For your liberty!
1. End hostilities in Iraq as soon as possible.
The military action in Iraq is the biggest foreign policy blunder of my lifetime.
Beyond that a) it is not a declared war by Congress as our Constitution requires, b) the premises for starting the conflict were contrived at best and c) there is no stated mission and no definition of success.
And, the conflict may lead to a long commitment while reducing the readiness of our military to fight against real enemies including radical Islamists that want to attack our country, the Taliban and others we do not even know about.
The U.S. and global economies are evolving at an increasing pace. Without some important changes the U.S. competitiveness may decline a lot. For example, the trend toward protectionism, while understandable a) helps a few at the expense of the many and b) is promoted by narrowly focused groups and pandering politicians that seek votes and popularity while ignoring economic fundamentals.
I have a specific interest in empowering our small businesses which create more than one half of all jobs and that seem poised to create most of the career opportunties and lead to most of the propserity in the next decades.
Clearly our environment is affected negatively by ever-increasing development and population growth. Unfortunately many government policies contribute to this challenge. It is important to change those policies. Please see my environment policy summary.
1. Preserving and Enhancing Freedom
One of my top ongoing priorities is preservation of freedom. After all, the federal government’s mission is preserving, even enhancing personal freedom, while holding people that cause harm accountable.
Consider the preamble to the Constitution, which specifies the federal government’s mission and key objectives:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Furthermore, as specified in the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: a) all powers which the federal government has are delegated to it by the people, and b) almost all powers are retained by states and by the people. In many cases that relationship has been reversed; treatment of states’ medical marijuana laws is an excellent example.
Perhaps, the greatest challenge to individual liberty is the never-to-end war on terrorism. One recent development is government’s increasing tendency to label many criminal acts as “terrorism” and to use new terrorism-fighting powers to pursue “crimes” that are clearly not terrorism. Many provisions of the very deceptively named USA PATRIOT Act are very troubling; and the government wants even more such power. At some point trading more freedom for more safety becomes a raw deal. That time has come.
2. Personal Privacy
Another of my priorities is doing whatever is possible to protect, restore and to preserve your privacy. Privacy is under attack from: 1) business interests that may not treat your personal information responsibly, 2) Homeland Security and other government agencies that want to know what you buy, what you read, and what is in your email messages, and 3) increasingly sophisticated identity thieves.
Specifically; I will pursue any obvious legislative angle to enhance your privacy. My most important initiative will be to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution which actually specifies a right to privacy, something that does not exist, legally. Please see my Action Plan for details.
3. Improving Effectiveness of Federal Laws, Regulations, and Programs
It is not a leap of faith to assume that most federal laws, regulations, and programs are either not effective (given stated goals of lawmakers), have unintended consequences which make them undesirable, or are no longer needed. So, another priority is to establish a framework for evaluating the merits of laws, regulations, and programs by defining success at the outset, gauging success over time, and by modifying or eliminating them when prudent. My Action Plan has additional details.
4. Jobs: Focus on Small Business
The final priority is jobs and the need to empower our small businesses which create more than one half of all jobs. 1 Needed are reduced federal regulatory burdens, reduced income tax, and reduced tax compliance costs for small and medium sized businesses. (Note: this position does not reflect a preference for small business vis a vis business in general. A key premise for this position is that larger businesses are much more likely to have means to advocate for themselves; conversely, in many cases larger corporations already receive "special treatment" that small businesses cannot compete for, politically and/or financially.)