Name: Jim Rutledge
Office Sought: U.S. Senate
Give our readers a little bit about your background and why you are running for the United States Senate?
I am a conservative attorney with over 25 years of experience including representation of entrepreneurs, small businesses, average citizens, farmers, as well as substantial work with federal law, regulatory, and constitutional matters. I am not a professional politician and will bring to congress the genuine perspective of an entrepreneur and a defender of the constitution. It is now clear that this President and this Congress have set this Nation on a course that will bankrupt America for generations to come and will result in the deprivation of those freedoms and liberties upon which our great nation was founded. The very freedoms that have allowed the American people to flourish are under attack.
The magnitude of the threat from the federal government demands bold action and decisive leadership. My challenge to the reckless expansion of federal government lead by Senator Mikulski and her leftist colleagues is motivated by my love for my family and the people of Maryland. Career politicians have failed us. It is time for leadership that has not been tainted by years of political entanglement. I am not looking for a job. I want to go to Washington to do a job for the citizens of Maryland.
Who is your political lodestar? What shapes your ideological background?
John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, and Ronald Reagan.
The preservation of human dignity and individual liberty is the first and principle duty of any legitimate government. This unalterable truth was established by the divine Creator who is the architect of the universe and the author of law. The foundational idea is that we are a free people governed by law and not ruled by powerful men and women. Therefore, I reject and condemn the social and economic controls being thrust upon the citizens of America by an all powerful and centralized federal government. With few exceptions, local and state governments serve the people far better than the bloated federal bureaucracy.
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Barbara Mikulski has been in the Senate for twenty-four years. What are your biggest criticisms of her job performance?
Barbara Mikulski has purchased the support of many people in Maryland by taking their neighbor’s money. In her 33 years in Congress, she has mastered the use of earmarks, pork barrel spending, and manipulation of the federal budget. Instead of preserving, protecting and defending the civil liberties of life, liberty and private property ownership, she has advanced her own vision for America. Barbara Mikulski’s America is a place where children are taught to envy the talents and successes of others and are encouraged to covet what others have earned. In Mikulski’s America, every hardship, crisis, and disaster in the world is the fault of Americans. It is an America where the strong abuse the weak, where the rights of the guilty trump the rights of the innocent.
In Barbara Mikulski’s America it is the duty of every tax payer to fund the population control schemes of the international elite including abortion at home and abroad, including the sterilization of women in third world countries.
Barbara Mikulski’s actions have been fiscally reckless and irresponsible, and this past year alone she has supported trillions of dollars of reckless spending as she happily expands the scope and reach of the federal government.
Barbara Mikulski wholeheartedly promotes the view of government that the state knows better than we the people how to spend our money, raise our families, and define the values that will govern our personal relationships. In short, she represents the aristocracy of the machine politicians that lord over our lives with a boot on our necks that is heavier and more insidious than King George in 1776.
Of all the issues facing our country, what would your priorities be as a U.S. Senator?
The economy, public debt, and national security are my top priorities. Job creation is essential, and that will come by unleashing the creative spirit of Americans by reducing the heavy burdens of taxation and intrusive regulation.
Our country is on the verge of international bankruptcy. We are $12 trillion in debt and have nearly $58 trillion in unfunded Medicare and Social Security obligations. Barbara Mikulski supports the President’s plans to add another $8 to $9 trillion of debt to the current debt over the next ten years. Mikulski also supports bigger government and more entitlement programs. Mikulski is bankrupting the country to achieve ideological and Party goals. Mikulski’s ideas, thoughts, and processes on legislating are counterproductive and destructive to the citizens of Maryland.
The economy encompasses the public debt and big government as well as other considerations. I believe in free market capitalism with minimal government regulation. Government regulation is burdensome, costly, and impairs free markets from functioning properly. According to Americans for Tax Reform, the cost of government day in Maryland is now August 21st. That means that every citizen must work nearly 2/3rds of the year to pay for the cost of government. That includes not only taxes but the impacts of all government intervention and regulation.
The citizens of Maryland work hard to create a better life for themselves and their family. The fruit of one’s labor is their property.
Individuals, not governments, know best what to do with their property. Individuals can save or invest, trade or procure, or donate to charities. Individuals, based upon numerous personal and economic reasons, can best decide how to allocate their resources. Governments, regardless of their intentions, cannot supplant the individual nor can government legislate compassion.
National security is of utmost importance. As an attorney, I respect and honor the Constitution and the law. However, I do not believe that enemy combatants should enjoy the same legal benefits as defendants in civilian criminal courts. The laws of war place the enemy captives under the jurisdiction of military tribunals. The citizens of Maryland, and the country for that matter, expect the federal government to provide for our common defense. This is clearly stated in the Constitution and is one of several legitimate roles of our federal government. Our rights, our liberties, our very essence and being require the United States of America to defend us from our enemies, to protect our borders, to do the utmost to ensure the citizens of the United States are safe. I fully support our military and intelligence communities.
Would you make repealing Obamacare a campaign pledge?
Yes. I issued a press release within the past three weeks where I stated I would work to repeal Obamacare if it were passed.
In addition to being bad policy and an economic nightmare, Government run health care is an egregious usurpation of power, and it is unconstitutional.
Would you do the same should cap and trade be passed?
Yes. I pledge to work to repeal cap and trade should it pass. It is a tax scheme intended to increase federal revenues, increase regulations, and constrain free markets. Cap and trade will devastate the economy resulting in higher unemployment and increased energy costs to all Americans. Cap and trade will foolishly increase the basic cost of living at a time of great economic stress.
A few years ago, Spain attempted a green jobs initiative which resulted in sky rocketing unemployment. A study of effects on employment of public aid to renewable energy sources was researched and published by the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos last year. The
report stated the cost per green job was estimated at roughly $750,000 per job. The programs that created those jobs resulted in the destruction of nearly 111,000 jobs elsewhere in the economy. Unemployment went through the roof as a result. Spain is suffering the consequences of implementing programs due to poor policy decisions.
You advocate promotion of alternative energy sources to wean the country off foreign oil. Do you support tapping domestic oil and natural gas sources? Would you support drilling in ANWR?
Energy is multi-faceted issue. We must consider all possible energy sources as solutions. That includes traditional energy sources such as clean coal, natural gas, oil, and nuclear. We must harness the competitive brilliance and industry of the people to develop new and emerging energy technologies. To accomplish this, we must reduce regulation, increase competition, and let people and companies invest in research and development.
Meanwhile, we must leverage traditional sources of energy such as oil and gas. I fully support tapping into domestic oil and natural gas. I do support drilling in ANWR.
What are measures would you propose to address the issue of illegal immigration?
First, the federal government must fulfill its duty to enforce a uniform law of citizenship and immigration in every state. States and local governments that create safe-haven rules and refuse to enforce the laws against illegal immigration should be prosecuted in federal court.
Second, we must reduce and eventually eliminate any and all federal funding to states based upon the census or any other enumeration. States must not be encouraged to count illegal immigrants to increase their portion of federal funding. Furthermore, since representation in Congress is based upon the census, illegal immigrants skew proper representation for all American citizens. Lastly, once States adapt to a lack of federal funds perhaps their own policies and behaviors towards illegal immigrants will change.
Third, to ensure a fair playing field the government should require all employers use the e-Verify system.
Lastly, we must improve border security. This is primarily a national security issue, however one side benefit is better control over illegal immigration.
Many Republicans are concerned about the bloated size of the federal government; what government programs or agencies (if any) would you cut, reduce, or eliminate?
This is a two step process, not unlike treating a severely wounded soldier in the field. First, we must do the triage. That is we must stop the bleeding and stabilize the situation. We must reduce spending and balance the budget. We must eliminate deficit spending and funding those deficits through borrowing which increases the public debt.
Second, we must make the soldier healthy again. We must make our country healthy again by eliminating and reducing federal programs. This consists of eliminating programs that are unconstitutional and returning the responsibility and power to the states. We first identify the program to eliminate and then develop an appropriate plan. Some programs may be rolled back in a couple years, while others may take 5, 10, or 20 years to completely roll back.
Lastly, we must address entitlement programs. President Obama’s 2011 budget has future year projections in it. By 2020, the current entitlement programs have an estimated cost of $3 trillion. That is larger than the entire federal budget for fiscal year 2008.
What ideas do you have to address runaway federal spending and tax policy?
I would propose abolishing the current tax code and replacing it with a flat tax. That tax would be for individuals and corporations. Most likely it would fall somewhere between the 10 and 15% range.
We must ensure the federal government operates within its legitimate role under the Constitution. Naturally, this reduces the size of government, therefore it reduces overall spending.