This is interview #32 in JohnsonForAmerica.com’s “Important Voices” series, where we talk with key figures, such as elected officials, candidates, authors, commentators, and policy experts, about the issues of the day. A new interview is released every Monday, so check back often!
Our guest for today’s Important Voices interview is Pia Varma. Pia is a firm defender of free market capitalism, in her words, “the economic system which best allows man to create, trade and prosper.” She is twenty-seven years old. Her grandfathers were both freedom fighters in the Indian Independence movement, so being a firebrand is in her genes. Her parents grew up in England and came to the United States in the early 80’s, at a time when entrenched socialism had made living and thriving in the UK virtually impossible. Pia is now running for US Congress in Pennsylvania’s first district.
Josiah Schmidt: What compelled you to enter elective politics?
Pia Varma: Honestly, it was a nagging feeling I have had for a long time. I think I always instinctively knew I should be involved in politics but I ignored that feeling because I wanted to make a lot of money first. My passion would have to come second. At some point I decided that the “when, then” way of thinking just wasn’t working. And even though there isn’t a lot of money in politics, I feel very wealthy because I love what I am doing.
Josiah Schmidt: What issues are most important to Pennsylvanians?
Pia Varma: The same issues that are important to every state in the country and every person in the country. How are you going to put food on the table? How are you going to thrive? How are you going to send your children to a good school? How are you going to pay for your retirement? I think we are at a fork in the road. And we have to decide whether or not we want to continue down the path of excessive spending and excessive engineering of society. At some point, the government decided it had a right to be in every industry in this country: from education, healthcare, and retirement, to the financial sector and real estate. As a result, we are all going broke, which is creating more problems for the government to solve.
Josiah Schmidt: What do you offer that your opponents do not?
Pia Varma: My ideas aren’t new. They are the same ideas on which this country was built. What I offer is the drive and relentlessness to implement them.
Josiah Schmidt: How did you come to hold such a liberty-oriented philosophy?
Pia Varma: I think it just hit me. I was reading something by a conservative author when I was in college and it just made sense! Once I realized there were answers and truth, I became voracious for more.
Josiah Schmidt: What is the first thing you will do as a US Congresswoman?
Pia Varma: Get together with the other liberty-mided legislators and figure out how we can turn this country around as quickly as possible. There are many people in government who don’t want that and that is our biggest obstacle.
Josiah Schmidt: Which area of government spending would you most like to cut?
Pia Varma: The biggest areas of spending are in the entitlement programs: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. We have to put these programs on a path to privatization.
Josiah Schmidt: What will you do on the issue of health care?
Pia Varma: Repeal! Get the government out of the business of health. In a free market economy, price goes down and quality goes up. Unfortunately, we have never had a perfectly free market system. We need to ask ourselves, why is healthcare so expensive? Tort reform is vital.
Josiah Schmidt: How would you like to see the War on Terror carried out more effectively?
Pia Varma: I think that there has to be major spending cuts in Homeland Security. We have hundreds of bureaucratic agencies and it’s just not efficient. Our national defense has to be smarter and leaner. Also, the best foreign policy is one that centers around free trade.
Josiah Schmidt: Anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
Pia Varma: This is a very unique time in our country and we all have to make a decision. Are we going to become complacent or are we going to take action? I am so excited to see how many Americans are taking action, and this is only going to grow, but we need to send a clear and unified message to Washington.
Josiah Schmidt: Where can people go to find out more about you and contribute to your campaign?
Pia Varma: You can check out my website www.votepia.com, and there is a donate button on the page.