Publisher's note: This article was originally published on Examiner.com on April 21, 2011. The Examiner.com publishing platform was discontinued July 1, 2016, and its web site went dark on or about July 10, 2016. I am republishing this piece in an effort to preserve it and all my other contributions to Examiner.com since April 6, 2010. It is reposted here without most of the internal links that were in the original.
Va. Senate candidate Jamie Radtke hopes her message resonates with libertarians
April 21, 2011 2:17 PM MST
U.S. Senate candidate Jamie Radtke is carrying her message that “something has to be done” about spending and the debt to Republican unit committees, Kiwanis clubs, Tea Parties, and Rotaries around Virginia where, she says, “people get it. I don’t know if politicians get it, but people get it.”
Radtke was campaigning April 20 at the 63rd Annual Shad Planking in Wakefield, along with two of her opponents for the 2012 GOP Senate nomination, George Allen and David McCormick. Standing at her campaign’s booth in unusually warm spring weather, she answered questions from the Charlottesville Libertarian Examiner about the issues she is emphasizing and what she would do to attract the votes of Virginia libertarians.
In her campaign, she explained, “we’re talking about a constitutionally limited government [and] what is the role of the federal government.”
'Right in line' with libertarians
She said that when talking about the budget, “you’ve got to look at entitlements” and, from a libertarian point of view, entitlements “should be consumer-driven. People should have skin in the game.”
Things like that, Radtke explained, “resonate with people in the Libertarian Party.”
Even defense spending should be on the table, she said.
“The priority, the absolute priority, 100 percent should be our military and our veterans,” she said, “but the size of the Defense budget is so astronomical that even the Department of Defense is talking about places where there can be savings” without adversely impacting current troops or veterans.
“All of those things,” she concluded, “are things that we have in common” with libertarian voters.
Budget deal 'horrible,' 'sham'
The budget deal worked out in Congress earlier this month is “horrible,” Radtke said.
“I think that promising $100 billion in cuts and then ending up at $68 billion and then saying it’s $38 billion and then it really being $353 million is a complete sham,” she complained.
“I don’t think that that’s what people are looking for” in terms of congressional action on the budget, she added.
“When you look at Standard & Poors coming out and downgrading our outlook to negative, saying you have two years to do something, [but] our big idea is to cut $353 million and start talking about raising the debt ceiling, that is the absolutely wrong message to be sending.”
Radtke also believes there needs to be fundamental tax reform.
“We have a tax system that’s all about special interest loopholes,” she explaind. “We need to get to a place where everyone has skin in the game, not only half of America.”
Prefers Fair Tax
The options she sees are a flat tax or the Fair Tax. “One or the other. Not this optional flat tax thing where [you] try to make everyone happy and straddle the fence. You’re going to have to have a flat tax, or have a Fair Tax.”
She worries, however, that politicians cannot be trusted to do the job right.
“My fear with the Fair Tax is politicians,” she explained. “That’s my fear with the Fair Tax, because you know you have to repeal the Sixteenth Amendment in order for the Fair Tax to work. I don’t trust politicians that they’ll pass the Fair Tax” without first repealing the Sixteenth Amendment and the result that “all of a sudden we’ve got a consumption tax and an income tax, combined.”
Radtke acknowledged that the original Fair Tax bill, which was introduced by former Congressman John Linder of Georgia, has sequential requirements of first repealing the income tax amendment in the Constitution and then instituting a consumption tax, but that does not allay her fears.
“Knowing how deals get made and things get added to the bill at the last minute,” she is concerned that Congress “would pass the Fair Tax [while] the income tax was still in existence.”
Radtke reiterated that, as she talks to voters around the state, “the key issues are spending and the debt, talking about entitlement reform and what has to be done.”
Her warning to Congress is this: “You can talk about spending and debt all you want but if you’re not going to talk about entitlements, then you’re really not serious about spending and the debt.”