Dan Kapanke says financial changes are neededThird Congressional Republican candidate Dan Kapanke, 63, said the time has come to stop the spending in Washington D.C. Kapanke, La Crosse, will be challenging incumbent 3rd District Democrat Congressman Ron Kind, La Crosse, in the Nov. 2 general election. Also in the race is independent candidate Mike Krsiean, Houlton.
By: Doug Stohlberg, Hudson Star-Observer
Third Congressional Republican candidate Dan Kapanke, 63, said the time has come to stop the spending in Washington D.C. Kapanke, La Crosse, will be challenging incumbent 3rd District Democrat Congressman Ron Kind, La Crosse, in the Nov. 2 general election. Also in the race is independent candidate Mike Krsiean, Houlton.
“The national debt is now in the neighborhood of $13.6 trillion,” Kapanke said. “We simply have to stop spending.”
He said voters around the district are very concerned with the mounting debt.
“They understand that when you max-out your credit card, it’s time to stop spending, and time to start paying it down,” Kapanke said. “They understand that we are saddling our future generations with an enormous burden.”
He said the other side of the problem is that much of our debt is owed to countries like China.
“There was a recent article in the Wall Street Journal with the headline of ‘China talks tough,’” Kapanke said. “They will hold more and more clout over our economy – we are the client that is not behaving and there is a lot of concern about the value of our dollar.”
His solutions include using unspent portions of the stimulus package to reduce the national debt, implementing tax cuts to spur private-sector job growth and get money back into people’s hands, stopping the national energy tax that he says would “crush farm income” and phasing in a constitutional balanced budget amendment.
Kapanke said unemployment is another big issue in the upcoming election.
“We’re still sitting at 9.6 percent, or higher if you count everyone,” Kapanke said. “We were told that when the stimulus was allocated, unemployment would drop to 8 percent or less. Yet, here we sit at 9.6 percent after spending all the money to get employment rolling.
“I’ve visited thousands of businesses and households and there is a lot of uncertainty — people aren’t sure how Washington will be affecting their business or household.
There is uncertainty about the finance reform bill, Obama Care, tax and trade, tax cuts that were left hanging — the list goes on and on and everyone is uncertain. There is not going to be any significant economic growth or jobs created until people have a restored confidence in Washington.”
On top of that, he said many Wisconsin banks have been caught in the middle of federal regulations.
“Most Wisconsin banks have sound portfolios,” Kapanke said. “But they are paying for the mess out east. It is difficult for people to get credit – as a result, the nation is paralyzed.
“Businesses are sitting on $2 trillion right now, but they don’t want to do anything because they don’t know the impact of what’s going on in Washington. Households are sitting on $8 trillion. People are taking the ‘hunker down’ mentality. That’s a poor indicator for a consumer-driven economy such as ours.”
Kapanke describes himself as conservative and pro-business.
“If we want to get jobs and consumer/business spending stimulated, we must stop the spending in Washington,” Kapanke said.
“I wasn’t in favor of the stimulus bill when it was announced,” he said. He said stimulus bills have taken $862 billion of money that the country doesn’t have and have done little to create jobs.
“I’m all about private sector sustainable long-term jobs,” said Kapanke. “That’s where we’re going to have the growth that we desire.”
He pointed out that Wisconsin has more public sector jobs than manufacturing jobs.
“That’s a trend that needs to be reversed,” Kapanke said. “But Americans must regain confidence in their country, their government and the U.S. dollar before they will start spending, create new jobs and pull the country out of recession.”
Feds not listening
Kapanke said that his campaign travels have led him to the conclusion that people believe the federal government is not listening.
“”Take the health care for instance,” Kapanke said. “People jammed halls throughout the 3rd District for meetings and most people were not in favor of the health bill, yet their concerns were not considered when it came time to pass the bill.”
He’s also concerned about over regulation of small businesses.
“I’ve been a business owner and have a different mindset than Washington insiders,” Kapanke said.
He cited the example of small businesses, and the tightening of rules in generating a 1099 form for transactions totaling $600 or more.
“In the past a business usually had to complete about a hundred 1009s,” Kapanke said. “Under the new law, that number could be 4,000. That all adds cost to our business operations and plays a role in the inability to turn around unemployment.”
Kapanke, who has represented the 32nd District in the Wisconsin Senate since 2002, also feels that he can be an effective Congressman because he also understands the political process.
“I have a business and political background. In Madison I have found that I can work with both sides.”
Kapanke, who was raised on a dairy farm near La Crosse, earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a Master of Education degree in professional development from UW-La Crosse.
He worked as an agricultural seed salesman and district sales manager for 25 years and has served on the Campbell Town Board for 13 years, including seven years as town chairman.
For more information, go to www.kapankeforcongress.com.