Editor’s Note: Albert Thompson, the marketing operations manager for WND, recently interviewed former U.S. Rep. Dave Weldon of Florida. Dr. Weldon is running for United States Senate in the Aug. 14 Florida Republican Primary. Dr. Weldon previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives after winning his seat in the GOP landslide of 1994. Here is the interview:
WND: Dr. Weldon, you went to medical school on a United States Army Health Professions Scholarship, so let me ask you, how will Obamacare impact the U.S. economic recovery?
Weldon: As a physician and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1995-2008) I know how flawed this law is; it is too costly, and it transfers decision making from patients and doctors to bureaucrats. The law undermines the economy of the nation by adding burdens on business and individuals who must support government mandated decisions out of their control and without benefit. Perhaps more importantly, we need to be protecting patients and help strengthen their ability to work with their health care professionals to provide the best health care available, not create another government monster to play “Big Brother” with our health care.
WND: What should Congress do about health care in the United States? Should health care be a federal issue?
Weldon: Healthcare has emerged as a major issue for our nation. I am a physician, and I know the issues very well, and I can bring that background to the debates in Washington. Right now, with Obamacare hanging over our collective heads, it is clear the federal government has taken far too much control of health care. The federal government has oversight responsibility to protect Americans and their access to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” But right now, under Democrat leadership, the administration and the Congress are hazarding what has been one of the most effective health care systems the world has ever known by exercising unconstitutional control. There are reforms we can make to reduce costs and improve access to health care. These include refundable health care tax credits for the working poor and expanded tax deductions for medical savings accounts. We can also make the cost of health insurance tax deductible for individuals like it is for corporations and allow people to purchase insurance across state lines to create a real competitive market for insurance.
WND: Is America able to sustain the new Obama levels of spending?
Weldon: American taxpayers should not be asked to sustain the Obama levels of spending that now threaten to impact future generations. It is clear that we can not continue to borrow these large sums of money, and raising taxes will not solve the problem, but will only delay the real reform that is needed – reduced spending.
WND: What is the major obstacle to returning the U.S. to full employment?
Weldon: The current business environment with an unknown future fueled by this administration’s regulatory, tax and economic policies is the single, major obstacle. Businesses are unwilling to hire, expand or even introduce risk into an already dubious business quotient. While it is key that we repeal Obamacare, we also need to reduce many of these burdensome regulations coming from the Obama administration.
WND: Dr. Weldon let’s talk about national security concerns. You are a noted supporter of Israel. But some argue that American needs to strategically distance itself from Israel. How important is Israel to American strategic interest in the Middle East?
Weldon: America and Israel have been strongly and positively aligned for decades. This has been and remains in America’s best interests. The stability of that region depends largely on the success of the nation of Israel and that pluralistic democracy’s ability to relate to its neighbors. I have been disappointed in President Obama’s Middle East strategy. We should always strive for peace in the Middle East, but not at the cost of the security of our greatest ally in that region, Israel. It would be a major mistake for us to distance ourselves from Israel at this critical time. I believe we should move our embassy to Jerusalem. One of the things I was most proud of as a freshman congressman was the vote to move the embassy from Tel Aviv, and I am very disappointed with the Administration’s refusal to do that.
WND: Do you believe that the lack of U.S. oil exploration enables America’s enemies? If so how?
Weldon: Our energy dependency gives our enemies leverage economically and strategically, and it is a matter of national regret that we have failed to develop our God-given resources. To my knowledge the United States is one of the only nations on the planet that deliberately refuses to exploit its own resources and prefers to import energy at great cost. This needs to stop. We can be energy independent.
WND: What should Congress do regarding lax presidential enforcement of immigration laws and border security?
Weldon: President Obama’s lax enforcement of our immigration laws is a travesty and an insult to all those who often wait decades to immigrate here legally. Congressional hearings should be ongoing to expose the injury to our national security, not to mention other domestic problems made worse by the administration’s inexcusable policy of blindness to the problems and unwillingness to enforce the laws of our land.
WND: Finally Dr. Weldon, Americans appear divided over values and definitions. Dr. Weldon how do you define a “right” and how do you define a commodity?
Weldon: True rights are bestowed upon us by the Creator such as our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Others such as the right to a fair trial are rooted in biblical principles or common sense and fairness. Some people try to assert that we have other rights such as the right to housing, food and health care. All of these additional items have to be paid for by somebody. The only way these items can be protected as “rights” is when the government takes wealth from one individual and gives it to someone else. These items are more correctly defined as commodities. Once we start defining these kinds of things as rights, they we will quickly discover that there is no limit such as the recent Obama administration initiative to give people free cell phones.