Chatting with Igor Birman
“I think the impressionable libertarian kids are going to save our nation.” — Igor Birman
Late last year, I ran across video of Igor Birman, who immigrated to the United States with his family as the Soviet Union was collapsing, warning against a more centralized government healthcare system. Birman, who now serves as Chief of Staff to Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA), was explaining that the Soviet system relied on rationing of healthcare, which would be the end result of ObamaCare.
Earlier this week, I had the chance to sit down with Birman to discuss his story, the transformation of the United States into a police state, ObamaCare, the budget, and other destructive economic policies that are being pushed by the White House.
When asked about the recent filibuster in the Senate, Birman applauded Sen. Rand Paul and noted that it was refreshing to hear a politician be so passionate. He also compared the policies implemented as part of the “war on terror” to life in the Soviet Union, where the government frequently searched homes of ordinary citizens without cause, which he called a “fact of life,” noting that “you just accepted it as much as you did the cold weather and the long lines for the basic staples of food and water.”
Birman experienced this first-hand. “A week before we left for the United States, we went to say goodbye to my uncle in St. Petersburg and when we came back, we found our apartment just absolutely ravaged,” recalled Birman. “The authorities must have been looking for whatever lame excuse they could find to either delay or disrupt our departure.”
“And by then I was 13, I was used to finding the door sometimes open a crack or the water running,” he continued. “My brother, though, was apoplectic, he was crying, he was absolutely hysterical. And what I’ll never forget is my mom looking at him and saying ‘Eugene, don’t worry, don’t be upset, son. In just a few days, we’re going to America and this will never happen there.’”
“[T]hat’s pretty powerful stuff because that was before Congress passed the Patriot Act, before Congress affirmed the Executive’s assertion to do away with the quaint notions of charging someone and trying someone before you can lock him in indefinitely. Now before such a time that the Executive asserted the authority to simply send a drone after you if he didn’t like you,” Birman added. “And that’s a pretty scary realization. I think this particular instance of executive assertion of power is that lying between a nation governed and a nation ruled. Free citizens and a government and a ruler going after helpless serfs.”
When asked what he thought about Sen. John McCain’s comments about “impressionable libertarian kids,” Birman replied, “I think the impressionable libertarian kids are going to save our nation.”
“The impressionable libertarian kids are saying, wait a second, benevolence is fleeting and when benevolence is gone, you’re at the mercy of an all-powerful government and it’s too late,” he added.
On healthcare, Birman related increased regulation and centralization to his experiences in the Soviet Union. “Well, you could say that I was born into Obamacare and I know it sounds a little funny because Obamacare is not even in effect yet,” he said. “But what after all, what is ObamaCare? Well, it is government taking control of the decisions that rightfully belong to you and your doctor. The consequences of any government takeover has been shortages and rationing. So I was born into a system where government made the most intimate of healthcare decisions and ultimately decided what it will and will not pay for.”
Noting that the Independent Payment Advisory Board could lead to rationing of care, Birman offered a personal story. “[W]hen I was born, there was a shortage of antibiotics because, remember, the government planned how many antibiotics to produce and we’ll pay for them,” he explained. “So there was a shortage — the only reason I lived was, even though I developed an infection, my mom chose to give birth at a hospital where her parents worked as doctors. They hoarded antibiotics. And had I been born into a different hospital, I may not be here today.”
Given that House Republicans rolled out their budget this week, Birman explained that it presents a path forward for the country to avert a fiscal crisis.
“The budget, I think, is exactly on the right track…let’s just work thru some of the basic fundamentals,” Birman said. “It actually balances in ten years. Meaning that in ten years, we can begin paying down the enormous national debt that’s about to crush our economy or is already crushing our economy.”
And with the Senate finally working to produce a budget, Birman surmised that Democrats, who control that chamber, would eventually push something through. He explained, “[T]heir budget never balances. Meaning that the national debt will ultimately crush this nation.”
“It perpetuates ObamaCare, meaning that our healthcare will be riddled with shortages and rationing and ultimately affect those who need it the most the worst,” he added. “And it preserves the same tax structure thats riddled with loopholes. And ultimately will result in none other than the decline and stagnation of our nation.”
The discussion turned to gun control, which is currently a hot topic. “First of all, a disarmed nation is no longer a free nation and I think people inevitably understand it, we just have to communicate it to them,” Birman explained. “And two, we’ve had plenty of experience with gun control, it simply disarms law-abiding citizens and leaves them at the mercy of criminals who don’t obey the law and the insane who don’t have the mental capacity to obey the law. So why would we ever consider doing something so destructive?”
Take a listen to the full interview above, and be sure to “Like” Birman’s Facebook page, where he regularly posts links to his commentary.