Last night President Barack Obama presented his State of the Union Address to the United States citizens with few surprises. Obama told the nation he will fix America's ills, however what often is well intended consequences by government turns into draconian laws robbing Americans of freedom.
He said his solution was to close "loopholes" in our tax code to have business invest in America rather than going abroad when he said, "Both Democrats and Republicans have argued that our tax code is riddled with wasteful, complicated loopholes that punish businesses investing here, and reward companies that keep profits abroad. Let’s flip that equation. Let’s work together to close those loopholes, end those incentives to ship jobs overseas, and lower tax rates for businesses that create jobs here at home." This has been promised by many a president however no serious reform of our tax code has happened since the Tax Reform Act of 1986 which was supposed to have simplified the tax code. Not only did the tax code get even more complex, however it bankrupted countless Americans, nearly bankrupted multiple real estate markets and bankrupted countless banks. Perhaps it is time President Obama and Congress take a look at the Fair Tax or many Libertarians would like to see a return to depending upon import tariffs to fund the federal government rather than tax Americans directly.
What concerns many Americans is Obama's continued desire to use Executive Orders to legislate rather than using our U.S. Constitution's method of check and balances with debates and votes on the floors of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House. In last night's address he said, "But I will act on my own to slash bureaucracy and streamline the permitting process for key projects, so we can get more construction workers on the job as fast as possible." Those are often the words of a dictator rather than someone seeking to work with others or having respect for the U.S. Constitution. 2012 Libertarian Party presidential nominee and current honorary chairman of the Our America Initiative, Gary Johnson said last night of Obama's speech, "If there's an overriding theme tonight is the fact that he's going to do it with Executive Orders. So it's a little scary. In the past we potentially had a balance of power. And in the past we had to have legislation to accomplish all the things he wanted to do for us. But now he's going to do it with Executive Orders."
Another issue of contention for many is Obama's delusion that the federal government creates jobs and the federal government has billions to spend on special interests. This is no different from when President Bush was in office and doled out money the federal government did not have to his special interests. Both Republican and Democrat administrations have picked winners and losers rather than let the American people decide which industries to support and which to let fail. Gary Johnson also said, "He's going to do some things now administratively that he has not done in the past I think it is going to result in a lot more government spending and a lot more government intrusion into our lives."
Last night Wes Benedict, the Executive Director of the Libertarian Party said, "Thanks to the work of Republicans and Democrats, America has declined in the Economic Freedom Index. We've been sliding for years, and now we're down to #12. We're below Australia, Canada, and Denmark. Libertarian policies would get us back to #1." The full response of the Libertarian Party to President Obama's speech last night can be seen below.
Obama, like most presidents, Democrat or Republican, take credit for improving the economics of America when often the American economy chugs along despite the negative policies of the government. President Bush did the same so it is of little surprise to hear such government speak from Obama. Last night Obama took credit in last night's Address for creating jobs, the improvement in the housing market, producing more oil here in the U.S. and reducing the American deficit in half. The only reason the deficit was knocked down was due to the fact the stimulus expenditures have now ended, but like what works for Wolves of Wall Street, seems to work on Capitol Hill as well.
Libertarian Party Executive Director Wes Benedict issued the following statement last night in response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address:
"Thanks to unprecedented levels of government interference and government coercion, Americans' rights are violated like never before. We are harmed by taxes, regulations, prohibitions, and shocking privacy intrusions.
Unfortunately, most of the harm and injustice of government occurs because too many Americans support existing government policies. We're suffering under a tyranny of the majority. Our Libertarian hope is that we can convince enough Americans to change their minds. We hope voters will come to understand that government is force, and force is unjust.
Here are some of the problems we see.
The government debt situation is atrocious. Government debt is a terrible thing, because it forces future generations to pay off debts they never agreed to incur. From 2001 to 2008, George W. Bush doubled the debt, mostly with the support of a Republican Congress. Since 2009, Barack Obama and the Democrats (and Republicans) have nearly doubled it again. It doesn't matter whether Republicans or Democrats control the government. Libertarians would quickly balance the budget by cutting spending on everything, including entitlements and the military.
Thanks to the work of Republicans and Democrats, America has declined in the Economic Freedom Index. We've been sliding for years, and now we're down to #12. We're below Australia, Canada, and Denmark. Libertarian policies would get us back to #1.
Government should stop creating programs to fight economic inequality. Some economic inequality is natural and healthy in a free society. Actually, government often creates artificial inequality by granting special privileges to certain businesses or classes of people. Republicans and Democrats do that all the time. Libertarians prefer a level playing field.
The employment situation is still pretty bad. Why? Because government gets in between employers and employees, and tries to dictate everything. Minimum wage laws, hiring laws, firing laws, subsidies, and business taxes all make it harder to create jobs and find jobs. These laws are supported by both Republicans and Democrats. Libertarians would eliminate the minimum wage, employment red tape, and business subsidies and taxes.
Since 2001, the federal budget has exploded. Whenever the government spends money, it displaces it out of the private sector. That means the government is making more choices about how we use our resources, and free people are making fewer choices. That inevitably harms our economy. Libertarians would eliminate most programs, and cut spending on the rest.
If there's one thing we have learned since 2001, it's that we can't trust what government officials say. They lie. Bush and Cheney said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. James Clapper (Director of National Intelligence) said under oath that the NSA does not collect data on Americans. Those are a couple of the most outrageous lies, but there have been many others. The more power government has, the more government officials will have the opportunity and incentive to lie. Libertarians would greatly reduce government power.
Government should not be trusted to tell the truth about global warming, or to create restrictions in the name of fighting it. Look at the waste and environmental damage caused by government ethanol subsidies!
It used to be that if you said the government was watching you, people thought you were paranoid. Now, partly thanks to the efforts of Edward Snowden, everyone knows it's true. Between the Patriot Act, the IRS, the FBI, and the NSA (and probably other agencies as well), Americans have no idea whether ANYTHING they do is private anymore. Government should respect people's privacy, not violate it. Libertarians would end foreign wars, and end the War on Drugs, which would take away most of the government's excuse for spying. Libertarians would also repeal the Patriot Act and other invasions of privacy.
What about Obamacare? The problems with American health care go far beyond Obamacare. The problem is the whole huge mess that government interference has created. For decades, the government has done nothing but undermine health care by interfering in the health care market, and creating mandates and prohibitions that override our choices. Obamacare took a bad situation and made it worse — but let's not forget that it was already very bad. And that's thanks to the efforts of both Democrats and Republicans. As stated in our platform, Libertarians would "recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the level of health insurance they want (if any), the level of health care they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use and all other aspects of their medical care, including end-of-life decisions."
Libertarians believe that government should have no involvement in education whatsoever. That goes double for the federal government. Unfortunately, the federal government massively interferes with education today: subsidies for preschool, subsidies for K–12 education, subsidies for higher education, and lots of mandates and regulations thanks to efforts like the Republicans' No Child Left Behind law. Our children would be much happier and better educated if government would get out of the way. Libertarians would eliminate the Department of Education and repeal No Child Left Behind.
Republicans and Democrats have also created a mess with immigration. The immigration debate has nothing to do with border security; it's all about employment. Currently, millions of foreigners work here illegally, because Republicans and Democrats have made it almost impossible to do legally. Libertarians would make it very easy for foreigners to come here, live here, and work here.
How about the military? The Libertarian attitude is pretty simple: the U.S. military should leave other countries alone, even if their governments are unstable, and even if there are people living there who hate Americans. We need to cut military spending a whole lot. Try getting Republicans or Democrats to support ANY cuts to military spending.
Amid all this gloom, we do see a bright spot: the War on Drugs. In 2012, voters in Colorado and Washington passed initiatives to end prohibition of marijuana. Recently the New Hampshire House of Representatives did so too. A majority of Americans now believe that marijuana should not be prohibited. As time goes on, we believe that more and more Americans will join us in opposing the War on Drugs. We're pleased President Obama is moving in our direction on this issue.
All in all, the state of our union is a big mess created by Republicans and Democrats. Libertarians offer a path forward to peace and prosperity. Our 149 elected Libertarians nationwide work to implement libertarian policies directly. Hundreds of other Libertarians run for office each election cycle."