Libertarian Gaylon Kent wants to end ‘lack of leadership’ in America
KEYSTONE — Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate Gaylon Kent wants to “make America America again.”
“Republicans and Democrats are not doing good things for our country,” he said. “Our government and our country really is a partisan, fractured, bickering mess.”
Kent, who lives in Steamboat Springs, has had four previous runs for Congress. In 2014, he was the Libertarian nominee for Senate, when he lost to Sen. Cory Gardner. This time around, Kent is running against Raymon Doane for the Libertarian spot on the June 30 primary.
This year is different, he said, because of the fractured nature of American politics.
“In 2014, when I ran for the United States Senate, America was not united but not as fractured as we are now,” he said. “You could talk to someone with a different idea than you and not be called a name. But that time has passed.”
If elected, Kent is focused on ending perpetual wars, combating fiscal irresponsibility and preventing the incarceration of innocent people.
Kent said the U.S. should only fight in wars declared by Congress. The last formal declaration of war signed by Congress was during the Second World War.
“We have abrogated that responsibility to the president, the U.N. and NATO, and it’s wrong,” he said.
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Kent also has a proposal to place a flat tax of 5% on everyone who makes $50,000 a year or more. Under this proposal, people who make less than that would not have to pay taxes.
“With a flat tax of 5% … we’ll have more money to meet our growing needs,” he said. “The economy will expand and wages would improve.”
He would also work to eliminate the corporate income tax.
“They do everything they can not to pay them,” he said. “It’s another expense on consumers.”
In order to help free people who have been wrongly convicted, Kent would work to develop legislation to prevent district attorneys from convicting innocent people and create a government-run innocence project, similar to the nonprofit with the same name.
“These are people who have been incarcerated anywhere from five years upwards,” he said. “For a nation conceived in liberty, that should cause all of us a great shame. That’s not what this country is about.”
Lack of leadership in the U.S. has never been more apparent than during the novel coronavirus pandemic, Kent said.
“Nobody is looking to America for leadership right now,” he said. “We are completely dismissed as the country that can influence and help. There was a time when America would have been providing leadership on this matter.”
Kent said the federal government needs to procure 2 billion tests so every citizen can be tested multiple times.
“Until we know who has it and are able to isolate them, we’re not going to get control of this situation,” he said.
When it comes to helping resort mountain communities like Summit County recover from the economic fallout as a result of the virus, Kent said the government should waive taxes for three years on businesses. However, he believes that the government shouldn’t be financially supporting everyone.
“The more they do, the more we are going to expect the government to do in the future,” he said.
Kent also touched on the recent protests of the killing of George Floyd.
“It’s 400 years of oppression meeting 400 years of dominance,” he said. “It should be protested. I would prefer they protest without burning cities down, but every George Floyd protest is merited.”
Kent believes this year will bring “unprecedented opportunities” for the Libertarian Party.
“I’m running because I want good things for this country,” he said. “Those currently in power are not providing them.”
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