2010 Republican Joseph DioGuardi for Senate
Why I am running to represent New York in the U.S. Senate
As a professional CPA and a former Member of Congress, I have witnessed firsthand the fiscal deterioration of our great country, and I cannot sit on the sidelines now that our economy is in shambles. In 1990, the bill that I introduced as a junior member of Congress, the “Chief Financial Officer and Federal Reform Act,” to help bring fiscal sanity to the budget process in Washington, DC, was signed into law. Two years later, I wrote a book to warn the American people about the gross lack of fiscal responsibility, financial accountability, and transparency on Capitol Hill, even predicting the inevitable insolvency of America. Today it is absolutely clear that my grave concerns can no longer be ignored, as millions of Americans lose their jobs and their homes. I want to finish the job that I began in 1985 to insure that the United States is once again acting in a fiscally responsible way to protect our economic and national security.
I will promote serious budget reform measures to reduce the profligate spending in the federal government and dangerous levels of debt that have put us in economic jeopardy. Because the monumental increase in spending that we have witnessed over the past ten years has not been paid for, I will be a strong advocate of “Paygo.” If interest rates spike, our budget deficit will increase significantly, which could lead to the crash of the dollar, higher inflation, and a crisis in international trade.
We are spending money that we do not have, and we are borrowing from countries that do not share our values. We have neither funded nor properly accounted for Social Security and Medicare to the tune of $45 trillion dollars. This has put our generation and our children and grandchildren on a dangerous course of fiscal unsustainability. I will work hard to pass legislation to implement a balanced budget amendment and Congressional term limits of 12 years for Senators and House members.
U.S. Taxpayer Congressional Credit Card Statement: Taxpayers deserve a realistic and accurate report of our national debt. As such, I created a Congressional Credit Card Statement that shows every taxpayer America's real year-end balance.
More and more, the budget process and the financial numbers that we get from Congress are driven by short-term political objectives. I will strive to implement a budget process that is independent of politics and that tells Americans the truth about the national debt. I will call for the use of the same accounting principles in government that are imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission on the private sector. I will insist that the budget process account for all spending and commitments to spend, so that we stop passing hidden costs and liabilities to the next generation.
We need to reconnect our economy with production. Manufacturing should be supported, not pushed offshore in search of cheap labor. Research and Development, so pivotal to the growth of America, has been woefully neglected in recent years. Tax incentives should be provided to encourage more research into new technologies that are superior to the choices now before us. We must reduce red tape and government interference and allow the engine of our economy, the small business, to thrive and grow.
Our nation’s infrastructure, including bridges, railroads, ports, wastewater systems, and public buildings, is dilapidated, threatening both our safety and economic viability. Broadband service and green energy technology are not yet available throughout the country. Meanwhile, 29 million Americans are unemployed. I will help remove the government hurdles that are preventing business from expanding and creating jobs, to ensure that they are put back to work in jobs that will create a more environmentally and financially sustainable future for America and the world.
I believe that all Americans deserve access to quality healthcare. Too many Americans cannot afford health insurance and rely on hospital emergency rooms for their healthcare at great cost to the American taxpayer. Unfortunately, Washington is currently focused on the wrong problem. Instead of legislating coverage, Washington should deal with the real problem: the high cost of healthcare.
Government should reduce its involvement in healthcare and push the private sector to be more competitive and to promote a system that emphasizes disease prevention and wellness. I will advocate for these measures, which will bring healthcare costs down to affordable levels. I will also work to eliminate the anti-trust exemption for health insurance companies and the state-by-state monopolies that it has produced. Eliminating frivolous lawsuits through tort reform is also essential to healthcare reform.
The best weapon in response to an enemy willing to employ suicide and capable of using nuclear weapons is intelligence—enhanced through technology and human resources, not war. We must put a premium on the development of an intelligence operation, coordinated with our allies, to identify and root out terrorist organizations like al Qaeda. War should be used as a last resort. Iraq was a mistake, and our military should continue to bow out gracefully and allow Iraq to emerge under its own self rule. The war in Afghanistan is a war of choice that needs to be reconsidered in light of the immense foreign policy implications involving two of our allies, Pakistan and India.
I am committed to reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and so I support alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power, hybrid vehicles that reduce gas consumption, and the installation of bicycle paths across America. A new generation of nuclear reactors with enhanced and standardized safety standards must also be given priority.
As a Congressman, I created (with Democrats) the Long Island Sound and Hudson River Caucuses to arrest the deterioration of these two great bodies of water and bring them back to life. While development is important for economic growth, I believe it must be balanced with the preservation of the natural assets that surround us. Preserving the environment is one of the most important legacies that we can leave the next generation.
I believe that we must reinvent education to give our newest generation the tools they need to succeed in the global marketplace created by the Information Age and the rapid expansion of the Internet. We are falling behind the world. Our children and grandchildren will not be able to compete unless we first establish a level playing field by providing high quality education to children from pre-school through high school, from the inner cities to the suburbs. This will require us to rethink our funding formulas and sources and to replicate the programs of our high-performing schools across the country.
Legal immigration has always been a hallmark of our opportunity society. It allowed my father to come from southern Italy through Ellis Island in 1929, following my mother’s family which had arrived in 1910. But today a bloated bureaucracy has meant that the wrong people are often targeted for deportation, while others remain in America illegally with jobs, driver’s licenses, tuition, and healthcare benefits. We must do a better job of enforcing current immigration laws. I believe that the burden of proof for determining who is legal should first be on employers looking to exploit cheap labor. We must also do a better job of securing our borders. Secure borders are the first step to ensuring that we can enforce our immigration laws and monitor who is coming into the country.
There are too many instances in which veterans are not afforded the appropriate levels of physical and mental healthcare they deserve for disabilities incurred in fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. As a Vietnam-era veteran, I have supported local programs to enhance healthcare and retirement benefits for veterans, and I will support legislation to extend these programs nationally.
The Second Amendment clearly protects an individual's right to "keep and bear arms," and as such, grants law-abiding citizens the right of gun ownership. In upholding the Second Amendment, we preserve the inalienable right to self-defense as well as protect the numerous hunting traditions so many New Yorkers enjoy. I will always defend the Constitution and make certain that the commonsense provisions enshrined by the words of our Founding Fathers are diligently and properly upheld in the U.S. Senate.
Right to Life
I am pro-life and the only Right to Life endorsed candidate in this race. I believe that all life is precious and that abortion is an unfortunate symptom of too many unwanted pregnancies in our society.
Accountability has been the hallmark of Joe DioGuardi’s distinguished career in accounting, public service, advocacy, education, and corporate governance. The son of immigrants, whose industriousness and entrepreneurial spirit enabled them to build a better future, Joe is no stranger to hard work or unflagging persistence. He has tackled serious problems in his community, the business arena, and Congress. He obtains solutions, frequently overcoming obstacles by thinking ahead of the issue at hand.
As a Certified Public Accountant, Joe has spent his professional life promoting sound accounting principles and practices in government, and has demonstrated his dedication to professional integrity and personal service in accounting. He has consistently exemplified vision, leadership, and commitment to the core principles of public service, both locally and nationally.
Joe is a man of action, not just words. From his early years behind the cash register at the family’s food market in the Bronx to his career as a CPA, member of Congress, and citizen activist, Joe has lived the American dream. His professional accomplishments include:
- Sponsoring ground-breaking Congressional legislation to ensure proper oversight of government budgeting, accounting, and reporting
- Authoring a book, Unaccountable Congress: It Doesn’t Add Up, which reveals and explains accounting and fiscal irresponsibility in Congress
- Giving key testimony to the Federal Accounting Standards and Advisory Board (FASAB)
- Establishing and leading a non-profit foundation, Truth In Government, to educate citizens about the sustainability of the U.S. economy
- Co-founding "Rethinking Westchester County Government" to improve the fiscal sustainability of Westchester County government and reduce taxes (highest in the nation)
- Authoring more than 50 articles on fiscal responsibility, financial accountability, and transparency
- Delivering more than 100 speeches to professional, civic and business organizations
- With wife Shirley Cloyes, fighting as a human rights activist and volunteer lobbyist for U.S. recognition of Kosova as an independent state
Joe’s professional and civic life demonstrates his results orientation and a progression of accomplishments. Arthur Andersen & Co., where Joe worked as an accountant from 1962-1984, assigned him firm-wide responsibility for non-profit organizations, public sector taxation and pensions, and the tax economics of charitable giving. He achieved partner status at age 31.
The first practicing CPA elected to Congress, Joe spent two terms in the House of Representatives (1985-1989). He set out to improve Congressional fiscal responsibility and financial accountability, authoring the landmark Chief Financial Officer and Federal Financial Reform Act ("the CFO Act"), which mandated the appointment of a CFO to each major U.S. department and agency. Joe has continued public service on this issue, testifying before FASAB and the Association of Government Accountants as recently as last year.
Joe built bipartisan support for his legislative agenda and continued his activism even after leaving the House. Eschewing the expected post-Congressional career of lobbying, he resumed his professional life as a financial consultant and corporate director, and also became an active citizen and volunteer. He founded Truth In Government, which informs citizens about grossly inadequate federal budgeting, spending, and financial reporting practices. The non-profit also warns about the dangers of the nation’s increased reliance on foreign countries to purchase its bonds, which adds substantially to the national debt. Joe began traveling the country and employing online methods to disseminate his message.
Joe's message has reached millions through his website: www.truthingovernment.org, and through videos on the need for fiscal and accounting reform that are available on YouTube and other Internet sites. He contributes articles to national publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, The Washington Post, and The National Law Journal.
- Joe was also instrumental in the awarding of nine medals of honor to African Americans who served in World Wars I and II. (Prior to Joe’s aggressive intervention, not one African American war hero from either World War had received our nation’s highest award, even though 1,550,000 had served.)
- Joe serves on the board of the Phoenix House, a nonprofit drug and alcohol rehabilitation organization, operating in nine states.
- He co-founded Rethinking Westchester Government in 2009 to address the need to downsize County government and reduce its extremely high tax burden.
- Joe founded and co-chaired the Congressional Long Island Sound and Hudson River Caucuses, which secured increases in federal support to stop pollution in those bodies of water.
- He co-founded with Congressman Jerrold Nadler and Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long the New York Task Force for Port, Rail, and Industrial Development, which restored lost jobs to New York’s manufacturing and transportation industries and preserved a portion of the Port of New York on the New York side of the harbor in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
- In 1989, he was the keynote speaker at the Association for Government Accountants’ conference in New York.
- In 1993, he chaired an AGA Task Force on Truth in Government Accounting and Budgeting.
- In August 1994, as a keynote speaker at the annual conference of the American Accounting Association, Joe persuaded professors of accounting to play an active role in reforming federal budgeting and financial management.
- In May 1996, he returned to Washington as a keynote speaker on federal financial management reforms before the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).
- In February 2009, he addressed the FASAB on Reporting Comprehensive Long-Term Fiscal Projections for the U. S. Government and Accounting for Social Insurance.
- In June 2009, Joe addressed the AGA conference in New Orleans on the topic of Intergovernmental Financial Dependency by State and Local Governments.
- “GAAP’s Budget Gaps Will Surprise” The Wall Street Journal, (Nov. 6, 1987)
- “Someone To Mind The Store” The Washington Times (Sept. 18, 1990)
- Book: “Unaccountable Congress, It Doesn't Add Up” by Joseph DioGuardi, Regnery Gateway (1992)
- "Truth in Spending Needed for Budget to be Balanced," (with Joseph Michael Granoff), The Washington Times, (Sunday, Jan. 21, 1996)
- “Debt is Making Us Poor” The Washington Post (April 20, 1997)
- The National Law Journal “Cooking the nation’s books” (June 23-June 30, 2003)
- “Federal Accounting Reform Urgency” The Washington Times (Nov. 2, 2003)
- “A capital budget for feds would help secure bridges, save lives” The Journal News (Sept. 24, 2007)
- “Time for Budgetary Truth” The Washington Times (Aug. 24, 2009)
Selected Honors and Awards
- Outstanding CPA in Government Award from the New York State Society of CPAs in (1986)
- Outstanding Public Service Award from the Westchester County Republican Committee (1987)
- Westchester Irish Committee's Dedication to Peace and Justice Award (1988)
- Paul Harris Fellow Award of the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International (1988)
- For legislation that led to the passage of the CFO Act in 1990, Joe was recognized in a personal letter of commendation from President George H.W. Bush
- For leading the effort to confer Congressional Medals of Honor to African American War Heroes, Joe was recognized by President George H.W. Bush
- Annual Achievement Award of the Association of Government Accountants—Boston Chapter (1992)
- Awarded Medal of the League of Prizren for his work in support of the independence of Kosova by Kosova’s president, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova
- Westchester County Distinguished Service Award (2009)
- Joe has been a member of the American Institute of CPAs since 1966
Joe currently resides in Ossining, New York, with his wife, Shirley Cloyes DioGuardi, a writer, human rights activist, and former book publisher.
Children: Kara DioGuardi, a songwriter, music producer, and judge on “American Idol; John DioGuardi, a senior counselor at the Phoenix House, a drug rehabilitation center
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
- Martin Luther King
“Everything I’ve ever gotten in life is largely due to the fact that I was born in this country, America, at this time, with these opportunities for its citizens. It is the primary obligation of our generation to turn over a similar America to our kids.”
- Warren Buffet