I’m doing a series on the Libertarian Presidential Candidates. In this post, I will be discussing Austin Petersen, the former The Libertarian Republic editor. Petersen has been involved with the Libertarian Party since 2008, and was a producer for Judge Andrew Napolitano’s Fox Business show “Freedom Watch”. I could go on, but I’ll let this speak for me instead:
Now, allow me to say this. Austin is technically a party insider, since he used to work for the LNC (Libertarian National Committee), but he’s been outside of this for several years. He’s got an interesting resume, and certainly seems to be enthusiastic about what he’s seeking out. His age isn’t something I worry to much about, and I think he gave a great response to this in the Fox Business Libertarian Presidential Debate.
Taxes & Spending
1. Reduce economic inequality by lowering barriers to entry in the marketplace, licensing, taxation, and fees. Urge congress to adopt the “Penny Plan,” across the board spending cuts of 1% per program. Abolish the existing, complicated tax code that discriminates against the most productive Americans, and replace it with a simple, flat tax at the lowest rate necessary to support the core functions of government. Seek voluntary ways to fund public services where possible, lotteries, tolls, etc.
Right off the bat, we get specifics, and I LOVE SPECIFICS. I love them because that eliminates speculation of HOW they plan to achieve thier goals and proposals. I’ve heard of the Penny Plan before, and I see no reason to go against it. $0.01 from every dollar spent would be a great way to start off cutting the budget down to a sustainable size, so the country and government can survive.
National Security & Defense
2. Strengthen national security by reducing/ending foreign aid to nations hostile to the USA. Reconsider overseas troop deployments in areas not important to US national security, and audit the Pentagon. Reform the Veteran’s Affairs administration.
The American people have sacrificed enough blood and treasure in the Middle East. No more nation building. Obey the Constitution, and only go to war if it’s declared by congress. Consider constitutional Letters of Marque and Reprisal to deal with terrorists.
I like Austin on foreign policy, and it’s important that we have more of a non-interventionist foreign policy in place. Wasteful spending is a major issue with the Pentagon, and those saying it isn’t are straight out lying. Plenty of cuts can be made without the drastic hyperbolic statements neo-cons make whenever someone suggests that military spending go down a bit.
As for real foreign policy, I believe it is a smart move to draw back the US from its position as world police people. We cannot afford this, and we cannot do it without harming ourselves, and stirring up more hatred and contempt for ourselves in the process. Yes, I said it.
3. Lower barriers to trade with foreign nations, and allow American companies the leeway they need to develop domestic energy production, in order to create good paying jobs at home.
That’s simple enough. True free trade does not require a several thousand page bill.
4. Audit the Federal Reserve first. End it through competition last. Institute a Monetary Commission devoted to studying the implications of replacing central banking with “Free Banking,” and abolishing laws of legal tender. Allow gold and silver to circulate as a currency, removing them from the commodity list, and make precious metal coins free of taxation. Let digital currencies compete against Federal Reserve notes.
This is probably my favorite portion of Austin’s platform. Monetary policy is a BIG issue that almost no one (except Rand Paul and the Libertarians minus Gary) mentions, and that’s a big disservice. When people cannot buy goods because the prices keep going up due to inflation, then what happens? Riots and civil war. Sound extreme? Make food and shelter unaffordable, and let’s see what happens…
Eliminating the Federal Reserve is a huge thing that MUST be done. Audit it first to see what they’ve been up to, but the end goal is to kill it, and with fire maybe (if that’s your thing). Allowing gold and silver to be used for a currency would allow the development of currencies that are finally backed by something solid, and that’s something the US hasn’t had for a very long time, and needs. And I love the digital currencies bit as well. Bitcoin is a definite route for money to move in the future, and I’d love to see how it would develop in an environment of free banking.
5. Streamline our immigration system by following updated “Ellis Island” styled protocols. Security check. Disease check. Done.
I see no issue with this. This would make legal immigration much easier, and would help to decrease people crossing over the border who’re crossing illegally.
6. Work with congress to institute new protocols that will protect national security while placing the balance of weight towards due process and individual rights. Rein in the NSA, and demand accountability in our security agencies so as to protect our 4th Amendment rights.
This is another important thing that needs to be done. The NSA violates the 4th Amendment on a daily basis, and it must simply be stopped.
Crime & Punishment
7. Reclassify the war on drugs as a medical problem, not a criminal problem. Deschedule all drugs at the federal level and end the federal War on Drugs once and for all.
Austin is calling for more on the drug war front than most are willing to admit (with maybe the exception of McAfee). Ending the Drug War would free up billions of taxpayer dollars, and put an end to a big government program that’s been hell-bent on destroying personal liberties since it’s inception.
8. Allow young people to opt out of Social Security.
I would be fine with opting out. It’s not going to be there for me in the future. It’s a major failure that needs to be ended is what it is.
9. Overturn Obamacare. Seek out market alternatives to problems of health and wellness.
This is yet another good thing. Obamacare is drowning people in paperwork, and the fines for not having crappy coverage are staggering (thousands on your tax bill = bye bye refund check). Repealing Obamacare would allow for more competition, and would expand what people can do.
10. Encourage a culture of life, and adoption, and educate Americans about the “consistent pro-life ethic,” which also means abolishing the death penalty.
I find this interesting from a Libertarian candidate, largely because you don’t often see it. The Death Penalty being eliminated would be better for the bottom line of states, because it costs more to try those cases compared to Life-Imprisonment cases. And for the abortion bit, I’m seeing more and more libertarian big names coming out against it by the day. I like this a lot.
Overall, I believe that Austin is a very good candidate, and I believe he’s probably the best candidate running for the LP ticket. He is a bit young, but he’s right to point out that the Founding Fathers sure as hell weren’t old people when they were rebelling. He’s got good positions, and having listened to him for a long time, in both his written content and his podcast, he understands the philosophy of libertarianism greatly.