by John Mulholland

Tanner Ainge comes from the world of finance. In my conversation with him, Ainge talked about his experience working with small companies and having to quickly evaluate them to see if they are a good investment. To do this he has had to master learning about many aspects, including financial statements, driving factors, industry trends, headwinds, tailwinds, and regulatory burdens. He also said that you even have to deal with reluctant founders and be able to reassure them that you will take good care of their business that they have worked so hard to develop.

Tanner believes that being able to do all of this is a rare skill, especially when it comes to politics. Companies struggle to survive if they are inefficient as they will eventually go bankrupt and shut down. He explained that this is the case with the federal government.  He sees a country in massive debt with so many regulations that don’t protect anybody.

Some have criticized Tanner regarding generic answer on issues. This was initially seen in this interview with such topics as chipping away at the national debt, entitlement reform, and having the courage to vote the right way. But when he started talking about details Tanner started to get excited. He wants to improve our medical system by encouraging Health Savings Accounts, especially through government programs such as Medicaid. By using these he hopes to help patients become much more cost aware, which he believes will reduce medical costs overall.  He also wants to see states have more control.

Tanner also wants to help preserve programs like Social Security by delaying the retirement age for those who still have a while to retire. He wants to combine both practicalities with solid conservative values.

As Tanner has lived outside of Utah for a while there has been concern that he is not very familiar with Utah issues. When asked about issues important to CD 3; he said that Utah has been fiscally responsible and has done well economically, specifically with Silicon Slopes. He wants to help encourage economic growth by removing both regulatory and tax burdens.  He said that Utah, especially CD 3, has a strong social fabric and leads in such things as two parent households. This doesn’t come from government.

When asked about big political happenings in Utah in the last 5 or so years he said that Utah has a great mobility metric. Utah is a fiscally responsible state and thinks Utah could do more if federal gas tax money is returned to the state.

When asked about whose ideology he most aligns with he said that he doesn’t report to anybody but the voters of the third district. He does appreciate Senator Lee’s raising a sense of urgency though.

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