Vince Kolber: Candidate Profile
5th Congressional District (Republican)
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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
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How will you work to make Congress more productive and effective? What actions are needed to produce a healthy federal budget? Specifically, what changes do you advocate regarding how revenue is produced or what our spending priorities are? In particular, what effect does current policy have on your district and what changes, if any, are needed?
Federal government revenues are growing at nearly 9% per year. Yet Congress is spending $500 billion more than taxes collected. Federal liabilities now exceed $80 trillion. Congress should be spending $500 billion to $1 trillion less than Congress is receiving from we the taxpayers.
Economic growth is the first priority, which will create jobs and grow revenues. Tax reform and regulatory relief are essential to stimulate economic growth. Corporations large and small are leaving Illinois in search of lower tax rates. Lower tax rates and simplification of our 74,000 page internal revenue code will generate more tax revenue. An economy growing at 4% will produce more jobs thereby reducing the reliance on Government support programs saving taxes.
Obamacare and Dodd-Frank, inflicted thousands of pages of law and regulations upon the fifth district impairing businesses large and small. Dodd Frank forced community banks out of business or into mergers. As a result, small businesses no longer have local banks that know them from which to borrow. Compliance costs of Dodd Frank and Obamacare limit business development to large corporations. They have the resources needed for compliance to the requirements of those acts. This puts small businesses at a disadvantage or out of business altogether.
In my business, I experienced firsthand a 400% increase in healthcare costs as a result of Obamacare.
My job in Congress will be to promote growth not destroy it, as has been the case for the last eight years that the incumbent opponent has served.
What immigration policies do you support? Where, if at all, do you see room for compromise to produce an effective policy on immigration? How will these policies affect your district?
We must enforce immigration laws and reform certain of its draconian administrative conditions, which, in part, contribute to our illegal immigration problems. We restrict the flow of highly qualified prospective immigrants needed to further energize a society in technological transition. Meanwhile, importing low-skill, low-pay labor sought by industry sectors such as agriculture and hospitality, sows seeds of economic and social dysfunction. Those industries avoid higher labor costs while wages for lower skill Americans fail to rise against the competition of immigrants who illegally enter.
Threshold steps to fix the immigration structure are:  encourage immigrants with STEM skill sets and advanced degrees;  eliminate exploitation of the "anchor baby" loophole;  insure that sponsors of immigrants are held accountable;  require physical identification, including blood typing and DNA and  enforce the existing immigration laws.
A path to a "legal status" is favored over citizenship for those who who violate our immigration laws. This "legal status" approach would draw bi-partisan support. An illegal entry person, fined, vetted and tax compliant, would achieve permanent residency. Scores of legal immigrants obtain legal status such as a green card and never pursue a citizen's right to vote. The granting of a legal status of is a benefit, rather than citizenship, to an immigrant who entered in violation of our laws but who has remedied the situation. The path to citizenship is preserved and respected for those who follow the rules fully from the initial point of entry.
What should be the top priorities in Congress related to the Affordable Care Act? If you want changes, what specifically do you recommend? If you want the act entirely eliminated, please address these questions: Is that politically feasible? If it proves infeasible, where do you see the potential for compromise? If it is eliminated, what would you replace it with, if anything?
As an employer who has helped support thousands of jobs I can assure you Obamacare is a nightmare. Health care costs have skyrocketed for my company and across the economy. The mandated one size fits all insurance policy has provisions that offend the conscience of employers like me. Many workers suffer because the hours are cut back to exempt the employer from offering coverage. This has led to a "part time" economy where we under employ our work force. As someone who sits on the Board of the Little Sisters of the Poor here in the 5th Congressional District, I have witnessed how Obamacare threatened to close down their homes for the indigent elderly by imposing a $70 million fine. These nuns refused to include a provision in their health insurance policies that would cover abortions. We are hard pressed to find medical professionals and caregivers who favor Obamacare and, to the contrary, are Obamacare's most arduous opposition. Speaker Ryan's repeal and replacement plan with its emphasis on patient centered health care would provide relief to the suffocating effect of Obamacare. The Ryan plan will: make insurance portable, open the insurance market across state lines, protect patients with pre-existing conditions, take the burden off the back of our millennials, provide protection for life and conscience, and implement Medicare reform to make it sustainable. All these, among many other unique initiatives, will put Americans back in charge of their own healthcare from a re-energized medical community un-leashed from Obamacare's stifling bureaucracy.
What military or diplomatic roles should the United States play to promote peace and stability in the Mideast? Under what circumstances should we have military forces actively operating?
We have several objectives we must acknowledge with regards to the Middle East. We must recognize Iran as a regional and global threat likely to continue the path toward nuclear armament. Iran remains a direct threat to our critical ally in the region, Israel. We must eliminate terrorist control over large portions of the Middle East. We must appreciate the reality that pushing Islamist terrorists out of Iraq means we must be vigilant against their reemergence in places like Afghanistan, Libya, and Tunisia.
Unfortunately until we can be confident that the aforementioned objectives are within reach, the United States will have little choice but to engage militarily in the region. It would be unwise if not na-ve to suggest anything to the contrary as our enemies take advantage of any sign of weakness. Telegraphing under which specific circumstances military force should be elevated is equally unwise. We have seen the disastrous consequences when the current administration suggested there was a line in the sand regarding the use of chemical weapons in Syria. President Obama's threat was ignored and Syria is at the heart of the regional instability. United States interests should be painted in the broadest of terms. This ensures the enemy will be kept at bay. The United States should engage in fully defending our allies, our values of religious, economic, and personal freedom. Our enemies need to be aware that when the United States or its allies are threatened or attacked, the response will be swift and conclusive.
Will you uphold the international climate change treaty? If not, what alternative steps would you advocate? If so, what steps will you take to meet U.S. obligations under the accord?
The current "Treaty" on climate change is in the 1992 UN framework convention. The 1992 undertaking was ratified in the Senate. That ratification stipulated that any subsequent modifications or regulation of emissions for example would require Senatorial approval. This is because such agreements negotiated by our President with other nations are by definition subject to the advice and consent of the Senate. Provided that we are referencing the same treaty, to the best of my knowledge we are upholding the 1992 convention.
This administration is doing a disservice to the international community, our allies, and the American people by participating in climate change negotiations and then ignoring the critical step of Senatorial consent. This approach along with a whirlwind of executive orders devastating to America's energy sector creates confusion and will likely result in a backlash against efforts to promote carbon free energy sources.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
As a father, successful entrepreneur, educational philanthropist, and proven leader, my bold solutions will revive the American Dream. Courage and tenacity enabled me to build a successful business throughout historic financial difficulties in the airline and railroad industries we served. Having created many jobs and risked my earned capital investing in infrastructure industries, my qualifications are unique. Having served on and supported Illinois non-government school boards, my commitment to school choice is proven. Illinois and our country have serious issues and no one is acting to implement solutions. We need to Act. Crime in Chicago is an embarrassment and terrorism is unchecked worldwide. Many Americans are financially stressed. Washington is receiving a raise of 9% every year and still spending more than it is taking in. A third of Americans rely on government assistance today vs. a few percent when the war on poverty was initiated. Professional politicians rule our country by taking advantage of limitless terms. I am an Independent Outsider calling out the damage they are doing to our country. It is immoral my generation leave our enormous public debt exceeding $80 trillion to the next.
We need to keep Chicago and America safe. We need tax-reform and regulatory reform to get our economy booming. We must protect our culture and the rule of law. We must have school choice and term limits. We need legal immigration and secure borders. Reforming Social Security, Medicare and Obamacare will block the immoral rise of debt that future generations will bear.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Senator Ron Johnson. A successful entrepreneur. He sacrificed his own wealth to become one of a few business leaders and only CPA in the Senate.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
Freedom is invigorating. Freedom was never taken for granted. One can lose it by acting irresponsibly.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
I am blessed with a very short memory of the foibles in life. Having achieved the American dream my regrets are few.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
History and finance. History feeds my perspective of what transpired looking back. Finances forces you to convert perspective into analysis of the future.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Pray every day for wisdom to know the right thing to do and for courage to do the right thing.