1) What are your three top priority issues?
1) End all our current wars, avoid all future ones, and abolish all foreign aid, so as to pay down current $ 16 trillion US national debt; 2) Enact Federal Jobs bill(s) to obtain full employment for all our citizens; and 3) Return the US to Constitutional government and the rule of law, absent since 1964 with the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution passage that got us into Vietnam, a war in which I served in the US Army and was awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge for being under enemy fire, 1966-67.
2) Given the poor public ratings and perception of Congress, why run for the Senate at this time?
To continue the above work that I started when I first ran for the US Senate in 2006, and then again in 2010. Also, to get all the special interest and union money out of all our elections at all levels by instead using publicly-funded elections, as was the case in the 1980 General Election that saw Reagan defeat Carter. We need to abolish all Political Action Committees (PACs) across the board to do this. Accordingly, I have not raised or spent any money in any of my campaigns since 2006, nor will I.
3) Who or what was responsible for the Great Recession?
We ALL were! Each and every one of us has contributed to the mess we're now in one way or another, both individually and collectively, in my view. We have met the enemy, and it is US! We can start by cleaning up our own acts, and then apply those principles to all our local, state, and Federal governments with common sense and honesty.
4) How active a role should Congress take in creating jobs? What should Congress do as a top priority to create jobs?
Very active! The first step should be to get our financial house in order by ending the current wars, etc.---as I said before---stop or curtail spending drastically, abolish the Federal Reserve Bank that helps fund these wars, and deport all illegal aliens back to their countries of origins. The last would save all governments at all levels billions of dollars, and also revitalize our shipping, bus, railroad, and highway construction industries in order to deport them.
5) Maryland has many federal workers, both living and working here. There has been pressure over the past few years to cut the size of the federal work force. Is that a wise policy and what are the implications for Maryland?
Unless it's done wisely and selectively, it could be severe. We should encourage early retirements with worthwhile incentive packages, and eliminate those positions without refilling them where and as practical. Maryland---like all the other 49 states and US territories---is going to have to learn to live and function within its means. That is common sense. That goes for all of us individually within our own, personal budgets, too.
6) Much has been written and said about the 1% and the 99% of Americans and their incomes. Does it make sense as national policy to tax the wealthy? Why or why not?
Yes, it does, as everyone should pay his or her fair share, and no one should be allowed to take a hike on the common, national interest. My mantra is: one for all, and all for one. Life should be a team effort, with all of us as winners. Everyone should be taxed at the same flat rate, with no exceptions. We should also consider abolishing the 1913 Federal Income Tax in favor of a National Sales Tax that would tax item purchases, and not income. As it is now, we tax the income and also the purchases made from the income remaining. That seems to me to be an inherently unfair method. We should also abolish offshore banking and removal of gold from the US elsewhere. We might in addition consider returning to a dollar that is based on the gold standard. It might be an improvement.
7) What should we make of the tea party movement? The Occupy Wall Street movement?
I believe that both are healthy political developments that challenge our long held assumptions that may, in fact, be wrong. Power gives way but slowly to change, but history shows that change is inevitable, and will come in time. If we prepare for change prudently, it doesn't have to be a bad thing, and can, in fact, be a good thing. At least we should try. If we make peaceful change impossible, we will get violent change instead, as in France in 1789, Russia in 1917, and elsewhere. Conversely, the 1989-91 anti-Communist revolts brought democracy to Russia, Germany, and Eastern Europe, and will also to Cuba and China in time.
8) Why, of all the candidates, are you best suited to be a US senator from Maryland?
I'm not. I know that Sen. Cardin is doing many good things for Maryland, and I'm certain that all the other candidates would also do some good things. Thus, I reject the false premise of your question as inherently presumptious. We all put our pants on the same way: one leg first, and then the other. We all bring individual backgrounds to the table for the voters to consider. My background is a bit different than theirs: combat soldier, press secretary, newspaperman, magazine writer and editor, cable TV talk show host and guest, and book author. What separates us is our ideas, and where we think both Maryland and our country should go. It is in that spirit that I hope my candidacy---and theirs!---will be judged. Vote!