5 questions with Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate John Buck - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

5 questions with Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate John Buckley

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Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate John Buckley was largely ignored during the May Primary Election cycle, but his campaign continues to push forward to November, with frequent updates on Facebook that include a song of the day, Twitter interactions and candidate visits throughout the state. Buckley

recently retired from a career at the United States Court of Federal Claims. He spent time there as the chief of staff and senior law clerk to the chief judge of the court and as acting clerk of the court, where he was the chief administrative officer of the court for nearly two years.

Buckley has worked for the American Conservative Union, the National Tax Limitation Committee, Cato Institute, Institute for Humane Studies and the Law and Economics Center of George Mason University School of Law, according to his campaign website, and he also practiced law for several years.

Buckley recently answered several questions about his positions and campaign for The State Journal via email.

The State Journal: What do you hope to accomplish as a U.S. Senator if you win?

John Buckley: My victory will help shock the political status quo out of its lethargy and spark a movement to reduce the size and scope of the federal government. With significantly reduced spending and across-the-board tax cuts — empowering individuals and families to take back control over their own lives — the country will experience an economic boom of unprecedented vigor. Businesses will expand, entrepreneurship will flourish, and job opportunities will abound.

I will fight vigorously to repeal Obamacare and grow a private-sector health industry to meet the individualized needs of every citizen and family. The federal government has mucked up health care and the cure is to untangle the mess, not make it worse. If the government got out of the way, the competition for customers would lead to an infinite variety of health plans tailored to individual budgets and circumstances. Health insurance policies would be consumer-driven and much more affordable.

I will also fight to protect civil liberties and privacy against the growing power of an out-of-control Big Brother behemoth.

TSJ: What do you think your former career will bring to the table to help you in this political position?

JB: I have served in elected office and I understand the necessary give-and-take of legislative success. But I won’t compromise my political principles simply to win higher office. I served 12 years — as chief of staff to the chief judge and top court administrator — at the specialized federal court where average citizens can go to sue the government for money damages.

So, I’ve seen first-hand how often big, intrusive government programs can hurt the little person. My legislative and legal experience will enable me to be an effective advocate to reduce the burden of arbitrary and expensive government rules and regulations.

TSJ: Is there anything you’ve noticed you’d want to work on that current lawmakers may not be worried about?

JB: The federal “War on Drugs” is a hugely expensive and counterproductive failure. We need to treat drug abuse as a health problem, not a criminal problem. For more than 40 years, we’ve wasted billions of dollars, empowered vicious and destabilizing domestic criminal gangs and international drug cartels (driving peaceable migrants to seek illegal haven in the United States), jailed hundreds of thousands of non-violent offenders (ruining lives), invaded homes without warrants, burst the budgets of law enforcement (with less attention to real crime), established legal precedents in violation of principles of privacy and private property, deprived sick people of access to medical marijuana and dangled economic incentives to a life of crime by artificially driving up the profits of illicit drugs.

Politicians have milked the “War on Drugs” for far too long for political benefit and I will stand up for a new approach. Taxpayers, citizens who have been victimized by drug-driven crime and everyday citizens will benefit from a ceasefire in this disastrous and counterproductive “War.” I’m not for abuse of drugs; I’m for treating the problem, not worsening the cost for everyone else.

TSJ: What do you believe is the most important issue facing West Virginians that needs to be addressed on a federal platform?

JB: Jobs. We are now five years after the end of the recession, in an anemic and lingering Obama “recovery,” and people are hurting because the economy is shackled with too much government. When President John Kennedy pushed through across-the-board tax cuts in the early 1960s, the economy took off and jobs followed. Now we need both tax cuts as well as dramatic cuts in federal spending. The American economy would be set for a renaissance of opportunity and prosperity.

The massive federal debt, the staggering annual deficit, the burden on the economy of rules and regulations, the subsidies and favors to corporate insiders, the false allure of welfare programs that only encourage dependency and loss of self-reliance — these are the hallmarks of too much government. The “same old, same old” in Washington, D.C., where politicians burst the budgets with programs to “buy” votes by bringing home the bacon through earmarks and other favors, is the problem. Heck, it’s our money in the first place. Why should we have to be grateful just to get a measly portion of our own money back?

I won’t promise more government programs to solve problems. Instead, I promise less government.

TSJ: What’s next for you if you don’t win?

JB: Demand a recount (grin).