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Meet 9th District Libertarian candidate Jacob Kelts

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Jacob Kelts is a member of the Libertarian Party and is running for election to the U.S. House to represent Michigan’s 9th Congressional District. He is an electrician and also the treasurer and communications director of the Libertarian Party in Lapeer County.

This interview was edited for clarity.

Let's start with climate change. Congress just passed that bill that included a lot of money to fight climate change. Should this be the business that our federal government is in? 

The government shouldn't be involved in wasting money on climate change. I mean, I'm not a scientist or a meteorologist, I'm just a simple electrician. But I can tell you, the globe's been warming for 12,000 years, slowly, ever since the last Ice Age. And I don't think anything we've done in the last 200 years has affected that to the extent that they believe it has. But, hey, you know, let them believe that and waste our tax dollars on more dumb things.

Congresswoman Lisa McClain says the three most important issues right now are the economy, economy, and economy. Do you agree? Is that the most important issue in this district? 

I'm inclined to agree with her. Inflation is a huge issue right now with the Federal Reserve printing trillions and trillions of dollars for those stimulus checks that everybody got. (Ed note: The Economic Impact Payments, or “stimulus checks” cost $803 billion dollars.) Even when they were doing it, I was saying to my coworkers, "This isn't a good thing." Nothing good is going to come of the Federal Reserve printing off all this money for us. (Ed note: The Federal Reserve does not have the authority to print money, that is the job of the Treasury Department.) But they're like, "Oh, but I got $1,400, man." That's great, but wait six months and see what happens. Now you're looking at the results of it: all this inflation. The best way we can save it is maybe stop the Federal Reserve from printing more money.

Is there a role the federal government should be playing when it comes to the economy, cutting taxes on business, doing more incentives, raising the minimum wage? Is there anything that the government should be doing or should this just be left up to the markets? 

I believe the market can fix itself, but it would definitely help if the government did less in taxes. Not just for businesses, but for everybody. Then you'd have more money to spend on your local businesses and your business wouldn't have to give so much over in taxes. They could have a profit and raise their wages and keep the market going. The market doesn't need the government, but the government needs the market.

The 10th District is a redrawn district, but it didn’t change very much. Do you think the redistricting is creating opportunities for some Republicans ...? 

Including Macomb and Oakland County into the former 10th district now or the 9th district, down there, it's a little more blue-leaning, especially after what happened in Oxford in Oakland County. Honestly, I don't see much of an issue with the redistricting, and if it gives someone a chance to win, why is it a bad thing?

What are the important issues in your campaign? 

Guns, taxes, and freedom and guns. My motto is “All the freedom, all the time for everybody.”

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
Morgan Womack joined Michigan Radio as a digital news intern in June. She is a journalism student at Michigan State University.
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