Newsmax - Rep. Kingston: Good Chance GOP Retakes House
Rep. Jack Kingston tells Newsmax that he is "cautiously optimistic" that Republicans can regain a majority in the House in the November elections -- and if they do they should make repeal of Obamacare their top priority.
The Georgia Republican also said the Obama White House has an "enemies list" -- and warns that the Democrats will likely try to impose a national sales tax in an effort to reduce the massive budget deficit.
Rep. Kingston was first elected in 1992, and in 2005 he was rated as the most conservative member of the House by National Journal.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Kingston was asked if he sees a pattern of the Obama White House trying to silence opponents.
"You're seeing it right now with [Rep.] Henry Waxman, the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, auditing the records of groups like AT&T and some of the larger corporations that openly oppose either the cap-and-trade policies or healthcare policies of this administration," Kingston says.
"The administration is not interviewing with certain conservative news networks. There's no question about it, they have an enemies list and they work it and they reward and punish accordingly."
Kingston believes Republicans can still stop healthcare reform if they win back the House and refuse to fund it.
"Absolutely," he declares. "And I think that has to be our number one objective when we come back, to repeal and replace this healthcare policy. I believe we can say we're not going to fund 16,000 new IRS agents or the 160 new bureaucracies that are set up.
"But what we will do is allow consumers to purchase healthcare insurance across state lines. We will have malpractice reform. We will allow small businesses to form association groups, and we'll level the tax code so that individuals can get the same tax credits that corporations have when they buy healthcare insurance.
"If we do this all in one step, on a comprehensive basis, I think we're not only going to see better healthcare but more job creation, because it will lift the burden off small businesses."
Asked if the GOP can in fact regain the House, Kingston tells Newsmax: "I'm cautiously optimistic. The president's approval ratings are under 50 percent right now, and traditionally from March of an election year until the election the president's approval ratings do not go up. And when a president's approval ratings are under 50 percent, the party out of power picks up an average of 41 seats.
"We need 40 seats to regain the majority, so I think the wind is in the right direction.
"Unfortunately, the Democratic Party is financed by labor unions and trial lawyers and Hollywood and some of the very wealthy sectors of our society. They have a lot more money than we do. So we've got to encourage the grassroots-type activists that we're seeing -- the tea party and other outraged citizens around the country."
One of Obama's economic advisers, Paul Volcker, is floating the idea of a national sales tax, similar to the value added tax imposed in European countries, to deal with the burgeoning deficit. Kingston believes efforts to impose the tax are coming "because if you think about it, in 2009 the Obama deficit was higher than the 12 previous years of deficits -- a $1.4 trillion deficit in one year. A similar-sized deficit is projected for 2010 and 2011.
"So they're going to have to come up with some revenues," including "the value added tax, which they have in Europe, which crippled their economies and turned the European economic engine into mediocrity. The Obama administration is obsessed with them anyhow, so they would be very open to having a value added tax.
"I think what we need to do is force their hand somehow on the floor, through a procedure, and make them vote up and down. I think they'd have a hard time, particularly in an election year, getting the House to go along with it, even given the number of liberals in the House. It would be enormously unpopular."
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says Congress needs a long-term plan to balance the budget. Asked where he would begin, Kingston -- a member of the Committee on Appropriations -- says:
"For one thing, we have to get rid of the duplication in spending. There are something like 60 different federal jobs programs.
"The second thing is you have to go after entitlements -- 57 percent of the budget is Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, veterans programs. These are programs that a lot of people benefit from, but there are others who may be abusing it or pushing the envelope.
"There's a lot of fraud and abuse in it. We need to go after that. And I think we have to look at every single program. For every dollar we spend we're borrowing 37 cents right now. It is absolutely unsustainable."
Kingston says he and many other lawmakers oppose President Barack Obama's efforts to end the military's don't ask, don't tell policy on homosexuality. If homosexuals were allowed to serve openly, he points out, their partners would be entitled to spousal benefits and that would conflict with the Defense of Marriage Act, "the law of the land."
He also opposes the "too big to fail" doctrine regarding big banks, because when these banks are protected, community banks -- "the lifeline of jobs in small towns all across America" -- can't compete with them.
And he insists the United States needs to commit to energy independence, "which is a national security issue."
The government should encourage drilling for oil offshore and in Alaska, and promote solar power, wind power, natural gas and nuclear energy, he says, adding: "We have it all at our fingertips to become energy independent. We just don't have that commitment."