Ten Questions: Daniel Bongino
Name: Daniel Bongino
Office Sought: United States Senate
Hometown: Severna Park, MD
Facebook: Daniel Bongino
1. Give our readers a little bit about your background and why you are running for the United States Senate?
My employment history includes four years with the New York City Police Department and 12 years with the U.S. Secret Service where I served as both a criminal investigator and protection agent. Academically, I studied both Neuro-Psychology and Behavioral Learning at the City University of New York where I obtained both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. I also attended Penn State University where I completed an MBA with a focus on finance. I am an avid reader of the work of economists Robert Barro, Thomas Sowell and Milton Friedman amongst others. I left everything behind to run because we did nothing wrong. We, the American people, have done everything government has asked of us and yet have been consistently misled by a government that can’t even handle basic arithmetic. It’s time for citizens like myself to stop watching the game and get out there and throw a pass.
2. Who is your political lodestar and what shapes your ideological background?
I will only support and vote for legislation that diffuses economic power back to its rightful place, with the individual. Concentration of economic power is just as dangerous as the concentration of political power. Hayek eloquently makes this point in his writings. Taking economic decision making power away from individuals with the same intellectual powers as the Washington “elite” and turning it over to them to re-allocate has been tried and has a perfect record of failure.
3. What would be your biggest criticism of Ben Cardin’s job performance?
His support of the Affordable Care Act. This plan is based on what I call “the three pillars of economic failure”; price controls, third party payer systems and coercion. My long history with macroeconomics has unequivocally proven to me that it is an open book test and these three pillars have been tried repeatedly. Their record of failure is unparalleled at 100%. No serious economist, when separated from ideological loyalty can show one case in the history of civilization where any of these three pillars has either met a defined metric or led to economic prosperity.
4. Would you make voting to repeal Obamacare a campaign pledge?
5. Federal revenues have historically averaged in the range of 18 percent of GDP. The Congressional Budget Office projects federal spending to reach 26% of GDP by the beginning of the next decade. Several plans, including one from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, have been floated to solve the problem. Do you support Ryan’s plan or would you attack the deficit another way?
I have enormous respect for Congressman Ryan for having the courage to put out a real plan with tangible goals knowing full well that the pundits would pillory him for it. I support a number of his economic proposals and firmly believe that when we place income in the hands of the working American they can spend it far more efficiently than a government, which has consistently failed to do so. The 18% figure quoted is accurate and as informed voters we should familiarize ourselves with it. The nearly infinite manipulations by the “Wizards of Washington” have not historically, and will never move, this long-term average. The lesson being that as we grow our GDP we must keep spending levels under control.
6. Would you vote to lift the nation’s debt ceiling, if so under what conditions?
Only with attached legislation installing an annual deficit cap on spending as percentage of GDP with the only exception being National Emergency. If we don’t act quickly, the bond market surely will impose a debt “ceiling” upon us, and decisions will be made for us. Google the terms (Greece, IMF, mandates) if you feel this issue is not paramount.
7. Despite the failure of cap and trade in Congress, Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is moving forward with draconian regulation of greenhouse gasses under the auspices of the Clean Air Act. If you had the opportunity, would you vote to amend the Clean Air Act to strip the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gasses?
Maryland’s natural gifts are one the country’s great treasures. The greatest environmental action program in human history is a growing economy. A strong economy allows our citizens to spend their time and capital on economic causes. It is surely not a coincidence that some of the world’s greatest ecological disasters happened in re-distributive economies. Whether it is the Aral Sea, Chernobyl, or the Three Gorges Dam, economic failures quickly led to environmental ones. Everyone wants clean air, this statement is tautological, but I will not support any policy that raises middle class Marylanders electric, gas and vehicle fuel bills in the midst of a crippling recession.
8. Do you support drilling (fracking) for natural gas in Maryland’s portion of the Marcellus Shale region?
While studying for my MBA at Penn State, I visited a number of fracking sites within Pennsylvania. I saw the attention paid to both safety and the environment. Having stated that, there have been accidents and poorly drilled wells and the companies at fault must shoulder those economic costs. But to deny Marylanders affordable energy, and western Maryland homeowners an opportunity to engage in the energy market, is unequivocally not the answer.
9. What are measures would you propose to address the issue of illegal immigration?
I am the proud husband of an immigrant to the United States from Colombia. My wonderful wife is a shining example of the power of properly enforced immigration procedures. One of the proudest moments of my life was witnessing her naturalization ceremony in Baltimore City. She is a self-made woman who paid her way through college and worked her way up the corporate ladder with consistent hard work. She has added value to our country every step of the way and has overcome enormous obstacles. As I have laid out in my economic plan, immigration is not a nationality issue but a legal one. Immigrants have been and will always be a long-term economic benefit to this country but disregard for the law is unacceptable. We must streamline the procedure for those who wish to come here legally. Our current policy is not really a policy at all and I will work to make improvements through the following tools. Securing the borders must be a national priority. The constant threat of terrorism and narco-trafficking through both our southern and northern border should have prioritized secure borders decades ago but unfortunately it has not. Token measures and platitudes has inflicted untold damage to what should have been a sustained long-term plan using America’s incredible technological capacity to seek new solutions to this problem. Secondly, I believe we must move towards a re-evaluation of the current H1B visa system. This system is grossly inadequate for attracting the world’s best and brightest to the U.S. and severely limits our future capacity for economic growth. Third, we must continue our efforts to enforce immigration laws in the Homeland while at the same time streamlining the process for those immigrants wishing to relocate here. Economic analysis has shown that over time immigrants add wealth to our nation through the importation of human capital and ideas. A growing population is also necessary to purchase the financial assets of our seniors and increase our tax base but anyone looking to make the U.S. their home must respect the process and follow the established legal procedure.
10. Many Republicans are concerned about the bloated size of the federal government; what government programs or agencies (if any) would you cut, reduce, or eliminate?
The current alphabet soup of regulatory and law enforcement agencies runs counter to the basic economic principle of economies of scale. I would insist on a thorough top to bottom review and insist upon consolidations to better leverage the federal workforce. I would also insist that both the Department of Energy and Education provide solid metrics as to where they have utilized their budgets to improve energy utilization and pricing along with the education system.
Daniel will be joining Red Maryland Radio tonight at 8:05pm.
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