By DUANE NOLLEN
The Oskaloosa Herald
Republican U.S. Senate candidate David Young campaigned in Oskaloosa Monday morning in a bid for the GOP nomination to challenge Democrat Bruce Braley.
Young is one of five candidates vying for the Republican Party nomination to challenge Braley for retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin’s seat.
Young has served as U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley’s chief of staff for the past seven years. He resigned his post June 1 to campaign full time.
This is Young’s first campaign for public office. Young stopped by the Herald’s office for an interview while visiting Oskaloosa. He planned to visited about five counties Monday. In all, Young said he has visited 80 of Iowa’s 99 counties.
As Grassley’s chief of staff, Young says he knows how Washington, D.C., works.
“I’ve seen the beast of Washington up close and I’m ready to serve,” he said.
Young said there are three deficits in the nation’s capital that he wants to tackle — the budget, jobs and trust.
Currently, the national debt is about $17 trillion.
“I’ll be a taxpayer watchdog,” Young said.
Young said a Balanced Budget Amendment is needed to curb deficit spending. Currently, 49 states, with the exception of Vermont, have either a balanced budget amendment to their constitutions or have laws to limit expenditures.
“Washington needs to follow the states,” he said.
Young also advocates zero base budgeting so that government agencies have to justify to Congress every dollar spent in their budgets. Also, sunsets are needed for legislation so that outdated laws can be removed from the books. Young also said he favors rigorous auditing of the federal government and making the findings available to the public.
On the issue of jobs, Young said he is an advocate of the Keystone Pipeline that would transport petroleum from Canada, Montana and North Dakota to the Gulf of Mexico. He said Iowa companies would benefit from the pipeline project.
Supporting the pipeline project is “a no-brainer,” Young said. However, both President Barack Obama and Braley oppose construction of the pipeline.
The nation’s unemployment rate is around 7.5 percent, which is unacceptable, Young said. One way to lower unemployment is to revamp the tax code to help create a better climate for business, he said.
Young supports a simpler, flatter and more fair tax code. The corporate taxes need to be lowered as the United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the world, he said.
Young also said there is a deficit of trust in the nation’s capital.
Scandals such as the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, and the Fast and Furious gun scandal with Mexican drug cartels are examples of the trust deficit in Washington, Young said.
Young wants more transparency in the federal government and more oversight and investigations of such incidents.
While on the campaign trail, Young said many people have concerns with Obamacare. Many businesses would have to layoff workers or convert them to part-time employment. Many do not understand it and cannot prepare for it, he added. Young said he wants to defund and repeal Obamacare, and replace it with free market alternatives that are good for consumers.
Young said many Republicans and Democrats believe “Obamacare is a disaster.”
Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org