Setting the record straight
An interview with Rep. John
Hostettler, IN-8th By Scott Tibbs
There were some questions raised during the campaign about PAC
contributions you took. Could you clarify your position on taking PAC
John Hostettler: I have never taken money from single
issue or special-interest PACs, but I have taken money from political
PACs, such as the Republican National Committee and the Friends of Newt.
There is a big difference between taking money from a political PAC and a
special interest PAC.
HR: There has been a great deal of
discussion about HR 2500, Superfund Reform. Why is Superfund reform
JH: The basic problem with Superfund is that we have only
cleaned up 5% of the Superfund sites at a cost of $60 billion. Superfund
is a haven for litigation, but little actual results. Lawyers get a lot of
money, but very little cleanup is done.
HR: Much discussion
has taken place on your view of gun control, especially the assault
weapons ban. Are you still in favor of lifting the ban, and why?
JH: This ban is not on assault weapons. The actual assault weapons
ban took place in the 1930's. I feel the ban is an infringement on the
Second Amendment rights of Americans.
HR: What is your view on
the campaign finance reform laws now before Congress?
should allow individuals to have as much say as organizations. I am not
necessarily in favor of abolishing PACs, because the problem is not with
the system, but with the people in the system. For example, Bill Clinton
has broken the campaign finance laws, and his response to this fact is
that we need to change the laws. Remember, 20 years ago PACs were
supposed to be the solution, and now they are viewed as the problem. Just
because we have new laws does not mean people will not break those laws.
HR: do you favor reform of the tax code, and what kind of
reform do you favor?
JH: I favor a flat consumption tax. This will
maximize freedom, as no federal agency will have the power to look into
peoples lives and finances and invade their privacy. This will cause
savings to go up by creating an incentive to save rather than consume, and
it will create jobs. The consumption tax will promote freedom, economic
growth, and will not punish achievement.
HR: Social Security
appears to be in trouble. What do you believe should be done to save
Social Security for the young generation?
JH: The largest danger
to Social Security is the deficit. Currently, the government takes money
out of SS to pay for other items in the budget. The solution is to take SS
off budget, and balance the budget. The current debate on Medicare will be
a precursor to the battle over SS. If we are able to secure seniors
health security by reforming Medicare, we will be able to ensure
seniors financial security by reforming Social Security.
HR: Do you support the Balanced Budget Amendment?
JH: No. We should not amend the constitution to do what congress has the
power to do now. I have voted many times on initiatives to balance the
budget, but we should not amend the Constitution to achieve what we can
HR: Why did you vote Present on the question of
whether Newt Gingrich should be Speaker?
JH: I felt the GOP could
have done better on a leader for the party. My concern was that Gingrich
may not lead well, that he could be timid after the beating he took during
the campaign. Recent events in the Congress have proven this to be a
Additional articles in this issue:
What's up with this cloning thing? By Eric
How will Deng Xiopang's death affect US-China
relations? By Scott Tibbs
Chelsea Clinton's Birthday Party By T.J. Brown