Friday, April 25, 2008

A Delaware Libertarian Exclusive: Interview with Libertarian Presidential hopeful George Phillies

This is what Dr. George Phillies says on his website:

America is in deep trouble. We are on the wrong track.

America needs answers.

Only the Libertarian Party has those answers: Answers true to our traditions. Answers that will bring us Peace, Liberty, and Prosperity.

To bring the Libertarian message to the American people, we need the right candidate: A candidate with a sound Libertarian message. A candidate with solid credentials. A candidate with an effective campaign. A candidate who is proud to campaign as a Real Libertarian.

Who is that Candidate?

Obviously, Phillies believes that he is that candidate. Trying to find out, Delaware Libertarian posed the same five tough questions we asked of another hopeful yesterday. Here are his answers:

1) Even when the United States has withdrawn from Iraq, the issue of our relationship with Iran (and the potential of an Iranian nuclear program) will still be high on the new president's foreign policy agenda. What are your initial thoughts on handling the issue?

Americans complain that a former Iranian government allowed students to storm our embassy. Iranians complain that a former American President overthrew their government. The leaders who were involved in those things, in the last century, are now answering to a higher judge. I would anticipate restoring diplomatic and trade relations with Iran, and with the other countries we have historically turned our backs upon, for example, Cuba.

Looking toward the future, our various schemes to prop up or replace foreign dictators have brought great misfortune upon us. We should stop manipulating foreign governments. Whatever may have been the case 50 years ago, there is now no great foreign menace credibly trying to take over the world, and we should stop behaving as though there were.

It is sad that the various nations of the Middle East do not all have friendly relations with each other, but the historical reasons for this are well-known and not within our ability to change. It appears that at least one nation in the Middle East already has atomic weapons, but I do not believe that we Americans should be over-worried about the situation. In the 1950s, nuclear weapons deterred war between Russia and America, and the same logic will continue to operate today.

2) The new president will inherit an economy potentially in deep crisis, with the dollar floundering, foreign investors owning a huge chunk of our debt, the "mortgage bomb" exploding, and energy costs skyrocketing. What principles will guide you as president in restoring the American economy?

The world is changing. Fortunately, we are America, the country that thrives on change. Other countries may cower in the shadows when change threatens. We Americans cheer loudly for our individual right to respond to change as we each see fit.

The enormous benefits of capitalism are rapidly raising the standard of living of much of the world, creating new demand for old products. India, China, Russia, and the Arab states now use as much oil as the USA. China now produces three times as much steel as America does. For many other raw materials and foodstuffs, a similar situation is seen. Energy prices are soaring because potential demand is increasing. Increasing prices of raw materials are part of the world we live in, and will be so for the foreseeable future.

In a free country, what will a Libertarian President do about our economic crises? He can correct the problems that come from past bad government policies. One root of our problem is our national debt. It ties up nine trillion dollars in liquid capital. Interest on the national debt is over $400 billion a year. The national debt allows us to run a huge trade deficit on goods and services. When we send that near-trillion dollars a year abroad, to pay for imports not matched by exports, those foreign governments have to do something with their dollars. Their only real choice is to buy something American, and they buy Treasury Bills. If there was no national debt, if those T-Bills did not exist, there would be an enormous pressure on them to buy American goods or invest in America.

Paying off the national debt is therefore an important piece of a solution to our economic difficulties.

Uncle Sam should also move from fossil fuel to renewable energy sources, thus reducing competition for petroleum products. The sensible way to do this is for the Federal government to offer to buy electricity from new, renewable resources, using long-term fixed price contracts, until all government energy consumption is matched by these purchases. Uncle Sam shouldn't pay for research or build the power plants--that's for private enterprise. Uncle Sam should limit himself to buying the energy he needs in a way that reduces his dependence on petroleum products.

Finally, there should be massive reductions in the vast regulatory burden placed on the backs of small and large businessmen, farmers, and service workers. I will not argue about the motives of the people who wrote those rules. However, those regulations are making us poor, make the poor even poorer, and we just can't afford that.

3) The drumbeat of the so-called progressive candidates is that they will provide government-mandated health insurance for every American. How will you convince the millions of uninsured voters that the application of Libertarian principles to today's health care problems will benefit them?

In the end, you have to convince a working majority of voters that you have the right answer to their problems. You will never satisfy everyone, but that's no reason not to do the right thing. I have proposed a detailed multi-part program for dealing with medical insurance costs, including banning cost transfers, allowing interstate competition in the sale of health insurance, putting all medical costs on the same tax basis, allowing that European Union approval of a medical care product is adequate to let the product be sold in America, and rejecting proposals that the sale of vitamins should be regulated or banned. I am also proposing effective steps to get us a much richer economy, since medical insurance is not a problem for rich people. These steps will greatly improve the price and value of medical insurance, by taking actions that reduce government interference in a free market, this minimizing the number of people without insurance..

Note, incidentally, that millions of people reject modern medicine in favor of prayer or traditional methods from various parts of the globe. Mandating that those people buy medical insurance (or, as Senator Edwards did, requiring them to have a primary care physician) is simply irrational.

4) Libertarians have traditionally opposed a major role for the Federal government in public education, and there is now a general consensus that the deeply flawed "No Child Left Behind" act must be scrapped. Even so, given that a Libertarian president will end up working with a Congress composed primarily of Democrats and Republicans, what strategy will you use to achieve real reform in Education?

I anticipate forming positive alliances within Congress to repeal No Child Left Behind. I will reach out to America's educators, most of whom detest NCLB. And I will keep using a core campaign message: "We're broke. We can't afford that."

How will a Libertarian negotiate with Congress? A Libertarian just won the election. The opposition will be in shock. A realistic outcome is that one of those opposition parties is no longer in good working order, and the other party will be happy to help us keep it that way.

You try to be a little more tactful, but the Libertarian President's bargaining chip is: "Did you notice the results of the last election? Don't you think there might be a message here? Our election laws tend to ensure that we have a two party system. Which of you is volunteering to join the Libertarians as the two major parties, and which of you is volunteering to join the Federalists and the Whigs?"

5) Your Statist predecessors have used the aftermath of 9/11 to conduct the greatest assault on privacy and individual freedom in the US since the McCarthy years. How will you balance the need to protect the civil liberties of all American citizens against the need to protect the country from terrorist attacks?

The sworn duty of the President is to protect the Constitution. That is what I will do. The chief threat to the Republic here in 2008 is an ever-expanding Federal police state that treats with contempt our Constitution and Bill of Rights. The best defense against this threat is Law and Order. There are laws against warrantless wiretaps, detention without trial, kidnapping, and torture. The people who committed those crimes should be brought to justice. The facts of their cases should be presented to grand juries. Judge and juries will decide the fates of the indicted ones. If elected, I will appoint the needed corps of special prosecutors to see that justice is done in these cases. There is no better way to deter future civil servants and their private industry co-conspirators from breaking the law than to give them a lesson: If you break the law, you will win a long stay in Club Fed. Let justice be done, though the heavens fall.

It will also be desirable to repeal laws from the Bush administration, such as the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, NAIS, No Child Left Behind, RealID, the legal components of the Faith-Based Initiatives, and a wide range of executive orders of dubious or nonexistent legality.

1 comment:

Brian Shields said...

I like him. I'm going to go check out his site.