​Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board questionnaire responses

Legislative priorities:

Q) What are your three top national legislative priorities for the country? 

A)  Adjust Social Security to make it economically viable, balance the trade deficit, eliminate unhealthy and reckless food imports, and balance the budget.  And, because they are interrelated, I have only listed one priority.

Q: What are the three most important issues in your district on which you believe the  federal government needs to act?

A) The 14th Congressional District is experiencing a population growth that is greatly exceeds that in comparison to the State on Illinois as a whole.  The state growth is approximately 3% as compared to the 25% of our district.  My first concern is that over 10 million dollars have been earmarked for the expansion of the Metra Rail System into our district.  Yet our current leadership has not made use of these funds.  I would secure additional funds to expand the Metra Rail System into three primary sections of the 14th Congressional District. This project would immediately create jobs, increase cash flow throughout the district, and provide economic stimulation.    

My second concern is to expand  the main transportation flow of Route 47, Randall Road and Route 173.  These areas have been largely ignored and are experiencing great congestion.   This congestion creates a great deal of waste to fuel, waste of business time and business ineffectiveness. These transportation problems must be addressed to secure additional employment opportunities. .. Which leads me to my third priority.    

One company that I would immediately contact would be Whirlpool Corporation.  Whirlpool Corporation is making a conscious effort to reestablish manufacturing facilities in the United States.  I would offer tax and property incentives to bring manufacturing of appliances and other  related parts to our district.  This would bring millions of additional revenue to families in the area and bolster real estate values.   Also, I would protect local businesses such as precision machine shops and other manufacturers that are located nearby.  One manufacturer of industrial cutting knifes indicated to me that if imported knifes were reduce their company would hire an additional one hundred employees.  This could bring in an additional three million dollars in revenue in our area and save potentially one million in government assistance programs.  If we protect our industries in our district, other companies nationwide will benefit as well. I would use the Small Business Association (SBA) to stimulate local small businesses.  SBA financial packages are available to businesses to encourage financial activity.  I will make use of these funds. There is approximately $14 billion available to establish and expand businesses.  Our local economy should be using some of these funds.

Q) What is your biggest fundamental difference with your opponent(s)?

A) My approaches to our country’s problems are economically based and rational.  I cannot account for my opponents’ solutions.  


Q) Will you pledge to make public: a) your campaign schedule; b) your fundraiser schedule and the names of all fundraiser hosts ; c) if elected, your daily schedule of  meetings? If not, why not?

A) Well, my transparency is rather practical.  I talk to anyone who will listen and will speak to any group that will ask.  And, if you ask for a list of engagements I would be happy to tell you.

Q) Please list all relatives on public or campaign payrolls and their jobs on those  payrolls.

A) None

National security: 

Q) What are the most important actions Congress can take to reduce the threat of ISIS  abroad and at home?

A) The first goal of the United States to fight global terrorism and ISIS is to increase stability in the Middle East.  This begins by working with and through a Muslim coalition within the region to regain stability.  This is key.  In order to disarm terrorism and restore stability, the fight must be brought through the Muslim community itself.  Once the Muslim community is involved then terrorist leadership must be methodically removed as well as the source of the teaching.  It is vital to understand that the core of the problem is the bad theology that leads to terrorism. There is a way to systematically bring into question the terrorist belief structure and our counterintelligence needs to be active in this area.  In the meantime, I am a strong advocate for border security.  I do not believe that we can depend on domestic surveillance alone for security.  We must, also, have an aggressive vetting process for all immigrates which includes background verification.   I do, however, hold a great concern for the Patriot Act violating the privacy of U.S. Citizens.

Q) What bans, if any, do you support on Muslim admissions to the United States? Please  explain your position.

A)  I do not support banning any one religion from admission into the United State and nor should one group be favored to enter the United States like Muslims.  Any immigration that does take place, immigrants must be properly and thoroughly screened for criminal, terrorist links, and other harmful discrepancies.  Also, background screening is not only searching for the absence of undesirable problems but also background screening is to verify legitimate existing personal history.   In addition, new immigrants must be in harmony with our values as a country, our government structure, and our government sovereignty.  Immigration reform must include an employer verification program which holds employers accountable for verification of all employees or be subject to stiff penalties.  Finally, it must be noted that because of the abnormal influx of immigration into the U.S. in recent years, new immigration must be drastically reduced at the present time for our current economic infrastructure cannot adequately support more employees. 

Q) Specifically, how would you have, or how did you, vote on the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015 and its efforts to make it harder for Syrian  and Iraqi refugees to enter the U.S.? Please explain your position.

A) I would have supported the SAFE Act of 2015.  It is not that we are making it “harder” for Syrian and Iraqi refugees to enter the U.S., it is more of the understanding than the individuals from that region of the world must be closely screened because U.S. Intelligence has verified that several of these individuals are a threat to our country.

Q) Do you support a Syrian nofly zone or the U.S. enforcement of Syrian humanitarian  safe zones? Why or why not?

A) Primarily, I support the U.S. enforcement of Syrian humanitarian safe zones.  If approximately 20 million refugees have spread across the world and truly wish to have a new and safe start, it would be more economical and safer to provide such a large group within  an area of the world that they are comfortable with and are culturally in harmony with.  It would be feasible to assume that a U.S. supported Muslim Coalition should be able to provide such an atmosphere.  

Q) Regarding the House Benghazi Select Committee, should its investigation remain open-ended, or should the panel be given a deadline to complete its work? Please  explain.

A) Once a issue like this continues beyond a reasonable time it can only be assume to be politically motivated.

Q) What measures, if any, do you support to give U.S. authorities access to encrypted or dark web” communications about potential terrorist plots? Please explain.

A)  U.S. authority to access encrypted or “dark web” communication should be limited to those elements outside the U.S. Citizenry. Information is a powerful tool and can be easily used for the wrong reasons, economically and politically.  U.S. privacy must be protected.

Q) Do you support transferring the detention of terrorism suspects from Guantanamo  Bay to the United States? Why or why not?

A) I believe that any terrorist suspect should be tried within a reasonable time. Then either detained for terrorism or released back to the country from which they came.  I do not support closing Guantanamo Bay.

Gun violence: 

Q) What is the single most important action Congress can take to reduce U.S. gun  violence?

A) We must understand that the American community feels a heightened sense of threat, instability, and a lack of safety.  So this is possibly the worse time to begin engaging in gun control.  I do believe that it make sense to close loopholes that make it possible for criminals to acquire arms.  Also, it makes sense for individuals that are suffering mentally being barred from acquiring arms as well.  This prevention is more complicated than what it appears but it must be addressed.

Q) Do you support or oppose the ‘‘Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous  Terrorists Act?” Please explain your position.  

 A)   I do support the ‘‘Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous  Terrorists Act “ under one condition; that an individual that is placed on that list is able to challenge that finding.  Then what must ensue is that those who wish to challenge the finding must be heard in a court of law within a reasonable amount of time.  

Climate change: 

Q) Do you believe there is scientific evidence of climate change, and is it caused by  human activity? What is your position on the Paris climate change agreement?

A)  First when it comes to the issue of climate change it is more feasible to discuss the issue of advancing technology to combat pollution rather than engaging in lengthy debates on the scientific evidence of climate change.  And, when it comes to my position on the Paris climate change agreement;  I was taught years ago that when it comes to things like politics that one should approach such things as, “Being wise as a serpent but gentle as a dove”.  The Paris Climate Change agreement is no different.  I will say that I embrace the enthusiasm of tackling pollution emissions, international peer pressure to meet environmental goals, and improving advanced energy sources to achieve a cleaner environment.  I am confident that most people would embrace such a noble cause; however, I do believe that one must approach the situation from a realistic standpoint.  First, I believe that it will be a futile effort to hold many of the countries accountable to reach the goals that they claim they will seek.  There is no accountability or supervision that will hold these countries to their agreement.  After all, how can we trust countries that regularly infringe on U.S. Industries’ patents and rights as well as regularly engage in corporate espionage and even violate many of our most basic human rights that we value.  So let me just basically summarize my position like this, when it come to tax payer money,, it stays right here in the U.S.A., and for the rest of the agreement, I am all for it with a wait and see perspective.


Q) What changes, if any, to the U.S. tax code do you support and why?

A) At this point in time it is not rational to support any of the proposed changes to the U.S. tax code.  The current changes that are currently discussed among all the current leadership running for office, only places their credence in question to hold such a high office.

Q) What are the most important actions Congress can take to ensure the solvency of  Social Security?

A) Sure.  My solution to ensure the solvency of Social Security as well as the A.C.A. is unique to my platform and is not borrowed or a variance to some talk show host or presidential forerunner.  I agree that a cut in payouts from Social Security must take place; but it will not be from the retired elderly people that depend on every penny given to them as my Republican rival proposes.  The first cut goes to anyone that is currently receiving retirement benefits from other sources of over one million dollars annually.  These individuals will not receive Social Security funds.   Retirement incomes from five hundred thousand to one million will have their Social Security Benefits reduced by 50%.  The cap on FICA contributions needs to be adjusted for inflation and must be increased by $20,000.  These changes need to be enforced as soon as possible to be in harmony with the Corporate CEO’s that have said, ”The government is completely foolish for sending me Social Security Checks”. I agree.  

Q) Do you support a “risk fee” on big banks? Why or why not?

A) Yes I do support a “risk fee” on big banks.  However it would be more prudent to regulate the high risk that banks engage in which place consumers as well as tax payers at risk. Also, breaking up the monopolies within our banking structure will also reduce our current high risk banking environment. The “risk fee” proposal has a dual purpose.  First it discourages big banks from placing depositors and taxpayers at risk, and second it would create a government income which can be used to reduce the government deficit.

Health care: 

Q) Should Obamacare be overturned, left intact, or changed — and if so how?

A) The Affordable Care Act is the perfect example of how well our two parties work together.  The first rolled out the program with little thought and the other did everything they could to make it fail, all at the massive expense to tax payers.  But let me be clear.  People die because they don’t have health care.  So let’s fix it.  I have proposed four effective adjustments that the American public will like and greatly benefit from and ,of course, the lobbyist and special interest groups will attack.  First, we must allow more generic pharmaceutical companies to compete. If we lower generic pharmaceutical licensing fees and individual drug fees while shortening the long term drug patents, we will ultimately significantly lower pharmaceutical costs.   After all, if taxpayers are providing grants for drug research then the taxpayers should be awarded some of the monetary rewards from this research.  By allowing more competition in the market and allowing the free market to flourish the direct result will be drastically lower pharmaceutical costs.  Second, allow medical insurance companies to compete nationwide, not just within state boundaries.   And, allow more of the “not for profit” group insurance programs more freedom and less regulation to compete. This will drive down insurance costs.   Three and four are linked.  Third, all medical fees, and costs are to be publically displayed on-line, in a comparable concise manner, and given to all patients.   Costs need to be clearly public. Fourth,  once cost disclosures are made public and assessable,  everyone is given a $2000 medical savings account. Any year in which the insured does not use this money or a portion of the money it will be rewarded back to the individual as a tax credit.  This will incentivize people from abusing medical coverage, encourage price shopping, increase medical competition, and will ultimately drive down costs.

Q) Do you favor stripping federal funds from Planned Parenthood? Why or why not?

A) Yes.


Q) President Obama used his executive powers to prevent the deportation of  "DREAMers—youths who came to the U.S. illegally as children with their parents. Would  you support legislation to prevent DREAMer deportations? Do you support putting  DREAMers on a path to citizenship?

A)  I would support legislation that prevents deportation of “Dreamers” of children that have been in the U.S. no less than five years. Also, the parents of the “qualified” child must not have engaged in criminal behavior nor have been dependant on government subsidies.  I believe the topic of citizenship cannot be discussed until the border is secured.   


Q) What congressional reforms do you favor to address America’s student loan crisis?

A) I support giving assistance to college students at the community college level only.  This is an inexpensive means to get many of the “expensive” core curriculum accomplished rather than paying for those classes at the universities.  The universities must make it explicitly clear which classes will qualify for credit transfers.  Then regular qualifying grants and assistance programs should kick in to help students.  Granting full government grants is not prudent.

John Hosta

District running for: 14th Congressional District

Political party: Democrat

Political/civic background: No political background; civically coached football

Occupation: Self employed

Education:  B.A. Business Administration, Emphasis in Economic, Retirement & Pension Planning, Wall Street Background

Campaign website:  johnjhosta.com