Congressional races might be less than a year away, but challengers have emerged to take on incumbents’ head on to move New York and the country either further to the left or to the right.
George Anthony Devolder Santos, 31, a resident of Whitestone, is a first-generation millennial American of Brazilian and Belgian descent that grew up in Jackson Heights and he is sick of the leftist policies that are beginning to take over New York politics, but is more so disturbed by the complacency within both the Republican and Democratic parties.
Devolder Santos, a Roman Catholic Republican with a background in private equity, has decided to throw himself into the political fray and take on U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Little Neck, Huntington) and to bring New York State more to the right.
“I feel like in the national political scene and America as a whole, there has become this new progressive Democratic socialist far-left movement and because of that narrative, that has prohibited Democrats who were historically moderates like Tom Suozzi to come to the table,” said Devolder Santos, a supporter of President Donald Trump.
Devolder Santos took issue with Suozzi, who represents New York’s 3rd Congressional District, and Democrats as a whole for not negotiating with Trump on the SALT Tax, which he called a significant part of the president’s tax reform.
“Democrats were not allowed to negotiate on behalf of their constituents, so people in New York’s 3rd and New York’s 1st – all of New York, to be honest, ended up shortchanged,” said Devolder Santos. “We are the second highest taxed district in the country.”
The National Association of Home Builders released property tax information from 2017 this summer that depicted which districts were among the top 20. New York’s 3rd Congressional District, which represents Little Neck, Whitestone, Glen Oaks, Floral Parks and parts of L.I., was indeed number two and taxpayers were paying approximately $11,265 in taxes annually.
“Tom Suozzi didn’t go to the table to negotiate,” said Devolder Santos. “It might be me saying something negative about the party that I belong to and I’m running in, but I mean it.”
One of Devolder Santos’ top priorities if elected would be tax reform.
“I’m a financier, so I would rely on consulting experts, but one thing for sure is that we need to raise the SALT deduction accordingly, so that people in cities like New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston and Chicago so that they don’t get penalized,” said Devolder Santos. “It’s not about subsidizing tax dollars, but it is about equal taxation across the board.”
The SALT deduction would allow an individual to deduct either their from their state income tax or their state sales tax, but not both and earlier this year the deduction was capped at $10,000, according to Taxslayer.com, which compiles research on tax information.
Despite working for firms such as CitiGroup, Goldman Sachs and currently LinkBridge Investors, Devolder Santos, does not consider himself as a one-percenter.
His mother worked as a domestic and office manager and his father worked in construction.
He attended Horace Mann preparatory school in the Bronx but didn’t graduate due to financial difficulties and he went on to obtain his GED for his senior year.
Later, he went to Baruch College (2010) to obtain his Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance.
He was an associate at CitiGroup, left Goldman Sachs because he was not fulfilled at the company and worked his way up to be one of the youngest vice presidents at LinkBridge Investors and represents its Americas region for business development.
“I want a single-payer tax system that benefits everybody, not just 45 out of 50 states. We can’t leave anybody behind,” said Devolder Santos. “I’m not a politician and I’m humble enough to work with experts and put our minds together and make it right for all Americans not just some.”
Balancing the national budget and curbing federal spending is what Devolder Santos is the most passionate about.
“It’s a matter of analyzing social and welfare programs that are federally funded and pretty much throwing them on a scale and seeing what works and what doesn’t works, what is redundant or repetitive and from there drawing your costs down,” said Devolder Santos. “We need to also curb the amount of financial aid we give out, we are not the world’s piggy bank or savings account.”
If we continue to give too much, the aspiring politician believes that Americans would be the ones ending up in need of humanitarian aid.
The U.S. gave $50.1 billion in foreign aid in 2017 through the U.S. State Department and the United States Agency for International Development.
“The Korean peninsula, the DMZ, that cost us $15 billion dollars a year,” said Devolder Santos. “The Koreans up until now have only reimbursed us with $500 million.”
A Washington Post report, however, puts the cost of defending the peninsula at $1.25 billion in 2018 and has reported that South Korea has paid back approximately $830 million under a burden-sharing agreement. The U.S. has expanded the base, and that development came with a $10.8 billion price tag, which the Koreans paid 90 percent of to host 28,500 troops in defense against North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
“We are talking about the country that is the founder and the home of Samsung amongst other technologies,” said Devolder Santos.
South Korea’s top 10 companies all make billions in revenue, according to business reports.
Devolder believes its time that the country reinvests its money back in infrastructure – fixing roads for safety; improves water quality with better piping and hiring local people.
He also supports green jobs that are proven to help the economy but will not get behind eliminating jobs in the coal industry altogether in one fell swoop.
“Solar panels are the furthest thing from green,” said the businessman. “You build equipment that is not recyclable that is highly toxic to the environment when you dispose of it that only has a lifetime of 10 years, so it’s not renewable and is an oxymoron that contradicts its own purpose.”
Devolder Santos would wait for older generations to retire out of the coal industry while training a younger generation in nuclear energy.
Solar panels are more toxic than waste from nuclear energy, according to environmentalprogress.org, an environmental non-profit.
As the son of immigrants, he is willing to give DACA recipients and other undocumented immigrants with no criminal records a chance to become citizens on a case-by-case basis but he is a supporter of a border wall and he wants all undocumented felons to deported.
“I think we can do a 10-year probationary status and a five-year residency to obtain citizenship, but I want to kill chain migration at the roots,” said Devolder Santos.
Devolder Santos is not a supporter of red flag laws, but he is an ardent supporter of veterans and wants to make sure they have better health care, mental illness programs and he wants to prevent them from being homeless.
“I’m not a party,” said Devolder Santos. “I’m not going to sit out there and pander for votes. I’m going to be the guy that shows people how much better their lives can get from what it already is. So it is showing up through the power of legislating and the power of compromise that will help me to reach out and get those votes.”