Bill McGaughey, Independent Candidate for U.S. Representative, 5th Congressional District of Minnesota

In light of the current economic crisis, what needs to happen to ensure American economic stability in the future? I was generally against the bailout package because I didnâÄôt have the information necessary to assure myself that it would free up credit. My feeling is that the key to economic revival is jobs, in the future. There are three major threats that I think need to be dealt with: the outsourcing problem, the displacement of labor by technology and unrestricted immigration into this country. Can the United States achieve energy independence? If so, what steps do we need to take for that to happen, and how long do you think that will take? I think Al Gore set a goal of energy independence in 10 years. I think if we really committed ourselves to that, I think it is possible. We need a heavy investment in the technologies of converting biomass into fuel. We need to convert our automobiles to electric cars and develop the electricity here through wind and solar. With tuition costs rising, what, if anything, would you do to make college more affordable? I think the system is based on the assumption that higher education is necessary to hold jobs in the type of economy that we have âĦ this is certainly true. There is a certain mythology here that is not true. I think education needs to encourage a personâÄôs creativity to give them freedom to explore and to find out what they are interested in personally. I would be in favor of lower standards of less education being required for getting your first job. What is your stance on gay marriage? I am against the government proscribing or mandating gay marriage, but I would certainly be in favor of what they call civil unions. What is your stance on abortion? I donâÄôt think it is a federal issue. I think there has to be a compromise, here, and it has to be a political compromise at the state level. What, if anything, would you change about the health care system? I would change a lot. I think itâÄôs broken. I would favor a complete repeal of the prescription drug benefit. In its place âĦ I would favor a system of government of free government-provided health care for all residents of the United States. How should the United States address the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? My feeling is just being in somebody elseâÄôs country guarantees opposition. I think what I would do is just follow the time table set up by the Iraqi prime minister and Barack Obama. With respect to Afghanistan âĦ I would just say give it up. I think the next logical step is trying to get the United Nations or international agencies involved in this area. What is the most important issue our country must deal with, and how do you plan to address it? Well, maybe in the long run itâÄôs the collision of the population and natural resources. We need to go to renewable energy resources as quickly as possible.