Mike Koolidge, Congress 14th District 2022 Primary Election Questionnaire

US Congress 14th District candidate Mike Koolidge

Full Name: Mike Koolidge

What office are you seeking? U.S. Congress, 14th district

What offices, if any, have you previously held? Republican Precinct Committeeman, Flagg Township 6 since 2012

City: Rochelle

Occupation: Former syndicated radio talk show host and U.S. Army officer

Education: M.S. in Communication, Northwestern University, 2004

B.A. in Political Science, Boston University, 1997

Campaign Website: www.koolidge.com

What is your position re-establishing the Child Tax Credit at $3,500 per child as set in the American Rescue Plan?

One of the biggest problems with the American Rescue Plan was its elimination of the work requirement for the Child Tax Credit, which transformed a formerly bi-partisan tax relief program into essentially a welfare program on the most massive scale. Tax credits are usually good, but not those that discourage work. We continue to see the effects of this as millions of jobs are left unfilled and inflation keeps skyrocketing, and none of this is a coincidence. Bottom line, so long as work and self-reliance is incentivized, it’s never a bad idea to reduce a family’s tax burden.

Do you believe that corporations pay enough in taxes?

I believe we all pay enough taxes. There’s a spending problem in Washington, not a revenue problem. Government needs to learn to live within its means. The economic policies of establishment politicians have only resulted in higher prices and the exporting of American jobs overseas, and of course, massive inflation.

Would you support increases or decreases in the amount of taxes corporations pay? Why?

Decreases. We’re all taxed enough already. As was recently pointed out in the Wall Street Journal, the reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% in 2017 not only spurred massive economic growth by boosting business investment by over 14%, but it increased tax revenue to the government. Most importantly, it resulted in more money in the pockets of American families, on average by $5,000. And the best part about that is that it wasn’t a government hand out of $5,000, it was a market becoming freer than it was previously when there were higher tax rates. Instead of spending and printing endless amounts of money, Joe Biden and Lauren Underwood should be taking the necessary steps to force government to live within its means. But they won’t. We need to lower taxes, across the board, and a reduction in spending. When I get to Congress, I will be part of the solution to the over-taxed issue we have right now in DC. Instead of the government telling Americans to tighten their belts, we need to get the government to tighten ITS belt.

Do the rich, defined as the wealthiest 1%, pay enough in taxes?

I believe we all pay enough taxes. Again, it’s a spending problem in D.C., not a revenue problem.

Would support changes in the tax code that would increase or decrease their tax burden? Why?

If we were to, for argument’s sake, change the top tax bracket to a 95% income tax, it wouldn’t solve our problems. The tax code needs to be simplified across the board, and we need to pursue all options to lower taxes and decrease the tax burden on all working families, while also incentivizing all able-bodied Americans to work. Illinoisans are already among the very highest-overall taxed Americans in the nation; the last thing we need are higher taxes from the federal government. Ultimately, inflation is a “hidden tax” that harms lower-income Americans while benefiting overly-indebted governments. And raising taxes on business results in the costs being passed on to consumers through higher prices. Why on earth would we throw gasoline on the already burning fire of inflation?

Do you support raising taxes on capital gains and dividends? Why?

No, I do not support raising any taxes. If we increase taxes on capital gains and dividends, we hurt everyone who has a retirement account or is trying to invest their hard-earned money to keep up with the added cost of inflation. Our senior citizens often rely on fixed incomes (Social Security) and dividends during their retirement years. Raising taxes on them is out of the question for me.

The COVID-19 pandemic saw a breakdown in this country’s supply chain. What would you propose to fix it?

So much of the supply chain crisis has to do with the volume of goods surging at our ports because America’s demand for goods continues to be high. Add our economy still being flush with over-printed money, and too many trucking and distribution jobs not being filled, and you’ve got a supply chain problem. As far as what the federal government can do, we need to become energy independent again, and we need to stop printing money we don’t have. Those two steps alone would go a long way in alleviating any current and future supply chain issues.

How would you bring back manufacturing jobs?

Calvin Coolidge (no relation) once said to a group of newspaper editors, of all people: “After all, the chief business of the American people is business. They are profoundly concerned with producing, buying, selling, investing and prospering in the world.” Federal legislation can’t magically make companies move from overseas back to the U.S., but Congress can absolutely make things easier for them to do so, among them: lowering taxes, deregulation, becoming energy independent, and the facilitation of an economy that focuses on localized supply chains. The Midwest, and in particular the 14th district, has plenty of space for private companies to relocate their manufacturing operations. Though Facebook isn’t a “manufacturer” per se, their recent opening of an $800+ million data center in DeKalb shows that Northern Illinois can be a prime location for businesses of any size, including Fortune 500 companies like Meta Platforms. In Congress I will work tirelessly to attract business to the 14th district, especially manufacturers.

What plans do you have to help the lower and middle class?

The most obvious thing our government needs to tackle is inflation. Prices at the gas pump, at the grocery store, at restaurants --literally everywhere-- are rising precipitously and the Biden / Underwood approach seems to simply be to shrug their shoulders or, worse, to throw money at the problem. We can do concrete things to reduce inflation, and it starts with taking the steps immediately towards American energy independence. Drilling for oil, re-starting projects like the Keystone Pipeline and putting a halt on new government programs until we get our own house in order are all steps we must take immediately to get back on track.

Do you support the idea that government can require immunizations against COVID-19 or other communicable diseases?

No, the government has no right whatsoever to force people to put things in their bodies. They can recommend and incentivize, but the over-the-top measures that so many people in positions of power –many of them unelected bureaucrats— took over the last two years during the pandemic must never happen again.

How do you feel about mask mandates?

Having a government of, by, and for the people means that officeholders in executive positions (mayors, governors, the president) can’t command the population to do certain things without their consent, and that’s by design. The government works for and answers to the people, not the other way around. In the future, any sort of extreme changes in how society physically interacts with each other need to go through legislative bodies (city councils, legislatures and congress), i.e., those that answer directly to the people, not the whims of executives and un-elected bureaucrats.

Is America prepared for either another round of the current pandemic, or the next one?

So long as we learn from the mistakes we made in this past one. It’s impossible to tell what the future holds and what strains emerge from the current virus or a future pandemic, but we should admit that some of the baseless hysteria was counterproductive, and that many elected “leaders” acted well beyond their authority.

Do you support new laws or regulations to safeguard people in the event of another pandemic?

No. “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help,” are the nine most terrifying words in the English language, according to Ronald Reagan, and he wasn’t wrong.

Should Medicare be expanded to include dental coverage for older Americans?

Medicare is bordering on insolvency and needs to be saved, as so many Americans rely on it. But our country is 30 trillion in debt and we are in no position to expand it.

What are the top two threats to our national security?

China and Russia are our biggest threats, both economically and militarily. Also the dollar losing its status as a global reserve currency would have a significant impact on our ability to project ourselves as a country capable of defending itself.

What should be done to eliminate them?

As the only candidate in this race who has served in the military, including a year in the combat zone of Kuwait and Iraq, I understand that decisions in Washington, both smart ones and reckless ones, affect our brave men and women every day--and for the rest of their lives. We should follow Reagan’s foreign policy example of peace through strength. China and Russia aligning would be deeply alarming, and by many indications they already have. All foreign policy decisions should have our country’s interests and security at top of mind. We should never stop strengthening our military’s lethality and defensive capabilities, while simultaneously making our domestic economy as resilient and as self-sufficient as possible so that we don’t need to rely on countries like China and Russia for goods.

What is your position on climate change and what should be done about it?

The private sector deserves credit for working so quickly to develop green solutions, and the government should do everything within reason to support the private sector as it works towards energy resilience and independence. What we cannot afford to do is introduce more taxes and greenwashed regulations which ultimately become an additional burden on working families and small businesses. While it’s imperative to look for more efficient solutions for the future, America has the capability to be energy independent through our many energy resources, which would lower gas and energy prices and put the U.S. in a position to lead rather than react. We need to kickstart projects that will put us back on top like the Keystone Pipeline, and we need the government to get out of the way of domestic energy exploration.

What is your position on nuclear energy expansion?

Nuclear energy is crucial to our country becoming energy independent.

Should America invest in other forms of renewable energy? Please explain.

Yes, we should work in all ways to become energy independent, including renewables, so as long as it doesn’t include increasing taxes.

Should pregnant women have the right to get an abortion?

I believe that life begins at conception, that all innocent life is precious, and that the government has a duty to protect the rights of all lives.

Is the immigration system a problem in this country? If so, what is your plan to fix it?

The Biden administration is not only ignoring the crisis at the border, they area bout to make it worse by lifting Title 42, which will by some estimates double the amount of people flowing through the southern border daily. The smartest thing we did in the last five years to protect our border was President Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy which the current administration tried to get rid of, but his efforts have been thankfully paused for the time being by federal courts. The Remain in Mexico policy for migrants should ultimately be the law of the land. Unlike many politicians currently in power, I have been to and closely inspected the U.S.-Mexico border within the last 12 months with U.S. Border patrol agents. The agents there told me two things: 1. That the wall worked, and 2. That Title 42 and the Remain in Mexico policy were two tools that also helped them do their jobs tremendously. Finishing the wall and stopping illegal immigration must be a paramount priority. Allowing illegal immigrants to pour into our country –and then receive better treatment than many U.S. citizens– only encourages more illegal immigration. And we’re not even talking about the illegal drugs and terrorism that additionally easily finds its way through a porous national border.

Do American cities have a crime problem?

Absolutely, and anyone who disagrees has his or her head in the sand.

If so, what is your suggestion to solve it?

Actually prosecuting people for crimes, and enforcing equal justice under the law. Crime is soaring while Democrat-run cities look the other way. We support backing the men and women in blue by funding the police, not hamstringing them. We need to get back to stronger anti-crime strategies that have been proven effective, like the broken windows approach championed in the 1990s in cities like New York and Los Angeles. Residents in the 14th District should not have to live in fear of crime. I will support legislation and policies that empower law enforcement to do their jobs so we can keep all families safe. We can also talk about federal penalties for prosecutors who choose not to do their jobs, like Cook County’s Kim Foxx and Los Angeles County’s George Gascón.

Should police officers have qualified immunity in cases involving alleged excessive force or other misconduct?

Our men and women in law enforcement face by many measures the toughest crime climate in American history. Police officers should not be punished for doing their jobs so long as what they do falls within training guidelines and department policy. Misconduct by definition means someone was doing something they shouldn’t have, and so if blatant misconduct occurs, one must face the legal consequences, as no one is above the law. But again, being a police officer in today’s climate is extremely challenging, and all police should be supported and empowered to do their jobs. They are serving and protecting our communities and are in harms way, every day.

Are there any limits to the Second Amendment?

The 2nd Amendment is very direct on this question: our rights to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Do you support any restrictions on gun purchases or other stricter gun control measures including citizens’ access to military style weaponry?

We need to focus on anti-crime measures, not anti-gun measures. There is always a human being behind the trigger, and if laws against murder don’t stop a killer from killing, why would a new gun law?

Did Joe Biden win the 2020 election?

Candidate did not answer this question

Would you have voted to ratify his presidency?

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What is your position on the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol?

Candidate did not answer this question

Was it an insurrection?

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Should people convicted of a crime related to their participation in the riot ever be pardoned?

Candidate did not answer this question

Should voters be required to show an ID to vote?

Absolutely, just like you need to when renting a car, buying a home, or opening a bank account. I stand with the 75-80% of Americans who believe we need universal voter ID to ensure the sanctity and security of our electoral process.

Would you, as a member of Congress, ever vote against certifying presidential electoral votes submitted by states’ official voting authorities?

Candidate did not answer this question