Joe Ruiz, the Libertarian Party hopeful for the 2nd District U.S. House seat, touts himself as an “advocate for peace” who would abolish the Internal Revenue Service.
In Libertarian fashion, he expresses suspicion toward excess government and calls for less government spending. Among the Libertarian movement’s chief tenets are limited government and increased individual liberties.
Government spending “is one of the most important issues of our day (if not the most important),” he says in his campaign website. “As your representative I will not vote in favor of any legislation that will expand the size of our government, or spend beyond our constitutional limitations.”
Ruiz, 27, lives in Mishawaka and works at the Family and Children’s Center, a non-profit agency there that works to promote strong families and healthy children. He’s maintained a lower profile than the Democratic and GOP hopefuls, at least in terms of public statements, and an interview with him couldn’t immediately be arranged. But Ruiz’s website and the public statements he’s made offer at least a glimpse into the candidate.
The 2nd District includes Elkhart and St. Joseph counties and all or parts of eight other north central Indiana counties. The Republican hopeful is Jackie Walorski while Brendan Mullen is running as a Democrat.
NO TO IRS, YES TO FAIR TAX
In a press release for Labor Day, Ruiz sounded off on joblessness, repeatedly cited as a key issue this election cycle, and expressed support for the Fair Tax.
“The more government takes control, the more out of control real people become in regards to their employment, their successes and their dreams,” Ruiz said.
He’d push to balance the federal budget and cut government spending by 2014. To that end, he favors abolishing the IRS, allowing people to keep 100 percent of their income. Instead, he’d push for the Fair Tax, a controversial proposal to implement a 23 percent national sales tax in lieu of the current income tax system.
“This, as well as eliminating business taxes, would create jobs and illustrate the good that can come from limited government,” Ruiz said.
LEERY OF FOREIGN INVOLVEMENT
He believes in a strong defense system. “However, it is important that we do this without being an overintrusive, offensive force in the affairs of other nations,” he said in his website.
In a press release related to the recent anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks he raised questions about U.S. military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, though without mentioning the nations.
“After 11 years of consistent military engagements for various reasons, what has our nation become? Are we stronger for it?” he said.
In another press release, again without specific mention of Afghanistan, Iraq or any other nation, he says he’ll propose “an end to all unnecessary foreign interventions” as a show of support to U.S. troops.
“The troops should be brought home to be with their families immediately, only to be sent to war in a time where our national security is threatened and Congress has made an official declaration to fight,” Ruiz said.
He touts himself as a “vocal opponent of war,” promises to be “a true advocate for peace” and expresses a measure of leeriness about getting entangled with foreign nations.
“War is destructive,” he said. “No economic gain — and certainly no moral gain — can be achieved by continuing to involve ourselves in the affairs of other nations. We need to be realistic about our foreign policy and the environment that it creates from here on out.”
Ruiz expresses opposition to the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s federal health care reform plan. But he doesn’t specifically call for its repeal, as have many Republicans, including Walorski.
“Government-run healthcare is a direct attack on the very Americans that it promises to help,” Ruiz said in his website. “Under the guise of compassion, our president’s plan will further compromise our economy, as well as the quality of care received by all.”
In another press release, he says the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act empowers government leaders and takes away power from the public.
“We should get loud. We should demand that we be able to govern our own wallets and our own self interests,” he said. The ruling “should be one of many reasons to vote for a pro-liberty candidate this fall.”
Ruiz has reported no campaign contributions to the Federal Election Commission, according to the agency’s website. According to his Facebook page, at least, he’s solicited donations.
Andrew Straw, the former Green Party candidate for the U.S. House seat, has endorsed Ruiz.
“I endorsed Joe Ruiz for Congress because we share several important positions,” Straw said in a statement in August. “Ruiz also rose far above the pettiness and arrogance so disappointingly displayed by the Democrats and Republicans.”