Libertarian U.S. House hopeful Ruiz speaks out on the issues
Posted: 10/20/2012 at 1:15 am
By: Tim Vandenack
• Economy/jobs: He'd get rid of the income tax and the Internal Revenue Service and institute a consumption tax or a national sales tax instead. That, he maintains, would allow people and businesses to retain more of their own income. Individuals would thus have more money to spend, a spur to the economy, and businesses would have more to invest, say, in expanding and aiding in job creation. “It simplifies the government and invests in the people.”
• Health care reform: He'd repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, or at least try. “I don't believe that the federal government needs a health care option. I think that erases competition from the market place and I think that in the long run, prices will go up.”
Maybe repeal isn't possible, and if that's the case, he thinks individual states, not the federal government, would be better suited to address health care, if at all, because it's government “closer to the people.”
“I just think giving it to the governors and some of the state legislators would be the most responsible thing, he said.
• Social Security: Libertarians believe in upholding contracts, so those covered by the Social Security system in its current configuration would be able to continue with their coverage as is.
“But I think we need to start having some conversations about an opt-out program for younger people and younger generations who want to start deciding to save for their own retirements,” Ruiz said. “I myself would take advantage of that, being able to save on a private level, because I trust myself more with my own income than I trust the federal government.”
Under his proposal, those who wish to opt-out of the Social Security system would retain the money in their paycheck that now goes to cover their Social Security contributions. Then they'd be able to invest the funds as they see fit.
• Afghanistan: He favors withdrawal of U.S. troops in the nation immediately. “Quit putting them in harm's way for political interests,” Ruiz said. “We've obviously overstayed our welcome. Bring them home, let them be with their families.”
More generally, he doesn't think the U.S. military should get involved abroad unless the U.S. Congress has declared war, determined a national security threat, and there's a clear objective.
“I think what we're doing right now is not necessarily because our national security is threatened,” Ruiz said. “And in fact I think that over time we can create more enemies trying to police the world.”
Click here to see our profile on Joe Ruiz.
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