Libertarian Presidential candidate George Phillies has released the following statement on the President's "State of the Union" address to the Conservative President 2008.
George Phillies' Response to the 2007 "State of the Union" address:
The United States is on the wrong track. The state of the Union is not good, and it is getting worse by the day.
Our brave men and women perish in Iraq. The trade deficit soars toward a trillion dollars a year. The national debt of the United States climbs three-quarters of a trillion dollars a year. The Federal government treats our Bill of Rights as a doormat. Our immigration laws are an unenforced joke. Some children receive excellent educations. Others face a dismal future with little studying or learning. Medical care costs are through the ceiling. Energy and environmental issues endanger our national safety. Take-home pay is stagnant. A third of young African-American men are someplace on their way through the justice system, in jail, on probation, or disenfranchised.
And what has Congress debated, the past few years? Gay marriage. Abortion. French Fries: Congress renamed them. Twice. Flag burning. Billions in corporate welfare subsidies.
It's time for a change. It's time for a new future, the Libertarian future of peace, freedom, and prosperity. What are some of our most serious problems. How would Libertarians solve them to bring you a happier report next year?
The War On Iraq was built on a pile of lies. Our armed forces in Iraq should be removed as rapidly as logistics permit. The major delays are moving equipment and supplies, not people. Until then, we should announce we are leaving, cease offensive operations, remove our forces from urban areas such as the Green Zone, and emphatically suggest to the Iraqis that they need a divorce: Iraq would be happier split into four parts, namely a Kurdish part, a Sunni part, a Shia part, and a part for the secularized Iraqis who 25 years ago brought Iraq to the standard of living of Greece.
There should be an Independent Commission of Inquiry, with complete access to all Federal records and full powers to force testimony (witnesses can always plead the Fifth), to determine what was being said behind the scenes as the War On Iraq was sold to the American people.Graft and corruption affecting the War effort should be most rigorously investigated and prosecuted, starting with the 18 billion dollars in cash that was flown to Iraq and disappeared.
Warrant less wiretaps and warrant less searches are crimes. Reading your email without a warrant is a crime. Kidnapping and torturing people are crimes. If you torture someone until they die, it's a death penalty offense. Generating legal justifications for kidnapping and torturing people is not an official duty: it's part of a criminal conspiracy.There are no legal exemptions for government officials who claim they are just following orders: That's the Nuremberg Defense, and it's invalid. I will ask Congress to create a Corps of Special Prosecutors to see that every single person who committed these and other crimes in the name of America is given a fair trial. Judges and juries will decide their fates.
Oh, and I have a message to anyone who tries 'gray mail' (Trying to block a trial by requesting secret documents.) Your alleged crime is more dangerous to America than the loss of a few secrets. I will happily declassify anything that you request.
Debt: We should end the national debt, the 'grandchild tax'. You spend,your grandchildren pay. That's immoral, and will be brought to a stop. I have offered a plan to discharge the national debt over 30 years,and will seek to put it into effect. For runaway budgets, I have a plan. Not the veto pen. If elected I will I gather be the first President to have a computer in my working office, and attached to it will be the 'veto-high-speed-laser-printer'. That's the real conservative approach: don't spend money you don't have.
Education: The No Child Left Behind Act bears no semblance to a legitimate activity of the Federal government. I will work for its repeal. In its place, I will ask Congress to phase in a tax credit,$5000 to each child, available to anyone or any company who contributes to the child's education. That's enrichment like computers, books in the house, and a daily newspaper subscription. That's tuition for private schoolers. That's teaching materials for home schoolers.
Health care costs to your insurance company can be cut by a quarter,almost overnight. Several years ago, Congress passed a law requiring hospital emergency rooms to treat anyone who reached their doors. They did not bother to pay for this requirement. They required hospitals to find the money. Hospitals found the money: they send the bill to your insurance company. In effect, they imposed a hidden Federal tax, the 'cost transfer'. When you go to a hospital, your health insurance is charged for the medical care of the uninsured. That's the cost transfer. It's a de facto Federal sales tax on your health insurance,and it's huge.
The Libertarian solution: Hospitals should not be forced to give 'free' medical care unless Congress pays for it. Remove requirements that hospitals give care when no one is paying for it. Charity stays legal. Make cost transfers illegal. Your insurance rates will fall a quarter or more. Also, all medical expenses should have the same tax consequence: they should be deductions. Whether your employer buys insurance, you buy insurance, or you pay out of pocket for costs, those costs should be treated the same way by the IRS America's dependence on foreign oil endangers our security. We can't solve our oil shortage by drilling here in the USA: American oil production is beyond its peak and will continue to decline, no matter whether or not we allow drilling in Alaska or Florida. The Bush Republican ethanol from corn program is a corporate welfare boondoggle:the energy in the ethanol is barely more than the energy in the coal burned to distill the ethanol up to fuel purity.
The most effective thing the Federal government can do to solve the long-term energy problem is to offer fixed-price contracts for buying electricity from private vendors, vendors who use renewable sources,wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, whatever. The contracts will offer at most a modest premium over current energy prices. The objective over some years, including energy trades, is to move the Federal government entirely to renewable energy sources. There will be no boondoggle construction projects with Federal guarantees: The Federal government only buys the electricity. Private enterprise does what it does best,deciding how to make that electricity.
The American people are entitled to decide for themselves how we want to handle immigration. Some people want more immigration. Others want less. Some want more people from the old country. Others want people from places that have not historically sent us immigrants. Those are political decisions, properly made by the people and Congress, not by the President. The current Libertarian Party platform represents a positive point of view here, as do Congressman Ron Paul's remarks. I offer one guiding principle: You can't have true open borders and a welfare system at the same time: You'll go broke. Indeed, given the bankrupt nature of our Social Security system, every time someone enters our work force, our long-term national debt goes up. A lot.
Finally, the national problem that gets ignored, because it's invisible to most Americans: A third of young African-American men pass through the prison and parole system, generally for criminal charges created by the racist war on drugs. Those people, many of them, end up disenfranchised and relatively unemployable. They remain in our inner cities, a sullen, disaffected population isolated from the vibrant life of our Republic. Americans should remember: Every so often, one spark is enough to transform a silently sullen population into a population that expresses its rage. In the 1960s, we had riots, massive episodes of looting and burning. This time, that population has watched the Iraqi resistance movement on television. This time, they may choose far more violent and disruptive approaches.
Here we have a challenging problem to solve. Admitting that it is the elephant in our living room is the first step. A vigorous application of the Presidential pardon pen may help. The Bully Pulpit of the Oval Office may persuade Congress that the racist War on Drugs is as ineffective as liquor prohibition, is as destructive as liquor prohibition, and like liquor prohibition should be brought to an end.
That's the State of the Union. We are on the wrong track. Matters are getting worse, not better.
Fortunately, the ship of state has not yet sunk.
There is still time for American creativity and initiative to turn us around.
There is still time for Americans to agree: Ask not what your government can do for you. Ask what you, freely and voluntarily, chose to do.
There is still time to choose the Libertarian future of peace, freedom, and prosperity.