The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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October 24, 2012

Candidates' Corner — John Raese


Isn’t much of the downsizing in the coal country attributed to the upsurge in the use of natural gas at power plants?

RAESE: That’s an interesting question. When you look at the cornerstones of capitalism and free enterprise, the cornerstones are energy and private property. Both of them are under attack right now. When you look at energy and when you look at coal, the reason that coal now has become more expensive is because of permit work, because of the regulatory nightmares we all face in the coal industry. What we’ve done is increase coal to supersede the price of gas. So, natural gas now is cheaper, but it wasn’t before we had the Obama regulations.

So, all regulations being the same, which they’re not, you would see a marked increase in natural gas if we had the same kind of regulatory nightmares and over-regulation as we have seen in coal. It’s very easy to say, well, natural gas is cheaper. Why is it cheaper? When you point the finger at government, you have it. Government isn’t the solution to the problem. Government is the problem.  It’s not a fair shake.

You mentioned Obamacare. Why do you and other Republicans vehemently oppose this?

RAESE: Well, I hope more than Republicans. I hope our citizenry understands. I just watched a movie last night called  ‘Last Ounce of Courage.” All it’s about is losing our freedoms.

Ronald Reagan one time said, “There is no partial freedom, there’s only freedom.” And when your health care comes to a situation of you and it’s your doctor, do you want some government institution, 15 unelected officials, telling you how much money you can spend, or telling you what doctor you can see?

Your relationship between your doctor and your body, that’s your decision. I want to keep that decision yours. I think the best example is the prime minister of Newfoundland, and Newfoundland, as you know, has socialized medicine, just like Obamacare. And when it came to his heart situation, he said, “Take me to Miami.” Which he did. And he got his situation alleviated. When he got back to Newfoundland, the press was all over him. “We have this great health care system in Canada and Newfoundland, why didn’t you stay here?” He said, “It’s between me and my doctor, that’s the way I’ll handle it.” And that’s the only thing he said. And that’s why people, when they are sick, they come to this country.

We have the best health care system in the world. And this (Obamacare) is just pure, unadulterated socialism. We’re turning 20 percent of our economy over to government. Where has government ever solved any possible situation as far as medicine? As far as business? Government is the problem. It is not the solution. It has never worked. Never worked. And I think you would see not only spending increase by almost $3 or $4 trillion, but I think you would see rationing. I think you would see a lot of doctors leave. It would be catastrophic. Abraham Lincoln said one time, “The best way to get rid of a bad law is to enforce it.” Wait until they try to enforce something like this. It’s going to be an amazing situation.

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