As the new Congressman for the 9th Congressional District, I want to express my sincere gratitude to the voters who elected me to this great responsibility. I am honored to have been selected as a Republican Representative in a heavily Democratic district. In a district where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 3 to 1 margin, my election would not have been possible without heavy bi-partisan support.
I have lived in this area for my entire life. Besides having been born in Manhattan and serving in the U.S. Army, I have only lived in the borough of Queens – in neighborhoods such as Woodhaven, Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill and Rockaway Point. While my business travels have brought me far and wide from Tbilisi to Delhi, Manila to Moscow, I am proud to have always called Queens, NY my home.
I am truly humbled to be among the few non-career politician/citizen legislators now serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. I do not take it lightly that my neighbors chose me – a fellow citizen of the 9th Congressional District to be our representation in Washington. It is my promise to be a clear voice for the people of this district. As your representative, I will bring a non-partisan voice to Washington, a common sense voice that will help bring people together. It is my hope that my example will lead to more citizen candidates in Congress.
The main reason I got into politics is out of concern for our future generations. As a proud grandfather of 13 grandchildren, my priority is to improve our economy, create lasting jobs and to address our national debt crisis, so that all of our children and grandchildren can prosper in this country. Our national debt crisis is bringing our country to the brink of catastrophe. We now have a federal debt of nearly $15 trillion which is expected to reach over $20 trillion within the next four years if something is not done now.
It has also been my pledge to tell you the truth. The problem with career politicians is that the priority of getting re-elected often gets in the way of telling the truth. It is simply much easier to tell people what they want to hear and get re-elected than to tell people what they need to hear and risk re-election.
As a man of 70 without political aspirations but to serve, I am going to tell you the hard truth. The simple truth is that we cannot sustain this level of government over-spending. Our government’s spending crisis should be viewed as not any different than a family spending beyond its means. Anyone who spends significantly more than they take in consistently, gets a lower credit score and will eventually wind up bankrupt and in foreclosure if something is not changed.
Right now the Federal government is borrowing 40 cents from other nations for every dollar we spend. We have already received a downgrade in our credit score and there is no plan to stop the unsustainable spending on the table. Unless significant cuts to our federal spending are made, we risk every social safety net and will leave the next generation with a tremendous burden.
As a businessman, I believe my practical business sensibility can lead the government to rein in the overspending while stimulating real economic growth and creating real, lasting jobs for New Yorkers and elsewhere in the United States.
Since our very future and security is all tied to our economic situation, my top priority is to help fix the economy. As with all problems – whether personal, organizational or financial – unless we fully recognize a problem exists and accept that problem, we are unable to aptly deal with it.
I have pledged to try to help save our economy for the next generation and to preserve Social Security and Medicare for the current generation. But in order to preserve anything, we need to accept the reality of our over-spending so we can deal with it accordingly.
As a district led by one of the few citizen legislators in the U.S. government, your voice matters. It will be my job to see that it continues to be heard.