Editor’s note: For Hawaii’s Nov. 4 general election, Civil Beat asked candidates to answer some questions.

The following came from Joe Kent, Libertarian candidate for U.S. representative for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District. Democrat Tulsi Gabbard, who did not respond to the questions, and Republican Kawika Crowley are also running.

The district includes all of the Windward, North Shore, Central, and Leeward regions of Oahu. It also includes the entire state outside of Oahu.

Go to Civil Beat’s Elections Guide for general information, and check out other candidates on the General Election Ballot.

Name: Joe Kent

Office: U.S. House, District 2

Party: Libertarian

Profession: Policy researcher, former schoolteacher

Education: Bachelor of Science in Education

Age: 34

Community organizations: King Kamehameha III Children’s Choir, founder of the Maui Board Game Club, and Fellow at the International Society for Individual Liberty.

Joe Kent, candidate for U.S. House District 2, 2014

Joe Kent

1. Why are you running for the U.S. House of Representatives?

I’m running because so many people asked me to. Folks have been begging me for years to run, because they see how passionate I am about finding real solutions. And, I don’t care for power. Most politicians are obsessed with power. All their solutions involve getting more power for themselves, and taking power away from you. The only politician that could do any good, is a politician who didn’t actually want power in government. I want less power for government, so that individuals in society can have more power to run their own lives.

2. Do you believe climate change is real? If so, what can the United States do to control carbon emissions?

Yes, climate change is real, and it’s probably man-made. But carbon-dioxide emissions have dropped to their lowest level in 20 years, (according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency). Private entrepreneurs are finding new ways to get alternative energy, without having to release carbon-dioxide into the air. In fact, energy entrepreneurs have done more to decrease carbon emissions — more than any government program. Let’s keep moving in this direction, and see how we can keep meddling politicians out of the way of the folks who are finding solutions.

3. Where do you draw the line between the government’s national security needs and the privacy of its citizens?

I don’t want the government to spy on my e-mails or telephone calls. It should be the opposite — I should be allowed to spy on the government’s e-mails and telephone calls. Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the government spying program, and he is a true hero. Remember: Those who sacrifice liberty for security get neither.

4. Under what circumstances should America go to war?

Under eminent threat of attack, and only if it’s voted on by the Congress. But that hasn’t happened. It looks like the president is taking us into Iraq again, and I don’t see us being attacked. I don’t see the president asking for approval from the Congress. What are the winning conditions? Kill all of the Islamic State? This would only result in more people joining the Islamic State. Iraq is going through a civil war, and yes it is a terrible thing to watch, but sometimes we just need to mind our own business.

“When you get into trouble 5,000 miles from home, you’ve got to have been looking for it.” – Will Rogers

5. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid – how should the government continue to support these entitlements? Are reforms necessary?

Getting out of the needless wars will free up money to keep the promises to those who put money into the system. But I, and many young people, would like to opt out of all three programs. I want to keep my money, and put it in my own retirement, and health savings account. This would give young people an instant raise in their take-home pay — for many people it would be hundreds or thousands of dollars.

“Never expect the people who caused a problem to solve it.” ~ Albert Einstein

6. Congress has struggled in recent years to reach an agreement on budget deficits, the national debt and spending in general. What would be your approach to fiscal matters?

I agree that deficits are an important issue, because it passes our burden on to our children — and that’s not right. We need to cut our spending. Let’s start with some bad government programs like the Department of the Interior, which came to Hawaii and caused nothing but trouble. Cutting it would save billions. The same with cutting the Department of Education — as a former public schoolteacher, I know this would result in more and better schools for teachers, students, and families. There are so many broken programs to cut — the hardest part is wondering what we should keep!

Also, government needs to stop being so secretive about what folks are making as far as their pensions, and overtime, bonus pay, and double dipping. Citizens want to know where their tax dollars are going, and why public employees make twice what the average private employee makes.

7. It has been difficult to bridge the partisan divide in Washington lately. How would you make a difference?

Well, I think the opposite is true. Congress keeps working together to pass thousands of bad laws every year. What we need are people who will say, “No!” to the growth of government, and instead, work with coalitions to get rid of bad laws. Libertarians have the advantage in this area. We have absolutely no allegiance to either side, so we’re used to sticking to our principles, and working with folks who align on liberty.

8. What is your policy on immigration?

Open the borders. Research shows that open borders leads to more peace and prosperity. It wasn’t that long ago that one could travel the world without a passport. Now we are trapped in our own countries. Opening the borders could double the GDP of the world, according to the Center for Global Development. If entitlements are a problem, then don’t give entitlements. If terrorists are a problem, then don’t let terrorists in. But if someone wants to work and support a family, they should be able to come in and work, and help our economy grow.

9. What is your view of the role of the U.S. military in the islands?

Please stop bombing the islands. And stop spying on us, NSA. Lots of people forget that the NSA base is on Oahu, right in our back yard, spying on us. Also, ask any soldier on any base, “Is there any way that we could cut the expenses of military present here?” and you’ll find a flood of recommendations.

10. What other important issue would you like to discuss here?

The Matson Monopoly Law is causing our shipping prices to go through the roof. International ships are skipping Hawaii and going elsewhere, and we need them here in the islands. This monopolistic law also hurts our national security in many ways by leaving us sluggish at responding to a threat. It’s time to get serious about dismantling the Matson Monopoly Law (otherwise known as the Jones Act). That would cause a real boom in shipping, and in our economy.