Jim Pirtle doesn’t want to change the world, he just wants to change the way the world sees America.
“I have done a lot of traveling and everywhere I go I ask people about their government,” he said. “I hear over and over again “At least my government is better than yours.’”
People take a look at the disharmony in Congress and don’t see the real America, he said. To help change that, he has recently declared his candidacy for the Colorado 5th Congressional District, running as a Libertarian.
“When the founding fathers started this country, there was a balance of power,” he said. “Where is that harmony now? Prior to 1835 we had multiple parties, a balanced budget and no debt. We haven’t had a balanced budget since 1836 when we became a two-party government... Two parties is too few.”
To start with, he said, Congress needs 21 representatives from other parties.
“That’s how many Congressional committees there are,” he said. “We need at least one person on each committee who is neither a Republican nor a Democrat to be the tie breaker, the buffer.”
As a Libertarian, Pirtle stands for less government.
“The Constitution says Congress will supply security — a military and a navy — and pay the bills,” he said. “Where does it say we need a Department of Education to tell the states how to teach our children?”
He would start by repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or, as it is known by its detractors, “Obamacare.”
“It’s unconstitutional to force people to get medical care,” he said.
Next he would take Social Security out of the hands of government, putting the treasury bonds in nonprofit banks. “The money would be in your name — you paid for it,” he said. “And if you have a medical need and don’t have insurance, you could borrow from it. If you die before you use it up, your kids could inherit it.”
He would also do away with the concept he called “too big to fail,” citing the passage of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1933, which he said kept banks from doing risky business with other peoples’ money.
Congress repealed that act in 1999 and many pundits believe that was a factor that led to the Great Recession. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 restored some the 1933 provisions but Pirtle would repeal Dodd-Frank and bring back Glass-Steagall.
Finally, on the subject of war, Pirtle has a personal interest. His only son, Sgt. James D. Pirtle, died in Afghanistan in 2009.
“If the president wants to utilize the War Powers Act then there should be a mandatory draft and a mandatory war tax,” he said. “Iraq would not have happened if Congress knew it would start a draft and a tax. The Republicans are against all taxes and the Democrats are against a draft.”
He added, “This is where independent thinking comes in. Neither side is completely wrong or completely right but they have forgotten the art of negotiation and compromise. There shouldn’t be two sides and with a third party there wouldn’t be.”
Pirtle has lived in Colorado full time since 1984, before that he moved from state to state with his job. He attended college at several of his postings and finally finished his degree in electronics while living in Denver.
He and his wife, Valarie, live in Colorado Springs. His daughter attends college.
“I want to hear from the people,” he said. “I want to represent the people, the district, the state and America. I can’t say I’ll never make a mistake — I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t but you admit it, fix it and move on.”
Pirtle can be reached through his website pirtleforuscongress.com.