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Daniel Bongino: Running to restore government to its proper size

Two weeks ago, I announced my candidacy for the United States Senate. I have been a Maryland resident for nearly a decade and call Severna Park my home. My daughter was born here, my first and only home was purchased here and my wife and I will never leave. From the Catoctin Mountains to the shores of http://www.baltimoresun.com/travel/beaches/, my heart is, and will always be, in Maryland.

Approximately one month ago, I left a wonderful career as a special agent with the United States Secret Service to enter this race. I believe that my experiences, training and passion combine to give me the capacity required to address the many challenges we face as a state and as a nation. And I look forward to earning your vote.

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As a child in inner city New York, I saw the effects of well-intentioned policies on me, my family and my community. And that was why I chose to become a law enforcement officer. There are few more effective ways to impact the lives of one's fellow citizens. Although I cherished this experience, it did not leave me without scars. Witnessing firsthand the devastation social experimentation has wreaked upon the proud citizens of America's inner cities changed my life forever. This taught the importance of differentiating between policy intentions and policy results, along with the chasm between speeches about "equity" and policies that promote it.

Twelve years ago, I was given the opportunity to serve in the Secret Service. After a brief period, I relocated to Maryland as a young, idealistic special agent, eager to make a difference. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to partake in what I consider to be one of the most noble positions available in public employment. Their mission was clear: ensure the safety and security of the protectee, regardless of their ideology or your personal feelings.

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My academic training is in psychology and in business, but my true love is economics. The readings of Hayek, Friedman, and Sowell have changed the way I view the world. I have witnessed firsthand the destruction of false charity and the economic imprisonment of those who are not being given a helping hand but an economic handcuff. I have also witnessed the successes of a lifetime of hard work. My wonderful wife has been a bedrock for me through very hard times and learned this skill as a young immigrant from Colombia. Her family came to this country with nothing, and now they look back on those trying times as the forge where their characters were built.

My five years in the White House, my travels to foreign lands and my interactions with political figures from a variety of ideological bents spurred my decision to enter a new realm of public service.

I am running for Senate because I fear our political leaders have lost faith in the potential of every American. We are rapidly reaching the point where American prosperity is in danger. We have always been a country of dreamers and entrepreneurs. This simple formula, assisted by a basic framework of governance and a strong national defense, has been the greatest poverty reduction program in the history of humanity. Yet this simple formula for prosperity has been corrupted by government spending and "crony capitalism," unresponsive to the body politic.

Government has grown exponentially into virtually all areas of our lives, and the bar has been set so low that we as a people are now at the point where we view slowing the degree of the rate of spending growth as "cuts."

Continuing on this path of fiscal and monetary profligacy is an arithmetic impossibility. While some ignore this truth, the facts are alarming. As our total national debt approaches the entire annual economic value of every working American's output, we must stop this runaway train.

If we continue to walk down this path, there are only three possible economic solutions: first, to pass the massive burden of subsidizing our lifestyles onto our children; second, to break the promises made to our greatest generation through drastic cuts to promised programs; third, to break our financial promises and default on our debt obligations. None of these is acceptable to me. And I firmly believe that most Americans, and most Marylanders, feel the same. There will be shared sacrifice, but there is a better way.

Difficult choices will be necessary, and during my campaign I promise the citizens of Maryland something that has been regrettably absent in politics for years: honesty. I refuse to be part of the problem and further mislead the American people and the citizens of Maryland. My growth solutions listed on my website, bongino.com, are clear and I invite opponents who wish to ignore economic reality to engage in a respectful debate.

Daniel Bongino is a Republican candidate for the United States Senate. His email is campaign@bongino.com.

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