BLUFFTON, SC – Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford shakes hands and shares lunch at hot dog day at the Sun City ball field in Bluffton, one of many stops in his bid for the First District Congressional Seat. Later he sits down with me to talk about his platform.
We begin with illegal immigration.
“The real driver of immigration is two-fold. I think it’s house-holding. You’ll have family re-unification not tied to America’s interest, but the reunification of households. I think that really needs to be looked at. Second, you have a lot of people coming here on the agricultural side or to frame a house or look at landscaping. And I think we need a robust guest worker program. We had that beginning in 1946 all the way to the early 60′s. It worked but labor unions shut it down because they didn’t want the competition in terms of labor supply, but I think we should back and revisit that.”
Sanford says we must put enforcement first and talks of amnesty later. Then we move on to Obamacare.
“I would vote to repeal it if I was given a chance. I think realistically, the saying is, the closest thing to eternal life is a government program because once they’re in they’re very difficult to kill off or to stop. I think what you’d be more likely to do is de-fund portions of it and I’d be supportive of that as well.”
And when it comes to entitlements and government programs, Sanford says they must be provided responsibly. In other words, provide what’s affordable.
“As with Medicaid it’s moving to a block grant system which is what we did with welfare reform in the early 90′s. It’s something I have particular credibility on as a former governor to be able to say look I’ve seen how this federal state program works. I see the inefficiency’s which is why I think we should move to a block grant program. I think with Medicare you have to move to a premium support system which is outlined in the Paul Ryan plan. And with regard to Social Security, I think the transition, not the current retirees, or anyone nearing retirement, but for younger retirees, move to a personal saving account system.”
And finally during talks of education, Sanford says strength can come in options.
“We have actually, our college and university system is the envy of the world based on a whole lot of choices that exist within that system. I think we need to increase the number of choices which fosters competition for excellence.”
Sanford says the choices should be made at the high school, middle school, and early school years.