO RIGHT to take from the estate of the deceased. The death tax disrupts successful small business that could otherwise be transferred to the survivors.
When Social Security was created ~70 years ago, there were 16 payers per beneificiary. Today, there are 3. The system is badly overextended and heading down a path to collapse. It is widely misunderstood to be a "pension plan" but it is a redistribution of wealth process, from young earners to elderly beneficiaries. There are several concepts that could improve the situation. Firstly, it should be provided based on needs testing. Very rich people should not be drawing benefit from the Federal government, e.g Bill Gates and Warren Buffet can receive Social Security benefit. This is ridiculous. Secondly, people should have the choice to OPT OUT of the Social Security system and manage their retirement privately, with pre-tax dollars, similar to a typical 401K program. For the long term, I favor phasing out of Federal programs to protect elderly from living in poverty. I would favor giving this responsibility to the states or counties, and let the local governments decide how to administer an entitlement like this. Local control is better than federal control. Plans could be structured to be portable from state to state, so, people would not be limited as they choose to relocate during their working and saving years.
Social security should be revised to allow individuals to opt out of it, and into independent investment programs. Currently Chicago Public School teachers are in very successful independent investment program. Why shouldn't anybody be able to make this choice? I do not believe in government programs that patronize people, and assume that they cannot make their own financial decisions. Coupled with any revision in social security programs, I would support FEDERALIZED standardized tests that demand expertise in basic financial management in order to be granted a high school diploma. This educational program should instruct the students in fundamentals of payroll taxes, social security, credit card usage, stock market fundamentals, banking, personal budgets, and home mortgages. The ignorance of basic financial mechanisms among so many voters is terrible. In general, I do not support federal intervention in primary and secondary education, but, since money is a national system, it is appropriate for the federal government to demand that people understand the system in which they will be participating, following high school graduation.
The current economic crisis is squeezing the middle class. What should Congress do about it? What specifically would you do if elected to Congress?
The kind of stimulus package I prefer to see is an immediate tax holiday for middle class workers and below. Why not give working people a break immediately, and then allow them to fuel the economy with consumer spending? I like the idea of allowing lower and middle class earners the chance to receive a few months worth of paychecks with NO FEDERAL TAX WITHHELD. This puts earned income directly into the hands of people who need it IMMEDIATELY.
We need government policies that encourage the creation of real wealth and the innovation of new, problem solving technologies. Printing money and assuming debt does neither. Spending and borrowing ourselves into oblivion is silly, like loading up a credit card with expensive dining and travel bills right after you lose your job.
In the long term, the type of stimulus package I support is meaningful reduction and simplification of all kinds of taxes, (corporate, personal and sales) restructuring of 401K packages to allow people to increase their contributions, reduction in social security withholdings, alternatives to participation in social security, restructuring or elimination of big government programs, and revising trade policies to restore our manufacturing base within our borders.
Regarding the Obama stimulus package (House Bill), I would not vote in favor of the stimulus package as offered by the Obama administration. This stimulus package amounts to taking a loan against the future generation of taxpayers. Furthermore, a trillion dollars in federal borrowing is unethical in that it burdens the next generation. This plan does nothing to address the fundamental issue of trade policy, i.e. the exporting of jobs out of the USA. The loss of jobs, the ever diminishing creation of real value here in the USA, and the incompetent management of Freddie and Fannie, is aggravating the severity of the normal economic cyclical downturn, and the stimulus plan does not address these issues. Also, this massive bill, the BIGGEST ever, was prepared so quickly, that it is doubtful that it was done thoughtfully. There will likely be many unintended consequences resulting from the rushed nature of the bill. Also, the earlier TARP was demanded under similar terms, meaning that our system would collapse if we failed to pass it immediately, and that law has failed to resolve credit issues. Massive government programs do not create real value. The plan is also packed with irrelevant items, such as over $300M for contraception, and $2B for carbon capture research, $500 million for digital TV converter boxes, and countless other items that are clearly pork, and seem anything but urgent in terms of reviving the economy.
Additionally, I support trade policy reform, as described in #4 below.
What are some of the main things you would do to help create jobs in Illinois?
We need to revise our trade policy. Low cost foreign labor and manufacturing practices are stealing jobs from the U.S. We are sending money to foreign manufacturers who would not be allowed to operate the same factory here in Illinois. The international playing field is not level and our Federal government has done nothing to correct this. We must re-invent our trade policies, and be creative about making the environment for business at home attractive to investors. High taxes, high regulation, extortion of campaign funds by public officials all go against the needs of working people. We need to make it easy and cheap for small and large businesses to set up shop in Illinois. We also need to address the issue of the US corporations who have status and protection of the USA, but maintain significant assets abroad for which they pay no taxes to the USA. In the event of terrorism or war, these assets would get protection from US embassies and US military, but, they are not paying any tax for this. I believe this should be adjusted.
I am a trained scientist, (Ph.D. Chemist, holder of 6 US Patents) and small businessman. I understand how innovation and manufacturing works, much better than lawyers or career politicians. The most important issue District 5 faces today is the erosion of our manufacturing base, and the export of jobs to low-cost foreign locations. We must recover good paying JOBS! A revised trade policy is the best approach to preserve our economic power.
What do you think can be done to bring short-term stability to gas and energy prices? Also, what do you think is the best strategy - to both affordably and responsibly - provide for the nation's future energy needs?
We need VISION to solve this problem. Up until now, adequate support for alternative energy solutions has not been provided. Oil has been cheap, and no politician has been able to advance a real development program. We need someone who understands the issues from a technical standpoint, in great detail, perhaps somebody with Ph.D. in chemistry, instead of a background in law and public administration.
Dependence on foreign oil is definitely a problem that needs to be resolved. There are two things we should do to become independent of foreign oil. In the short term, we should start drilling on domestically, e.g. Alaska and the Pacific Shelf. This will impact the market, based on anticipated increase in world supply. Then, when the wells are active, in 5-10 years, we will realize the true benefit. Drill, baby, drill!
In addition, of course, we should take steps to conserve oil where possible! Use less gas by carpooling, walking, using public transportation etc. This is common sense.
The long term solution is a Manhattan-style research and development program to invent a replacement for hydrocarbon/carbon based combustibles for energy storage. We need to increase the power densities of batteries by 5-10 times, and reduce the cost by 90% with a scalable and sustainable solution. This is easily a 10- to 25-year effort. This is a very complex technical challenge that will require the best scientists and the best program managers to leverage the intellectual resources available in universities, national labs, and the private sector.
This kind of project requires new methods of operating the bureaucracy. In particular, we need to create a new system of rewarding scientists and program managers, that results in scientists achieving results instead of preserving their jobs. One of the challenges with scientific research is that if the scientist solves the problem he is working on, then, the program is over, and he is out of a job!! Ironically, successful performance in research programs, penalizes the scientist's career. We need to create a new system where scientists do not have to fear losing their jobs if they successfully END a research program. We need to REWARD scientists who can solve problems in a SHORT period of time. If proper incentives are put in place, then we have a good chance to make genuine progress in the quest for an alternative to carbon-based fuels.
As a trained scientist, I understand the nature of the technology challenges better than any candidate in this race, and perhaps better than any sitting member of Congress. I have been a scientist in Department of Energy research programs with large companies, small ones, and at a national lab, so, I know how these programs are operated. There are pros and cons to the alternatives being widely discussed now, including wind power, ethanol, geothermal, hydroelectric, hydrogen, etc. The issues associated with these many choices are very complex, and I believe that most lawyers and politicians do not have the training or perspective to understand these things in detail and make good judgments about them.
At a time when our national security is tied ever more tightly to foreign oil, we must start a new energy policy. It has been a lifelong disappointment to me that no US President has made a serious effort to revise and invent a new energy policy since the energy crisis of the 1970s on both sides of the political spectrum. I suspect that they have not done this because in the past 30 years, oil has mostly been very cheap and stable.
Is there anything that can be done to make health care more accessible and affordable in Illinois? If so, what would you do?
This is an extremely serious issue since the unfunded liability for Medicare is upwards of $30 trillion. Likewise, Medicaid, for the poor and indigent, has grown roughly by a factor of 10x between 1980 and today, and is in jeopardy of massive failure. Fully one third of physicians do not accept Medicaid payments due to the low value and the burdensome bureaucratic processes to obtain those payments and Medicare is becoming the new Medicaid. Congress should not nationalize health care. A single payer system with no financial participation from the user will ultimately lead to lower quality, higher cost healthcare. Issues of healthcare should be addressed in general by a system based on classic free market principles; 1.)Competition and 2.)Freedom of choice. The Medicare experience should transform from providing a "treatment" to the user, to providing a defined benefit towards the "treatment", with the user making up the balance. In this way, the payment from Medicare should be "customized" per user, meaning it would be parameterized by things like age, health, and income. Richer, healthier people would get a smaller contribution from Medicare than poorer, unhealthier people. In either case, the patient would maintain the freedom of choice, and multiple providers would have to compete for customers, allowing natural market pricing to emerge. Likewise, in terms of prescription drugs, Medicare should continue to allow its beneficiaries to buy into private pharmacy benefit managers who are larger than Medicare and get better pricing on drugs that Medicare does! Government price fixing will only lead to limiting the choices of patients and the inevitable unavailability of certain drugs for some patients. Similar free-market approaches should be applied to Medicaid, i.e. providing the monetary benefit directly to the patient, and allowing the patient "shop for the best deal."
I also support tort reform, to reduce the burden of medical malpractice litigation on the system, and I support tax incentives to businesses that provide private healthcare insurance to their employees.
Please state your general views about the war in Iraq.
It sounds like the situation in Iraq is significantly stabilized. Recent elections were virtually violence-free. Given this reality, I think that the time is right for withdrawal and return of the responsibility for security to the Iraqi government as soon as possible. The exact timetable for withdrawal should be determined by military tacticians, so it is done safely and smoothly.
What are your thoughts on how to deal with illegal immigration? Also, what do you think should be done about illegal immigrants who are already here in the U.S.?
We should make a priority of securing the border and then develop a policy for the existing illegal immigrant population later. The Federal government has already failed in its duty to protect our borders and control immigration, so we have to accept and address the reality of an existing large population of illegal immigrants. If we try to pass a single comprehensive bill, it will take too long, and likely be contaminated with pork and other irrelevant items. We should investigate opportunities to help develop economic growth in Latin America, so that there is less incentive to come to the US for a better life. At the same time, we should make legal immigration a more reasonable process, so people are more likely to abide by our laws. Priority should be given to verifying the health and security status of illegal aliens who are allowed to remain in the US. We should also stop providing entitlements for illegal aliens. Only US citizens qualify for US entitlements. I believe a temporary worker program should be tested on a small scale, and optimized, before a massive "reform" program is approved by Congress.
What ideas do you have for improving our education system and for making our colleges and universities more affordable?
For higher education, in general I favor student loan programs over grants. I also believe it is not the role of the Federal government to put students through college. The scholarships, grants, and other aid should come from the state and local levels, not the federal government. State universities were established to be affordable for residents of the state, and I believe they are. My observations are that ambitious, hard-working young people can find ways to make it through college, even if their family cannot provide much financial help, and this is often one of the better lessons a college student learns: self-sufficiency!
For primary and secondary education, I believe that the Federal government should not be significantly involved. Local control of schools serves communities best. I would repeal the No Child Left Behind bill.
What are your highest priorities for protecting the environment in Illinois?
I am an avid outdoorsman, sailor and fisherman, and conservationist. I believe our natural resources require our utmost attention. I have dealt personally with the Illinois EPA, and in my experience, they were effective and reasonable. With the declining manufacturing base in Illinois, the environmental threat from industrial polluters is diminished. I am not aware of specific significant environmental threats to Illinois' land or water.
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