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In anticipation of Missouri’s August 3rd primary, KSMU invited all Republican and Democratic candidates running for Congress in Missouri’s 7th district to stop by our studios and share their ideas. Today, we hear from Republican Jeff Wisdom, who spoke with KSMU’s Jennifer Moore.
Moore: Jeff, can you begin by introducing yourself to our listeners?Wisdom: I’m an economics instructor at OTC here in Springfield. I’m proud to be an economist, having two degrees in it. I have also an undergraduate degree in political science and a post-graduate degree in Education. I’m also a veteran. I served a tour of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Moore: What are your top two or three issues you’re campaigning on?Wisdom? Well the number one issue for everyone is the economy. And that’s something I have a tremendous knowledge base in. I know how to create jobs. Our federal government, even going back to the Bush Administration and now with the Obama Administration, has spent a tremendous amount of money, and increased our national debt. But yet our unemployment rate is stuck right at the 10 percent mark. What we have to do is make government smaller, stop the endless debt, so we can put more resources in the hands of the private sector, small businesses, so they can create more jobs. So the number one issue is the economy and getting it back on track.
Number two is national security…whether that be the war on terrorism, or securing the border against illegal immigration.
Moore: I'd be curious to hear your perspective as an economist: How do you get more money back to small businesses without spending more money?
Wisdom: The way that you do that is you have to get money out of the hands of Washington, D.C. bureaucrats. The wrong approach is to give money to governmentagencies and have the government redistribute the money. The most efficient way to put money in the hands of people is to let them keep it. The approach I would have taken--instead of passing an almost one trillion dollar stimulus, or under the Bush Administration, putting 7 billion dollars of TARP money in the hands of wealthy bankers--I would have implemented a tax holiday that would let individual taxpayers and individual businesses keep their money for three months of six months so they would go out and spend it. Because it’s consumer spending that drives our gross domestic product.
Moore: Who are your top donors?Wisdom: There are a couple of individuals who have given probably three or four hundred dollars. We don’t have any huge donors. We don’t have anyone who donates thousands of dollars. But I’m proud to say our campaign hasn’t been about the money.
Moore: What makes you better than the other Republican candidates, in your opinion?
Wisdom: I have a well-rounded background--my backgroundin economics, my background as an educator…I have dealt with very diverse populations in higher education over the years. So I understand the concerns thata lot of people have--not just people that see things the way I do, but people that see things differently than I do. I know how they view these issues, so I feel I can be a representative for everyone.
I also have a tremendous knowledge on the economy. I know what it takes to create jobs. I know what it means to take an oath and keep it. When I held my hand up and took an oath to defend the country when Ijoined themilitary, I knew whatthat entailed. AndI was proud to go serve the country in Iraq, and I’d be proud to take the oath and serve the district in Washington, D.C. I’m also a candidate of substance and ideas… I’ve developed an economic plan, I’ve developed a plan on illegal immigration, and I’m working on a health care plan.
Note: To view interviews with other candidates, click on "Road to the Capitol" on our website, www.ksmu.org.