Justin Ptak on “Setting the President’s Agenda” from 2004

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Still relevant for 2008, 2012…

Ending the Fed, bringing the troops home from around the world, freeing education from indoctrination, eliminating the tax on labor, property, answering the health preservation problem, and more…

The Politicking is Over by Justin Ptak via LewRockwell.com:

Mr. President, thank the lord, the election is over. The 2004 election is one for the history books and the historians to haggle over. The dirty politics is over (as if there is such a thing as pristine politics). It is the end of politics, at least theoretically, for another four years. Dan Rather will no longer rack his brain in the wee hours of the morning figuring out a way for you to lose. The choice between the imperfect and the even more imperfect is over and done with. Thankfully, we need not choose between the unbelievable and the incredulous, or as The Economist noted: the incoherent and the incompetent. Now is the time for policy. True policy. Now is the time to return to your roots. Now is the time to show your true colors. Perhaps you did win a mandate. Perhaps you did rally the majority of the voting public around your values. But, now is the time to work for true progress in this country if you truly believe in any conservative ideals or any of your campaign rhetoric.

It is now or never Mr. President. It is time to show the people who voted for you in good conscience the first time around that you believe in what you said. You have a great opportunity to give back to the country for all that it has given you. You have spoken of letting the American people live their dreams without the interference of the federal government. You have spoke of a more humble foreign policy. You have preached the virtues of the free market. You have espoused the benefits of privatization and deregulation. You have even spoken of a nation not beholden to special interests. For the sake of the toiling peasants across the land it is now time to solidify your legacy and make this country proud. Show the people across the land that you are the one able to continue the Reagan revolution and implement his dreams making them a reality.

You have an excellent opportunity when it comes to a number of issues. No president since Eisenhower has had a greater opportunity to rally the people and politicians to implement your policy prescriptions (I exclude the sympathy votes garnered by LBJ). Didn’t you hear the roar of the crowd? The people are behind you. Many politicians owe their reelection to the fact that you were at the top of the ticket.

First, I suggest the abolition of the federal income tax. It is truly immoral to tax the labor of an individual. If you think this is too dramatic, just keep in mind this will only mean a reduction to a 1986 level of federal spending. Yet, Mr. President, this is not nearly enough, I suggest if you truly believe in an ownership society then surely you should be working for the abolition of property taxes as well. After all, can something truly be called your own if one has to keep paying taxes on it year after year? I have never heard of such a thing. The first company to propose this idea would certainly go out of business or quickly change their marketing to incorporate the terms rent or lease in the deal.

If you can accomplish only the two aforementioned items you will be a hero and possibly a candidate for sainthood. But, this is only the beginning there is so much more you can do to strengthen our economy and our standard of living. Next, I suggest ending the inefficient subsidies that obscure an entrepreneur’s profit calculation and hurt consumers all around. Please don’t be afraid of competition. Be afraid of enabling inefficiency. Be afraid of disrupting competition in the market. Despite well-intentioned, but economically-deficient politicians, the steel industry was damaged beyond repair by their pandering while consumers paid the price.

My next suggestion regards education. I know it is an issue dear to your heart. I know that your wife was once a teacher and you endured the presence of Senator Kennedy long enough to try and fix the so-called problem. However, the real problem is exactly this meddling in education. I am sorry if I am the only one to stand up and say it but, education is really the responsibility of the parents. And even then there comes a time when one has to take one’s own education into your own hands. I’ve even heard that you once believed the same thing: not telling your parents when you applied for business school. I can appreciate the fact that you wanted to accomplish something on your own. I think kids will value their education that much more when they realize its own value and strive for it out of their own free will. The expense does not necessarily have to exclude even the most impoverished among us. I will let you in on a little secret. Not only are public libraries free of charge, but you can walk right into a university research library free of charge providing they accept federal or United Nations documents.

Next, it is on to healthcare. Or should I say health preservation. Please don’t believe the hype Mr. President. The last thing we need is a war on obesity. Don’t believe the recent pronouncements in an irresponsible documentary on the ill-effects of a certain fast food provider. What we need in this country is a little bit of common sense combined with some individual responsibility and accountability when it comes to our choices in food consumption. A little restraint, a healthy diet, and some exercise will go a long way in preventing some of the most devastating medical problems. Furthermore, we need to get the federal government out of the doctor-patient relationship. I know you don’t believe in HillaryCare so let’s allow freedom to reign and every individual to exchange for medical services without the doctor worrying about some two-bit bureaucrat interfering with his prognosis or course of treatment.

Contrary to popular belief the greatest presidents were not ones who led us into war, but the ones who presided over a peaceful nation and avoided any imperial entanglements. It is far past time to end the United States military presence around the world and bring our boys back home. We must stop placing economic sanctions on other countries. It is in our best interest and to the benefit of every consumer to end the sanctions. We must also be willing to engage in unrestricted trade with all nations. We should immediately drop all trade barriers with nations that will also agree to do the same. The restrictions on Canadian maple are doing no one any good and the same goes for the furniture coming out of China and the shrimp exported from Vietnam. A neutral stance with regard to foreign disputes will go along way in securing our own security. Tariffs, quotas, and thousand-page trade agreements are the antithesis of truly free trade. Just wait until we all enjoy a dramatic drop in prices for our favorite foreign products. And guess what Mr. President? The people will thank you for it.

I would be irresponsible if I did not mention our exploding deficit and irresponsible debt. I don’t think you want to be sending the message to the youth of today that it is okay not to balance your checkbook. If it is not okay for an individual to bounce checks, it is definitely not okay for the government to do so. It is not only our children that you are burdening with government debt, but it is everyone living today as well.

Finally, Mr. President, I suggest you ask some pointed questions to Alan Greenspan following in the footsteps of the honorable Rep. Ron Paul. The time is upon us to put the Federal Reserve out of business before its reckless policies reduce our medium of exchange to a worthless scrap. The fumbling fiat dollar needs to be defined in terms of gold to save us from the depressing depreciation of purchasing power that has characterized the Fed’s existence. Moreover, the banking industry deserves to be opened up to competition. Not to mention that bank customers also deserve the same courtesy at least then they’ll know where their dollars are going. Federal Deposit Insurance should be eliminated in favor of a market solution. 100% reserves should become an option on the market or at least banks would have an incentive to keep prudent reserves to avoid bank runs. At the very least we can avoid inherently bankrupt banks propped up by the federal government at taxpayer expense. Inefficient banks should not be bailed out anymore than a watered-down lemonade stand on the corner. Imagine a strong dollar in every American’s pocket Mr. President. To put it mildly, your $300 tax credit will pale in comparison.

If you truly want a strong America, it is the very least you can do.

November 4, 2004

Justin Ptak [send him mail] is the Managing Editor of Aubrey Herbert’s Economic Education.

Copyright © 2004 LewRockwell.com

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