Jeff Duncan (R) is a State Representative from South Carolina running for the open House seat in the 3rd Congressional district. Previously, I had reviewed / analyzed the 6 way primary in this district and found that Duncan was the best suited candidate for the job. Recently, the Club for Growth has come to agree with my assessment - as they endorsed Duncan today. Duncan was agreed to a web-based interview with me. His answers to my questions are included below.
Matthew Newman: Why did you decide to run for Congress?
Jeff Duncan: I am concerned about the direction that I see our Country headed. Four big things really: Spending, Debt, Taxes and too much government. I am concerned about the amount of debt that is being passed on to our children and grandchildren.
MRN: What real reform measures do you feel would benefit all Americans with regards to Health Care?
JD: Definitely try free-market solutions before passing this enormously invasive bill! 1. Use the Interstate Commerce Provision in the US Constitution to have the states drop the barriers preventing private insurers from operating state to state, increasing competition which will result in more affordable plans. 2. Frivolous lawsuit reform. 3. Dollar-for-dollar tax credits on personal tax returns for those small business owners and individuals who purchase their insurance outside of any employer-sponsored plan so they, too, can have tax-free insurance. 4. Allow associations such as the National Association of Realtors to offer health-care plans for their association members. 5. Give doctors the ability to take a dollar-for-dollar tax deduction for the value of free service they provide those in need.
MRN: What would be the first piece of legislation you would propose, if elected?
JD: Two things really: 1. Re-introduce the Government Ownership Exit Plan to get government out of the ownership of private businesses; and 2. A cap on the number of "Special Advisers to the President" (Czars) and this un-Constitutional expansion of the powers of the Executive Branch.
MRN: What is your opinion on HR 1207, the legislation by Congressman Ron Paul to audit the Federal Reserve?
JD: I agree that there needs to be an audit of the Federal Reserve - both on and off balance sheet transactions.
MRN: One of your primary opponents, State Representative Rex Rice, supports the "Fair Tax." What is your opinion on the "Fair Tax?"
JD: I support replacing the income tax with a consumption tax. Most importantly, I support tax reform which is fairer, flatter and simpler for Americans to understand! The status quo is not acceptable.
MRN: On your platform, you mention how you want to bring your "...pro-jobs record to Washington." What specific measures would you propose to help small businesses?
JD: We must look at the Tax and Regulatory environment in which businesses have to operate under here in America. Lower taxes and loosen regulations (OSHA and EPA for example) which will foster a better business environment. But this applies to large businesses as well. For example, we need to expedite the permitting process for nuclear energy - thus allowing for the creation of both good paying construction jobs and long-term, well-paying nuclear energy jobs.
MRN: If you had to rate President Obama's first year in office, what grade would you give him and why?
JD: F. With an economic situation like we have, I would give high marks for "Reaganomics" style governing: lower taxes, loosening of regulations, limited government. Juxtapose President Reagan's Initial Actions Project (plan for first 100 days in office) which did these things, with what we are seeing today under President Obama: runaway spending, increased debt, huge expansion of government and proposed tax increases (health care and Cap & Trade). Reagan's policies yielded 20+ years of economic prosperity get an "A" - Obama's policies of spending, debt and big government rate a "F"
MRN: As a brother to five adopted siblings, your comment on eliminating "...unnecessary government red tape in the adoption process, reducing costs and encouraging more families to consider adopting a child..." caught my attention. What specific legislative proposals do feel would help encourage adoptions and streamline the adoption process?
JD: Currently an adoption can easily cost a family between $25,000 to $35,000 in legal and other fees. We need to examine the adoption process, and create incentives for families to adopt domestically as well as find ways to reduce costs. Additionally, we need to improve efficiency in the adoption process to prevent children who can easily be adopted from being trapped as a result of a bureaucratic system while still protecting the best interests of the child. I don’t have all the answers to this problem, but I am passionate about bringing all the groups together and find solutions that are in the best interest of the child.
I thank State Representative Duncan for his honest discussion of the issues and like some of the ideas that he's presented. If you would like to learn more about his campaign, check out his official website here.
Cross-posted to Old Line Elephant