David Howser wants everyone to work in their dream jobs.
It’s a lofty goal. But Howser, running as a Libertarian to represent Maryland’s 6th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, has a specific plan to make it happen.
He sees lack of education or training as the primary obstacle to people getting their ideal jobs or jobs at all. To solve that problem, he said, the federal government should subsidize the higher education or job training of all of its citizens.
His plan requires an initial increase in government size and spending, one he acknowledged doesn’t fit with his political party’s traditional stance in favor of limited government. He described himself as more of a “centrist” than a Libertarian in the classic sense.
“Government has a role in society,” he said.
Howser, 55, lives in Freeland, an unincorporated community in Baltimore County. Freeland is not in the 6th District, but members of Congress are not required to live in the district they seek to represent.
Howser framed his proposal for government-subsidized education as a double benefit: Moving people off welfare systems means they are no longer costing the government money in social services. It also produces new revenue. He also pointed to benefits of lower unemployment levels as well as economic growth and competitiveness in a global marketplace.
Howser is the owner and sole employee of Five States Lighting, a Baltimore-based company that works with lighting industry manufacturers. He considers it his “dream job.”
He doesn’t have a college degree, but he worked for his father’s construction company before moving to the lighting industry.
If elected, he pledged to bring to Congress the listening and compromising skills he’s developed through his work.
“I see too many people [in politics] who want to stand up and be bellicose,” he said. “I don’t like that about politics. You’re a public servant when you’re in politics.”
He framed his education proposal as an extension of this public service-oriented approach to government.
His proposal also involves pairing program beneficiaries with mentors who would guide participants through the process of pursuing education or training and finding a job.
The mentor system could also apply to immigrants in the U.S. illegally, helping those interested in becoming citizens, Howser said.
“The federal government needs to stop treating people like subjects and start treating them like family,” he said.
Of immigration in general, Howser said he was open to accepting immigrants, including Syrian refugees, as long as there was a vetting process. He wants immigrants seeking to become citizens to pledge allegiance to the country through an oath of loyalty to the Constitution, which he considers a guiding document for how modern government should operate.
He had a copy of the Constitution in his shirt pocket during his interview with The News-Post, referencing it in explaining his positions on taxes, Second Amendment rights and other key issues.
He supports the framework for the “fair tax” policy championed by Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, a former New Mexico governor. Johnson has proposed replacing all federal taxes on income and payroll with a single flat consumption tax on goods and services.
The election is Nov. 8. Other candidates on the ballot are Democratic incumbent John Delaney, Republican Amie Hoeber and Green Party candidate George Gluck. Ted Athey has filed as a write-in candidate. Members of Congress are paid $174,000 a year.