DEFEND AMERICAN VALUES, MAXIMIZE FREEDOM
Hard work, Thrift (delayed gratification), Self-Reliance, Honesty, Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Truthfulness, Tolerance, Individual liberty, Service to Others, “If you can’t be anything else, at least be on time”. These are among the time-honored American ideals that one way or another are either weaker or actively under attack.
These values are important because they mold character to provide the best opportunity for an individual in society to achieve success and reach their highest potential. They are under attack because the idea has become popular that the group is more important than the individual. Many in government and society want to exert control over people, but the attitude of individual liberty, self-governance and true character are dangerous to their control. This is dangerous and un-American. The United States was built on these concepts. Prosperity and civility within a free society depend on it.
However, we must make a distinction between defending values and trying to enforce them by law. I am a Christian libertarian. I happen to believe that God and Jesus Christ are real and in control today. In America I have the freedom talk about and express these beliefs openly without fear of my government, but I have no right to impose that belief or my moral values on others through government or any other force. I am very blessed to live in a country where the law of the land is the U.S. Constitution. I know that in order to preserve freedom for me, these same rights must be protected for everyone.
Freedom is not absolute. There are a lot of things in life we can’t control. Government should not be one of them. Freedom is not absolute but it can be maximized. We believe as Jefferson said, “that government governs best that governs least.” Freedom starts with self ownership, the right to make our own decisions and accept the consequences regarding our health, our time and our labor. Freedom is preserved when private property is protected and held sacred, because property represents our time and labor. Maximize freedom!
THE COST OF LIVING IS TOO HIGH
Everything has exploded in cost. This is especially true of things the government subsidizes, reimburses or regulates. No one has any incentive to keep cost down when the government is involved. Uncle Sam can just print his own money; charge as much as you want!
UNIVERSITIES HAVE BEEN SUBSIDIZED IN A MYRIAD OF WAYS BY ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT. One form of subsidy has been student loans backed by the government. They have been easy to get but hard to pay off. Too many young people were enticed to enter college before they were ready or before they realized there were pathways to success that better fit their talents and interests. To keep the party going, colleges and universities created courses of study of questionable economic value. It was easy money for the big universities, because as long as the government backed the loans and kept the interest rates low, the students just kept coming. The universities were able to raise tuition year after year with no concern. When I was at Ohio State fifty years ago, I could work my way through school. Tuition was only about $400 per semester.
That’s definitely not the case today. Student debt can be tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. With this money, colleges and universities built fancy new amenities to entice students even more than the easy loans. College and University faculty and administrators increased pay and benefits for themselves. They reduced their workload by creating unnecessary additional administrative and faculty positions. As government aid increased, the cost of the education increased even more. Now the loans are due. This is a continuing cost of living for many former students.
Did you know that Ohio State has somewhere around 100 Vice Presidents?
HOUSING is not affordable for too many people. This is a problem that has gotten worse over the last 20 years. It should have been taken care of during the financial crisis of 2008/2009. This is what a financial crisis is; a time when over-valued assets find their proper level of worth. Instead, the U.S. Government and the Federal Reserve stepped in and flooded the market with money. Interest rates were kept artificially low and the market compensated with increased asset values. Now, rents are too high and homes are too expensive. Our children have a hard time making ends meet and can’t afford to buy. Government programs, such as ones where local governments buy up abandoned homes in the neighborhood, have made the problem worse. The housing is off the market and not made available at prices people can afford.
Prior to 2008, homelessness was an issue that the press was covering regularly as this was a growing concern affecting nearly every city across the nation. Today, however, the problem is rarely mentioned. Why? Housing prices were propped up and the less well to do were still priced out of the market. Government programs at the Federal and local level didn’t work for the middle class. The problem could have been fixed and it wasn’t, so no one wants to talk about it! The issue is so commonplace, we seem to have grown immune from caring.
When hardworking people can’t even afford a roof over their head, the cost of living is too high!
HEALTH CARE is a large part of the family budget and a big reason for the high cost of living. Bigger and bigger insurance premiums are deducted straight from the employees paychecks, all because the underlying cost of medical care gets larger and larger. Health insurance is not health care. Health insurance is a third-party payer for the health care. That’s a problem because responsibility for the healthcare is divorced from the one paying for the healthcare. Remove the involvement of the third-party payer and the cost of health care will decline while quality improves.
The Affordable Care Act was not focused on fixing the exploding cost of medical care. The ACA was focused on out how to pay for it. The cost of healthcare has continued to increase across the board. U.S. households saw a 12% increase in their monthly premiums when the ACA was implemented. Americans did see an average savings of $74 in out-of-pocket health spending, but when compared to the $5,250 spent annually, this “savings” doesn’t equal the new expense. While many of the left had wanted a “single payer” system, the ACA failed to create that. Thank goodness. The “single payer” system is not single payer at all. It is actually a third-party payer system on steroids; the government paying the provider, with the taxpayer paying the government, leaving us with a system of payments controlled by an uncaring and heartless government and an endless decline in quality, and the patient still left out of the picture.
ASSET PRICES IN BUSINESS are too high. Airplanes and cruise ships, hotels and office buildings, shopping malls and stock prices are all examples of things that are overvalued. Cruise ships are stuck at port because not enough people are booking cruises. Airplanes are stuck on the tarmac because not enough people are booking flights. Hotels and office buildings are half empty. Retail stores in shopping malls are shuttered. The value for many of these assets is what they would sell for today in hope of future cash flow, but future cash flow is uncertain. Many companies are not making enough money to even pay the interest on their debt, but their stock is still propped up at the historical value. Bailouts prevent or postpone the proper pricing of assets, which in turns prevents or postpones the possibility of lower prices, and the middle class suffers.
The middle class is shrinking. It has been stated that 40% of Americans cannot afford a middle-class lifestyle. Housing, education, health care, food, transportation and childcare all cost more. According to the U.S. Inflation Calculator (www.usinflationcalculator.com), U.S. Core Inflation hit a near 30-Year High in July. “U.S. consumer prices rose more than expected in July and a measure of underlying or core inflation ran the quickest in nearly three decades, a government report published Aug. 12 shows.” Pretty interesting for prices to go up when everyone is staying at home and thousands of companies are going out of business every month, isn’t it? What causes inflation? The answer is money creation. When there are more dollars in circulation each dollar is worth less, especially when the economy is contracting and fewer goods and services are being produced. So, when the government is supposedly bailing you out, everything costs more? Yep!
THE POWER TO CREATE MONEY
“Congress shall have Power…to coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign coin… No state…shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.” – – (U.S. Const. art. I, §8 cl. 5, U.S. Const. art. 1, § 10, cl. 2.)
This clause was NOT intended to give our government power over money. Its real purpose was to set a limit on government power. When the Constitution was written, there were many mints that produced coins and put a value on them. What the clause is telling the government is, sure, if you want to coin money and put a value on it, go right ahead, but you do not have an exclusive power. Go ahead and compete with every other mint. Over time, our government has ignored this part of the Constitution and seized for itself a monopoly on the creation of money. Also note, the Constitution prohibited states from legalizing anything but gold and silver coin for the payment of debt. This gave confirmation that the power to regulate debt was a state, not a federal, function. This was truly sound money. Our money has lost value ever since, but especially after the Federal Reserve Bank and the Income Tax were instituted in 1913.
According to the U.S. Inflation Calculator (www.usinflationcalculator.com), what cost $1.00 today would have only cost $.08 in 1920. Our dollar has lost 92.3% of its value in 100 years! That’s inflation. That’s why our cost of living is too high!
WHY THE GOVERNMENT IS A POOR INVESTMENT
Government has no profit motivator. There are only two possible motivators in government, 1.) service and self-sacrifice or 2.) extract as much as possible from citizens. The first motivator is weak, and it only works with good people. The second motivator is strong, and it only works for bad people. There are a lot of good people in government, but the power held by bad people is much stronger.
There is no incentive to control cost and increase quality in government except by adding layers of administration and top down goal setting. Free market businesses are just the opposite. They must work hard to decrease cost and improve value to keep and attract customers. The difference between income and expense is profit. Profit is a powerful motivator to work hard and to perform the function with only the number of people that are needed.
Over the last 100 years, the Republicans and Democrats have run this country in to the ground. The problems have become much worse over the last three Presidential administrations. The only way Government can pay for this extravagance is to take it from you. They haven’t done this with new taxes. They have done it by creating new money. Living is more expensive because the value of our money is shrinking. Think of it this way. What would it do to your family budget if you went out and borrowed money for a two new cars, two motorcycles, a boat and a big new house, then went out shopping every day and out to eat every night, running the bills up on your credit card? Very soon the bill would become due and the payments would consume your entire income. You would be lucky just to pay the interest. This what your government has done. It’s even worse than that. Like a case of identity theft, they have charged it in your name. The credit card is not really a credit card. It is the monopoly power to create money that our government has seized for itself. To pay these bills, our government has just created more and more dollars. As stated before, that’s what causes inflation. That’s why our cost of living is too high!
THE SOBERING CONSEQUENCES
U.S. currency has not been redeemable in gold since 1934 or silver since 1964. According to the Federal Reserve, “The Congress has specified that Federal Reserve Banks must hold collateral equal in value to the Federal Reserve notes that the Federal Reserve Bank puts into circulation. This collateral is chiefly held in the form of U.S. Treasury, federal agency, and government-sponsored enterprise securities.” Our currency is now backed by the “the full faith and credit of the United States.” What is the full faith and credit of the United States? Well, Citizen, YOU ARE! The National Debt Clock (www.usdebtclock.org) is a great place to for statistics about how much debt is owed by the United States. Last week, our national debt reached $26,627,135,467,102.00, almost 27 trillion dollars. There are 330 million people in the United States. If you divide the debt by every man, woman and child in the United States it comes to $80,682.94 per person. This is just the debt owed in on the government books. It doesn’t count unfunded liabilities, which are promises to pay in the future, like social security, government pensions, government backed mortgages, private pension insurance promises, etc. People have estimated that including these future promises the portion of our government’s debt that everyone owes can be anywhere from $125,000 to $300,000 per man, woman and child. It is your future time and labor, and your children’s time and labor, that has been bartered away for this debt. Because we have not fought to stop this, we have sold ourselves into slavery.
Solutions to the High Cost of Living:
GET GOVERNMENT COMPLETELY OUT OF COLLEGE LOANS
Change the law. Make college loans private again, this time without federal government backing the up. Prior to Obama, college loans were privately funded but guaranteed by the federal government and administered by the U.S. Department of Education through the FAFSA application. In the last financial crisis, college loan providers were being stressed, so the Obama administration had the Federal government take over all college loans. If student loans were privatized, lenders would be much more careful who they lent to, and the taxpayer would not be on the hook.
LET HOUSING PRICES FALL
Housing prices have to reach the level where people can afford to buy and investors are willing to part with the cash they hold on the sideline. This is the function of a free market. No more bailouts. Endure the economic pain, end the government programs, and allow us to rebuild again from a stronger foundation.
CHANGE THE FOCUS FROM HEALTH INSURANCE TO HEALTH CARE
The Republicans first said they wanted to repeal the ACA, but they promptly changed that narrative to “repeal and replace”. Replace with what? The Republicans can’t seem to figure that out, but it doesn’t sound like they will be getting government out of the way. If they don’t, it will only give the same results as before: increased cost and decreased quality. Our answer to the Republicans is “Repeal and reverse”!
There are some subtle changes we can make that will have a great impact. Fix the third-party payer problem. Removing the deduction for all health insurance, especially the tax break that gives an advantage to employer sponsored insurance. Over time, this will shift insurance products away from employer plans and toward individual plans. At the same time, INCREASE the deductibility for medical expenses by setting high threshold on the deductibility of medical expenses but effectively eliminate any caps on cost above the threshold. Let HSA accounts be used for expenses below the threshold. Continue to allow tax free HSA contributions but remove the requirement for high deductible insurance plans. Pre-existing conditions should not be forced on insurance companies. If pre-existing conditions are mandated, it’s not insurance, it’s welfare. Reduce regulations on health insurance.
Americans owe a lot of their health problems to poor nutrition. The FDA and the Department of Agriculture exist more to protect big food processing businesses than to protect ordinary people. Small business in the food industry is persecuted rather than encouraged. I will aggressively support the new bill introduced by Congressman Thomas Massie of Kentucky known as the PRIME Act. I will go after the FDA and the Department of Agriculture and insist that they begin working for the people again instead of agribusiness or be defunded.
ASSET PRICES IN BUSINESS
I will vote against every corporate bailout and every new subsidy, as well as be a strong advocate for other Representatives to do the same. Bankruptcies will occur, but the difference is, when asset prices are propped up artificially though bailouts and subsidies, the economic fall becomes not only inevitable but also stronger and deeper. This is never a sustainable solution. The American people deserve an economy that won’t give them whiplash! Together, we will lay out a plan to unwind bailouts and subsidies that already exist.
We cannot afford to bail out those who take on more risk than they are able to handle. When bankruptcy occurs and the assets are sold for the price investors are willing to pay, they will be able to operate at a lower cost. Lower cost will attract customers, and these businesses will revive again. This will create new jobs and new wealth for the country. This is the function of a free market. This is sustainable.
ELIMINATE AND DOWNSIZE GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS
Obviously, our government has grown too big and inefficient. In the House I will collaborate with other members and libertarian think tanks to eliminate Federal agencies and reduce the Federal budget.
REDEFINE THE MISSION
Our front line defenders desperately need a narrower, more clearly defined mission based on maximizing freedom, eliminating injustice and projecting a posture of peace throughout the world.
Law enforcement often states their mission is “to get the bad guys off the streets”. This is a good start, but it deserves a deeper analysis. What is a “bad guy”? When you take them off the streets, where do they go? We are at a crossroads, knowing that we can no longer afford prisons that are too full and criminal convictions too much determined by race. The police can’t do their job if society doesn’t define the mission clearly. I believe that law in America exists to protect property and life from physical violence. Legislators at all levels should work to reduce the number of laws the police have to enforce to just those things. Police should have the time and resources to investigate crimes of violence, robbery, theft and fraud, and get those “bad guys” off the street.
We have to change our expectations of a police force able to prevent crime and realize that their mission is better defined as catching criminals who have committed a crime. As a society, we can’t afford to fund police departments to the extent they can be successful with the former, and we can’t maintain a free society if the police do not have the resources to do the latter. This will require more detectives and fewer “cops on the beat”. The best chance of preventing crime is private security working in conjunction with the public police. Laws should be written and attitudes changed to encourage this approach.
What a strange and terrible irony to see the police stand down when property is seized by thieves and looters right in front of them, as in the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, and also having witnessed them breaking down a door in Louisville without warning and killing Breonna Taylor in her own apartment. The message seems to be, “we won’t protect you or your property, but we will attack you in your own home.” This is a clear message that police have become dysfunctional by the absence of any understanding what their mission is supposed to be. Crimes against property are barely enforced, yet drug crimes seem to be the only crimes for which the police have any enthusiasm. Could this be because the incentives are all in the favor of enforcing drug laws and so little incentivized at protecting property?
Libertarians have from the beginning decried the abuses of police departments and the laws they are asked to enforce. It has fallen on deaf ears. In 1971, their first year, the Libertarian Party called for “the repeal of all ‘crimes without victims’ now incorporated in federal and state laws”. The same platform declared itself opposed to ‘no-knock laws’”. “We support full restitution for all loss suffered by persons arrested, indicted, tried, imprisoned, or otherwise injured in the course of criminal proceedings against them which do not result in their own conviction,” the LP proposed in 1976. “Law enforcement agencies should be liable for this restitution unless malfeasance of the officials involved is proven, in which case they should be personally liable.” Michigan Representative Justin Amash, the only Libertarian in Congress, literally wrote the bill that would eliminate qualified immunity. As stated in the Reason Reader “Police Reform” edition, “Real change requires … reducing the opportunity for government agents to use violence against the public. That means fewer laws to be enforced and less intrusive enforcement of those laws. That’s a hard pill to swallow for ideologues who are committed to forcing people to do what they don’t want to do, or by forcibly stopping them from exercising their own preferences.” Yes, that would apply to mandatory mask wearing, forced vaccinations, backyard chicken coops and raw milk Co-ops.
Jacob Sullum, a writer for Reason Magazine, published an article on June 5, 2020 which suggested 5 ways to curtail police violence and prevent more unnecessary deaths like George Floyd’s.
1.) Ban Chokeholds
2.) Use de-escalation techniques before resorting to force.
3.) Make it easier to fire bad cops.
4.) Increase police transparency
5.) Abolish Qualified Immunity
The Defund the Police movement, like most grass roots movements, can mean many things to many people. Most do not mean that all police department budgets should be eliminated and police departments disbanded. These people define defund as reducing police budgets and restricting the activities in which they’re involved. Another article from the June 5th issue of Reason written by Scott Shackford called 3 Libertarian Tips for the #DefundPolice Movement listed the tips as follows:
1.) If you don’t account for revenue from fines, fees and forfeiture, this can all backfire against the poor.
2.) Police employee pension commitments are crushing your budgets.
3.) What laws, regulations, and taxes are you willing to give up? In explanation, he says, “The police are being used to enforce a host of regulations that have fundamentally criminalized a lot of poorer people’s economic activities, entirely because the government isn’t getting a cut of the money.” The Eric Garner death at the hands of New York cops and the conditions in Ferguson that led to the tremendous backlash after the death of Michael Brown are representative of the sort of disasters created by this “mission creep”.
Finally, the war on terror applied to the home front and the militarization of police are insidious factors that must be dealt with in a firm and thorough manner. The Pentagon’s 1033 program is out of control and should curtailed by Congress the same as any other budget item. We must end the surveillance state and the police state. Again quoting Reason, “This conveniently malleable approach to counterterrorism has been unconstitutional, costly, counterproductive, and inhumane at home just as it has abroad.”
Our military defense is not a jobs program, but it is treated like one. It is not a social justice program, but it is treated like one. It is also treated like a private bank for wealthy defense contractors and their cronies in Congress. The defense portion of the budget is the third highest expenditure in our federal government, right behind Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The corrupt politicians and bureaucrats insist that this portion of the budget is untouchable, and wrap themselves in the flag whenever any member of Congress calls for accountability. Nothing is off the table in our budget, especially our defense budget which is one of the few discretionary areas where cuts can be made.
Our military is desperate for a mission that is worthy of traditional values and historical roots. The following are comments made by Jo Jorgensen, the 2020 Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. President, and quoted in her website. Jo Jorgensen will make a phenomenal U.S. President, and no-one would be able to define the mission better than her. “National Defense means defending our nation, our country, the United States of America. Military self-defense for America is a good and necessary thing. Our country could not exist without it. Unfortunately, for the last 70 years, most elected Democrats and Republicans in Congress and the White House voted for and supported actions and policies and laws and taxes that made America far less defended, far less safe, and far less free. Elected, appointed, and hired Democrats and Republicans in the federal government have gotten us into and kept us in foreign wars, in foreign countries, for foreign interests. Virtually none of these foreign wars, warriors, or warmongers posed a clear and present danger to America’s shores or soil or the American people who live here. Virtually none were necessary for America’s self-defense. Yet these needless wars caused the injuries or deaths of hundreds of thousands of American soldiers…and the waste of trillions of tax dollars — and the creation of trillions of dollars of federal government debt. U.S. government involvement in these wars caused the deaths and injuries of hundreds of thousands of people in foreign lands. And cost their citizens trillions of dollars in taxes and destruction. And needlessly created hundreds of thousands of enemies for us. It’s time to bring America to peace. It’s time for America to stop participating in foreign wars. We must stop inserting ourselves in them. Stop allowing ourselves to be drawn into them. We must stay out. No American military personnel stationed in foreign countries. No military aid. No foreign aid — which is easily used for foreign military purposes. No loans for their governments. No loan guarantees. No American government economic sanctions or embargoes of any non-military, non-war materials going into or coming out of other countries. Because ‘sanctions’ and ‘embargoes’ are nothing less than old-fashioned sieges. We must take America off foreign battlefields. We must keep America free at home and at peace with other countries abroad.”
BORDER PROTECTION – DON’T BUILD A WALL; FIX THE LAW;.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has also been given a nearly impossible mission due to the changes in law over the last twenty years that made border crossing for temporary visits very difficult. People who would rather come into our country openly are forced to sneak across where the border is not patrolled. This makes the border more dangerous, not less. Furthermore, border states are not allowed by the federal government to enforce their own laws, meaning that the Border Patrol must do it all.
Citizenship is a right if you are born here. Citizenship for everyone else is granted, not given. Certain benefits of citizenship should not accrue to visitors no matter how long they stay in the U.S. Citizenship should be earned with effort and sacrifice, but the vast majority of people who come here from other countries to work and vacation are good hard-working people who should be welcomed and respected. Our borders should protect us from those who would do us harm. Crossing back and forth for everyone else should be easy, simple and cheap. The cost of living is too high already. The Mission for our border should be written with these standards in mind.