Robby Soave:”Trump Gives Victory Speech, Liberals Rediscover Appeal of Limited Government”

President-Elect Donald Trump preached national unity and vowed to “reclaim our country’s destiny,” in his victory speech, which was delivered around 3:00 a.m. in New York City. Rival candidate Hillary Clinton had already called Trump to concede, he told the crowd.

Trump complimented Clinton on running a “hard-fought campaign.”

“She fought very hard,” he said. “Hillary has worked very long and hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country. I mean that very sincerely.”

Trump then turned to the business of healing the vast political divide. He promised to be a president for all Americans.

“For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help, so that we can work together and unify our great country,” he said.

The president-elect claimed to have a “great” economic plan, though he offered no details. He closed by thanking his most vocal supporters—his family, Rudy Giuliani, Sen. Jeff Sessions, Ben Carson, and others—and assuring the American people that “you’ll be so proud of your president” by the time his reign comes to an end.

Trump’s election has sent shockwaves: the markets are in free-fall, Democratic voters are petrified, and the media has no idea what just happened.

Libertarians should be girding themselves for four years of the federal government trampling their freedoms—but of course, we’ve come to expect that regardless.
Full Commentary by Robby Soave @ Reason Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2016/11/09/in-victory-speech-donald-trump-promises

California to Vote On Death, Taxes & Legal Pot

California voters will decide on several controversial issues this year, including high tax rates on the wealthy, the death penalty, registering sales of bullets, legalization of marijuana and ending the death penalty. I hope this guidance on the more important ballot measures helps you to decide how to vote.

PROPOSITION 51 – $9 billion bond issue for government schools. Cost with interest total $17.6 billion. Vote NO

PROPOSITION 53 – Requires voter approval for state Revenue Bonds – Vote YES

PROPOSITION 54 – Requires that a bill introduced into the California legislature be posted online for 72 hours
before the legislature can vote on it. Vote YES

PROPOSITION 55 – 12 year extension of temporary hikes in income tax and sales tax. The state has enough money.
Higher taxes will depress growth in California Vote NO

PROPOSITION 57 -Allows parole for nonviolent felons; sentence credits for good behavior, rehabilitation
and education. Saves taxpayer money Vote YES

PROPOSITION 59 – asks California voters to back constitutional amendment to wipe out free speech guarantee.
Advisory only. Vote NO

PROPOSITION 62 – Repeals Death Penalty; Applies to existing death sentences – converts them to life in prison without parole. Increases portion of inmate wages to be applied to victim resititution. Vote YES

PROPOSITION 63 – Regulates sales of bullets. Creates new bureaucracy Vote NO

PROPOSITION 64 – Legalizes possession of one ounce of marijuana. Creates regulatory structure for production and sale of marijuana. Guarantees protections for medical users. Possession no longer makes you a criminal. Vote YES

PROPOSITION 66 -Set limits on appeals of death penalty convictions Vote NO

Vote for Gary Johnson for Less Government

Just to be clear:a vote for Gary Johnson for President is a vote against Hilary Clinton – and a vote against Donald Trump.

Hilary Clinton promises new federal aid programs to deal with education, healthcare, and law enforcement. This will burden a federal government already 20 trillion dollars in the hole. In less than two decades, the Clinton brand has gone from “the era of big government is over” to Bernie on a budget.

Of course, Hilary Clinton has a record of support for big government. During her 8 years in the Senate, she voted for the Patriot Act, No Child Left Behind, and the bank bailout – initiatives by President Bush intended to give the federal government new powers for law enforcement, education, and financial control. As President she will continue to promote government as the solution to social and economic problems in America.

Hilary Clinton also favors active government in international affairs. In the Senate, she voted in favor of the Iraq War in 2002. She joined with 29 other Senate Democrats to vote in favor of George W Bush’s policy of pre-emptive war, based on faulty intelligence. In 2009 she left the Senate to become Secretary of State. As Secretary of State she pushed for interventions in Libya and Syria.

George W Bush’s pre-emptive war on Iraq resulted in more than 4000 Americans dying, more than 40,000 with life-changing wounds, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed. The Iraq war has cost the taxpayers trillions of dollars, and the costs continue to rise – medical care for wounded vets, reconstruction in Iraq, and interest on the debt which resulted from the multi-trillion dollar war. The Iraq war has not made America safer and has not brought peace and order to Iraq, where fighting is going on today between Iraqi Shi’ite militias and the Islamic State.

The intervention in Libya has ended the tyrannical reign of Muamar Qaddafi, but it has also led to chaos and violence as constant companions for the Libyan people. The Libyan chaos has made room for extremists who may threaten nearby countries in the future, and an end to chaos is nowhere in sight.

Syria is engulfed in a civil war, with more than two sides. As Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton lobbied for direct intervention and aid to Syrian militias that might be induced to fight both the Assad regime and the forces of the Islamic State. Currently, the C.I.A. is supplying weapons to several rebel groups, including at least one with ties to Al Qaeda. The Pentagon is providing aid to several other extremist militias in Syria. US intervention in Libya and Syria is taking place after the disaster of the intervention in Iraq, and before any real plan to bring freedom to the Libyan and Syrian people has been developed.

Hilary Clinton has a record of support for active government at home, and military and political intervention in the Middle East. As President, Hilary Clinton will be guided by this faith in government, and all Americans will pay the price.

Donald Trump does not provide a real alternative. Mr Trump proposes costly new government powers to deal with illegal immigration. His plan to deport up to 11 million people would cost hundreds of billions of dollars, and involve a massive increase in federal police powers. Building a wall along the border would cost more billions.

Mr Trump proposes very high tariffs – 35% to 45% – directed against America’s biggest trading partners. Donald Trump’s anti-trade policies would devastate American business, prompt retaliation, and throw many out of work.

Immigration restrictions, mass deportation, and limits on international trade form the core of Donald Trump’s campaign.

Donald Trump’s crusade against immigrants alienates Hispanic voters as well as liberals and conservatives who favor a liberal immigration policy. His calls for punitive tariffs directed at China and Mexico drives away business owners. Donald Trump cannot beat Hilary Clinton; conservatives need to look at another choice.

Gary Johnson has a record of cutting taxes and holding the line on government growth. He and Governor Weld have the experience to deal with the financial mess that is the federal government. American taxpayers cannot afford to pay for all the programs that the politicians promise. A vote for Gary Johnson is a vote in favor of downsizing the federal government, and a vote for two former Governors with the experience to cut the power and the cost of the federal government.

A vote for Gary Johnson and other Libertarian candidates will build America’s third party, and lay the groundwork for a real challenge to bipartisan statism in 2018, 2020 and beyond. Vote Libertarian, Tuesday, November 8!

California: Vote No on Debt and Taxes!

On Tuesday, November 8, Californians will vote on whether to issue 9 billion dollars in bonds to pay for school facilities, and whether to extend temporary tax hikes on high earners.

Proposition 51 authorizes the state to issue 9 billion dollars in bonds to pay for construction and repair of facilities for public schools, charters schools and community colleges. The bonds will cost the taxpayers 8.6 billion dollars in interest, for a total cost of $17.6 billion dollars. The state will have to collect a half billion dollars a year in taxes for 35 years to pay back these bonds.

Governor Jerry Brown opposes this new bond issue, because the state has too much debt already. Libertarians favor a system of private schools for all, with scholarships for those who need help paying tuition. This will guarantee access to education for all, while transferring the capital cost of school construction from the taxpayers to private and corporate educational businesses. Governor Jerry Brown and The Libertarian Party urge you to vote No on more debt, Vote No on Proposition 51.

Proposition 55 will extend for 12 years income tax hikes on residents earning $250,000 a year or more. Governor Jerry Brown promoted temporary tax hikes in 2012, and he favors letting the tax increases expire. California already puts a high cost on success, making the state less welcoming to successful individuals and successful companies. We must create a business climate that promotes economic growth in order to keep Californians working and productive. We need tax cuts for economic growth, not tax hikes. Governor Jerry Brown and The Libertarian Party urge you to vote against high taxes, Vote No on Proposition 55.

Proposition 53 is an amendment to the California Constitutionnnn that will require voter approval of revenue bonds if the issue exceeds 2 billion dollars. The Constitution now requires approval by the voters for bonds dedicated to funding specific projects, but does not require voter approval for general purpose revenue bonds. Proposition 53 will make it harder for the state to go more into debt. The Libertarian Party urges you to Vote Yes on Proposition 53.

Protect Medical Marijuana: Vote Yes on Proposition 64

On Tuesday, November 8, Californians will vote on a proposal to legalize possession of marijuana for adults, and, finally, legalize production and sale of marijuana. Proposition 64, The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, will legalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and over; it also establishes a regulatory framework for the legal production, distribution and sale of marijuana and marijuana products.

Proposition 64 embeds in the California Constitution the rights of medical marijuana patients as established by Proposition 215 and Senate Bill 420. Proposition 64 states (Section 4.6,11362.3(f) that rights of medical marijuana users established by Proposition 215 and subsequent legislation will not be abridged. This includes the right of medical marijuana users to grow marijuana beyond the six plants allowed for recreational users. While medical marijuana users will have to pay the 15% tax on retail sales of marijuana, they are exempt from paying the 7.5% sales tax.

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act also embeds in the Constitution the privacy protections for registered medical marijuana users that were established by SB 420.

In 1996 California voters passed Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act, allowing individuals arrested for possession of marijuana to invoke a “medical need” defense. The Compassionate Use act provided than anyone wanting to invoke a “medical need” defense would need a recommendation from a doctor licensed to practice in California. Individuals who did not have a doctor’s recommendation could not invoke the medical defense.

In 2003, the California legislature passed Senate Bill 420 to clarify the scope and the application of Proposition 215. SB 420 created a state-wide registry of medical marijuana users, and a California medical marijuana ID card. SB 420. Signing up for the registry and getting a medical id card is voluntary, but individuals who are not listed on the registry might not be able to invoke the medical defense that 215 established.

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act retains the California registry of medical users, and the medical id card, and embeds in the Constitution the privacy provisions set forth in D SB 420. But if Proposition 64 passes, an individual who uses marijuana for therapeutic purposes will not need a doctor’s recommendation or a medical id card to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, or to grow up to 6 plants. People who want to protect their privacy will appreciate this.

If Proposition 64 passes, an individual who does possess a doctor’s recommendation and a medical id card will be exempt from California Sales Tax when buying marijuana, and will be able to grow more than 6 plants. Signing up for the Medical Marijuana Registry and obtaining a medical id card will be completely voluntary, with the promise of added benefits not available to recreational users of marijuana.

Proposition 215 expressed support for the use of marijuana as medicine. SB 420 provided a means for medical marijuana users to guarantee their status, at the cost of being on a government list. The Adult Use of Marijuana Act guarantees the right of adults, 21 and over, to possess and use marijuana for recreational or therapeutic purposes. People who benefit from the health effects of marijuana will have access without needing a doctor’s recommendation, and without being on a government list. AUMA means for freedom for all marijuana users. Join Rep. Tom McClintock, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, Rep. Tom Campbell (Ret) Judge Jim Gray (Ret) and me in voting YES on Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

Vote Yes on Proposition 64:Legalize and Tax Marijuana

On Tuesday, November 8, Californians will vote on a proposal to legalize possession of marijuana for adults, and, finally, legalize production and sale of marijuana. Proposition 64, The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, will legalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and over; it also establishes a regulatory framework for the legal production, distribution and sale of marijuana and marijuana products.

Proposition 64 establishes taxes on the cultivation and retail sale of marijuana. AUMA sets a $9.25 per ounce tax on cultivation, and a 15% tax on retail sales of marijuana and marijuana products. This 15% tax will be collected in addition to the California 7.5% sales tax, except that medical marijuana patients will be exempt from paying California sales tax. Libertarians and others object to these new taxes on principle, and for practical reasons.

Taxes on marijuana will lead to higher costs for consumers. This higher cost will be mitigated over time as a legal market will tend to drive prices down. Production and distribution will be more efficient, and people engaged in licensed marijuana businesses will not face prosecution and resulting costs of legal defense, fines etc. A legal marijuana market, with federal legalization, will provide quality products at competitive prices, so total costs even with taxes will be lower than in the current black and gray markets for marijuana.

Libertarians also object to new taxes because it gives more money to governments. Since California government is already having problems paying for existing programs, mandates and entitlements, the existence of new revenue streams will not itself promote government growth. One can hope that money from marijuana taxes can fund relief from other taxes. At least it might prevent hikes in other taxes that Democrats and Progressives might push in coming years.

Production, distribution and sale of beer, wine and liquor are regulated and heavily taxed. Principle and experience both tell us that a legal market in alcohol, even with taxes and regulation, is better for individuals and society than Prohibition.

Before production and sale of beer, wine and liquor were banned, alcohol taxes provided 30% to 40% of the revenue of the federal government. In order to make Prohibition possible, Prohibitionists joined with Progressives to pass the 16th Amendment, authorizing the federal government to tax incomes. The lesson from this is that government dependence on alcohol taxes protected the legal status of alcohol for many years. Marijuana taxes will provide a money source for government that politicians will not want to interfere with.

85% of California adults do not use marijuana. Many have resisted previous attempts at legalization, including Proposition 19 in 1972 and Proposition 19 in 2010. The prospect that marijuana might save them from tax hikes, or even make possible tax relief, gives these people a reason to vote for legalization. Even with taxes, the costs of marijuana will go down in a competitive legal market. And, of course, libertarians can campaign for lower marijuana taxes, with marijuana users a receptive audience for tax relief that they never needed before.

For freedom and for a legal marijuana market, join Governor Gary Johnson and me in supporting Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.

Vote Yes on Proposition 64:Legalize & Regulate Marijuana

On Tuesday, November 8, Californians will vote on a proposal to legalize possession of marijuana for adults, and, finally, legalize production and sale of marijuana. Proposition 64, The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, will legalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and over; it also establishes a regulatory framework for the legal production, distribution and sale of marijuana and marijuana products.

Polls show that more than half of California voters support legalization of recreational marijuana. With support from Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, the Democratic Party, the California Medical Association, the NAACP, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and more, Proposition 64 is expected to pass. As noted by California NORML, Proposition 64 is supported by every major drug law reform organization, but opposed by a vocal minority of backyard growers and libertarian purists.

Libertarian “purists”-and others-object to the body of regulations embedded in the AUMA, and to the imposition of taxes on cultivation and sale of marijuana.

AUMA legalizes possession by adults of one ounce (28.5 grams) of marijuana flowers or leaves, or 8 grams of concentrate. Current law provides that possession of one ounce or less is subject to a civil fine: citation rather than arrest, no jail, no criminal record. So AUMA seems like little progress. But full legalization, even limited as it is, changes the fundamental legal position of someone who possesses marijuana.

AUMA reduces penalties for possession of large amounts, for unlicensed cultivation, transport, and sale. All are reduced from felonies to misdemeanors. AUMA also provides that individuals in prison, on parole or on probation for marijuana offenses can petition to have their sentences reduced in accordance with the lower penalties set by AUMA.

Unlike Proposition 215, the AUMA provides a framework for licensing legal producers, distributors and retail outlets. Since Proposition 215 did not address cultivation and sale, growers and dispensaries have operated in an unclear legal environment. Many cities have refused to allow dispensaries to operate, and some have closed down dispensaries who tried to operate while waiting for legal procedures to be established.

In addition to establishing a legally sanctioned market for marijuana and marijuana products, Proposition 64 embeds in the Constitution a legal right to grow 6 plants for personal use.

Proposition 64 states that rights of medical marijuana users established by Proposition 215 and subsequent legislation will not be abridged. This includes the right of medical marijuana users to grow marijuana beyond the six plants allowed for recreational users. While medical marijuana users will have to pay the 15% tax on retail sales of marijuana, they are exempt from paying the 7.5% sales tax.

The regulatory framework established by Proposition 64 is comparable to the regulatory framework for production and sale of alcoholic beverages. When Alcohol Prohibition was repealed, the government first legalized 3.2 beer – beer with an alcohol content of 3.2%. Stronger beverages remained illegal at first. But over time a large and varied legal alcohol industry has developed, and grocery stores carry large stocks of beer, wine and liquor, in competition with alcohol superstores and corner liquor stores.

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act marks real progress toward full legalization of production, sale and consumption of marijuana. Legalization of marijuana in California – the most populous state – will put pressure on the federal government to change its policies toward marijuana. Join Governor Gary Johnson and me in supporting passage of Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.