In a comment on one of my recent posts, commenter Patrick Sullivan referenced an interview with Harry Reid in which the interviewer tried to get Senator Reid to admit that taxes are involuntary. Reid simply wouldn’t. I found the style of the interviewer, Jan Helfeld, so compelling that I started watching other interviews he’d done. One of the two best, in my opinion, is his interview of Nancy Pelosi on the minimum wage. He gets Representative Pelosi to admit that there’s nothing wrong with young people working for less than minimum wage if they work for her or if they work for a charity. She seems to understand all the tradeoffs involved and to understand that even young people can look out for themselves. Watch what happens (at about the 3:50 point) when Mr. Helfeld tries to get her to extend her thinking about less-than-minimum-wage work to McDonald’s. At about the 6:00 point, she tells him he made a mistake by not moving on to another question and, instead, sticking on one point.

My other favorite is his interview of Representative Pete Stark in which Congressman Stark actually states that more government debt means more wealth. Watch this video for his extreme rejection of Ricardian equivalence. Also note how nasty and abusive he gets when he fails to convince Mr. Helfeld and when Helfeld doesn’t back down.

Helfeld reminds me of John Stossel. He’s willing to confront people directly and won’t give up. Also, his face even looks a little like Stossel’s.

Two questions. Who is this guy? And how did he get in to interview them?