Brian Irving | Candidate Questionnaires | Indy Week

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Brian Irving

Candidate for U.S. House

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Name as it appears on the ballot: Brian Irving

Date of birth: Jan. 2, 1949

Campaign website:

Occupation & employer: Freelance journalist

1. What do you see as the most important issues facing North Carolina and the nation? If elected, what are your top three priorities in addressing those issues?

I'm running for Congress because I want to stop all war and bring back the Constitution. That just doesn't mean stopping our interventionist wars in Afghanistan and other nations. I want to stop the war on the American taxpayer, stop the war on American entrepreneurs, stop the war on drugs, stop the war on alternative lifestyles, and stop the war on our civil liberties and the U.S. Constitution.

The state of our union is a perpetual and universal state of war that's mired us more than $16 trillion in debt and devastated our economy. Democrat and Republicans deliberately manufacture the fear of real or imaginary enemies, both at home and abroad, to divide Americans and to pit one racial, religious, economic, or social group against another. Their purpose is to manipulate us into surrendering more and more of our precious freedom and liberty for the false promise of security and safety while giving us neither.

Congress has been derelict in its duty to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution." Disregarding their oath of office, they've abrogated their responsibilities and surrendered their Constitutional authority to the President and swarms of unelected bureaucrats, who've exploited this grant of unbridled and unchecked power to shred the Constitution and trample on the rule of law.

I want to restore the republic our Founding Fathers established: a government of limited and enumerated powers whose only purpose is to protect our unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

2. What issue or issues made you want to run for this office?

I served 25 years in the U.S. Air Force. I'm proud of my service to may nation. But I'm tired of seeing young men and women returning from our interventionist wars with their limbs blown off or their mind scrambled. I'm tired of watching news stories of young fathers seeing their six month or year old child for the first time because of repeated overseas deployments.

James Madison, the Father of the Constitution warned that war was the most dreaded enemy of liberty, the "parent of armies," from which proceeds debts and taxes, "the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few." He said that war inevitable results in the expansion of executive power which is used to seduce the minds of the people and subdue them, while expanding opportunities for fraud and the "degeneracy of manners and morals."

Madison concluded, "No nation can preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare," a prediction which is regrettably coming true. The United States has been at war my entire life and the entire life of my children. Based on the belligerent rhetoric of both of the major party presidential candidates, it is clear to me that the United States will be at war the entire life of my grandchildren unless the people take action to stop all war.

3. What in your record as a public official or other experience demonstrates your ability to be effective in the U.S. House? This might include career or community service; be specific about its relevance to this office.

In addition to my military career, which included tours of duty in the Philippines, Viet Nam, Italy and England, I served four years on the Fayetteville City Planning Commission, including two years as chair. Some may consider these experiences relevant to the office I'm seeking. But what I consider most relevant is that I'm a running an independent campaign. I'm not raising enormous sums of money to "win" the office, nor am I accepting large campaign donations from people, corporations or special interests groups seeking my favor. When I take office I won't be in debt or indebted to any party establishment, any person, or any special interest group. My model for service will be the citizen-servant our nation's Founders had in mind when they wrote the Constitution.

I'm also running a campaign by telling people what I believe, letting them know clearly and simply where I stand on the issues and telling them what I will do and not do when elected. I don't tell them what I think they want to hear. And I give the same message to all the groups I speak to stop all war and bring back the Constitution.

4. As you've campaigned in your district, what are you hearing from voters? What's foremost on their minds?

In most of the public forums I have attended so far, people concerned about the abysmal state of our economy, jobs, and how to care for the needs of their families and neighbors. There is also a sense that the Democratic and Republican parties are equally to blame for America's problems. I could not agree more. That is why I am running, to offer a third choice to voters.

5. Identify a principled stand you might be willing to take if elected that you suspect might cost you some popularity points with voters.

Since I'm telling people what I believe and what I will do in office, not what I think they want to hear, there shouldn't be any surprises about the stands I take if I'm elected. For example, I have told voters that if they want a Congressman who will vote to give them stuff, them I am not the candidate to vote for. What may cause me to lose "popularity," however, is when I actually vote the way I said I would.

6. If these issues haven't been addressed above, would you please comment on:

a. What do you see as the primary sources of our current economic problems? What measures should Congress use to address them?

The primary source of our current economic problems is our perpetual and universal state of war. Congress has only made the problem worse by surrendering its power of the purse and by failing to exercise is power to declare war. Congress needs to stop stop the wars, stop the spending, stop the regulating, stop the meddling.

America is $16 trillion in debt, and the debt is increasing every day. We're borrowing 43 cents of every dollar we spend. Yet Congress keeps money and digging us deeper and deeper into a fiscal hole.

Our children, our grandchildren, and our great-grandchildren will be burdened with this debt. Every child born today is born owing $50,000. This is despicable and unconscionable. America must face up to what no Democratic or Republican politician has the moral or intellectual courage to admit. Our massive and growing national debt cannot be ended by cutting spending, freezing spending, or limiting spending; it can only be ended by stopping spending.

The key to economic growth and job creation is to end the excessive federal and state regulation that's stifling the economy, destroying jobs and increasing unemployment. Most federal regulation and spending is for programs and activities not authorized by the Constitution in the first place. Every regulator fired results in the creation of more than 150 new jobs, enough to hire the ex-regulator, the unemployed, and the able-bodied poor.

In the 1980s, the number of federal regulators fell from about 122,000 to barely 100,000. The private sector added 3,500,000 jobs as a consequence. Between 1987 to 1992, the number of regulators swelled once more to pre-1980 levels. The 3.5 million newly created jobs were destroyed as a result.

More government spending and regulating translates into more unemployment and less wealth creation. Less wealth creation means into fewer goods and services, less health care, higher prices. The resulting lower standard of living means that people die needlessly. One study estimated that the death toll from regulations that do more harm than good cost 60,000 American lives each year.

b. Evaluate the war in Afghanistan and the situation in Iran. What is our goal in each place, in your view?

There is no goal in the war in Afghanistan, other than to win political points. President Obama called it a "war of necessity" and it is no such thing. Since taking office, President Obama has bombed more countries than all the Nobel Peace Prize winners combined.

Regardless of whether President Obama is reelect or Mitt Romney wins the presidency, it's clear to me that whoever wins will plunge our nation into yet another needless, interventionist war. No U.S. intelligence agency has presented any evidence that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon, nor has the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Yet both candidates are beating their chests and shouting about how much tougher on Iran they will be than the other guy. Just like with the non-existent WMDs in Iraq, politicians simply won't let the facts get in the way of an opportunity to exploit fear for their own political gain.

This war may have already begun; they've been news reports of U.S. support for covert operations against Iran, including funding dissident groups, cyber-terrorism, commercial sabotage, and targeted assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists. All these activities are actual acts of war, unlike the verbal rantings emanating from Iran.

The only defensible war is a war of defense. The United States has no legal or moral right to tell any nation how it can defend itself. Nor do we have the right to attack any nation unless they attack us first, or our government has hard evidence and can present such evidence to the American people that they are about to attack us. And even then, Congress has a duty and responsibility to act and formally declare war.

c. Would you support repeal of the Affordable Care Act? What reforms would you make to the health care system?

Yes, I would vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which I believe is unconstitutional (despite what the Supreme Court has ruled), and which will only make health care more expensive and less available to many Americans. Then I would work to restore and revive a true free-market health care system that actually saves lives, with these components:

1. Establish Medical Saving Accounts. Under this program, you could deposit tax-free money into a Medical Savings Account. Whenever you need the money to pay medical bills, you will be able to withdraw it. For individuals without an MSA, any health care expenditures should be 100 percent tax-deductible.

2. Deregulate the health care industry. Repeal all government policies that increase health costs and decrease the availability of medical services. For example, every state has laws that mandate coverage of specific disabilities and diseases. These laws reduce consumer choice and increase the cost of health insurance. By making insurance more expensive, mandated benefits increase the number of uninsured American workers.

3. Remove barriers to safe, affordable medicines. Replace harmful government agencies like the Food and Drug Administration with more agile, free-market alternatives. The mission of the FDA is to protect us from unsafe medicines. However, the FDA has so overreacted that it has driven up health care costs instead and deprived millions of Americans of life-saving treatments.

7. What is your position on capital punishment?

I oppose capital punishment.

8. What is your position on Amendment One?

I opposed Amendment One. I would also oppose a "marriage" amendment to the U.S. Constitution. No government, at any level, should have the power to decide who can or cannot get married. The only role for government in marriage is for laws to provide for the same legal protection of the marriage contract as with any other contract.

9. Do you support women's reproductive rights, including the "right to choose" as set out by the U.S. Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade? Do you support the recently passed state requirements on ultrasounds and waiting periods for women seeking an abortion? Do you support attempts to eliminate funds for Planned Parenthood?

There's nothing in the Constitution that gives the federal government any authority to deal with abortion in any way, so my personal beliefs do no matter. I would not support any legislation that banned, legalized, restricted, limited, or regulated abortion.

But since I don't want to appear to be ducking the question, here's my personal view. While I oppose all abortion, in any circumstance, I also oppose government interference in our personal lives. I believe in both the women's right to make decision about her own life, while at the same time I believe that all life is sacred and that the law should protect all life, from conception to natural death. Yet I don't believe in using force, which is ultimately what government comes down to, to impose my moral view on others.

I don't believe the law should be used to force women, or any person, to undergo any medical procedure or limit their medical options. Nor do I believe people should be forced to pay for medical procedures they don't support, nor fund agencies whose goals they object to. I don't support taxpayer funding for abortions or for Planned Parenthood.

The heart of this issue is that it is a deeply intimate and personal decision for any woman. Every minute we spend trying to get the government do "do something" about the issue is time wasted, time not spent on working for real solutions to the problem, like less-restrictive adoption laws, encouraging private efforts to educate woman about abortion alternatives, repealing the income tax so that parents can have more time to teach their children values that would minimize teen pregnancies.

Whatever the case, this is an issue that should be discussed, debated and decided at the state and local level.

10. What changes, if any, do you support in federal entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans programs, etc.)

Democrats and Republicans lack the moral or intellectual courage to admit that the massive and growing national debt they have racked up with their out-of-control spending has made these federal entitlement programs unsustainable.

These programs are unsustainable because they can only be supported by taking more and more money from more and more people. That means taking money from the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the very people who paid into the programs in the first place. Taxing our grandchildren and great-grandchildren to pay for our retirement is not only immoral, it's economically destructive.

This doesn't mean that the federal government should renege on the promises made to people who have paid into federal benefit programs. These entitlements are moral, if not contractual, obligations which must be honored. The federal government has the assets to make good on the promises made to seniors.

We can begin by selling off the millions of acres of land owned by the federal government. Then the federal government can sell off other assets it shouldn't have in the first place, including power companies, oil and mineral rights and unused military bases in order to fulfill these contracts.

And while we're securing the payments for the people who have already been scammed we should immediately end the programs so that future generations won't be harmed.

11. Do you approve of efforts by the Bush and Obama administrations to bailout major banks? How about the Obama administration's bailout of U.S. automakers?

These bailouts of the banks and auto were not only insane and immoral, they will ultimately bad for the taxpayer, for the economy, and for business. Bailouts are bad because they reward the mismanagement and incompetence of American corporations with a taxpayer-subsidized lifeline, and do nothing to encourage reform or fix the problems that pushed the companies to the brink of failure in the first place.

12. Both parties have been criticized for overreaching during the redistricting process. Would you support an independent commission drawing the lines in the future?

I support a truly independent redistricting commission, a body that is not composed of political party members (or former members), appointed by political parties, controlled by political parties, or which gives political parties veto power over the redistricting plan. Any redistricting plan should also set up districts based on the basic one-person, one-vote principle, and meet these simple criteria: comply with all state and federal constitutional, including population equality; be geographical compact and contiguous; respect political subdivisions and communities of interest; not consider incumbents' residences; not consider party registration and voting history data; not consider race, religion, ethnicity or any other similar factors.


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