U.S. House, Dist. 8: Joe Walsh
Policy Advocate, Former Investment Advisor
Campaign HQ address
218 N. Barron Blvd, Grayslake, IL 60030
What is your campaign budget-
What are your top priorities for the nation-
We have to get our economy back on track and establish the right economic policies for the country. We must start by reducing taxes, spending and burdensome regulations that are harming the economy. That starts by repealing the Democrat's health care bill which includes a series of burdensome tax increases, creates far too many boards and panels, and will forever harm our healthcare system without reducing costs or improving patient care.
We also must cut spending, to reduce the deficit, and make tax relief for all Americans permanent. This year, the Democrat Congress failed to pass a budget. This was the first time ever under the current budget process that the House failed to even consider a budget. They have also added more than $4.7 trillion to the deficit in the last three and a half years, and used a series of budget gimmicks to circumvent the budget rules. That isn't leadership. We have to restore a sense of fiscal responsibility in Washington. One of my top priorities will be to lead on these issues and to protect the taxpayers of the 8th District.
What are your top priorities for your congressional district-
Traffic congestion is the single most pressing transportation issue facing suburbanites. As population has expanded outward from the city, the problem has become much worse. Congestion makes it harder for families to spend time with each other and has created a huge stress on the condition of use of our roads and highways. Congestion has led to costly commutes to work and school, impacting businesses, employment, and quality of life for families. Short and long term solutions include widening many of the two lane arteries where the need is the greatest, maintenance of upkeep of all the roadways, and, with regards to the 8th District, and those living in Lake and Mchenry Counties it includes extending Route 53 at least up to Route 120 and possibly up to the Wisconsin border. This project has been studied for years and the time is now to develop the funding and move on the construction of the extension which will take a number of years.
The recession continues. What are its causes and how do we end it- Do you favor more federal "stimulus" spending to create more jobs-
The fact is the financial meltdown and mortgage crisis that precipitated our current situation werenï¿¯ï¾¿ï¾½t caused by a lack of government involvement but by too much. In 1977, Congress created The Community Reinvestment Act which forced banks to make risky loans and Congress also enabled reckless policies from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These policies created a snowball that has turned into an avalanche in the mortgage industry. The oversight required by agencies entrusted by Congress--and by Congress itself--failed miserably. We donï¿¯ï¾¿ï¾½t need more regulation that stifles free markets, we need responsible behavior by those entrusted with oversight.
More than 18 months after Congress passed the Presidentï¿¯ï¾¿ï¾½s stimulus plan, over 14 million Americans remain out of work and millions more are underemployed. Not only did the stimulus fail to create jobs, we have actually lost jobs since it passed. According to the federal government, we have spent over $226 million in stimulus in the Eighth District but created only 170 jobs. That means the government is spending more than $1.3 million for each job that the government says the stimulus created. That is an unconscionable waste of taxpayer money.
The backbone of the American economy has always been small business working and thriving in our nation's dynamic private sector. Sadly, the stimulus bill was never designed to help the private sector. Instead, stimulus spending was focused on protecting government jobs and steering taxpayer money to pet projects and a handful of businesses with political connections. I will work in Washington to lower taxes, eliminate burdensome regulations and encourage policies that let small businesses thrive and grow. Lowering taxes will send an immediate message to the financial markets, encouraging them to invest and expand. Small businesses create 75% of all new jobs in America. We must free those businesses from the impediments imposed by government to restart the engine of job-creation in this country.
Is global warming real- Is it man-made- What, if anything, should be done about it- And do you favor a national cap-and-trade program to put a price on carbon emissions-
I strongly oppose a cap and trade program. The bill passed by the House last year is a jobs killer. It would dramatically raise energy prices on America's families and small businesses. Economic estimates found that similar legislation could destroy as many as 3 million U.S. jobs and would amount to a massive tax increase. Keep in mind that countries like China and India have already said they would not reduce their own emissions. Accordingly, the only impact from the House bill would be to kill jobs here in the U.S. and ship them overseas.
As a representative, would you favor changes in the health care reforms pushed through Congress by President Obama- What exactly would you change-
We have to repeal this legislation. The American people were promised that if this bill became law, people could keep their health insurance, that the bill would lower costs, that it would reduce the deficit and that it would help small businesses. In less than five months, we see that each of these promises have already been broken - and the bill hasn't even been fully implemented.
Businesses are beginning to announce that this law will force them to drop their current health plans. This bill also includes a series of burdensome taxes that will damage are already fragile economy. The bill requires small businesses to report track and report to the IRS when they buy more than $600 of goods from another business. This paperwork burden will put small businesses out of work. In addition, the bill hits employers, which have at least 50 employees, with a $2,000 fine for each employee that is uninsured.
I also oppose this legislation because it will lead to Canadian-style healthcare rationing, long waits at doctor's offices and it cuts the Medicare Advantage program for Seniors (another violation of the promise that someone can keep their insurance). We can do better. I support putting patients at the center of their own health care decisions, expanding HSAs, tort reform, allowing people to buy insurance across state lines and publicizing the cost of medical care to patients are better able to shop for the best price. The best way to lower health care costs is to create a health care system that is transparent and more patient-centered and to empower patients to make their own health care decisions.
What should the American military and political strategy be in Afghanistan- How would you define "success" for the United States in the war, and at what point could we withdraw our troops-
Succeeding in Afghanistan is a vital national security issue. In order to define success in Afghanistan, it is important to understand what the United States must achieve. I support setting realistic and attainable goals in Afghanistan. We will not be able to transform Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries in the world, into a satellite sister country of the United States. However, we can reasonably set out to ensure that Afghanistan is no longer a safe haven for terrorists and a breeding ground for anti-American terrorism.
I believe the President's fixed deadline for troop withdrawal in Afghanistan sends a mixed signal about the United States' commitment to success in that country. Achieving success in Afghanistan is not a short-term goal; our success will largely depend on the degree to which we are able to foster strong civilian-military partnerships and U.S.-Afghan partnerships. I do not have a fixed troop withdrawal date. In fact, I think having such a rigid deadline is dangerous because it sends a message - to both our enemies and our allies in the region - that we are not committed to seeing this through. If the Taliban merely has to wait for an arbitrary date on the calendar, fully knowing that U.S. troops will be out of their way then, I think we simultaneously risk losing our allies and putting them in harm's way, while also sending our enemies the clear message that they will again have control of the region.
Winning in Afghanistan is not something that should be a half-hearted effort. Our strategy should be to firmly commit our resources to stabilizing that region.
What should be the American military and political strategy in Iraq-
With the recent announcement that the President has pulled out combat troops from Iraq, we are likely to have a more limited role in that country. We will have to focus our efforts and use our influence to maintain political stability in that country, to help ensure democracy and to aid in Iraq' economic recovery.
What should be done to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons-
We cannot take any option off of the table when it comes to Iran. Iran's rhetoric is hostile to the U.S., the American people and our nation's vital national security interests. ï¿¯ï¾¿ï¾½s a nation, America has the right to defend itself and a responsibility to use our leadership role to protect the world from rogue nation's like Iran.
Will the United States ever have a comprehensive policy on immigration- What should it be- And what is your view of Arizona Senate Bill 1070 and the recent federal appellate court ruling striking down its key provisions-
Congress has already enacted a complete set of laws that govern the U.S. immigration system. I would like to see those laws enforced. Instead, the Obama Administration has failed to enforce the nation's immigration laws, by giving work authorization to illegal aliens arrested in Washington state and has begun dismissing thousands of deportation cases across the country. Congress has done nothing to hold the Administration accountable for failing to enforce the laws.
When it comes to immigration, I believe that America must establish immigration levels and policies that serve the national interest. Most everyone agrees, including me, that we cannot have unlimited immigration so we must set some limit on the number of people who can immigrate to the U.S. each year. Once we as a nation set that level, we have to have proper immigration enforcement policies in place to ensure that our policies are serving the country's interest. I believe that the level of immigration should be based on the number of immigrants that we can help assimilate to our country, our culture and who we can help learn English. Anyone who immigrates to the U.S. legally should be welcomed with open arms and embraced by the American people.
Like most Americans, I support the Arizona law. Congress has previously recognized that states have inherent authority to enforce the nationï¿¯ï¾¿ï¾½s immigration laws. We have to allow states to protect their citizens. Violence along the U.S.-Mexican border threatens our citizens and immigrants living in the region. If Arizona believes that law is important to protect the people in the state, the federal government should not deny them the right to enforce a properly enacted, Constitutional law.
Please comment on the president's education agenda, specifically on the Race to the Top competition that emphasizes core national standards and tests and the use of student test data to evaluate and reward teachers
I have worked in education since the beginning of my career, and I am a staunch supporter of competition, vouchers, and charter schools. I believe teachers must be accountable for their students' performance. And I believe parents - not teachers' unions - should be able to select the appropriate school for their child.
Unfortunately, the President's Race to the Top education initiative has failed to achieve meaningful reform and has displayed a bias against charter schools. The program spent 4.35 billion dollars, and, rather than measure successful reform, the competition studied whether or not the reforms were supported by the teachers' unions. (This was particularly noticeable in March when the Secretary of Education announced its "reform winners" based on how supportive the teachers' unions were of those reform efforts.)
I have personally been involved in education in Chicago's inner-city and I believe that we have to free our local schools from the control of Washington bureaucrats and allow teachers and parents to work together to establish the policies and practices that will benefit our students.
What is your position on gay marriage and the federal Defense of Marriage Act-
I support the Defense of Marriage Act, which was enacted in a bipartisan manner and signed into law by President Clinton. I believe that DOMA is Constitutional and that society and government should protect marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman
What should be our nation's policy toward the manufacture, sale and use of marijuana-
I do not support the legalization of marijuana and believe that society pays too heavy a cost for alcohol and drug abuse, including marijuana use.
The United States continues to hold "enemy combatants," uncharged, at the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Is indefinite detention without charges acceptable- If so, for how long- And are military commissions an acceptable alternative to civilian courts-
With respect to holding enemy combatants, America must take the steps necessary to protect the American people from harm. Persons captured on the battle field by our military should be held as enemy combatants. Simply put, enemy combatants are terrorists who are fighting a war against the U.S. and are trying to kill our soldiers. We should not treat them as if they were common criminals. Accordingly, we should continue to use the Guantanamo prison, rather than giving them the same Constitutional rights as American citizens, and deny them access to our criminal court system. From the very beginning, I was an outspoken critic of the President's plan to bring some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world to Illinois, to hold them in our prisons, and to try them in our courts. The military commission process is the appropriate place to conduct these trials. Congress established this process, consistent with the Constitution, to try these terrorists.
List your educational background
Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Iowa & Masters in Public Policy from the University of Chicago
Please list civic, professional, fraternal or other organizations to which you belong
Jobs for Youth - teaches basic academic and job skills to high school dropouts.
Executive Director, Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund - Chicago-based scholarship program providing high school scholarships to low-income students.
Fundraiser, Milton & Rose Friedman Foundation - advocating for educational opportunities for children.
Fundraiser/Supporter, Fabretto Children's Foundation - International Charity using education and enterprise to raise Nicaraguan children out of poverty.
Have you held elective or appointive political office or been employed by any branch of government-
Please list jobs or contracts you, members of your immediate family or business partners have had with government
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed
Our biggest campaign contributors have been individuals, predominately from the district, who have given up to the federal campaign finance limit.
Please paste a brief biography here
Joe was born and raised in the heart of the Eighth District, growing up in a family of nine children. He has been a lifelong advocate for limited government and a vibrant private sector. Now, troubled by the recent rapid growth of government spending and involvement in our lives, heï¿¯ï¾¿ï¾½s returning to his roots and running for the U.S. Congress. He intends to be a loud, forceful voice against this expanding government which will stifle economic growth and bankrupt our children and grandchildren.
Joe Walsh has been a hardworking American from the jump--and heï¿¯ï¾¿ï¾½s dedicated his professional life to service. He has advocated on behalf of a wide range of public policy issues and causes, most notably advancing market-based solutions to education reform and urban poverty. Rather than spending time in an ivory tower speculating on theory, he has had his boots on the ground for a number of relevant companies, causes and disciplines.