It's billed as the largest gathering of free minds. Distinguished libertarians from all over the globe recently converged on Las Vegas for the 10th annual FreedomFest. The event featured presentations and discussions on different political, economic and social issues. Among the speakers was Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky’s fourth district, who touched on everything from criminal justice reform to liberty in the Trump era.
Well-known for his “#SassywithMassie” tweets, this congressman was happy to oblige Circa's request for a sit-down interview.
What do you think about Jeff Sessions' 'doubling down' on civil asset forfeiture?
"Well, I don't agree with Attorney General Sessions on doubling down on civil asset forfeiture. But that's his job. He's the Attorney General. He's the chief law enforcement officer. If you think that selective enforcement of the law is the best way to achieve liberty, you're wrong."
How does FDA regulation affect innovation and the price of health care?
"We've got a bad situation here in the United States where entrepreneurs are going overseas to develop products where there's less regulation. 25 cents of epinephrine in a EpiPen that costs $400. Now some people think it's because they have a patent and the patent's keeping other people from getting in the market. That's completely untrue. The patent has expired on the EpiPen. There should be other competitors in this market. But there are not, and it's due largely to the FDA's approval process."
What bill did you introduce after the congressional baseball attack?
"I have several friends who were at the baseball field the day that the shooting occurred. I have introduced a bill in Congress, H.R. 2909. It's called the D.C. Personal Protection Reciprocity Act. It says that anybody who has a valid concealed carry permit for their state will be allowed to carry a concealed weapon in Washington D.C."
What is the current state of repealing Obamacare in Congress?
"Now think about what somebody's saying when they say, 'Well, I'm not gonna vote to repeal Obamacare until we vote to replace Obamacare.' When they say that, what they're saying is that they like Obamacare better than the health care that we had before Obamacare. And if they truly believed it, they would've voted for Obamacare when it passed, if they think it's an improvement."
What do you think about a college degree as an investment?
"There are some college degrees that you will never earn back the money that you spent on it. I think that the college loan originators should be able to charge you an interest rate based on the probability that you can pay that loan back. If you introduce some free market mechanism like that, I think it could actually help guide students into fields and into degrees where they could recoup their money back."