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Bevin calls for less regulation during campaign stop

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By Phyllis McLaughlin

Less taxation and regulation are two key platform ideals for Matt Bevin, a Tea Party Republican who is challenging veteran U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in the May 20 primary election.

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Bevin made a stop last week to meet and greet supporters at Hometown Pizza on Hwy. 227 in Carrollton.

“For larger corporations, the [U.S. Environmental Protection Agency] has become a power unto itself,” Bevin said in a conversation with reporters before addressing the handful of supporters that came to meet him.

The EPA is comprised of unelected people “to pass regulations that people can’t afford to comply with,” he said.

As an example, Bevin said that restrictive EPA regulations could force a coal-fired power plant to shut down, meaning a loss of jobs.

“Usually the cost [of compliance] is not worth the benefit” to the environment, he said. “We will never have a perfectly safe world, no matter what. It’s always a trade-off. We will always need electricity, and there is always a cost. Clean energy only works with subsidies paid for by taxpayers.”

Excessive taxation and regulation of corporations slows job growth, Bevin said. “There’s no perfect solution. You have to incent people to take risks. You need to understand how wealth is created.”

That’s why the Affordable Care Act, widely known as Obamacare, must be repealed, Bevin said.

One reporter asked if it wasn’t true that Obamacare gives people the freedom to leave jobs they are not happy with and enables them the opportunity to start their own businesses, because they can get affordable healthcare coverage even if they have pre-existing conditions.

“Not even a little. It will suffocate job growth,” Bevin replied, then asked: “What’s the incentive [for businesses] to hire more people” if businesses are forced to pay more for employee health care?

“You need to incent people to create more jobs, but in reality [Obamacare] is incenting them to do the opposite. It will result in more part-time jobs” that won’t provide any benefits, he said.

“Isn’t the economy already going that way,” toward creating more part-time jobs without benefits than creating full-time jobs with benefits, the reporter asked.

“Maybe, but that’s because we have a weak economy,” Bevin said. “We are seeing more part-time jobs, but it is the future under Obamacare.”

Bevin stated his belief that people won’t change jobs simply to find better health care benefits. “People leave jobs for better opportunity, not for health care.”

Bevin believes Obamacare should be repealed “in its entirety. If the purpose is to have more access to coverage that’s better and cheaper, use private-sector incentives,” he said. “Allow people to buy insurance across state lines. That will make it competitive. Allow people to buy insurance coverage with pre-tax dollars and [establish] tort reform with common-sense limitations” on punitive and compensatory damages resulting from medical-related lawsuits.

Bevin believes that the states, individually, should be allowed to find their own way to solving healthcare issues and that these could be subsidized by federal Community Development Block Grants. “Let each state resolve its own issues. That’s the only way to make it efficient.”

Bevin said that government programs “suck the economic life and the entrepreneurial spirit out of this country. Have you seen any program or service where there’s a private-sector alternative that the government does better?”

He cited Viriginia’s health care structure as an example of how government fails at such programs. “It’s not working well, not even close,” Bevin said. “The backlog [of medical cases] is extraordinary, and it’s the tip of the iceberg of what’s coming.”

During his talk with supporters, Bevin was asked about McConnell’s campaign ad that criticized a Bevin ad that featured one of Bevin’s children. Bevin described his opponent’s ad as “the same childish campaign strategy McConnell has always used. He is so arrogant; he feels he doesn’t need to make his case for re-election. He’s a hypocrite, and his time has come.”

As a Louisville businessman who runs his family’s 182-year-old bell manufacturing company, Bevin said he is the best choice to serve Kentucky in the U.S. Senate. “You need to elect me and those who have been out in the private sector ... [who] understand how the wealth of the nation is created.”

Bevin said he believes in a constitutionally limited government and believes amendments are needed to establish federal-level term limits and to require Congress to pass a balanced budget every year. He also believes laws should be changed to eliminate payoffs, or what he calls “insider trading” in Congress, in which deals are made that benefit congressmen more than their constituents.

“We should require and ensure that Congress has to live under the same laws we do,” he said. “Collectively and individually, we must start to chip away at the sense of entitlement that career politicians have. The idea that [being a representative or senator] is their job until they are done with it is tripe.”

He encourages voters to come out en force to the upcoming primary, noting that primaries historically have low voter turnout. “Changes are made at the ballot box,” he said. “We have an opportunity. Turn out and bring one, three or 10 people with you. That’s how this race will be run.”

Carrollton resident John Glauber, a local Republican, asked about McConnell’s charge that Bevin had lied on his LinkedIn page about having graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Bevin said that he had attended an executive education program that was held at MIT, and allegations that he had made it appear that he was an MIT graduate “is a 100 percent lie.”

Though Bevin believes he can still beat McConnell, despite the fact that he is behind McConnell in the polls, Bevin said he is the only hope to keep the seat with the Republican Party. McConnell “is tied with or trailing” Democratic candidate, Kentucky’s Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Bevin said. “He has no chance to beat her. Some polls showed I was the preferred candidate, that I will be strong or stronger than Alison Lundergan Grimes in November. I’m giving you the best choice we have.”

Bevin outlined several ways in which he differs from McConnell, who has served Kentucky in the U.S. Senate for 30 years.

“First, his support of the Patriot Act,” which loosened privacy laws as a means to combat terrorism on U.S. soil after the 9/11 attacks. “I am not a fan. I disagree with that in its entirety, and I would not vote for it as a senator” when it comes up for renewal.

He said he also is against amnesty for aliens entering the country illegally. “They should not be rewarded for illegal behavior.”

He said he is against raising the debt ceiling, something McConnell voted for. “[McConnell] feels that no amount is too much to pay. He could have demanded [spending] limits, but did nothing.”

Bevin said he also is against government bailouts, stating that McConnell “was one of the largest supporters of TARP,” the Troubled Assets Recovery Program that provided $700 billion to shore up failing banks, signed into law by former President George W. Bush in 2008 and continued under the Obama administration in 2009.

“I don’t think the government should be picking winners and losers with taxpayer money,” he said.