THE FREEDOMS ON WHICH AMERICAN WAS FOUNDED are now under attack from the very people charged with protecting and upholding them.
- The PATRIOT Act should be repealed, which would restore proper judicial oversight to federal investigations and again require federal investigators to prove probable cause prior to executing a search.
- Habeas corpus should be respected entirely, requiring the government to either charge incarcerated individuals with a crime or release them.
- The TSA should take a risk-based approach to airport security. Only high-risk individuals should be subjected to invasive pat-downs and full-body scans.
- The TSA should not have a monopoly on airport security. Airports and airlines should be encouraged to seek the most effective methods for screening travelers, including private sector screeners. Screeners outside of government can be held fully accountable for their successes and failures.
WE ARE A NATION OF MANY PEOPLES and beliefs. The only way to respect all citizens is to allow each to make personal decisions themselves.
- Life is precious and must be protected. A woman should be allowed to make her own decisions during pregnancy until the point of viability of a fetus.
- Stem cell research should only be completed by private laboratories that operate without federal funding.
- Government should not impose its values upon marriage. It should allow marriage equality, including gay marriage. It should also protect the rights of religious organizations to follow their beliefs.
INTERNET AND TECHNOLOGY
KEEP THE INTERNET THE CENSOR-FREE, AFFORDABLE TOOL it is today.
- Government should cease subsidizing or giving favorable treatment to Internet service providers and content-creators. ‘Net Neutrality’ leads to a government role in the Internet that can only lead to unwanted regulation.
- The FCC should not be allowed to create rules regulating content, Internet speeds, and pricing for services. The government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers in the content marketplace. The Internet should remain independent, accessible and market-based.
- Internet ‘kill switch’ legislation should be scrapped completely. No person or group of people should be able to turn off the Internet.
ACCESS TO THE INTERNET MUST NOT BE taxed.
- The Internet has flourished and society has benefited immeasurably because it has remained relatively free of taxation. The moratorium on access and service taxation must be made permanent.
- Every scheme to impose a global Internet tax should be opposed.
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT RESTRICT COMMERCE that doesn’t hurt anyone.
- Political speech should in no way be censored.
- Online gambling should be legal for adults.
- Crimes committed online should be investigated and treated identically as crimes committed offline. This includes fraud and child pornography.
AMERICAN MILITARY ACTIVITIES IN AFGHANISTAN SHOULD END, our troops returned home, and the focus of our foreign policy reoriented toward the protection of U.S. citizens and interests.
- With Osama bin Laden now killed and after 10 years of fighting, U.S. forces should leave Afghanistan’s challenges to the Afghan people.
- Decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, American troops remain scattered throughout Europe. It is time to reevaluate these deployments.
- The U.S. must make better use of military alliances which allow greater sharing of the human and financial burdens at less cost of protecting national interests.
AMERICAN CAN ACHIEVE OUR FOREIGN POLICY GOALS without sacrificing American values.
- No criminal or terrorist suspect captured by the U.S. should be subject to physical or psychological torture.
- Individuals incarcerated unjustly by the U.S. should have the ability to seek compensation through the courts.
- Individuals detained by the U.S., whether it be at Guantanamo Bay or elsewhere, must be given due process via the courts or military tribunals, and must not be held indefinitely without regard to those fundamental processes.
DRUG POLICY REFORM
AMERIANS WERE PROMISED IN THE 1970’s AND 1980’s that hefty enforcement budgets and tougher sentences would lead to less crime and drug abuse.
- We have all been raised to believe that there are only two camps in the drug policy universe — “pro-drug” and “anti-drug” — and that any person who does not support the “War on Drugs” is automatically “pro-drug.” This simply isn’t the case.
- Since only criminal gangs and cartels are willing to take the risks associated with large-scale black market distribution, the War on Drugs has made a lot of dangerous people and organizations very rich and very powerful.
- The same happened with Alcohol Prohibition (1920-1933). Prohibition had only a minimal effect on the desire of Americans to drink (in some cases, it clearly made drinking more attractive), but pushing alcohol underground had other effects: overdose deaths, gang violence, and other prohibition-related harms increased dramatically during the Prohibition years.
OVER A MILLION AND A HALF AMERICANS were arrested last year on drug charges, and nearly 40% of those arrests were for marijuana possession alone. Does this make sense?
- A recent Gallup poll reports that 46% of Americans now agree that marijuana should be legalized, a dramatic increase in support that reflects Americans’ increased knowledge and understanding of the issue. Proposals to regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol have been considered in several states, and Governor Johnson has supported those efforts; he believes the federal government should end its prohibition mandate and allow each state to pursue its own desired policy.
- Governor Johnson believes it is insane to arrest roughly 800,000 people a year for choosing to use a natural substance that is, by any reasonable objective standard, less harmful than alcohol, a drug that is advertised at every major sporting event.
- As Governor Johnson often points out to concerned parents, “it will never be legal for a person to smoke marijuana, become impaired, and get behind the wheel of a car or otherwise do harm to others, and it will never be legal for kids to smoke marijuana.” But we have to understand that marijuana is our nation’s #1 cash crop despite the prohibition; it will always be available to those who really wish to use it.
- When polled, high school kids say marijuana is easier to get than alcohol. Perhaps this is because they buy from black market dealers who do not ask for ID?
- Legalization of marijuana would instantly and dramatically improve conditions on our southern border. Marijuana is Mexico’s #1 illegal export; legalizing it would result in dramatically reducing the power and wealth of the drug lords, and instantly helping to restore stability in a nation whose stability and sustainability is truly vital to our economic and national security interests. If we truly wish to reduce border violence, take the profit out of it.
BEFORE WE CAN GET SERIOUS ABOUT REDUCING the harms associated with drug, we have to accept that there will never be a drug-free society.
- To create a drug-free society, we’d have to build a police apparatus so intrusive that all Americans would have to be under surveillance 24 hours a day… presumably for their own good. Would citizens of the “land of the free” ever stand for that?
- Abuse of hard drugs is a health problem that should be dealt with by health experts, not a problem that should be clogging up our courts, jails, and prisons with addicts. Instead of continuing to arrest and incarcerate drug users, we should seriously consider the examples of countries such as Portugal and the Netherlands, and we should ultimately choose to adopt policies which aim to reduce death, disease, violence, and crime associated with dangerous drugs.
- Honest, effective education will be key to succeeding with this transition. America has cut teen cigarette use in half, not by criminalizing possession and use, but through a combination of honest education and sensible regulation.
- We can never totally eliminate drug addiction and drug abuse. We can, however, minimize these harms and reduce the negative effects they have on society by making sure drug abusers are able to access effective treatment options (jail is not an effective treatment option).
THE ECONOMY AND TAXES
THE RECESSION HAS FORCED FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES across American to make hard choices and limit their expenditures. We must now expect our elected officials to make the tough calls that will keep our government on a sustainable path moving forward. We must restrain spending across the board:
- Revise the terms of entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, which threaten to bankrupt the nation’s future.
- Eliminate the costly and ineffective military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan; limit defense spending to actions that truly protect the United States.
- Stop spending on the fiscal stimulus, transportation, energy, housing, and all other special interests. The U.S. must restrain spending across the board.
THE U.S. TAX SYSTEM POSES AND ENORMOUS toll on productivity through high marginal rates, absurd complexity, loopholes for the well-connected, and incentives for wasteful decisions. A better, fairer system will be:
- Abolish the Internal Revenue Service.
- Enact the Fair Tax to tax expenditures, rather than income, with a ‘prebate’ to make spending on basic necessities tax free.
- With the Fair Tax, eliminate business taxes, withholding and other levies that penalize productivity, while creating millions of jobs.
- Suggested Reading: www.FairTax.org
MUCH FEDERAL INTERVENTION IS A PAYOUT TO special interest or counterproductive meddling that stifles competition, innovation, and growth. We should:
- Reject auto and banking bailouts, state bailouts, corporate welfare, cap-and-trade, card check, and the mountain of regulation that protects special interests rather than benefiting consumers or the economy.
- Restrict Federal Reserve policy to maintaining price stability, not bailing out financial firms or propping up the housing sector.
- Eliminate government support of Fannie and Freddie.
- Reduce or eliminate federal involvement in education; let states expand successful reforms such as vouchers and charter schools.
- Legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana, rather than wasting money on an expensive and futile prohibition.
- Eliminate needless barriers to free trade and make it easier for would-be legal immigrants to apply for work visas.
EDUCATION AND SCHOOL CHOICE
LOCAL CONTROL MEANS THAT WE ALL WIN
- All parents should have an opportunity to choose which school their children attend.
- Putting educational funds in the hands of the people who use them gives parents and students a vote as to which schools are best and which need to improve.
- Our children deserve the chance to succeed educationally, but the same old way of thinking won’t cut it. It’s time to free individuals and states from burdensome federal mandates and regulations so they can pursue the right educational strategies for their students.
END THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. ALTHOUGH IT MAY SOUND DRASTIC, THERE ARE practical reasons why it should be considered.
- The Department of Education grants each state 11 cents out of every dollar it spends on education. Unfortunately, every dollar of this money comes with 16 cents of strings attached. States that accept federal funding lose five cents for every dollar spent on education to pay for federal mandates and regulations, taking millions of dollars out of the classroom.
- Schools should have the authority to decide how best to spend educational dollars. Without federal regulations and mandates, schools could choose to purchase new computers, better lab equipment, and maintain after-school sports and music programs even during times of tight budgets.
- Once citizens and their local representatives have the freedom to decide how their educational funds will be spent, they can consider innovations that will drive student choice, educational competition, and better results.
GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE SIMPLY WONT WORK. Competition and price transparency WILL work.
- Fewer government mandates and less regulation will allow innovation and competition to make health care more affordable and more accessible to all Americans.
- Removing arbitrary obstacles to interstate competition among health insurance providers will reduce costs.
OUR CURRENT MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SYSTEMS ARE unsustainable and must be reformed
- In New Mexico, when the state took responsibility for Medicaid, costs were reduced by 25% and services improved. Removing unnecessary federal mandates would have allowed even greater savings.
- Federal assistance for those who cannot afford essential health care should be provided through simple block grants to the states, where innovation will create efficiencies and better care at less cost.
ENERGY & the ENVIRONMENT
GOVERNMENT SUBSIDES & INCENTIVES FOR SPECIFIC ENERGY resources don’t work.
- Cap and Trade schemes, tax subsidies, and government efforts to steer us to one energy source over another are inherently inefficient, disrupt the market, and ultimately impose costs we cannot afford.
- No where in the Constitution is the government given the power to manipulate our behavior as consumers or producers of energy.
ESSENTIAL ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION DOES NOT REQUIRE DESTROYING jobs, infringing on property rights, or curtailing freedom.
- Insisting on a basic cost-benefit analysis for regulations will restore an appropriate balance and common sense to environmental policy.
- Much of what government does in the name of environmental protection is really an effort to impose values on property owners, consumers and individuals. Protecting us from harm does not require the government to manage our lives, our businesses or our farms.
TREAT 2ND AMENDMENT RIGHTS AS THE INDIVIDUAL constitutional rights they are.
- Many argue that the 2nd Amendment doesn’t really apply to individuals. Would those same people suggest that rights to free speech, association or religious freedom don’t apply to individuals?
DO NOT NEGOTIATE AWAY OUR FREEDOMS IN the name of safety.
- From the United Nations to city council chambers across the nation, gun rights are constantly under attack from those who believe, mistakenly, that restricting our right to own firearms legally will somehow make us safer.
LEGAL IMMIGRATION STRENGTHENS AMERICA’S ECONOMY AND THE social fabric. It will also strengthen our relationship with our southern neighbor Mexico.
- It should be easier for a potential immigrant to get a work visa. Potential immigrants should pass a background check, and then be issued a Social Security card, which would allow them to pay income, payroll, and all other taxes workers pay.
- There should be a two-year grace period for illegal immigrants to attain work visas so they can continue contributing to America and begin taking part in American society openly.
- Immigrants with temporary work visas should have access to the normal procedures for gaining permanent status and citizenship, and should be able to bring their families to the U.S. after demonstrating ability to support them financially.
REAL BORDER SECURITY MEAN KNOWING WHO IS coming here and why.
- Legalizing marijuana will reduce border violence and illegal immigration significantly, decreasing the U.S.-Mexican drug trade by 70 percent. Without a monopoly on the marijuana trade, Mexican drug cartels will have vastly diminished incentives to violate U.S. law and risk capture.
- Streamline the legal immigration process to reduce illegal immigration and allow the U.S. to know who enters the country and for what reasons.
- Enforce a ‘one strike, you’re out’ rule for immigrants who circumvent the streamlined work visa process.
SPENDING AND THE DEFICIT
THE U.S. IS BORROWING OR PRINTING MORE than 40 cents of every dollar the government spends today. The math is simple: Federal spending must be cut not by millions or billions, but by trillions. And it must be done today. It’s time to:
- Submit a Balanced Budget to Congress, not five or ten years down the road, but in 2013.
- End excessive spending, bloated stimulus programs, unnecessary farm subsidies, and earmarks.
- Reassess the role of the federal government and identify responsibilities that can be met more efficiently by the private sector.
- Recognize that you can’t have limited government at home, but big government abroad.
MOST PEOPLE IN WASHINGTON SEEM TO THINK that we can control spending and balance the budget without reforming Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. This is lunacy.
- Identify and implement common-sense cost savings to place Medicare on a path toward long-term solvency.
- Block grant Medicare and Medicaid funds to the states, allowing them to innovate, find efficiencies and provide better service at lower cost.
- Repeal President Obama’s healthcare plan, as well as the failed Medicare prescription drug benefit.
- Fix Social Security by changing the escalator from being based on wage growth to inflation. It’s time for Social Security to reflect today’s realities without breaking trust with retirees.
THE FEDERAL RESERVE SHOULD BE TRANSPARENT and its actions held to the same level of scrutiny as any other federal department.
- The American people deserve to know the extent to which the Fed has purchased private assets at home and abroad.
- Many Americans have become interested in the Federal Reserve in recent years. America’s representatives in Washington, D.C. need to also become a lot more interested in how this government institution affects the American economy.
- The role and the activities of the Federal Reserve are long overdue for examination, reassessment, and ultimately, thoughtful reform. Can the Federal Reserve pursue both stable prices and full employment, or does its currency manipulation cause malinvestment, inflation, and prolonged unemployment?
- Conduct an audit to provide true transparency of the Federal Reserve’s lending practices.
- Establish clear Congressional oversight.
- Get the Federal Reserve out of the business of printing money and buying debt through quantitative easing.
It is so clear to me that Gary Johnson is the candidate most fit to run this country, unfortunately we live in a country with a two-party system. Romney is the better choice economically, but his social stances are so ass-backward that no one with any empathy for their fellow man would vote for him. Obama is the best choice for people that actually care about all people and not just rich, white males. Gary Johnson is the best of both Romney and Obama. When he was governor of New Mexico he left the state with a $1 billion budget surplus, he supports a minimalist government, and he stands and the rights and freedoms of ALL people. It really perturbs me that this man could do so much good for this country but because he isn’t running as a Democrat or Republican he doesn’t even stand a chance. I’m sorry this post is so long, I just really wanted to share some info about Johnson and maybe open up some people’s eyes to what else is out there beyond the two parties clouding our news.
If you’re American and you can vote, vote Gary Johnson.