"I'm a dentist impersonating a politician."
U.S. Representative Paul Gosar (R-Ariz-4) held two events at Arizona Western College on Jan. 23 to discuss issues important to students and communities. In the afternoon Gosar sat down with students and SGA, and the evening consisted of a town hall-style meeting open to the public.
The hot button topics of the day included debt, government spending, economic growth, government accountability and Obamacare.
"The problems we are facing are not Democrat or Republican issues, but American issues," said the Republican representative.
"The biggest national security threat to America is debt," said Gosar, adding that the individual portion of the national debt of $17.3 billion rounds out to more than $55,000 per U.S. citizen and continues to grow.
Along with national debt, young people have accumulated massive amounts of student loan debt to pay for their education while attempting to enter an uncertain job market. As of the first of the year, full-time employment is now considered 30 hours per week rather than the traditional 40.
The Congressman quoted John F. Kennedy, warning of unforeseeable problems in reference to government spending on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. He elaborated with visuals explaining how these programs have grown exponentially over the decades to the point of draining our economy.
Military spending took a significant piece of the spending pie chart although Gosar didn't devote much attention to that, making it known that he favors a strong military.
The solutions offered for state economic growth encompassed the 5 Cs of Arizona -- cattle, climate, citrus, cotton and copper.
"Government can't create jobs," Gosar said. "Government only creates environments."
Copper mining, timber harvesting and better development of the Navajo Generating Station headed the top of his list to bring employment and economic relief to the state. He brought attention to specific government restrictions blocking these developments.
Gosar brought to light issues of government accountability encompassing NSA spying, the Benghazi embassy incident and specifically Attorney General Eric Holder. According to Gosar, government agencies collecting meta-data from the population without a judicial warrant directly violates the U.S. Constitution.
Gosar said the country needs to have a "come to Jesus moment" over the operations of the NSA. The information is now public, and it requires a new narrative driven by the public on how this agency will conduct data collection in the future.
The presentation highlighted the Benghazi incident, in which four U.S. citizens died at the Libyan Embassy, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Video clips of the Presidential administration supported his evidence of wrongdoing and a possible cover-up of the facts.
"For the first time in American history, we watched men die and did nothing," said Gosar.
This led into a number of accusations of criminal offenses by Eric Holder, followed by a call for his impeachment on grounds of perjury and his role in the Fast and Furious scandal.
"Eric Holder has got to go!" Gosar declared.
He compared Washington, D.C., to anarchy, where the rule of law is no longer applicable to government offices.
Gosar made it clear he wants to repeal and replace the entire the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. He cited the shortcomings of the act, driving home his points with video clips from several presidential speeches stating "Your premiums won't go up," and "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."
Gosar chalked these statements up as "lies," adding that Obama has won "Liar of the Year." The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) also received mention in regards to so-called "death panels" as part of our new healthcare act. This board will have the power to advise physicians on whether and individual citizen is worth the amount of money the treatment will cost.
Gosar showed a pair of short videos entitle, "Creepy Uncle Sam," produced by a group called Generation Opportunity, which depict visits to an Obamacare clinic by a young male and female.
The dark satirical videos, which Gosar warned in advance might be considered racy, use comedy to illustrate important real world issues. Gosar encouraged students to use more video as tools to promote political ideas.
Gosar's final thoughts for AWC the younger generation involved a "focus percentage" in terms of the time and energy demands required of individual. According to Gosar, 20 percent should be for holding public figures accountable for their actions, 20 percent should be putting ideas on the table and persuading others and the remaining 60 percent should be dreaming up innovative ideas to sculpt the world we want to see.
Photo by Adam Harms