Meet candidate Mark Grannis

Libertarian candidate for Md. District 8

BALTIMORE - Name:  Mark Grannis

Party:  Libertarian

Location:  Chevy Chase (8 th Congressional District)


Please introduce yourself: 

As a Libertarian, I believe the proper function of government is to protect our lives, liberty, and property from violence, theft, or fraud.  I believe government is a key ingredient of a healthy society when it sticks to that limited function.  But government becomes a huge liability for all of us when it tries to do too much and become all things to all people. 

The other consequence of being a Libertarian is that I care more about telling you the truth about our problems than I do about getting elected.  That's actually one of my main qualifications for office.

For anyone who wants more information, my online bio is here .


Why are you the best candidate for this office? 

I come from outside the two-party system that has created most of the problems we need so urgently to address.  The people we send to Congress are supposed to sort out how much we pay in taxes and what we spend it on, but instead they have chosen to spend more than we can afford and send the bill to our children and grandchildren.  They are supposed to decide whether we are at war or at peace, but they have given every modern president a blank check to send troops wherever he wants.  They are supposed to uphold the law and preserve the Constitution, but instead they have trampled constitutional rights, invaded personal privacy, and restricted the economic liberty that should be the greatest source of hope for the millions thrown out of work by the current Debt-pression.

Elect me, and I'll fight for a government that protects us from violence, theft, and fraud but otherwise respects our liberty.

Elect me, and I'll demand balanced budgets and oppose new regulatory burdens.

Elect me, and I'll stand for civil liberties, against foreign wars, and against our counterproductive war on drugs.

And if you elect me, I'll work hard for structural reforms in Congress that will help to prevent a relapse.


Which answer best matches your view?


Same-sex marriage

Should same-sex couples be able to get married in Maryland?


Summarize your view on the issue

Privatize marriage!  There is no reason for the state to play any role in any marriage.  In fact, "common law" marriages (no license, no ceremony) have been recognized in the majority of U.S. jurisdictions at one time or another and are still valid today in 11 states and the District of Columbia.  In light of this historical record, the case for state regulation of marriage is pretty weak.  The case for federal regulation is weaker still; clearly this is none of Congress's business.


Illegal immigration/In-state tuition DREAM Act

Should Maryland offer in-state tuition for college to undocumented immigrants?


Summarize your view on the issue

Unlike many opponents of the Maryland DREAM Act, I firmly believe immigration of peaceful and productive people is good for us .  I'm in favor of expanding legal immigration, partly because that's the best way to regain control over illegal border crossings. 

But without comprehensive immigration reform, what good will it do to subsidize the education of someone who can't work here legally?  I have great sympathy for people who are brought to this country illegally as children, and end up unable to participate fully in the only society they've ever known.  But it makes no sense at all to subsidize their college educations at state institutions if they're ineligible to work and therefore unlikely to find jobs for which a college degree is even necessary.

Throwing money at the victims of our foolish immigration policies may make us feel compassionate, but it is no substitute for overhauling the law in a way that fixes the problem.  And remember:  We don't have the money.


Should Maryland allow another casino to be built in Prince George's County?


Summarize your views on the issue

No one should need state permission to open a casino.  I don't like the fact that the state grants favored interests special concessions for this purpose instead of permitting open competition, so I would much prefer to let anyone at all open as many casinos as he or she wants.  But if we have to choose between crony casinos and no casinos at all, I'd choose the crony casinos.


What is the best option for healthcare in America?

Nearly all healthcare should be privatized.

Summarize your view on the issue

If we want healthcare to be affordable and widely available, we need the health care market to function freely, without excessive government interference.  Unfortunately, government keeps trying to control the market, and the result is that it no longer works very well at all.  Prices are phony.   Neither patients nor doctors have any incentive to care what anything costs .  And government tax policy keeps insurance tied to employment status, which is just crazy .   


do need to repeal Obamacare, but that should be only the first step in getting the government out of health care .  We need to put doctors and patients back at the core of the system and let markets function properly – without unfunded care mandates, but also without tax breaks for employer-purchased policies.  We should help the poor directly with their health care needs, instead of turning the entire sector into a government bureaucracy.


How can we improve the economy in Maryland?

We should simplify the tax code, and lower tax rates so that investors can put money back into the economy.  

But taxes are only the beginning of the ways in which government needs to get out of our way so we can get back to work.  We also need to end corporate welfare, bring an end to crony capitalism, and liberate small businesses from the crushing burden of over-regulation.

Summarize your view on the issue

The best way to get our economy moving again is by restoring economic liberty , and that requires a lot more than another tax cut.  Prosperity is a byproduct of liberty .  Free people produce abundance:  an abundance of food, clothing, energy, medicine, and other things that satisfy human want.  Free people invented the steam engine, the light bulb, the telephone, the airplane, and the antibiotic. 

Government can't create that kind of innovation and abundance, but when the government leaves us alone, real prosperity emerges from our individual choices.  By contrast, when the government tries to take on the job of producing some kind of counterfeit prosperity, we get what we have today:  ruinous taxation, reckless spending, staggering unemployment, and a sagging dollar.

Some people think we can't do without the expensive programs and the stifling regulatory agencies  But government regulations almost never deliver what they promise .  Leaving people free to choose almost always does a better job of limiting corporate power , protecting consumers , and even keeping our environment safe .  Liberty even helps the poor and vulnerable better than government can.


What should we do with Afghanistan? 

We need to get out of Afghanistan as soon as possible.

Summarize your view on the issue

We were right to go into Afghanistan, because the Taliban chose to shelter Osama bin Laden instead of letting him stand trial for his role in 9/11.  But Osama gin Laden is now dead.  There is no reason for us to keep our troops there in harm's way. 


What are your views on abortion?

The U.S. Constitution says nothing about abortion; each state should decide the issue for itself. 

Summarize your views on the issue

If voters want to know my view on what Maryland's state law should be (even though I'm a federal candidate, I've written about this in my essay, " Pro-Life and Pro-Liberty ."  Essentially, I believe abortion should only be legal only in case of forcible rape, or to protect the life or health of the mother.

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