The Libertarian Perspective: Not working well for JoeWritten by Guest Author | | GuestAuthor@toledofreepress.com
By Kenneth Sharp
I won’t get the chance to directly address the president with my questions, but both campaigns will spend a great deal of time in Ohio between now and the election, so maybe a staffer will see this and pass it on.
Mr. President, in your victory speech of November 2008 you said, “I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help, and I will be your president too.” America is still divided. Partisanship is grinding the ability to govern to a halt, and some are thankful for that.
Within the federal government, as a Libertarian, I can nearly agree. Yet in the larger American landscape two grassroots movements emerged in your first term.
Both were eventually overtaken in large degree by the two major parties, but before that time, you clearly endorsed one over the other. You clearly voiced your solidarity with the Occupy movement, but not The Tea Party movement. The Occupy movement’s primary concern was crony capitalism whereas the Tea Party was concerned with taxes. Crony capitalism is a major concern, but as you have stated, so are taxes.
Why did you not support this effort as well? Why did you not hear so many voices?
In your State of the Union address, January 2011, you said, “In fact, the best thing we could do on taxes for all Americans is to simplify the individual tax code,” almost identical to Tea Party concerns. Instead, you and your Republican opponent call for more obtuse regulations.
Languishing in Congress is a Fair Tax bill, supported by the Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson, that would eliminate the convoluted and divisive rules. It would first eliminate the income tax and replace it with a national sales tax. It is the most studied tax plan in U.S. history and is given high marks for transparency and fairness. Nearly all agree it would bring back jobs from foreign nations and boost the economy. It is bipartisan in support, something you claim to want. It has its libertarian detractors. It is revenue neutral, meaning it would still raise enough to fund all current programs. Not something most libertarians want; also it is still a tax, something many libertarians dislike.
The Fair Tax offers a huge advantage to the Occupy folk as well. It eliminates corporate taxes, they pay in the same manner individuals would, but there would be less need for lobbyists. Corporations would have less incentive to cozy up to Congress in an effort to create rules in their favor or against the competition.
Tax compliance costs the American economy tens of billions of dollars a year. Money that could have gone to growing the economy is wasted on taxes. That would end. Those should all be positives, yet you and your major opponent still go down the old divisive road. Why will you not fight for the Fair Tax? Is it because all politicians use taxes as an election tool to hold over the citizens? Or, is it you haven’t been made aware?
If it is the latter, please see www.fairtax.org or www.gary johnson2012.com for guidance.
As a freshman senator, in 2006, you said, “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure.” After you were elected president, you explained that it is different when you are a senator than when you are the president.
Did the dire consequences of an escalating national debt magically disappear because you went from representing just the people of Illinois to representing the entire United States?
If the immense debt was a concern in 2006, isn’t the even larger debt a concern now? If it signaled a leadership failure then does it not signal the same today? Your plan, like Romney’s, pushes the can down the road but does little or nothing to tackle the hard truth. We spend and borrow too much.
Gov. Johnson has gone public with his plans that would reduce the budget 43 percent the first year and bring it under control (www.ontheissues.org/2012/Gary_Johnson_Budget_+_Economy.htm).
The deficit affects us now and our posterity. It is the greatest threat to our sovereignty and security.
Why have you failed in this key leadership role?
I had hoped to get into the issues on immigration, education, health care and many others, but my time is cut short.
If, Mr. President, you wish to hear them I can be reached at the email below. I will not try to make a career from it; it hasn’t seemed to work too well for Joe the Plumber.
Email Kenneth Sharp at email@example.com.