Legislation

Nov. 2022 Election: Q&A with Tyler Geffeney, 52nd Congressional District candidate

Republican minister/business owner Tyler Geffeney is challenging Democratic Rep. Juan Vargas, who is seeking a sixth two-year term in the U.S. House of Representatives, in the redrawn 52nd Congressional District. Election Day is Nov. 8 and voting will begin a month earlier. Here are Caplan’s complete answers from both candidates to all 16 questions from The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board.

Q: What will be your top domestic and international priority in Congress?

A: The most pressing domestic issues facing the good people of District 52 are the skyrocketing costs of gas, food and home prices and the all-around cost of living. This inflationary calamity has been foisted upon the good people of District 52 as a result of the crippling idiocy of the Democratic Party’s reckless spending bills. This is simple economics. Printing more dollars leads to skyrocketing inflation, which crushes small businesses, destroys jobs, steals money from fixed-income elderly people and hurts the poor more than anyone. Pouring fuel on this dumpster fire, the Democrats now pass yet another new spending bill and have the audacity to call it the Inflation Reduction Act. While exacerbating inflation, the Joint Committee on Taxation reports it will increase taxes for the majority of the lower to middle class while those making less than $10,000 per year seeing the largest uptick. This all follows the disastrous energy policies by Democrats where prices for gas, natural gas, propane and electricity are skyrocketing.

Turning to international policy, I am slack-jawed that my opponent has done nothing to address our porous border that enriches the cartels beyond imagination, cartels that in turn are enslaving, raping and sex-trafficking those most vulnerable and desperate while too pouring in fentanyl that is killing Americans. My priority will be establish safe, legal and expeditious immigration and end the lawless, crime ridden, open border my opponent favors.

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Q: How do you view the events of Jan. 6, 2021, in our nation’s Capitol and what led up to them? Do those events have implications about the future of the United States?

A: I unhesitatingly support the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and I can empathize with Americans’ growing tension with our government’s dictatorial abuse and unchecked corruption. When the Jan. 6 protesters illegally entered the Capitol building, though, they broke the law.

Most alarming, in light of the media’s discredited integrity for the truth and well-earned reputation for being distrusted by the American people, it is difficult for me or anyone to know with any confidence what truly happened that day. I was not there. Consequently, everything I might think I know has been filtered through our dilapidated news agencies, giving me no confidence in knowing what really took place. In my opinion, one of the biggest threats to the future of the United States has been the utter debasement of proper journalistic principles in our media, which presents far greater risk to the stability of our society than any implications that might arise from the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

52nd congressional map

Q: Inflation is at 40-year highs in the U.S., causing economic hardship for many Americans. What can the federal government do about this? What will you do?

A: The hardship faced by so many struggling Americans on account of this runaway inflation is heartbreakingly grievous. My opponent and the Democratic Party have directly caused this economic disaster with their monstrosity of spending bills. And overzealous environmental fanaticism has spiked energy costs, further exacerbating inflation. And finally the breakdown of supply chains on account of the government’s overwrought response to COVID-19 all together contributed to today’s inflation and to the massive destruction of Americans’ financial well-being.

To combat this runaway inflation, when I get to Washington, I will immediately get to work on reversing these spending bills, balancing the budget, opening up global supply chains, decreasing taxes to put more money in the pockets of the many struggling Americans, paying down our meteoric national debt, and incentivizing small-business expansion and start-ups to promote massive prosperity, the creation of jobs and the increased supply of goods, which will bring down prices and increase prosperity for all.

I am a minister, and so my heart aches deeply over the financial struggles of so many brought about by the inept policies supported by my opponent. Its time Washington politicians serve the people, not themselves and special interests. Those who know me know that I cannot be bought and that I will serve the interests of the American people, not my own, in order to restore the American dream and pass our blessed republic on to our children.

Q: Confidence in the Supreme Court is steadily declining. Should justices have term limits? Should the court be expanded? What, if anything, should change about the high court?

A: This is an important topic and one I would caution all to explore carefully and thoughtfully. G.K. Chesterton once brilliantly remarked that before removing a fence one should first understand the purpose for placing the fence there in the first place. This is a core component for wise decision-making without which we run the risk of making things worse. I am therefore reluctant at this point to make a firm stance on term limits without more information and investigation.

Once thing I do believe, with the utmost conviction, is that the courts shall not be expanded if doing so would favor any one party over the other. Democrats must realize that the optics surrounding the context for their proposal to expand the courts looks like this is just a usurpation of additional power and could set a very dangerous precedent.

Too, I don’t believe the decline in confidence of our Supreme Court is fully justified. The proper jurisprudence and purpose of our highest court is to determine a law’s constitutionality.

Those who are so upset at the Roe v. Wade decision seem to ignore that there was a strong constitutional basis for not imposing on the states that they provide a right to their people that is not provisioned for in the Constitution.

Q: What do you see as the implications of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade?

A: The implications are that the states can now determine whether they will permit abortions or not. On account of the fact that indeed nowhere does there exist in our Constitution the explicit right to abort your child then our courts ruled correctly in this case. And so the right to legally decide if abortions will be permitted is given to the individual states.

Such a ruling ought to restore trust in the Supreme Court. Per the 10th Amendment, any powers not expressly granted to the federal government by the Constitution are reserved for the states and the people. If the Constitution does not expressly grant the right to abortion then overturning Roe v. Wade was integrous to the Constitution. I applaud the Supreme Court for making this courageous ruling when no doubt it anticipated the backlash.

Q: What will you do in Congress to combat climate change?

A: China currently more than doubles the carbon output of the United States and is building half of the world’s new coal burning plants — doing so at a truly breathtaking pace. I contend that before we go about destroying the American economy through the crippling environmental policies promulgated by the Democrats, we need to first curtail China’s incessant growth in carbon dioxide output. The American people ought not bear the devastating financial burden to alleviate carbon dioxide emissions when China is the worst offender by many magnitudes. On that note, why do we see very little being done by the environmentalist cabal to address China’s greenhouse gases?

What should have bipartisan support is the expansion of clean and truly viable nuclear power where we could follow in the footsteps of France, which currently uses nuclear power to produce more than 70 percent of the nation’s power needs.

Lastly, I propose we invest in better predictive modeling to determine true impact on our planet from increased atmospheric carbon dioxide. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has admitted that the climate change science is not sufficiently advanced and thus “long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.” As such, it has called for “improved methods to quantify uncertainties of climate projections and scenarios.”

Before we go about destroying the financial livelihoods of hundreds of millions of Americans with draconian environmental regulations, we first need to thoroughly investigate the impact of greenhouse gases and warming, and their effects on our ecosystems.

Q: How should the U.S. approach the war in Ukraine? What should its involvement be?

A: What we should most certainly not do, and which is a staggering dereliction of duty and misappropriation of resources, is send Ukraine $40 billion of our money to protect its borders without any accountability for how that money is to be spent. But that is what my opponent just approved along with others in Congress. All while he is unwilling to grant a modicum of that amount to protect our own borders to the south, which to his delight remain unsecured with scandalous levels of drugs, sex-slave trafficking and rape, perpetuated by the cartels causing the most unspeakable evil upon the most vulnerable and needy of those from our nations to the south. I am appalled that my opponent has done nothing to effectively stop this egregious human rights violation and then dares to claim he cares about the Latinos to the south. This porous border is further enriching the criminal cartels in Mexico beyond measure, monumentally increasing their power and fortifying their criminal stranglehold on Mexico.

What we also most certainly shouldn’t do is incite invasion by pushing for Ukraine to join NATO. Never would I sanction Russia’s actions, but I can hardly imagine we wouldn’t do the same were the roles reversed.

Q: How should the U.S. change its immigration policies? What specific changes would you pursue?

A: Expedite work visas.

Make legal border crossing fast and efficient.

Make naturalization easy and efficient for those who seek citizenship and want to participate in the American dream.

Plug up our porous border and disincentivize illegal immigration in favor of legal immigration.

Q: What specific issues about border life in San Diego and Tijuana will you prioritize?

A: First we need to fully staff Customs and Border Protection inspection booths 24/7 in order to induce better cross-border culture. Economics must outweigh national security fears around “legitimate” border crossers entering our country “too fast.”

America needs Mexico to compete with China, and our border region benefits from Baja California’s affordable housing and young workforce that we can attract for local talent pools to achieve globally competitive industries in the manufacturing, creative industries and more. I propose innovative cross-border districts involving long-term smart growth planning focused on the border as a strategic international urban economic environment. This will create a sense of place, high-density mixed use and cross-border mass transit (with pre-clearance) mobility versus autocentric transport that harms air quality. Such a cross-border pedestrian-oriented place could attract value-added industries seeking to capitalize on Baja California’s young workforce located within walking distance and turn District 52 into a flourishing economic center.

Along those lines, we need to instill in our youth an awareness of high-level economic dialogues and agendas concerning North American global competitiveness. This requires engaging more closely with local academic institutions and strategic border development groups like the Border Fusion Institute, the Smart Border Coalition, the South County Economic Development Council and Tijuana Innovadora (in Tijuana), and others.

We have a great opportunity to leverage San Diego-Tijuana’s World Design Capital 2024 award in finding “design solutions” that will bridge the cross-border socioeconomic relationship. The whole world could be celebrating this unique region in 2024 as a global economic standard.

Q: The nation is experiencing more mass shootings with higher death tolls in recent years. How would you address this issue?

A: What should absolutely have bipartisan support, and I am deeply surprised it doesn’t, is we should secure our schools like we secure our banks and federal buildings. If we can afford to send Ukraine $40 billion, then we can afford to make our schools near impenetrable to attack from those with murderous intent. This action will be my highest priority in dealing with mass shootings when I get to Washington.

Q: What did the U.S. government get right and wrong in its approach to the pandemic since its start in early 2020? How would you have responded differently?

A: I will focus on the failures where firstly, no government should ever believe it has the right to mandate the populace inject into their bodies an experimental medical treatment — especially when informed consent is impossible since we can’t know what’s in the jab. Any such tyrannical arrogance which believes the government knows best over the petty populace and so has the right to impose such despotic rule must absolutely be opposed. Ben Franklin once said “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

Secondly the government, true to form, squandered the Paycheck Protection Program relief money — something we have come to expect from government. The National Bureau of Economic Research estimates that 66 percent to 77 percent of the money ended up in the hands of business owners and shareholders instead of going to paychecks as intended. Government dereliction enriched many who didn’t need the help, while far too many of those who need the help were left worse off — like the business owners and churches facing forced closures while draconian lockdowns led to catastrophic emotional, financial outcomes on countless Americans.

When big box stores, strip clubs, liquor stores and cannabis dispensaries are permitted to stay open, why then disadvantage small business owners and churches? The double standard is staggering and looks like it caused more damage than it helped. These decisions should have been left to the owners and patrons as part of their constitutional right to pursue liberty and wealth free of government intervention.

Q: How would you address the rising cost of private health insurance nationwide? Do you support government-subsidized health insurance for all Americans? Why or why not?

A: A panoply of solutions exist for decreasing health-care costs where America could become the global paradigm of affordable qualify health care. And decades of running businesses puts me at a marked advantage over career politicians like my opponent.

First, we must get busy increasing the supply of providers, inciting long-overdue healthy competition. There are many ways to do this, but in particular we need to reverse the ever-increasing barriers to entry from mounting regulations Congress sanctions on behalf of the medical lobby. With thoughtful sweeping deregulation, we can eliminate unnecessary disincentives for starting new health care businesses, which will also create many new jobs. Consider one example: A liberal expansion in the scope of practice for physician assistants and nurse practitioners to handle routine medical visits, which in turn frees up doctors to focus on complicated procedures/diagnoses. This would cause a steep decline in costs across the spectrum. There are many more things we can do, and if elected, I will immediately get busy on doing what Washington has failed to do.

Also getting more Americans to pay out of pocket for basic health care needs, where insurance is used only for large-ticket procedures, would cut down on many superfluous medical treatments and incentivize more healthy lifestyles. A win for all!

Universal subsidized health insurance, though, undermines these principles. Just as when today everyone’s smartphone holds more computer power than all of NASA for the moon landings, health care could achieve interstellar levels of advancement at a price everyone can easily afford without subsidies.

Q: What can and should the federal government do to address the high cost of housing?

A: Let’s start with facts. Median home prices in Democrat-controlled states are 70 percent higher than in Republican controlled states, despite homes in red states being on average bigger and newer. And of the 48 contiguous states, the top 10 most expensive places to build a new home are all in Democrat run states.

No one should be surprised. This is precisely what one expects to happen from regulation-loving big-government bureaucrat Democrats who continue to pass more and more costly government mandates surrounding building codes and materials (among other things). Consequently, home prices have to be higher in blue states as builders must pass on the higher costs to buyers. Or they just don’t build. Much more home building would be happening in California if Democrats began to adopt the Republican penchant for less, rather than more, regulation. If Californians want to see lower housing prices (and lower gas prices, lower food prices, lower overall inflation and lower crime), they need to stop putting Democrats into office.

As for what I can do in Congress, if elected, I would: 1) Lower import tariffs on construction materials, which would encourage more home building and lower prices, and 2) Reverse the damage my opponent and his fellow Democrats have done to the energy sector on account of idiotic policies, which are causing prices for everything, including homes, to go up.

Q: Reducing homelessness has been a focus for all levels of government in recent years. What would you do differently?

A: The solution to homelessness is multifaceted. For those who genuinely seek a roof over their heads and to get back on their feet, I support rapid re-housing programs, which provide short-term rental assistance and employment services. The idea is simple. Help people in real need obtain housing quickly while working toward self-sufficiency. For the many homeless people who suffer from mental illness, I favor the compassionate and humane alternative where they can take residency in proper care facilities with staff capable of fulfilling their unique needs and support programs for dignified rehabilitation.

Q: The U.S. national debt has exploded in recent decades. Are you concerned about this?

A: Certainly! I am deeply concerned about our exploding debt, as we all should be. Continuing to run up unchecked debt threatens the dollar’s reserve status around the globe. If countries lose faith in the dollar and reserve status is lost, the dollar’s value would crater. We would experience even greater inflation, driving up the prices of everything even more.

We should also consider the morality behind such accumulation of debt. The indiscriminate spending of money that we don’t have, reaping its benefits and then requiring future generations to bear the burden of paying off a debt that was not their choosing, is thievery on a monumental scale. Reminds me of the words of politician and French economist Frederic Bastiat who said “Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”

And the debt situation is profoundly worse when we consider that our current national debt figures do not include the obligations of Social Security and Medicare. According to the Congressional Budget Office, we stand to face a $100 trillion shortfall in Social Security and Medicare obligations.

We absolutely must restore fiscal responsibility to our federal government, and if elected I will work tirelessly to ensure Congress approves balanced budgets and reverses this self-destructive cycle.

Q: Why should voters elect you over your opponent?

A: Change will never happen until we change how we vote.

Eighty-five percent of Americans believe the country is on the wrong path, according to a recent Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs survey. My opponent’s slavish devotion to this destructive Democratic agenda has assaulted gas and food prices, families, parental rights, education, church, small businesses and jobs, the police, border security, constitutional rights and, most insidiously, the innocent lives of our unborn children.

American liberties are eroding rapidly under the auspices of this new Democratic agenda, which insists government has autocratic rights to command what goes in our children’s brains and what goes in their veins, all while ignoring parental consent. This alarming despotic shift was seen in the government’s draconian response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with lockdowns, business closures and mandated experimental injections all while they destroyed the middle class and misappropriated relief money.

And now the Justice Department, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have been weaponized to quell political dissent while they uphold a two-tier justice system where powerful politicians escape indictment for even the most egregious crimes. When is enough, enough?

As a pastor, I will fight fervently to end the cycle of corruption in Washington and restore power to the people via sweeping restraints on government. As a longtime business owner, I, too, bring what career politicians like my opponent just don’t have: real world experience with proven solutions for expanding business startups, leading to massive job creation and a vision for an inspiringly prosperous economy in the 52.

I ask for your vote and together we can restore the republic.


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