I had the distinct honor of interviewing Amit Singh, who is vying to represent the Republicans in the Eighth District for Congress. Singh is a graduate of the University of Virginia and a small business owner. It was a pleasure talking with Singh about the issues and what inspired him to run for office.
Crystal Clear Conservative: Thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to discuss why you are seeking office and the issues affecting our country and Commonwealth. Why did you choose to run for Congress?
Amit Singh: This is my first time running for office. I chose to run for Congress, because I was disheartened to see no one willing to put up the fight in the 8th. We needed someone to challenge Jim Moran. I was not happy to see a Republican candidate campaigning on expanding health care and a big government platform.
CCC: Do you support a border fence for controlling immigration?
AKS: Yes, I do. You also need to realize that this alone will not solve the problem. The problem is that you have many visitors who are overstaying their visas and not returning to their countries. We need complete solutions, not partial ones. In addition to border control we need to go after employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, as well as creating a visa work program.
CCC: This is a question from Jason. Republicans used to stand for limited government but many have fallen away from that. Mark Ellmore is very much a big government republican which I do not like at all. How are you different from him concerning the size of government?
AKS: Ellmore constantly changes his policy views. Back in 2006, he was against a border fence because he thought it was “too isolationist.” When I first looked to support him against Moran, one of his main platform issues was to expand Medicare and SCHIP. I have a set of guiding principles that allows me to be consistent on the policy issues, which makes me different from my opponent. These principles are: limited government, fiscal responsibility and personal freedom. You can’t pick and choose when you want to be principled.
CCC: The issue of affordable health care has become a hot ticket issue for many voters. It has reached epidemic levels. What would you propose to solve the health care crisis?
AKS: First, I would give tax credits to employees in addition the employers. The family structure has changed and health care coverage also needs to change. The one thing you need to realize that there is no free market with insurance. Individuals should have options for affordable health and should not have to rely on their employer. Individuals should also have the choice to purchase insurance out-of-state. This will increase competition and decrease state mandates on insurance which lower the cost and increase availability. We also need expand health care savings accounts and make them more accessible to help families put pre-taxed money to help with offsetting health care costs.
Additionally, I believe that there is a greater need for tort reform. There are many doctors who are practicing defensive medicine and the malpractice costs are too out of control.
CCC: Regarding the current War in Iraq, I know that there is this anti-war sentiment. Would you call for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq?
AKS: The first commonsense principle is to have Iraq pay for the reconstruction of the country and other expenses. Iraq makes money on oil and it has a budget surplus. If they have a surplus, then they can repay us for rebuilding their country. We need to transition power from the U.S. Military to the local police force and expedite this at an accelerated rate. This can be accomplished within the next year. We won the war in Iraq. Saddam was brought to justice and his two tryannical sons were killed. There will never be a violence free Iraq, just like there is not a violence free United States. We need to accelerate the welcome home for the military with victory parades throughout the country.
CCC: With the rising price of fuel and the current transportation crisis in Northern Virginia, what would be some solutions to solve this problem?
AKS: Our current energy crisis is due to years of ineffective energy policy. This has caused financial harm on out citizens and threatens our national security. It also worsens our
trade imbalance and weakens the dollar.
On one hand the government restricts new conventional energy sources blocking drilling in ANWAR, in many places offshore and in western Federal lands. No new refinery has been built
since the late seventies largely due to regulatory burden. On the other hand, alternative sources of energy are also prevented. Wind farms are blocked offshore and in bird migratory paths. Nuclear plant licenses are not issued, and high tariffs are put in place on more efficiently produced ethanol.
I am for removing the ethanol subsidies and mandates which only use our tax dollars to inflate our food prices while transferring money to big agri-business. Instead, we should remove the high sugar tariff which would allow for the production of lower cost ethanol made from sugar. I am also for allowing the Department of Energy to grant licenses for nuclear power plants. Forty percent of all fossil fuel used in the country is used to produce electricity. Within a few years, we could replace fossil fuels with clean, affordable nuclear energy made from proven technologies.
On improving transportation, we need to encourage local businesses to utilize telecommuting and flex time. Giving tax breaks to businesses will help make this a reality. It helps the environment and eases traffic when utilizing telecommuting. We also need to get our fair share of the Federal Highway Trust Fund which Virginia pays more into than it gets back.
CCC: What are the top three things that you would change when elected?
AKS: First, I would force a balanced budget. We cannot go hundreds of billions of dollars further in debt every year. The entitlement programs we have committed to are about to go into the red and we can no longer afforded the trillions of dollars of unfunded liabilities in future decades. If we do not address this immediately we will face a financial crisis unlike any before.
Second, I would force transparency on all earmarks, since they should be openly debated by the taxpayers. Lastly, I would focus on foreign policy. We currently have 100,000 troops in Europe and 60,000 in Asia. The footprint abroad is too large and expensive to maintain and would be better used replenishing the ranks of the National Guard and Border Patrol.
CCC: Why should the voters in the 8th District vote for you?
AKS: I am the most qualified and a problem solver. There are lots of problems in DC. We need someone who understands how Congress works and someone who is experienced. I will bring a set of guiding principles to my service, which include limited government, fiscal responsbility and personal liberties.
Crystal Clear Conservative would like to thank Amit Singh for taking the time out of his schedule to discuss his vision for improving America and the 8th Congressional District.