Being a libertarian, most of the time one of the other two parties would support my policies. It would be very rare for both of the other parties to support any policy that I would support. The decriminalization of marijuana, the reduction of restrictions on immigration, the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, and the reduction of civil liberties abuses would be supported by the Democratic Party. A repeal of FATCA [Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act], a reform of the PPACA [Affordable Care Act], and overall lower taxes would be supported by the Republican Party. The overall problem in Washington, however, is that both parties are too similar and are not open to genuinely creative problem solving approaches. The issue of taxes is one such arena. Should we raise the rates or lower the rates? Should we abolish the mortgage interest deduction? These are questions from "in the box." Abolish the income tax altogether and allow taxes to be for the sole purpose of raising revenue to fund necessary governmental functions. Then we can argue over what functions of government are "necessary."
Eric Delano Knowles, Republican
- City of residence:Annapolis
- Occupation: Bartender at Chop House of Annapolis
- Family: Single, one daughter
- Experience: Air Force veteran, 1997-2001; 2010, gubernatorial candidate in Maryland; outdoor educator for environmental issues; camp counselor for all of my summers from age 12 until I left for the military, completing hundreds of hours of leadership training
- Education: Community College of the Air Force, 1997; Frederick Community College, 2005; Anne Arundel Community College, 1996, 2008-2010
- Have you ever been convicted of a crime (not including minor traffic violations)? No.
// As you know, the Bush-era income tax cuts will expire at the end of this year. Do you support extending the cuts for all income levels, only on individual income under $200,000 (under $250,000 for families), or not at all? If you support an extension of some kind, should it be paid for? //
I support maximum tax cuts for all. I want more people to have the money to be able to spend much better than any politician or government official knows how to spend for them. These extensions should be paid for by limiting the federal government to its constitutional role and reserving any other functions sought by the people to the state they live in.
// Is there any circumstance in which you would support extending a pay freeze on federal employees and/or requiring current federal employees to contribute more to their retirement plans? Please explain. //
No one should ever be forced to work for free, ever. That's slavery. Just using the money we would save by ending the unconstitutional wars we are currently involved in would provide us with enough money to pay for the people who are currently employed by the federal government. That's where I'd start.
// The Congressional Budget Office projects spending on Medicare, Medicaid and other government health programs will more than double as a share of the nation's economy by 2037. What specific changes would you propose to reduce Medicare costs? //
First, programs such as these aren't authorized by the Constitution for the federal government. These functions should, over time and incrementally, be turned over to the individual states to manage with more accountability to the taxpayer.
// Would you support increased federal spending on highways and other infrastructure as a way to boost the construction industry? If so, how would you pay for it? //
No. The government shouldn't be involved in the game of "boosting" industries and corporations with taxpayer money. The federal government shouldn't spend money that it doesn't have, causing a further drain on the economy and leading to less growth.
// Would you support U.S. military involvement in Iran if there were evidence that it was close to developing a nuclear weapon? //
I would only support military involvement in any country after Congress votes on a Declaration of War. I would only vote for war if there was a clear and imminent threat to our nation.
// Describe a specific policy you would pursue in Congress that would have support from members of the opposite party. //
I would pursue the transparency and auditing of the Federal Reserve and the current monetary policy which is the driving force of the destruction of our economy. Economic freedom and congressional autonomy over the monetary policy is the key to restoring our nation.
John P. Sarbanes, Democrat (incumbent)
- Occupation: Congressman for Maryland's 3rd District
- Family: Married, three children