Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
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About three months out from the November 2 election, Heartland fellows Ben Domenech and Ben Boychuk interviewed Rand Paul — among the several successful Tea Party candidates who will populate the next Congress.
Paul was queried about Obamacare, education policy, the federal budget, and where libertarians fit in the modern political landscape. You can listen to the podcast on the player above, or download it. (The podcast can also be heard at Health Care News and School Reform News.)
On Congress: Too many are “not restrained by the rule of law.” Says Paul: “We once lived in a constitutional republic, but that has eroded in the last 80 years.”
On Health Care: Paul says he wants to find out “how we can get more capitalism” involved in health care, instead of more government. All 2,000-plus pages of Obamacare is bad, but just wait until the bureaucrats write thousands more pages of regulations that the law mandates.
Paul also provided an unsolicited plug for Heartland’s Health Care News, saying it was there that he got up to speed on the controversial recess appointment of Donald Berwick to head up the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). “The more I read, the more I was scared about what the president is doing to us,” he said.
On Education: Paul says education policy should be handled at the local level, with little to no federal involvement at all. He notes that eliminating the Department of Education had been part of the Republican platform since Ronald Reagan won the presidency in 1980. Though it has fallen out of favor, calling for the elimination of the Department of Education has been “a big applause line” for Paul on the campaign trail in Kentucky.
Republican voters and the teachers unions both oppose “No Child Left Behind,” but it seems that few Republicans in Washington are willing to touch it.
Paul favors charter schools and school choice, and will work to reinstate the voucher program for Washington, DC.
On Libertarians: Paul considers himself a libertarian, but laments that no third party movement has proved effective or enduring for more than a century. So he prefers to work inside the GOP. However, Paul wants presidential debates to include third party candidates — pointing to how allowing Ross Perot into the mix in 1992 “spiced things up and made for better debates.”
On the Budget: Members of Congress in both parties have “proved untrustworthy” with taxpayer money, so “we need a rule to restrain them.” Paul added he will work to “hold things up” and demand balanced budgets.