[media-credit name=”Brian Irving” align=”alignright” width=”210″][/media-credit]Brian Irving — U.S. House 2 – LIB
How long in district:
Occupation: Retired military and freelance journalist
Campaign website: libertypoint.org
The economy is at the top of voters’ minds in this year’s election. What do you think elected officials can do to address it?
The major problem with our economy at the federal level is our debt. Our country is $16 trillion in debt. Very few congressmen — I can probably number them on the fingers of one hand — understand that or are willing to make the sacrifices or take the action necessary to get us out of debt. The simplest way to get out of debt is to stop spending. When you’re in a hole, the best way to get out of the hole is to stop digging.
Congress talks about cutting spending, which is actually a joke, because when they say cut spending, they really mean we’re not going to increase the spending as much as we were going to. The cuts in spending are really just less of an increase. So, that’s a total sham. We need to stop spending on the major programs that our federal government is involved in. That means defense and entitlements. Those are the things that nobody wants to talk about, and when they do talk about them, they’re accused of being against poor people or being against the elderly or being for the terrorists and that kind of rhetoric has got to stop.
The simple answer to your question is we need to stop spending across the board. My campaign theme is to stop all wars and to bring back the Constitution. That means not only the wars we are fighting overseas, but also the wars we fight in our own country: the war on drugs, the war on alternative lifestyles, the war on women, the war on poverty, the war on ignorance. We have been fighting all these wars and we’re not winning any of them. We need to stop them.
What do you think are specific things the federal government can do to help North Carolina recover from the recession?
What the federal government needs to do is to stop what it’s not supposed to be doing. Our federal government was established on the principle of a limited government with specific enumerated powers. We have gone well beyond that. So, the simplest thing for the federal government to do to spur the economy across the country is to get out of the way.
We stop the over-regulation of just about everything and reduce the size of the federal government to a size low enough to fit inside the constitution. There’s nothing in the Constitution that gives the federal government any authority whatsoever in most of the areas that it’s involved in. There’s nothing that talks about education. There’s nothing that talks about health care. There’s nothing that talks about charity, welfare. That’s not in the Constitution. There’s nothing that talks about regulating roads in a particular state. There’s nothing that talks about regulating businesses that occur within the state. One thing that I am in favor of is abolishing not only the federal individual income tax, but also the corporate tax and the tax on dead people. When somebody dies, they tax your estate.
Why should your constituents elect you?
They should vote Libertarian because that’s the only way they’re going to restore the republic. The Democratic and Republican parties at the national level are pretty much controlled by the same special interest groups. There’s no interest whatsoever in reducing the size, scope and power of the federal government because the whole thing is about power. If they start reducing the size of the federal government, they’ll start reducing their power.
I made the observation that there’s a common thread with the Tea Party movement and the Occupy movement. Unfortunately people in neither of those two movements recognize it. The Tea Party people are complaining about big government and the Occupy people are railing against big business and neither side realizes it’s pretty much one in the same in this country. The businesses and the government are in collusion in a lot of areas.
We have forgotten totally the fact that the government supposed to be us. We talk about the government like it’s something that’s outside of us, but it’s really us. So, if you go to vote for a Democrat or Republican, you’re going to get the same kind of results. It does not matter. The only choice in the election is to vote for a third-party candidate. In North Carolina, the only third party you can actually vote for is the libertarian party.
A big issue this year in the election is health care. What changes do you think (if any) should be made to Medicare to make the program more solvent? Now that the Supreme Court has found the Affordable Care Act to be constitutional, what should be Congress’ next steps?
Let me give you something really radical. Just because the Supreme Court says something is constitutional, unfortunately does not make it constitutional. There’s nothing in the Constitution that gives the federal government the authority to tax you if you don’t do something.
Medicare in particular is a promise that was made to people. If nothing else, Libertarians believe in the sanctity of contracts. So essentially whether it’s a legally binding contract or not, the federal government has incurred an obligation to people because they’ve taken their money. We need to find a way to fund Medicare at least for the people who are currently enrolled. We need to stop enrolling new people into it or at least give people the option to opt out of it if that’s what they decide they want to do. But the people who have already paid into it, we need to make good on that promise.
As far as Obamacare, or Affordable Care, that is totally unconstitutional in my view and needs to be repealed. As a member of Congress, I would not vote to fund it.