A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit down and discuss various topics with Jo Jorgensen Libertarian Candidates for President. Below is the video replay and the transcript of the interview
Ryan Raymond (Host): Jo, one of the biggest questions I get asked all the time, how does a libertarian president work with Congress to get libertarian policies passed And what sort of policies do you think that you can find common ground on?
Jo Jorgensen: Well, not by working with them the way that Ronald Reagan did, a lot of people say, Oh, let's return to the small-government days of Ronald Reagan, but they don't realize that he actually made government bigger every single year, year after year for eight years. And people closest to him said, well, you know, Congress never gave them a balanced budget. Congress never gave him a smaller budget, but not once did he send the budget back and say, no, I'm not signing it. Sharpen your pencil, come back again. So, not that they couldn't override me, but I would keep sending it back and make them work.
Jo Jorgensen: Also, I would remind them who is elected president. And if they'd like their cushy jobs, with a lot of pay then maybe they should follow what the constituents want, which is a libertarian policy.
Ryan Raymond (Host): Okay. One of the policies that you have advocated is, giving an opt in or an opt out solution for social security and replacing it with the CATO's or something similar to the CATO 6.2 plan, which the social security administration themselves even evaluated and stated would return the program to solvency . One big question, A lot of people give me, and when they hear replacing social security, replacing welfare, they worry that we're kind of radicals that are gonna yank the carpet out from under them and people on disability are gonna lose their benefits.
Ryan Raymond (Host): What can you say Like what, what does the process look like to people that, are on disability are dependent on these government programs when a libertarian becomes president
Jo Jorgensen: Well, I would say that this, the, probably the biggest reason why I was actually nominated from the libertarian party is because the other people running were kind of advocating to perhaps Yank c out the rug. Under my proposal, what we're going to do is we're going to sell the government assets, which is what their money went towards anyway, and a return their money to them. So, you know, we heard about Al Gore with his lockbox, right The money's in the lockbox. We all know that's not true. So where did the money flow Well it went to downtown office buildings and other assets. So how about we sell those assets Return the money to the rightful owner.
Ryan Raymond (Host): Okay, good. another big question that comes up is how do we reduce the cost of healthcare across the board while still maintaining standards of care Because people seem to fear if the government's not involved in healthcare, how do we know we'll get good healthcare It's kind of a confusing statement, but how do we assure people are going to get the best care that they can?
Jo Jorgensen: Well, those are actually two questions. You know, the second question was, how do we know we're going to get good healthcare without the government I mean, how do we know we get good computers without the government How do we know How do we know we get good cars I mean, I would suggest that the reason we have such good technology, the reason we have iPhones and good computers is because the government stayed out of it. I've heard a lot of people say that basically the government couldn't keep up with the technology to tax it or try to regulate it.
Jo Jorgensen:And so it moved so quickly that we were able to get a good technology and we would see the same thing with healthcare. Now, again, with healthcare, we can't yank the rug out from underneath people, especially since prices are artificially high because of the government. So if we were to end the government type system we have now, people couldn't afford the prices, the inflated prices that they are. So what I would do is I would do a system similar to what the state of Indiana does for its employees, which is also similar to what Singapore does actually put healthcare dollars into accounts of, the people to where. And I would start with the VA hospital system, which, you know, that's the worst care and move to Medicare and Medicaid and which I'm actually putting dollars into their hands. And then instead of having a certain providers offer them certain healthcare, they would have the dollars to shop around. And if they're shopping around with their dollars and they get to keep the savings, we're going to see people competing for those dollars and see the prices go down. And that's what we have in Singapore and Singapore costs about a third of what our cost costs are. So for instance, heart, open by, yeah, heart bypass surgery, cause something like 130,000 in our country and it caused something like 18,000 in Singapore. So we need to get the prices down before we just let the market loose.
Ryan Raymond (Host): Okay. I, so I think, that kind of leads me into another question and it's, it's a little bit of a more personal question. during your, acceptance speech you gave the story of
Libba Bray and some of the challenges she faced, growing up, and being involved in the LGBT community. and one question I get asked often from the LGBT community is how do we as libertarians protect their rights And as a followup, since we were just talking about medical care, they, they tend to bring people in that community that asks me questions, tend to ask how in a private healthcare system, if people, if in theory, people can refuse for medical reasons or religious reasons, how do people in a marginalized community that are maybe not cisgender or gender conforming, be able to make available to get their standards of care, if there's possibility of discrimination or how do we protect them in general?
Jo Jorgensen:Yeah, well, again, we've got a government run healthcare system. Basically, if we look at the doctors, the number of doctors, the number of nurses, number of hospitals, clinics, it's all regulated by the government. We don't have a free market system. We've got something called certificate of need in which you can't even build a clinic or a hospital, or even buy an MRI machine without getting approval from the government or somebody to show that there's a need. How about we just open it up and let people build their own clinics And you know, what, if, if a clinic doesn't need that there, let it go bankrupt just like every other business. But now it is so protected that they can get away with everything. And to answer your first general question, protect the rights of LGBTQ it's, it's not the libertarians who would protect the rights it's the free market.
Jo Jorgensen:And my favorite story regarding this is the Walt Disney company back in the early nineties, started offering benefits to partners of their day employees. So did the government make them no, they did it because they wanted the best employees. They had to compete with other companies to get them and just like serving people. you want customers, you want profits. And so you have the best service again and, you know, fast forward, what, 20 years, 2012, we've got Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama still saying that gay marriage should be illegal. So here's a clear case in which the free market did a much better job of protecting those rights. And we've seen it throughout history that it's only through government protection, that the people get away from serving the market. And two other quick cases, if you don't mind, I'm so quick, but I think Milton Friedman said, okay, let's say that your, you bake bread and you need to buy flour.
Jo Jorgensen: Are you going to buy flour from a white person who has expensive flour or a black person who has cheaper flour, you're going to buy it from the black person who has cheaper flower. Now, could you be racist and buy
it from the white person Absolutely. But you're more likely to go out of business. You're not going to make as much of a profit. And the market's going to say, no, that's not what we want. And so what we have right now is people are propped up. A lot of people don't realize that after the slaves were freed, they were doing great for about 10 years because they were excellent craftsmen that were hard workers, you know, were the ones who were doing all the work. And they went out, offered their services at a lower rate, which by the way, is what I did when I started my company.
Jo Jorgensen:And that's what most people do. You, you're new to the business. You offer a better price and then people flock to you. So that's what they were doing. And people were flocking to them. And so then it's like, well, okay, now what do we do How do we compete Well, instead of lowering their prices, they simply passed laws. And that was the beginning of Jim Crow in which, in which they were not able to, sell their services anymore, or at least, you know, basically we had discrimination built, right. The system. And the last quick thing is we all heard the story of Rosa parks who wrote black woman who refused to sit on the back of the bus. Well, what people don't know is the rest of the story, which is that that was a government run government owned bus that was discriminating. And about 60% of the ridership at the time were blacks. Now, imagine if today Uber did that. What if they discriminated against the best 60% of their customers, they would go bankrupt as well. They should. It's only the government that can get away with it because they can't go bankrupt for, basically violating our rights.
Ryan Raymond (Host): Okay. That's a great answer. I'm going to shift gears here a little bit. another question that comes up is affordable housing in general, people in the younger generations view owning a house as something fairly unrealistic, let alone paying the rent. What can you do as president, to help lower the cost of housing throughout the country to make it at least more affordable, maybe not lower necessarily, but more affordable and accessible to people
Jo Jorgensen:Well, again, the market is intertwined. We've got housing costs, we've got, health costs, healthcare costs, we've got education costs, we've got all these costs. And then with the amount of money that we're making, and I would suggest, instead of saying, well, how do we lower tuition or how do we lower housing costs How about, how about we open up the free market and get back to where people are competing and, and, offering, offering jobs at higher prices. But right now, again, we've got building codes, we've got zoning laws. in fact, it was estimated before that probably most of the homelessness is caused by zoning laws that you've got, you know, the, the way the laws are set up. you you're, it's basically rich people getting affordable housing at a cheap price. So what they do is they artificially hold prices down and, and then only the rich people are able to afford them. So, we we've got everything topsy turvy.
Ryan Raymond (Host): Okay. You mentioned a tuition, which tuition costs in general over the last 30 years have skyrocketed across the country. People used to be able to work a part time, job and pay for college. but with government subsidies and student loans, I think that's led to a lot of, tuition costs rising. What sort of policies would you put in to try and get the government out of higher education to reduce the cost as well as including the free market.
Jo Jorgensen:as you've just stated Well, it started by getting rid of the department of education for one and see where we go from there. You know, tuition was affordable until the federal government got involved with handing out loans. In fact, I'm not sure if you saw the, was it Maxine waters It was kind of a funny clip where one of the Democrats was demanding of the, what are you gonna do about tuition You know, what are you
going to do about these high student loans And right down the line, the bankers looked at each other saying we don't give student loans anymore so bad before the government got involved. It was, it was affordable. But now that the government is involved, of course, what happened was, you know, typical, you know, it's just supply economics, all of a sudden, there's a lot of money flooding the market. And so what are the colleges do Oh, well look at all this money. We can raise rates. And since, you've got young people who aren't, you know, who haven't really experienced what it's like, to understand, you know, accumulating interest rates, having, having interest rates on top of interest rates, they didn't quite understand really what that was like. So, we've got, you know, it's funny how we've got consumer laws, protecting people, supposedly protecting people. And yet we've got the government who are just trapping, trapping college students into, this tuition thing.
Ryan Raymond (Host): I, I fully understand that myself, but, as do many people out here, following up on that, a common objection, I get, when discussing abolishing, the department of education would be what would stop a teacher from teaching bad things or inappropriate things or treating students unfairly. If we didn't have a department of education, people seem to think that that's what protects students. Can you explain how, how we can return educational choice to parents and teachers
Jo Jorgensen:Well, I'm not sure what you mean by bad things, but let me ask you this before the department of education was, you know, put together in the 1970s were bad things being taught and just, sure,
Ryan Raymond (Host): I guess the, the types of things would be, what if you have a teacher who doesn't believe in evolution and wants to teach creationism in a class, I guess those types of things, or if you had a bigoted teacher who wanted to, be prejudiced against their students, my argument would be the same things that stops them now, the school districts, but how, how does removing the, I guess the real question is how explain to people how removing the department of education improves their school choice locally.
Jo Jorgensen:Well, and I would suggest that once again, just like the free market protects, you know, protected the LGBTQ community so much more than the federal government or state governments, since it was the state government who wouldn't allow marriage, I would suggest the same thing would be for education. We've got the department of education at the federal level, given a one size fits all law for all of us. And if you look the needs of, let's say rural Appalachian, completely different from the needs of downtown New York city, you know, different from California. So how about let's let each locality determine its own education. And, you know, it's funny because I actually use education as a reason, as, as a demonstration of what's wrong with government today and how it could be so much better. you know, people ask me, why is our country so divisive
Jo Jorgensen:Why are we at polar opposites And I would suggest it's because everything goes through government and you got to fight at the ballot box for everything. So let's say that you want to send your kids to a school that has prayer. let's say your neighbor doesn't well, you've both got to go out, back to your candidate, send in money, put out yard signs, you know, convince people to vote on your side, go to the ballot box. And one of you is going to win. One of you is going to lose and you both end up with the same system, but wouldn't it be so much better if, instead of sending your money to Washington and then having a parse back to you, to where you get to keep your money, and then you decide what kind of education you want your child to have.
Jo Jorgensen:And if you want to send your child to a school with, prayer fun, and then your neighbor consent is could do a school that doesn't have prayer. Why can't we have choice in education The way we have that and everything else, the way we have it in buying a car or buying groceries, you know, we've got some people who eat vegan. Some people who eat meat, let everybody make their own choices. And if you look at the department of education, they take her, if you look at the, budget per pupil, it's something like $1,500 a year. And think of that money that if each student could keep, could go towards the kind of education that the parents wanted and not the kind of education that the bureaucrats in Washington DC want.
Ryan Raymond (Host): Okay. That's great. next there's some fairly, I think some kind of short style questions. I think we could go through here, but, one that gets asked and I know you've addressed it before, but what steps would you take to defend the second amendment in America
Jo Jorgensen:I would treat it as a constitutional right. We all saw how George Wallace stood on the steps of governor Wallace in Alabama, stood on the steps, keeping blacks from entering the school. And the federal government got involved because this was a constitutional right. I suggest that guns are a constitutional right. And it is the second amendment. And that what we need to do as the federal government is wherever a state or locality is not allowing people, their constitutional rights step in just the way they stepped in and got Wallace saga the way of allowing blacks to enter the school. the second amendment is very clear. And even if it weren't clear, that's definitely something that is in the spirit of the government. And last, I would like to say that I am a gun owner, however, that's not why I feel so strongly about it. I feel strongly about individual rights, all rights.
Ryan Raymond (Host): Okay, good. next one that comes up is what is your favorite whiskey I know you drink bourbon. Yes.
Jo Jorgensen: Actually I have a hard time getting it well, well, first of all, let me say, I've been getting, I've, I've visited a distillery few days ago and they were kind enough to give me a bottle and that was great. but the kind that I've traditionally bought over the last several years is a brand that nobody's ever heard of. It's called backbone, and you can only buy it in Indiana, but it's uncut bourbon. That's pretty strong. It's pretty strong, you know, where they write the batch number and the proof. And it's usually somewhere around like 115 proof. And, you know, my friends and family say it tastes like something that you'd clean your car battery with, but, any kind of any bourbon is good. I haven't run across a bad bourbon yet.
Ryan Raymond (Host): Yup. Good, good. Another one that comes up and it's not necessarily a federal level thing, but it it's something people want to know your opinion on. Is, are you familiar with breed specific laws or like laws against bully breeds and where do you stand on those types of,
Jo Jorgensen:Yeah, no. Can, can you explain that to me
Ryan Raymond (Host): Okay. So, in certain jurisdictions they may ban certain breeds of dogs like a pit bull or a Rottweiler in a community. And it, it, it can happen to people and they have their have to make a choice of moving or getting rid of their family member dog. And I it's, it's something that I don't know if they necessarily have a whole lot, but it's, it's definitely something that removes choice.
Jo Jorgensen:Yeah. Well, and I am an animal lover and I do have a dog a basset hound named Gertrude. And I think probably I would move if I had to take me, but let me just say that part of the problems that we've gotten into, as I've mentioned with education, healthcare, retirement, it's all been because of laws at the federal level, and this is probably something that the federal government should stay out of. And, I, you know, we have seen, for instance, people leave California in droves and we're seeing people leave New York city in droves. I hate to say, you know, I wish that the president could fix every problem, but he or she can't. And so, sometimes we need to leave it up to the jurisdictions. However, I would suggest that people would come out ahead if the federal government just stayed out of their lives, just as right now, what we're seeing is we're seeing, you know, the, all of the strife in the police with the police.
Jo Jorgensen:And I would suggest that a lot of that is because the federal government got involved. You know, the federal government's been handing out free tanks and tear gas and free training, then extra money to buy extra things. And so, whereas crime is something that's a local issue. If you look at assault, robbery, burglary, and it's something that the local police and the mayor city council voters, they should decide on what's happened is the federal government has come along and basically militarized the police. So no longer are they, you know, with the protect and serve, like they've got on the cop car and said, now it's an us versus them mentality. And I would suggest that if local communities had on the ballot, okay. do you want an increasing your property taxes so that we can buy a tank for our police department Most people would say, heck no, I'd rather keep the extra money and, you know, go on a nicer dinner a few times.
Jo Jorgensen:But what we haven't said is the federal government taking people's money and then dangling it back and saying, well, here you go. You want a free tank. So I would just, I would suggest that the federal government's job is, you know, well, first of all, the function of government should be police courts and military period, the federal government, it should not be policed. It should be the courts, some of the courts and the military, and then, by the federal government staying out of each and every little problem that people's lives over all would be improved .
Ryan Raymond (Host): Okay and then I got basically just two more. I know you've got another interview coming up afterwards. I think. So, one thing you have mentioned, being able to trade with countries like China and Japan is incentive for us not to go to war with these countries, that free trade is a good thing. and you, I know you've told a story about having a car, when you were growing up and, someone had mentioned like, why would you buy an Italian car or something w which brings up a question quite often, do you, would you support removing the automobile import ban on vehicles that are, right now you have to have cars that are manufactured outside the U S can't be brought in, unless they're 25 years old, would you remove that ban and allow these warehouses of cars to be able to be sold in America
Jo Jorgensen:I would remove all bans that allow, I hate to say peaceful objects, but, you know, I, I can't imagine, I can't imagine having a ban on anything, perhaps there's something, but I mean, cars, we drive cars. You know, if it's something that we're allowed to own and buy and sell in our country, I'm not sure why we would want to ban because that's how we get the lowest prices. And we get back to the question about how do we lower education costs, or how do we lower housing costs How about we lower all costs by opening up our borders, to where we can buy cheaper clothing, cheaper cars, and so forth, and have more money to spend on our housing or whatever it is. But what we have right now is the government picking winners and losers and coming up with ways for you to spend more money.
Speaker 1: Okay. And I think we're just about at the end of the time. So I just want to give you one more question. What, what message do you have for the viewers for what they need to do between now and November to get you elected
Jo Jorgensen:Well, two things I would love for you to come to my website at jo20.com . That's jo20com . And what's really exciting. And you may have heard this about 75% of our volunteers are from outside the party. And it's been that way since pretty much, the first week we've been overwhelmed with that ecstatically overwhelmed that some people were saying, yeah, we don't have a choice and we want a choice. And also if somebody calls you between now and November and asks who you're voting for, even if your mind isn't completely made up, but you think maybe you might vote for me, tell them that you'll vote for me so that I can get to 15% in the polls so that I can get into the debates, because if we just have who we have right now, we basically have hashtag fate debates, fake debates, because it's a debate between two people who both want to take away your decision, making both want to make more decisions for you. Neither one wants to bring the troops home, and they both will do nothing to keep healthcare costs from being the crushing costs they are now. So, and the only reason they have it set up this way, isn't to help Americans is to keep the Democrats and Republicans in power. So please let us get our voice heard.
Ryan Raymond (Host): All right, well, Jo, I appreciate your time. I, I don't want to hold you any longer. Thank you. And good luck on the road. And, I wish you best of luck this November, and thank you for your time.