LP:Libertarians praise House bill to end Dept. of Education

The Libertarian Party strongly supports U.S. House bill H.R. 399, which was filed today by Rep Tom Massie (R–KY), along with seven co-sponsors, to abolish the federal Department of Education.

“Libertarians are encouraged to see a bill that brings hope to the promise of actually, finally, abolishing the Department of Education,” said Nicholas Sarwark, chair of the Libertarian National Committee. “The DOE’s primary accomplishments have been to drive up federal taxes and debt, drive up local and state taxes, impose mounds of red tape on schools, and drive down the quality education in the United States. It has made schooling an infuriating and demoralizing experience for teachers, parents, and schoolchildren.”

In striking contrast to most of today’s federal and state laws, many of which are hundreds of pages long and rarely read by the lawmakers who vote on them, H.R. 899 consists of one simple sentence: “The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2018.”

“Localizing education will dramatically improve our schools, allowing them to innovate and address the needs of individual students, and to prepare them for a fulfilling and successful future,” said Sarwark.

The Libertarian Party platform on education states:
Education is best provided by the free market, achieving greater quality, accountability and efficiency with more diversity of choice. Recognizing that the education of children is a parental responsibility, we would restore authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from government. Parents should have control of and responsibility for all funds expended for their children’s education.

Source:The Libertarian Party @ https://www.lp.org/libertarians-praise-house-bill-to-end-dept-of-education/

LP:Civil asset forfeiture is legalized theft by government

February 8, 2017

Yesterday, at a meeting with sheriffs, President Trump commented about ruining the career of a Texas legislator that proposed a bill to reform civil asset forfeiture.

“We’ll destroy his career,” the President said.

The legislator was unnamed and there are several Texas legislators currently proposing bills to reform civil asset forfeiture laws.

Such laws vary by state but in many states it is legal for law enforcement officials to seize property from someone before they are convicted of any crime and then even keep that property even if the person is found innocent.

There have been many cases documented that show how this practice can be abused and, for every case documented, there are countless others that are not.

The Libertarian Party thinks that the current practice of civil asset forfeiture is completely unfair and un-American.

Libertarian National Committee Chair, Nicholas Sarwark, says, “Civil asset forfeiture is nothing more than legalized theft by the government. Basic fairness and justice requires that there be a criminal conviction before someone’s assets can be taken for being proceeds of a crime.”

Sarwark continues, “This legalized theft has been a driver of the failed war on drugs. Thank you to the Texas legislators reforming our system to protect the property of innocent people from being stolen by the government. Our President and his nominee for Attorney General should be ashamed of continuing this immoral policy of legalized theft and bullying legislators who stand up for their constituents.”

He concludes, “When bullies don’t have an argument, they use threats to try to get their way. Such pathetic behavior from the President is sad, but not surprising.”

Senator Jeff Sessions, President Trump’s nominee for Attorney General, has been an outspoken advocate for civil asset forfeiture

Source:Post by Lauren Daugherty @ lp.org https://www.lp.org/civil-asset-forfeiture-is-legalized-theft-by-government/

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 Constitution 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.

Sullum:”Gary Johnson’s Refreshing Foreign Policy Skepticism”

One of the few appealing aspects of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has been his criticism of Hillary Clinton’s reckless interventionism. But the bellicose billionaire combines that criticism with promises of a gratuitous military buildup, a casual attitude toward the use of American weapons, and a disturbing tendency to view trade and immigration as acts of war.

To get a sense of what a more disciplined, consistent, and thoughtful critique of Clintonian warmongering sounds like, listen to Gary Johnson, the Libertarian nominee for president. Notwithstanding the popular portrayal of Johnson as a foreign policy ignoramus based on his embarrassing “Aleppo moments,” the former New Mexico governor offers a bracing alternative to Clinton’s supposedly sophisticated yet consistently careless embrace of violence as a tool for reshaping the world.

Again and again as first lady, senator, and secretary of state, from Serbia to Syria, Clinton has supported military interventions that had nothing to do with national defense. Mindful of the damage done by the promiscuous use of America’s armed forces, Johnson promises a different approach: When in doubt, stay out.

“As president,” Johnson said in a recent speech at the University of Chicago, “I would not need to be talked out of dropping bombs and sending young men and women into harm’s way. I would be the president who would have to be convinced it is absolutely necessary to protect the American people or clear U.S. interests. I will be the skeptic in the room.”

Full column by Jacob Sullum @ Reason http://reason.com/archives/2016/10/19/gary-johnsons-refreshing-foreign-policy