Troy Stouffer is a Republican candidate running in Maryland's 2nd Congressional District. MD-02 is currently represented by former moderate turned liberal Democratic and former Baltimore County Executive Dutch Ruppersberger. Stouffer is a Navy veteran who got sick of what he saw coming out of Congress and decided to take matters into his own hands. As a current resident of the 2nd District, I was very interested in what his thoughts are on the issues. He was willing to sit down and answer some questions for me in an email-based interview. His responses are below.
Matthew Newman: What made you decide to run for Congress?
Troy Stouffer: I decided to run after a year of frustration and anger at the runaway spending of Congress, along with their complete lack of interest in what was best for the country or the wishes of their constituents. Health Care Reform was the ultimate tipping point for me. For all of the hype that was built up around reforming health care, the plan that they came up with will ultimately lead to the destruction of our health care system. They wanted nothing to do with actual reforms, only to transform health care into a destructive public option.
MRN: What do you feel are the three most important issues facing the American people today?
TS: The economy is in shambles due mainly to the meddling of the government in the free market. We were going into a recession, but the government just throwing money around hoping for a good outcome has intensified it. We need to reform the tax code to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of small businesses and individuals. We also need to not only control spending, but also spending cuts are needed. The federal government’s penchant for spending has led us into trillion-dollar deficit spending and a $13 trillion debt. These policies are economically unsustainable.
Health Care Reform is a very hot topic these days, but Congress does not seem to care about actually reforming health care. We need to open up competition across the country by allowing people to buy insurance from any company regardless of which state they are located. Also expanding Health Savings Accounts will enable consumers to track and control their health care spending. Medical malpractice reform is a necessary component that needs to be included in the reform to cut the cost of health care. Frivolous lawsuits have caused health care costs to skyrocket.
Homeland Security is always an important issue. The world in which we live has become a very dangerous place. Enemies of our great nation are endlessly working and planning our destruction. They would like nothing more than to see death and destruction on our streets. We need to realize that there are evil people in the world and they are committed to destroying our country and our freedom. Homeland Security starts at home. We need to protect our borders from those who are bent on our destruction and also those who refuse to follow our immigration laws. Pretending that the terrorists and enemies of freedom will suddenly love us as a country if we apologize enough will not make us safe.
MRN: With health care reform across the news and on the minds of many Americans, what free market based reforms do you feel would most benefit the American people?
TS: Oh, I think I answered that one above. Let me know if you need more info.
MRN: On your website, you mention that you "...We need to reform the tax code across the board." What specifically do you feel we should do to reform our tax code?
TS: I believe that in order to accelerate our economy we need to do several things regarding our current tax structure. I believe we need to cut the corporate tax rate. The United States currently has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Cutting corporate tax rates will enable large corporations to expand and invest in innovations that will help spur the economy. Along with those cuts we need to scrap the capital gains tax to encourage investing without the prospect of oppressive taxes when the investors make a profit. We also need to scrap the estate tax. The tax rate schedule should be pared down to just 2 levels. 10% for married couples filing jointly with an income of $100,000, $50,000 for individuals and 25% for anyone above those levels. A flat tax would also be another great option for reforming the tax code. These reforms will kick start the economy and put people back to work. The tax reform is only half the battle though because without equivalent spending cuts/control we will have only postponed the certain crash of our economy.
MRN: If you had to rate our incumbent Congressman, what grade would you give him and why?
TS: I would give Dutch a C- at best. When he was on the Baltimore County Council he was a conservative Democrat who supported many common sense solutions to the problems that arose. Since he became a member of Congress he seems to have forgotten from where he came and who elected him to his office. He has completely ignored his constituents on the “stimulus” programs, the numerous bailouts, Cap and Trade, and health care reform.
MRN: What would be the first piece of legislation you would propose, if elected and why?
TS: If the current health care reform bill is passed, I will propose first to repeal it and then also to start the common sense reforms to actually control costs. After health care reform, next would be responsible fiscal reform that would include tax reform and spending cuts.
MRN: You come into this race as an underdog without the political experience of former County Executive and current incumbent Dutch Ruppersberger. How do you expect to fare in the general election?
TS: We fully expect to win! I am not part of the political machine, but we are taking our campaign to the streets of the district. The voting public is fed up with the same career politicians preaching reform during the campaign and then completely ignoring the will of the people once elected. The political climate is right for citizen legislators to “storm” Washington in November and return our government back to the people of this great country.
MRN: What is your opinion on HR 1207, the legislative proposal by Congressman Ron Paul to audit the Federal Reserve?
TS: I fully support this bill. We need to shed the light of transparency on the Federal Reserve. When elected I will sign on as a cosponsor of the bill.
I am very thankful for Mr. Stouffer's honest answers to these questions. They are questions that I feel we need to ask of any potential candidate and one which he answered very well. I like his ideas and am a supporter of a flat income tax rate. I look forward to seeing how Mr. Stouffer's campaign goes and seeing if we can beat this entrenched incumbent in MD-02.
Cross-posted to Old Line Elephant