4th District candidate Thomas Massie talks taxes, the wealthy, Social Security and GOP politics

01/19/2012 05:53 AM

The next Congress must take on tax reform to make it simpler for Americans to file their taxes and close loopholes, said 4th district congressional candidate Thomas Massie in his first in-depth television interview.

“You need to remain unpartisan in this discussion, and I think you need to go to Washington with an open mind,” Massie said of tax reform (3:40).

Massie, however, said he doesn’t want to see taxes go up on the wealthiest Americans. “I’m not a big fan of progressive taxes,” he said. (6:10).

Instead, Massie agreed with U.S. Sen. Rand Paul that the wealthy should receive fewer benefits from federal health care and retirement programs.

“Yes, we need means testing for Social Security and Medicare,” Massie said. (6:20) And he answers questions about raising the retirement age (7:00).

Massie, judge-executive of Lewis County in northeastern Kentucky, is one of four Republicans who have announced their intent to run for the open 4th congressional district seat being vacated by four-term GOP Congressman Geoff Davis.

Massie was first elected as Lewis County judge-executive in 2010. And he said he has cut out $210,000 in waste in little over a year in office. That has come from rooting out inefficient spending, including duplicated phone bills and $50-a-month electric bills for a line that had been cut off six years ago. (1:35)

While Massie used his executive power to root out the inefficient spending, he is running for the nomination to be one of 535 federal lawmakers. But he said he’s compelled to run for the job to tackle three issues he says are holding the nation and Kentucky back. (Watch at 2:35 to see what they are).

And find out what he thinks of Rand Paul (8:10), as well as presidential candidate Ron Paul and the rest of the GOP field (8:55). Massie said he doesn’t necessarily have a particular pick in the primary, although he gave Ron Paul’s presidential campaign $500 on May 5, 2011, $250 on July 19, 2011, and $250 on Aug. 20, 2011, according to the Federal Election Commission records.

Massie also discussed foreign aid to Israel (9:50).

“I would be basically in favor of going to zero in foreign aid” to all countries, Massie said.

(Programming note: Part two of the interview with Massie airs Thursday on Pure Politics. And stay tuned for interviews with the other candidates in that race, including Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore and state Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington.)


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