The government must make it easier to buy health insurance from private companies. The way to do this is not with excessive regulation and government handouts, such as those in the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act, but by enabling private companies to do their jobs better for less money. Congress could do this by enacting tort reform to eliminate frivolous lawsuits and allowing companies to sell across state lines. This way, the companies that are doing a good job would be able to provide their services to more people. We should also make provisions for individual health care accounts and promote good health choices that keep disease away.
// 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? //
While I'm all for maintaining roads and infrastructure as it's needed, I do not believe in spending taxpayer dollars on unnecessary federal projects. Instead, I would like to pass business friendly legislation that will spur private sector construction projects without costing the taxpayers too much money. President Obama's stimulus money was intended to do such projects and it did not create the economic growth it promised.
// Would you support U.S. military involvement in Iran if there were evidence that it was close to developing a nuclear weapon? //
First and foremost, I must say that I cannot make a definite decision without more information. It would depend on how strong the evidence was as well as other details. However, I want all the voters to know that I would not take such a decision to send American soldiers into harm's way lightly.
// Describe a specific policy you would pursue in Congress that would have support from members of the opposite party. //
One of the people I've talked to about this is former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, one of our great Americans, and her great concern for our nation is the lack of quality in our education system. In her opinion, education is our greatest threat to freedom. In 2010, our students were ranked 17th in reading and 25th in math out of 70 nations. I believe both sides of the aisle would agree this is unacceptable. It is important to prepare our students for the challenges they will face in our increasingly globalized economy, and we must ensure they have the skills they need to compete in this international job market.
Scott Soffen, Libertarian
- City of residence: Ellicott City
- Occupation: Investment advisor
- Family: Married with two teenage daughters
- Public campaign contact: 410-347-7160
- Experience: I am an investment professional, having analyzed investment opportunities at large firms (Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers) and smaller ones (Baird, Atapco). I have served on the boards of CASA of Baltimore and Planned Parenthood of Maryland.
- Education: M. Ed., Capella University, 2000; M.B.A, New York University, 1988; B.A., Rutgers University, 1984; Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA certification); Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA certification)
// 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 favor achieving a balanced budget. The budget is unbalanced because the federal government keeps growing, but taxpayers are unwilling to fund government's expansion. The federal government has taken on the role of providing housing (HUD [Department of Housing and Urban Development]), food (food stamps), education (Pell grants), health care (Obamacare), retirement funding (Social Security), and even entertainment (the Park Service). There is hardly a function of our lives that the (inherently inefficient and inherently corruptible) federal government doesn't now take as being its responsibility. As a Libertarian, I want to shrink the size of government. A smaller government will enhance prosperity (via lower taxes) and freedom (why can't I buy pharmaceuticals without the FDA's [Food and Drug Administration's] and my doctor's approval?).
I believe in tax simplification, which includes eliminating the corporate income tax, but also eliminating the tax-favored treatment of capital gains and dividends; it includes eliminating the complex array of lobbyist-supported tax-deductions and carve-outs.