Lost Issue: If I Were The President of the United States pt. 1
One of the biggest hypothetical questions any Libertarian must ask themselves is, "If there was a Libertarian President, what would that administration do to help turn around this nation?" I'm thoroughly convinced with hard work and the will to fight with Congress a president could totally change the nature of the beast in a single administration. It takes some floor planning though.
That's what Deconstruction Era Essays are all about. They are about discussing the basis for such a Libertarian-style government stemming from modern era policy. I've always considered the importance of certain aspects of a Libertarian administration, wondering time and time again where the values of such an administration should lie. Now everything done towards the Libertarian agenda would benefit it, but what would be received well by the masses, and what not?
So I'm going to start of the DEE off by discussing a Libertarian presidential agenda. An exploration into the political hypothetical. What would I do if I were president (ignoring the absurdly unrealistic possibility of such a thing happening any day soon)?
Please take in mind that we're going to overlook a few things getting started on the topic of Libertarian modern era policy making, so for this first article, give it a grain of salt. We'll address many of these issues later.
My agenda would be based almost entirely off the official Libertarian Party platform. It's a good platform. The few minor alterations I'd make are trivial and not really important to discuss right now, although I may make a point to discuss some variations of Libertarian policy later.
We can't really talk about an agenda before we discuss the core philosophy of a platform. The Libertarian political platform is built upon the policy of non-initiation of force. The most moral government being the one that uses the least force. But this principle is built upon fundamental and "self-evident" truths regarding human kind's status as independent beings that act upon their own volitions. The principle that makes this revolve is the principle of self-ownership, that people own themselves and the labor of their tasks. This property claim grants all other claims towards ownership a valid platform and context, thus human rights and property rights are inexplicably intertwined, as they are the same thing.
To make a long discussion short, the theme of my administration would be the restoration of sovereign rule to the individual. The first most basic method of achieving this is deregulating the economy and embracing a free market capitalism that we have claim we are already. Let's discuss a few things I'd do on my first days of presidency that would deal with this issue (right now, we'll avoid the bothersome issue of congress, who would heavily impede the passage of any of these following provisions).
Repeal of Amendment XVI (adopted in 1913) - End of the Income Tax
This Amendment is the fuel fanning the flames of big government, and that a progressive Income Tax it is the second tier of the Communist Manifesto should give rise of concern to more than just me. It gives the federal government the "right" to impose any degree of open taxation on any person's income. The IRS and the Federal Reserve System were both created by this Amendment, which may have not even been legally ratified by the states. To file the Income Tax, citizens must waive their 5th Amendment rights of freedom against self-implication and testimony.
It's time to talk about what the Constitution allows and what it doesn't. The Constitution authorizes direct taxes - taxes apportioned amongst representatives of each of the states evenly. The Income Tax is not divided that way, so it is of the second type, an indirect excise tax. Yet, the manner the Income Tax is collected does not allow it to be an excise tax either, since it is not levied on business or manufacturers, but instead, wage workers.
It's worth noting that the income tax existed before this amendment. However, organizations administrating the income tax and the legitimacy of the income tax in United States policy making would be crippled by repealing this amendment and ruling in courts against the current system. So in all truth, to really attack the income tax, this amendment repeal would have to be accompanied by a strict court ruling providing that this Income Tax is Unconstitutional... which is exactly what it is. Why doesn't this happen already? The easy answer is to say that our courts are treasonous and don't really care about the written law.
I'm not going beyond the easy explanation in this essay. The end of the federal income tax would pave the way for the repeal of state income taxes and other taxes... as a precedent, it would FORCE the government to downsize, due to a lack of finance.
Where would the budget cuts go though? That needs to be addressed. But have you ever in your life SEEN a U.S. budget proposal?
Proposal of Amendment XXVIII - The Balanced Budget Amendment
Our budget is hard to balance on account of off-budget items and a near unlimited ability to up taxes to meet overages. Forcing the government to present a budget, with all items on-budget, having that budget be balanced, and not allowing legislature to up the tax rates to dynamically match any overspenditures beyond the budget would vastly improve the financial stability of government spending. Creating new taxes is not the solution to government finance, reworking and managing government agencies within the republic's promise towards a better union is what's needed. If a program needs more money to exist, we should sooner question the existence of the program than ask ourselves what kinds of taxes we'll implement to sustain it.
The numerous government agencies that work towards "social betterment" and "fair markets" are the ones that consume the vast quantity of these tax dollars, not the military or other vital domestic functions. This proverbial "alphabet soup" of agencies is part of why our government has become so large and oppressive. Programs like Social Security illustrate the fundamental problem with government agencies... no matter how well intentioned, the system of force creates a massive public inequity that reciprocates into larger expenses... with Social Security, we find it's impossible to continue to give retirees their fair share of retirement funds without increasing taxes steadily into eternity. And the tax system allows a steadily increasing tax rate, so if they wanted to raise taxes all the way to the remainder of a wage worker's paycheck, the current models would allow it.
Such allowances are unacceptable.
Defeating the "New Deal"
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the one who set the initiative towards this civil service government works trend of the last 70 years. His initiatives during the Great Depression initiated programs that still today regulate us, and threaten to put us into a new age economic collapse.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures every bank account, which at first sounds like a great goal of government, but it's primary effect is to bloat banks who mishandle money, creating a false sense of security around what is otherwise poor business investments in the public. Before, if a bank mismanaged their money, the bank simply failed, negatively financially effecting only the few families who had accounts at that branch. Bad investors and poor money managers were forced into a different occupation. Now they can reign as the government bloats any bank that fails like that, ensuring that everyone in the community suffers financial indebtedness on account of increased taxes and the families who do have investments risk a more extreme crash affecting a longer term financial crisis.
The Securities and Exchange Commission violates a business' right to privacy, pries into stock trades, intentionally makes provisions to limit market trade, and effectively gives the government the ability to manipulate every trade to nearly any end. SEC must approve of all activities remotely engaged in the stock market, including giving it control over stock broker agencies, stock exchange markets themselves, investment advisors, mutual funds, and public utility holding companies. The government, whether "protecting" investors effectively or not, is not an agency meant to have the ability to do ANY of these things. Then there is the Social Security Act, which formed the entire Social Security program and established unemployment insurance. This creates a massive public inequity, created by the blatant redistribution of wealth; it needs to end just as much as the arbitrary delegation of power to government that allows it the ability to limit and regulate private trade.
Conscription and the Military
As the President, Commander-In-Chief, the domestic police and the federal military would be one of my core concerns. Developing the nation's arms has been a need for years, one of the few needs we've met beyond proficiency. Modern military programs extend from totally unecessary space research in alliance with Russians (?) to sending food to impoverished third world nations that neither do trade to us, dedicate themselves as allies, nor even encourage or endorse our political/social culture or lifestyles. Whereas the United States is concerned, stationing foreign or abroad for any purpose other than that of a direct military aim or objective in an active wartime situation is unnecessary and downright stupid. Millions of dollars are spent doing this and maintaining bases and stations we never use. Imagine the money spent to station troops in Korea... what? That's relevant now HOW? Not at all.
Cutting back on these extraneous costs and reinvesting in research and development, stationing troops home in preference to abroad, and keeping any and all space investments exclusively military and exclusively within our own domain keeps us on the edge. Privatizing the space program all together and dealing with the private institutions might be smarter than nationalizing the industry and dealing with Russians, or any other sovereign nation for that matter. As far as nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction goes, no nation should be aggressive enough against the United States to worry about us having those arms or using them. So it's not of any of my concern to care about whether or not other nations might compete with us on that level. The principle of mutually assured destruction STOPPED the Cold War from turning into World War III... disarming on any side would've only ensured an attack. That's the lesson history teaches, whether others have another fair argument or not is extracurricular.
Regarding how we recruit our soldiers, the Selective Service System is an infringement on liberties by requiring all males register, or face fines and levies, for the draft. Conscription is not a tool of free governments, and in the time of the United State's formation, it was not such a tool. It wasn't until Lincoln initiated the civil war was the precedent set to conscribe military labor. Exoneration of individuals accused of "draft evasion", a crime never indicated as an act of force against any one man, is necessary to show that our military operates on more sound and stable principles than the military of governments abroad. There is no indication, thus far, that the draft (which hasn't been used since Vietnam) is necessary for anything at all, especially since the modern military has become highly cellular and many weapons of war need few active operators (missiles and remote bombers need no one on the field of attack, and infantry need fewer numbers as air and sea attacking has reduced the number of on-field encounters... and when such encounters occur, fewer people are needed as on-field arms become more advanced).
Having the military be at home does not reduce readiness for any war dealing with a national necessity into conflict, that we can predict. And where it does, we can surely minimize the need for grievous expenses by adopting a policy of non-intervention. This will ensure we do not provoke nations into war, whether they "deserve it" or not.
Having a history of dealing with other nations diplomatically, the United States should be more interested in the rights of citizens who travel abroad than it should appeasing the sovereign rule of our foreign neighbors. It is not our duty to relegate ourselves to international pursuits, and to delegate any part of our military to another nation's military advancements is detrimental to our national health and our state of risk of invasion and terrorism.
Ensuring global peace, we should deal with issues directly affecting our own sovereign rule, and work with other nations to introduce them to similar models of rule, as to keep peaceful allies. If all other nations are peaceful, militarily we should have few to no concerns. The United Nations does not achieve this goal, and in fact, it gives an international conference the right to dispose of our own national military for their own pursuits, forcing us into risky and questionable alliances, embargos, financial and military obligations, and other such careless behaviors. We are not an international government, we govern a designated territory. Our sovereign rule has been almost entirely based on this principle of self-governance. Having another agency (the United Nations) govern us is dangerous to our union.
Withdrawal from the United Nations and then sequential withdrawal from all unnecessary peace-time alliances and resolving all existing inactive declarations of war (Korea) or other such certifications to use force, as well as ceasing military harassment of other nations will ensure our peace more than subordinating ourselves to an international council, nations most of which, have no interest in preserving our freedoms.
With this as the basis of my first activities as President, I'd have my plate full simply getting these provisions passed. But this is not it. This is just the tip of the iceberg on these topics and others. More discussions regarding the Presidential responsibilities are on the way in the future, where I will cover these topics in more depth and cover all manner of other topics.
I feel that by first dealing with the economy and the military, as opposed to jumping at social and domestic issues, it lends itself toward government correction quicker and more in the longer term, as well as challenges American lifestyles less, thus not having to deal with the problem of resistance to change that Americans seem to have. Then again, even electing a Libertarian president or Congress would be change enough...
Until next time.