U.S. House District 13 — George Holding (R)
Political Party: Republican
How long in district:
Occupation: Lawyer. Former U.S. Attorney for Eastern North Carolina
Campaign website: http://www.georgeholdingforcongress.com/
The economy is at the top of voters’ minds in this year’s election. What do you think elected officials can do to address it?
There are a lot of things impacting the economy and I think to turn the economy around we need more jobs. We need more people working and making income. We need those people spending that income. It’s a bottom-up approach that elected officials need to take. It’s a bottom-up, organic rebuilding of the economy and the way you start is with tax reform and regulatory reform. With regulatory reform, you’re trying to get the government off the backs of people — cutting back on regulations, onerous regulations. Regulations cost Americans $1.75 trillion a year in compliance costs. Twenty to 30 years ago, the regulatory compliance cost was $100 billion. So, it’s a bottom-up, organic approach to rebuilding the government.
To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, who got a lot of things right, when he was inaugurated in 1981, we were in a terrible economy. He looked out and he said the solution is not government, the problem is government. At that time, like I said the regulatory burden was $100 billion and now it’s 17 times larger, so the problem is just larger. That’s what I think we need to do.
What do you think are specific things the federal government can do to help North Carolina recover from the recession?
Regulatory reform, getting government out of the way of job creators, small business, entrepreneurs, we need to exploit, extract energy that we have in this country. We need energy independence from foreign sources of energy. We have lots of energy in the United States. That means offshore drilling; it means extracting shale gas here in North Carolina.
They’ve created something like 80,000 jobs in Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia that borders around Western Pennsylvania extracting shale gas. We have opportunities to do that here in North Carolina and we should.
Why should your constituents elect you?
I’m very committed to the American dream of unlimited possibilities. I believe that the founders of America created our government on the belief that you had to protect unlimited opportunity. Everyone in America ought to have the opportunity to achieve whatever success that their abilities will allow them to succeed. That doesn’t mean that you need to have everyone have equal achievement; it’s just the equal opportunity to achieve. I think if you look at the government and you take your responsibility as a legislator, and look at it through the prism and the lenses, if you will, of what the founding fathers intended, I think you’ll be successful and I think you’ll do the best job for the people. That’s my intention.
A big issue this year in the election is health care. What changes do you think (if any) should be made to Medicare to make the program more solvent? Now, that the Supreme Court has found the Affordable Care Act to be constitutional, what should be Congress’ next steps?
The first thing that we need to do is make sure that we keep the promises that we have made to our seniors. I believe that if you’re 55 years old or older, that you ought to be able to count on the promises that have been made to you. We don’t need to have any changes to the Medicare system as related to people who are 55 years and older. For people who are 55 years and younger, the Medicare system is going broke. It’s going broke in 13 years. We’re going to have to make some reforms to ensure that it’s solvent, that it’s there not only for the people who are 55 years and older, but if there’s even a chance for it to be there for people who are 55 years and younger. We need to look at premium support systems, which is what has been proposed by Paul Ryan in his budget. I think we need to look at the efficiencies through the delivery systems and we need to look at the free market. I think with premium support you’ll have the opportunity to introduce more of the free market into the health care providers.
I can tell you what we don’t need to do, absolutely, and that is turn over the Medicare … our entire health care system to the federal government for the federal government to run. That’s what Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act does. It’s 15 percent of the nation’s economy and turning that over lock, stock and barrel to the federal government to run I do not think will solve in any of the continuing programs.
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