During the summer of 2014, leaders from the economic, policy and legal fields enlightened TFAS students and Capitol Hill interns about the Constitution, health care, entitlements and taxes through the Capitol Hill Lecture Series.
TFAS partnered with the office of Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky to organize the series, generously sponsored by the Einhorn Family Foundation. Speakers included Dr.Walter Williams, the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University; John Allison, president of the Cato Institute; Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt, the Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute and Timothy Sandefur, principal attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation.
The free educational lectures allowed TFAS students and other D.C. interns to learn from prominent thought leaders about the topics of freedom, civil liberties and free enterprise. Student Max Owen (ICPES 14) said the lecture series was the perfect complement to his classes and internship in the TFAS program.
“When I signed up for TFAS, I thought this would be a great way for me to get an internship in D.C. and take classes. The speakers have been icing on the cake. I was familiar with Dr. Walter Williams and Rand Paul, but it was special to hear them speak. It’s not just the internship or the classes, TFAS helps us see the whole picture here,” Owen said.
Students asked the speakers questions about a number of current affairs. Student Hassan Sheikh (LSI 14) said he is well-versed in theories of free markets and limited government, and especially enjoyed John Allison’s speech.
“In particular, I really enjoyed how Mr. Allison handled questions about healthcare that came from the crowd. He answered the question just as Dr. Ron Paul has answered it in many speeches, that before Medicaid and Medicare people were taken care of but they received care from different sources,” Sheikh said.
Student Hermella Tekle (IEIA 14) said she is doing her senior capstone project on the brain drain of Ethiopian immigrants in the United States, and drew a connection from Allison’s remarks to her research.
“Since Mr. Allison talked about immigration reform, I wanted to ask him what he thinks about brain drain from a libertarian point of view,” Tekle said.
Nancy and Steve Einhorn, of the Einhorn Family Foundation generously sponsored the series and attended the July 16 lecture with Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt. Nancy Einhorn said that their foundation chooses to sponsor educational programs such as the Capitol Hill Lecture Series and scholarships.
“We’re very concerned about liberty, economics and freedom,” Nancy said. “This particular presentation was so interesting because most of Dr. Eberstadt’s charts featured data beginning in 1965. In 1964, my husband and I graduated from college, and many economic problems have occurred during our adult lives.”
Nancy said that their foundation’s objective is to improve education around these topics to help future leaders think about solutions.
“With the few years we have left we’re going to do what we can to see if we can turn the ship one degree or more,” Nancy said. “We have been helping TFAS for a number of years, and we really think what TFAS is doing is extremely important.”