Culture > Q&A

DeMint's prescription

"DeMint's prescription" Continued...

Issue: "Beyond the body count," Nov. 5, 2011

The administration's stimulus bill obviously is not working, but many people wonder whether Republicans can do anything better. Hundreds of new rules are coming out of this administration every month, and companies don't know what to think. Banks don't know if they can expand or open branches because there are three regulators for every bank in this country today, and they all have different interpretations. The EPA is closing down a lot of electrical generating plants: That ripples into coal mining, and it's just beginning to disintegrate our economy.

Do we need tax changes? Let's just have a low, flat rate. We can help the poor and create safety nets, but when you have half of Americans who pay no federal income tax, that creates instability: Half the people don't care what government costs, or how much it spends.

What are other ways to create jobs? Open up America's energy supplies. That will create tens of thousands of jobs, relatively quickly. We have vast supplies of not just coal and oil but natural gas. Many states like South Carolina could benefit by bringing natural gas ashore, with a revenue-sharing agreement with the federal government.

Why are Republicans complaining about the PEPFAR program, which has been one of our rare international successes, saving millions of lives in Africa? We're not going to fix this sexually transmitted disease, despite the medicine, until there's some cultural reform, which is going to take a while, as you know. When Bush started the program, there were good results at the outset, we had people focused on the real mission. When they came back to re-authorize it, they wanted to double it, and we really didn't have good metrics on outcomes. It became a government program growing without real supervision and accountability.

You are a Republican, a conservative, and a Christian. Do these ever come into conflict? The role of government is always in the front of my mind. Faith is completely voluntary. Government uses force, and I think a lot of Christians in government lose sight of that. When God's talking about us helping the poor, He was not telling us to use the government by force to take people's money and go out and decide who's going to be helped. He was telling us as followers of Christ to help people.

A player has to be retired for at least five years before he can get into the baseball hall of fame. Should there be a rule that a politician be dead for at least five years before naming something after him? Government should be about serving others. Creating monuments to ourselves should not be a part of the process.

Listen to an excerpt of Marvin Olasky's interview with Jim DeMint from the Oct. 29 edition of the radio program The World and Everything in It.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.


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