The American Dream is at risk. It is with understandable concern that we all watch events unfold in our nation’s capital. Will our President and our representatives work together to solve the problems that are threatening our future? If the past few years are any guide, compromise will be hard to achieve.
But I believe in our nation and I am confident that with the right leadership in Washington we can see our way to a bright future. That is why today I am announcing my candidacy.
My background is humble. I was born in Ohio, the first of three children. It would not be an exaggeration to say we were poor. Making ends meet each month sometimes required my father to take a second job. My parents emphasized the importance of ethics, hard work and the promise of education. And they taught us that if you did the right things, told the truth and made good decisions, each of us could achieve the American Dream.
As a boy I developed a keen interest in business and looked forward to reading my grandfather’s Forbes magazines when he was finished with them. I was the first person in my family to attend college, which I was able to afford with the help of scholarships, a Pell Grant and student loans. After spending some time working in the private sector, I returned to school, received my Ph.D., and became a college professor.
For almost seven years I’ve been leading the business school at the University of New Hampshire, preparing the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs. As dean, I have helped grow undergraduate business enrollment from 1,700 students to more than 2,200 students while working to raise private funds to construct a new, state-of-the art facility for our students and the business community.
Along with my work as an educator, I co-own and operate a successful small business in Portsmouth. We have worked hard and the business will expand later this year. I am proud to be a part of the New Hampshire economy.
I am not a politician. I have not lived my life making decisions based on running for elected office. Rather, I have built a business, helped to educate future leaders and helped my children to become responsible adults.
The American Dream has been there for me. It is important to me that it is there for my three children and the generations that follow. I believe in American exceptionalism, and I firmly believe we need to change the course in Washington and get our nation back on track.
As New Hampshire’s next representative in Congress, I will have four priorities.
First, we must get our fiscal house in order. We have a spending problem in Washington and our growing national debt carries a huge cost. I believe we have a moral obligation to future generations to work together and finally get Washington spending under control.
Second, I believe our federal government is too big and is found in too many places. We know the uncertainty of government policies causes businesses and families to behave cautiously, which leads to fewer opportunities for working families to get good jobs. As Congressman, I will work to responsibly shrink the size of government and help get America back to work.
Third, I will work to reform our tax system. We need to make our individual tax rates sensible, simple and fair. I also support cutting our corporate tax, which is currently the highest in the world. If we want to grow business at home, we have to act like we want business here.
Finally, we must invest in the future of our America. Smart infrastructure and education investments are critical. Without a solid transportation and communication backbone, we lose our competitive edge. In addition, our community colleges, universities and vocational schools all play a key role in our future competitiveness and they must be made more affordable to all.
My goal is to go to Washington to represent the people of New Hampshire. We are the “Live free or die” state. It is not just a motto. It is part of who we are, and our values must be heard in Washington. I believe that I have the life experience, skills and values to make a difference. I hope I will have the opportunity to meet and talk with you on the campaign trail soon.
Dan Innis, former dean of the UNH Business School, lives in Portsmouth. He is running for the Republican nomination for Congress in the 1st District.