Most Americans think there are two options at the voting poll: Democratic or Republican. For me, the problem is that I always find myself having to compromise on the matters du jour. It seems to be a matter of choosing between my socially liberal but economically conservative values. I believe government’s greatest role is to empower the individual instead of to control and dictate.
I see both Obama and Bush’s platforms as mechanisms for economic handouts. The economic bailout of 2008 rewarded the automotive and banking industries for either failing to innovate or failing to control their risks. Big government handily swooped in to provide a safety net instead of letting consumers decide which automotive and banking organizations get to thrive. Since Bush’s time, there seems to be less and less difference between the overspending of both Democratic and Republican parties. Bush built big government through spending on war in Afghanistan and Iraq while Obama is driving up federal spending with government handouts here and abroad. What American wouldn’t agree that we must do away with wasteful government spending and pay down the national debt?
Then we are faced with protection of our civil liberties like privacy. I am personally not against government surveillance both in the United States and globally for protection against terrorism. If you are not doing anything wrong, then surely you have nothing to hide. I welcome the federal government to survey my phone records, email, internet use and other web footprint. They will be very bored. The problem I have is that the Patriot Act gives our government unlimited power to search and seize and then inflict cruel and unusual punishment including torture on suspects including American citizens, with a limited right of due process including a trial by jury. This is un-American!
In our nations big cities, especially, crime is of paramount impact. The problem with criminals is complex. First, we don’t really hold them fully responsible for their actions. Someone committing a crime should be economically responsible for that crime. They should pay, literally. Punishment should be greater so as to make the criminal truly fear. Our jails have become a more attractive alternative than the sad lives criminals lead. The other issue is that we are enabling the poor through a welfare system that rewards laziness and ultimately leads to crime. We need a government that will no longer enable able-bodied people to not work. We need to stop deeming things illegal in this country. Our law enforcement can’t handle it. What is morally objectionable about smoking marijuana? Why would the government decide that one consenting adult cannot pay another for sex? Why would the government regulate pornography? The government needs to step out of the business of morality and really seek some clarity on what citizens need to be protected from.
Welfare should be abolished. It is not a sustainable program. It is time that we admit the program is broken and cannot be fixed. Too many Americans are disenfranchised by this program. All entitlement programs should end including subsidized housing, food stamps, Obama-phone, etc. The government should instead create jobs and training programs that would employ these individuals. Less government regulation would mean more jobs to employ bottom feeders. The vision is based on self-reliance, individual responsibility and private charity. Why is government in the business of charity? That should be the role of non-profit, independent organizations.
As for the environment, kid yourself not. Government is not the solution. Look at all the legislation that government has passed around the world to help reverse global warming and animal extinction yet both issues get worse yearly. Again, privatization is the answer. Why aren’t private, non-profit organizations like The Nature Conservancy running our national parks and other protected lands? They would not have to contend with lobbyists and other parties with ulterior motives.
As for foreign affairs, the answer is simple. We need to stop nation building and exporting trillions of American dollars to international sanctions and relief efforts and stabilization projects and wars. A war against an enemy looking for the promise of 72 virgins in a mythical heaven is a losing proposition when there is a complete lack of respect for life. We need to pack it up and call it a day. We’re best off protecting ourselves on our soil. We need American dollars circulating the American economy and not inadvertently fueling a worldwide terrorism ring.
And on that note, we need to address our border issue. Crossing the border in search of a better life for yourself or your family, or in search of political or religious asylum, is in itself not a crime, or at least I don’t believe it to be. We need a better system for assessing what the intent is of those entering our country. We spend billions of dollars on border security but perhaps no money has been spent on research to identify why unemployed Americans are not taking the open jobs that these immigrants come to the US to fill. We are so focused on increasing our minimum wage that we are forgetting that employers have a healthy labor pool from which to recruit. They will work for below minimum wage. This grows small businesses.
As for healthcare, I call for reform of the Affordable Care Act. Healthcare should be a deregulated industry that government should butt out of. Big, clunky government with its bureaucracy is only driving up the cost of doing business in this industry. The Affordable Care Act is causing insurance agencies to pass along government costs to us. Why would it be government’s role to tell you what kind of coverage you must have? It would seem feasible for government to provide only a catastrophic coverage plan, funded through existing taxes, for those who do not have their own plan. Stop taking choices away from people. It only weakens us. More on ACA in a future blog post.
As for gun ownership, like drugs, legislating against guns won’t stop gun ownership or use. In fact, as Nancy Regan may remember from her “Just Say No” to drugs campaign, it may increase use. What happened to personal responsibility? Why would the government ever be able to tell you what you can or cannot own to protect yourself and your family? I am all too familiar with the statistics on lack of gun violence in Europe and around the world but it is TOO LATE for us. Gun ownership and use is a fact of life in this country. Why not invest in training and education for responsible gun ownership so we can hear less about accidental shootings? As for mass shootings, these issues have less to do with guns than they do with our inability to identify and treat mental illness in this country. If it isn’t a gun, it could be a truck plowing through a crowd, a bomb, or chemicals.
Education must be privatized. What incentive does any current government have to make long-term improvements on an education system? The benefits will take far longer to surface than any elected official will remain in office. Education should be a competitive feat like any other business. Individuals need choice, as choice drives quality and innovation.
Social security is a Ponzi scheme. Each year the federal government robs from you, generally against your will, of nearly 13% of your earnings. Why don’t we have the right to opt out? I have been a strategic, and thus far successful, investor in my own retirement plan both through my employers and independently. Why does the government think we are so stupid and irresponsible that we cannot make these decisions on our own? The biggest crime is that my return on investment would far outweigh anything that the government will return to me, if they will return anything to me, because the free market rewards my risk with a handsome return. Stop stripping me of choice.
Read my lips, no more taxes. Let’s stop spending on government regulation, economic bailouts, welfare entitlements and other government handouts. Let’s put more money in working people’s pockets by taxing less. This would encourage everyone to make more money instead of rewarding people for making less. Everything our government does can be done more cheaply and more efficiently by private industry that is competing for more customers through better pricing and service.
Abortion is another topic about which I still don’t understand its relation to government. Don’t believe in abortion? Don’t have one. See it as a viable alternative to the situation you put yourself in? Why would any government ever have the power to legislate for or against it? My stance is neutral. I likely wouldn’t have one myself if faced with the decision but what would give me the right to make that decision for another? I’d prefer to see early-term discontinuation of a clump of human tissue then human beings sentenced to a lifetime of dysfunction and disenfranchisement and dependence and despair.
And don’t get me started on same-sex marriage. Government: stay out of the lives of people! Stop legislating from the pulpit. End of debate.
The answer is smaller government. If you are with me then you are neither a Democrat nor a Republican. You are a Libertarian. It is the fastest growing political party in the United States and a popular alternative, especially amongst educated young people across college campuses. It is a party of self-reliant, hard-working but level headed individuals who believe in their own civil liberties and the power of their own moral compass. It is the party of those who have been disenfranchised by false promises of governmental change followed by Washington-as-usual outcomes. I wonder if we will be able to believe the next politician who campaigns on a platform of “change?” If s/he is a Democrat or Republican, I may not.