NTUF’s interns are working hard to get taxpayers the best information available about potential federal spending changes. In the past four weeks at our Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, the research interns have looked into over 400 bills from this 113th Congress. They spend each day looking for Congressional Budget Office reports, searching for academic and journal articles related to proposed projects, finding press releases from Capitol Hill, and contacting sponsors’ offices. This multilayered approach helps BillTally stay objective in finding how much Congress proposes to change public spending, and it shows our interns how to properly research measures that range from contentious newsmakers or overlooked program reauthorizations.
Paul Bartow, who grew up in Batavia, Illinois, has worked on 93 separate Senate bills. In 2007, he started working at a full service car wash, where he quickly rose to be the Assistant Manager. Then, in 2010, Paul started school at Wheaton College. He graduated this past May with a degree in history, having specialized in Revolutionary American History, Classical Music, the Enlightenment, and German history. He also decided to work towards an International Relations minor along the way. Paul’s senior thesis on Lord Baltimore and the Act Concerning Religion of 1694 won the first place prize in the Jameson Critical Essay Contest at his college.
What was your most interesting job before coming to work at NTUF?
PB: I worked as a Research Intern last summer at the Wheaton College Archives and Special Collections. I spent my days studying Civil War Chaplains, and I compiled my research into a database, where each entry included biographical information, military records, and personal information. It was very interesting work.
What have you enjoyed most about living in the DC area?
PB: I really enjoy all the networking events that are offered in Washington, D.C. I also love seeing all of the sights; there are often concerts on the Capitol steps, there’s a great night life in Washington, and there are so many stately marble buildings and museums to check out. There’s always something to do in the city. I often find myself traveling to Virginia on the weekends with friends, and my favorite sight so far is definitely Monticello.
Who is your political hero?
PB: Hands down, Thomas Jefferson. He was a Renaissance man, a product of the Enlightenment, and my favorite Founding Father. He was not only a politician, but a scientist, a gardener, a statesman, an inventor, a wine connoisseur, and a traveler as well. I love his concept of a limited and responsible government, and I admire his political achievements, as embodied by the Declaration of Independence, the Bill to Establish Religious Freedom, the Louisiana Purchase, and the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
How did you become interested in politics?
PB: My older brother was very influential in introducing me to politics and the liberty movement. I was already pretty passionate about free-market principles, limited government, and reduced federal spending when I entered middle school. I slowly began to realize how inefficient and wasteful government spending is, and that there are better solutions to many of the problems we face as a nation. When I began working in 8th grade, under a workers permit, I became very irritated with the amount of my money that the government was usurping and wasting. I feel that, if money is coming out of my paycheck, I want to make sure that it is being put to excellent use.
What are your career goals?
PB: I am hoping to get involved in lobbying for tax and economic policies. I’m also considering working in development for research and educational organizations. Working at NTUF is a great first step towards accomplishing these goals.
What have you learned while working on the BillTally project that has most interested you?
PB: I’ve learned just how many bills get stuck in committee. Teachers and professors always talk about this in government classes, but, now, I can directly see it for myself. It’s astounding!
What has been the most interesting bill you have researched while at NTUF?
PB: The most interesting bill I’ve researched has to be the “Do Your Job Act.” This bill would require Congress to pass a balanced budget, and Congress would be unable to take their recess if they failed at this. I have my doubts that this bill will make it past committee, but I found it to be a very interesting bill.
What advice do you have for future interns?
PB: Even if no one is available to explore the city with you, don’t hesitate to adventure on your own. My first week here, I didn’t really know anyone yet, but I rented a car a few times and went exploring. Your time here will fly by, so enjoy every minute of it. I would also recommend coming to Washington, D.C. a week before your internship starts, if you can; then, you can learn how to use the metro before your first day of work, and, many of the famous buildings, such as the Supreme Court, only conduct tours Monday-Friday, when you’d normally be at work.
Stay tuned to Government Bytes for an upcoming interview with JR Ridley. Be sure to check out our last interview with Ian Johnson.
How can you help? By supporting NTU Foundation, you help us get our interns the resources they need and your donations are tax-deductible. Contribute to NTUF & cut down on your tax burden!
Thanks to Catherine Fitzhugh for developing the Profiles in Liberty series and interviewing our interns.