2008 and 2010 Libertarian Congressional candidate (MD-2), Lorenzo Gaztañaga, agreed to an email interview again this year. Last year's interview can be read here. Here are some of his answers to my questions -
M.R. Newman: What made you decide to run for Congress again in 2010?Once again, I thank Mr. Gaztañaga for his honest interview. His thoughts are welcome and he is currently the only opposition to Ruppersberger. More on his campaign can be found here at the Maryland Libertarian Party's website.
Lorenzo Gaztañaga: The way I would answer that question is, “How in the world would I not run for US Congress again?” For eight years, give or take, the republicrats gave us record deficits, never ending wars, with the support of the incumbent, Dutch Ruppersberger. In 2008, we got change with the demopublicans and, just like the republicrats, they held the presidency and the legislature. So, with “change,” what did we get? A continuation of never ending war, never ending growing deficits, and a secretively concocted health insurance “reform,” which is in fact a follow-up to the republicrats’ prescription overhaul. Dutch Ruppersberger has been cruising along supporting all of this. Apparently, Congressman Ruppersberger can always be a demopublican as well as a republicrat, and, of course, we can always be surprised because… I’m a tax paying, hard working American, and I have no intention of sitting around waiting for someone to fix the problem for me. I hope that answers your question.
MRN: What grade would you give our incumbent Congressman, Dutch Ruppersberger, and why?
LG: I would give Congressman Ruppersberger a -000. Why? Because he supports never ending war; he supports pretending to fight terrorism through the never ending wars; he votes for anything that makes the federal government bigger, more expensive, and more a blood thirsty leech on the American tax payer. I could go on, but I really would have to kill many trees to do so. Congressman Ruppersberger represents the double faced, double talking creature that unfortunately inhabits a great portion of our government.
MRN: What is your opinion of the versions of "Health Care Reform" that have passed in Congress?
LG: My opinion of the versions of Health Care Reform currently in Congress – well, Matt, this is a very tough question, because the people involved in drafting health care reform don’t know what’s in it. I have tried reading it, but at 60 years of age, I don’t think I have enough years left to be able to finish it. In fact, Maryland Congressional Democrat Steny Hoyer basically said a few months ago that no one should actually be expected to read through this legislation any more than others. Obviously, this is in direct contradiction to James Madison’s admonition that a law that could not be read and understood by a literate person was not a law at all. This so-called legislation is probably lawless, much like NAFTA was, and please don’t get me wrong, I am for free trade, but you don’t need something the size of NAFTA legislation or this proposed legislation of 2000 pages to be anything that could be good for the American people. After all, what is in there?
MRN: What real reform measures do you feel would benefit all Americans with regards to Health Care?
LG: Good question, Matt. First of all, let’s clear the air. The popular assumption is that our health care insurance system is free market based. It is not. It’s actually the result of insurance company lobbying, for the most part state legislatures, to grant them virtual monopolies. The solution to this problem would be a true free market in which customers could purchase insurance for health, choosing different programs in much the same way that we purchase our automobile insurance, home insurance, etc. Why in the world can’t members of a household not be able to go out and pick and choose an insurance policy that would be most beneficial for them, regardless of what the relationships are among them – whether they’re married, father and daughter, cousins, friends—what difference does it make? When it comes to Medicare and Medicaid—well, thanks LBJ. He drove us deeper into the war in Vietnam, and then now, 40 some years later, we’re feeling the pain of the cost of his phony baloney “War on Poverty” which included Medicare and Medicaid. This leads us to the current phony health care reform, which is really aimed at dealing with the staggering cost of LBJ’s legacy and the attempt is to dump the cost further on us and even more on generations to come. Another idea – why not let each of us build up a tax free medical savings account that could carry over from year to year and even be bequeathed to the next generation through inheritance? We could potentially save millions in health care by doing this. When it comes to the poor, yes, let’s have some kind of government run safety net for the time being, but ultimately, the American people are the most generous people in the world. The role of politicians should be to encourage them to be generous, while at the same time lowering their taxes. Following this baseline, we should be able to follow the adage of loving our neighbor as ourselves, which is one of the principles our country is based on.
MRN: What would be the first piece of legislation you would propose, if elected?
LG: If elected, my first piece of legislation would be to reclaim the power of Congress to declare war, which would directly mean bringing back home all our troops involved in warfare throughout the world. This would have the salutary effect of saving American lives, give a clear message to people who are depending on American troops that they have to get their own act together and saving billions and billions of dollars that we can put into retrofitting and renewing our infrastructure—our decaying bridges, tunnels, etc. which are vital to maintaining a peaceful and prosperous society, and which have been neglected for an awfully long time. I would follow that immediately with ending the phony baloney war on drugs. Drugs are inanimate objects. The very term “war on drugs” is oxymoronic. People who are hooked on drugs and whose lives are being destroyed by them should get the help they need if they want it. People who end up causing harm to others while under the influence of whatever should face the music, whatever they took. Some of the banned drugs have positive medical uses, and, so long as other people are not being hurt, an adult should be able to decide what he or she puts in his body. That would also save billions of dollars that are being wasted under the guise of the war on drugs, which, in fact, drives the profit of currently illegal drugs upwards, giving an incentive to the criminal entrepreneurs engaged in the drug trade.
MRN: What is your opinion on HR 1207, the legislation by Congressman Ron Paul to audit the Federal Reserve?
LG: What would I do about HR 1207? I would be thrilled to serve in the same Congress as Dr. Ron Paul and audit the Federal Reserve. Often I hear people saying the price of this or the price of that has gone up, and when I hear that, my reply often is, “It’s not that the price went up; the value of the dollar went down.” The Federal Reserve is responsible for much of that. It is a privately run monopoly bank sanctioned by the US Government. If that is not a monopoly, I don’t know what is, and it’s one that cannot be fought by the free market.
So yes, definitely, I back up this legislation.