Tuesday, November 02, 2010

My Stances on Various Issues

At times in heated debate with others in a variety of venues, I am often asked where i stand on various topics from the seeming trivial to the far more serious. At times it is hard to type accurately or to answer the questions in a timely manner, so on this election day, i decided to gather my thoughts and post this information.

I have been registered as an independent for 22 years. During that time, I haven't hesitated to call fault with BOTH major parties in the USA versus one or the other, but I find the Democrats to be the most repugnant overall. The country that was founded in 1787 is fast slipping away as the combination of career politicans and an apathetic and uninformed electorate tear at its very fabric. Even directly stated rights in the Constitution are under fire as empty words  come from our leaders on a daily basis. Many of my positions are to the right of even the Republican party, but I have arrived at those stances through a long process of both learning and observing. These are some of the more sobering truths I have discovered as well as some highlights of actions in which we shouldn't take pride at all:

- The GOP is responsible for coming up with the Inheritance tax during the Civil War
- The GOP also is beholden to the Sugar lobby and the protectionism of that trade
- The annexation of Hawai'i was a result of the above (1898)
- Both parties protect US farming interests
- The unions usually support Democrats, but Big Business supports the GOP
- Both parties benefit from our porous border
- Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln and Bill Clinton all directly violated the US Constitution
- It was both the GOP and the Democrats that were culpable for Amendment XVI
- As far as corruption goes, Ulysses S. Grant was the worst.
- It was the Democrats that tried to block Civil Rights reform in the 1960's
- Jim Crow was born in the SE USA
- It was LBJ that allowed Congress to spend SSI payins as they received them (1968)
- There is NO Social Security LockBox
- Both parties have used SSI payins to pad spending since that time
- The last time the federal budget was balanced was by Dwight D. Eisenhower.(Late 1950's)
- A PROJECTED surplus does NOT count (You hear that Mr. Clinton?)
- Taxing Labor and Capital is a STUPID idea
- When a Senate race costs 200 million and a presidential race over 1 billion, something is wrong
- As a corollary to the above, with that much money involved, there is no need to address issues at all
- There are several HARD decisions that need to be made; those solutions are politically neutral.
- No matter how onerous taxes are, the rich will ALWAYS get richer
- However, the tax rate ultimately decides how much the rich are willing to invest.
- The above investment is the only way REAL jobs are produced.
- The McDonalds Corporation produces jobs; the McDonald's worker does not

The list above is by no means exhaustive, but it runs a pretty broad gamut. As to my stances, here  they are:

The Federal Government: The US Constitution clearly defines Federal Powers. All powers not specifically defined belong to the individual states. My position is strictly Minarchist: Only enough government to govern and only enough regulation to regulate

Term Limits: Our founding fathers never envisioned career politicians. Thier seriving in the legislature was secondary to their other professions. A US Senator has been in office for 48 years while a US House Rep has been in for 52; as such they no longer serve the people, but only themselves. The term limits I support are one six year term as President, one six year term for Senators, and one two year tem for a House Rep. There are some that say you need experienced members of congress to get things done, but look at what all of that experience has brought us?

Abortion/Gay Marriage: These are states rights that should be decided at the STATE level. The Federal Government was not given the power to regulate such matters. Roe v. Wade should be overturned. If a state votes against your beliefs, you can return the favor by voting with your feet. The US Constitution is NOT the means to settle this issue at all. I am Freedom of Choice (except for partial birth abortions). If the Right to Life contingent would be more supportive of  contraception and birth control, they probably would gain more supporters, but as long as they allow radicals to  determine their agenda, nothing much will change at all.

10th Amendment Litmus test/ Law Review: I support this action as well; not only does the Federal Government need to be stripped of its legal transgressions, the laws on the books need to be reviewed at all levels of government. What is the purpose of having twelve laws to regulate one action when one or two will do?

Illegal Immigration: This is a matter that can only be addressed in a politically neutral manner. Ellis Island worked well for over sixty years; it can be made to work even better now. All 1,920 miles of the US/Mexico need to be sealed off with prejudice as needed. Once that is done, open up Immigration Processing Centers. Advise Mexico that the current lawlessness on the border will no longer be tolerated. If necessary, a Travel Advisory can be issued or Mexico can be declared off limts to US Citizens. My solution to Border and Immigration matters can be found here.

Illegal Drugs: Alcohol (A Central Nervous System Depressant) and Tobacco (A Central Nervous System Stimulant) kill about 800,000 people a year, far more than any controlled substance. Instead of the Constitutionally illegal and failed War on Drugs, I support The LTR approach ( Legalize, Tax, Regulate). This would not only strip the income from illegal entities, it would go a long way towards curtailing violence on our streets. The drugs would never gain  popularity and drug testing would still be in full force. I also support the immediate shock probation of ALL non-violent drug offenders. The freed up space in the prisons could be used for those who actually need to be there. The illegal property seizures also need to end.

Tax Reform: The IRS has grown out of control; it costs taxpayers 10 billion dollars a year just to support  this agency. The taxation of Labor and Capital is stupid; all that it accomplishes is to drive Capital out of the US and into OFC's (Offshore Financial Corporations) The end result is almost everyone loses. I am a firm supporter of the FairTax as an alternative to our current system of compliance. If the capital gains tax was  nonexistent, WE would become an investment haven. fairtax.org

Education Reform: Once more, the Federal Government does NOT have the power granted to it  regarding Education. The Federal Department by this name needs to be removed; Education needs to be emplaced at the State Government level. This would end a lot of the wasteful money transferring that goes on in this area. At the state level, curriculums could be modified to better adapt to the needs of the specific State entity.

Foreign Aid: The USA should discontinue ALL monetary aid to both Africa and the Middle East (Including Israel). Israel can survive on its own and the rest of the Middle East had better learn how to do so; there is only a finite supply of oil. The aid money given to Africa only winds up in numbered Swiss accounts. It is time that Africa gets its act together; they have had sixty years to do so with nothing to show for it. Europe created the mess there, not us. At this time, we also should evaluate other places where we have a military presence and if possible, to stand down from those areas as well.

Extraterritorial Conflicts: there should only be two responses from the US in this area. Either we  keep ourselves OUT of a conflict or we deal with it using NO half measures.  I am in support of the Hands Off/Observation approach. using this approach, we would not encroach at all upon the Middle East until or unless world interests were at stake. If we then had to get involved, we would use no half measures in dealing with the matter. Even the most obstinate of foes would  understand a smoking black piece of earth.

The United Nations: The UN has become a corrupt and freedom hating platform for countries of no real consequence to lecture the US on areas like Human Rights (Sudan?). They are also in my opinion a Criminal organization for refusing to condemn actions by Hezbollah functiong as a governmnetal entity. The UN has wandered FAR away from its original intended purpose. I support  removing the UN from the USA

National Parks: The National Parks we have should be given over to the respective states in which they reside. For example, Yellowstone National Park could be more easily administered from WY than from DC. As such, WY wouldn't be allowed to sell off any part of the park or allow encroachment. That also brings up another issue...

State land held by the Federal Government: Except for the lands needed for the Federal Government to fulfill its duties, any other land it holds in the states is illegal. that land needs to come under aegis of the respective State Governments to do with what they wish. The Bureau of Land Managment could be downsized as a result or even eliminated.

The Patriot Act: This was bad legislation from the get-go. We already had laws on the books to deal with such an issue without adding even more laws to the mess. As RICO did in the 90's, The Patriot Act legislation has also gone lateral, used in ways it was never intended to be used. As stated earlier, a review of the laws already on the books would be in order.

Minimum Wage: This needs to be abolished; market forces are sufficient for determing what wages should be paid.

Free Trade/Protectionism: While Free Trade keeps prices competitive, market protectionism interferes with competition, driving up prices. Itis time to strip the government subsidies from farming and ethanol and sugar production and anything else so affected. If the farmers have surplus crops, they should be allowed to sell them on the open market for whatever price they can get from whoever can pay. If farming is no longer profitable without subsidies, then it is time to find a business that is.

Firearms: I oppose registration under any circumstances at all. This includes Federal Registration for items like machine guns. Most all citizens are law abiding when it comes to firearms; only a small minority aren't. Are we going to require criminals to register their weapons as well? There should only be one delimiter regarding weapons: can you safely store/use the weapon? Registration only harms the law abiding citizens. If a criminal wants a firearm, they will get one regardless of how onerous the laws are.

The Role of Government: Unfettered Capitalism has proven to be destructive; almost as much so as the opposite end of the spectrum. Corporations need to be regulated, but no more so than necessary. the same applies to people; as long as what they are doing doesn't harm someone else, they should be allowed to do what they wish. If you have to prove to the government that you can do something, that is tyranny, but if the government has to prove you can't do something, that is freedom. Anything less than freedom will always devolve towards tyranny.

Space Exploration: There was a time when only governments had the wherewithall to launch rockets and other such things, but that time has passed. The US Government has only paid lip service to the idea of returning to the moon sometime in 2020 while their means to do so has become yet another acrimonious political football. It is time for private enterprise to step up to the plate and for government to back off; the potential for profit is far more of a constructive driving force than any sort of governmental approach. We could be back to the moon by 2015 if not earlier. As for those who claim that it is a waste of resources, it wouldn't be at all. A moon base could be used to construct larger craft for further exploration while a telescope on the moon would do better than any LEO (Low Earth Orbit) device.


There you have it. Once I could sit and collect my thoughts, this post wasn't that hard to write at all. Now that this is done, I will start  looking over election results.

A Jaded Bard