Wednesday, June 28, 2006

That's not why I'm running..

The other night I was talking to a group of people about my thoughts on property taxes, explaining why I thought they are unfair, why I thought they should be eliminated, and offering what I believe to be a reasonable and workable plan for reducing property taxes while we are on our way to eliminating them.

The LPIN put forth a proposal a few years ago to tax all houses on a square foot basis, and land on a per acre basis, equally for all houses and land, with the lowest valuation in the county or town setting the standard. It's not perfect, but it does keep homeowners from being penalized for improving their homes, and it protects land owners if the government decides to rezone their property.

Some were concerned that this would cut the governments revenue. My answer was that indeed it would. But I'm not running for office to find ways to give government all the money it can spend, and I'm not running to find ways to give the government all the money it wants.

I'm running to trim government back to where it performs the essential services that are mandated by the federal and state constitutions, and to find the fairest way to fund those essential services.

That, and maybe to get rid of this !#@x<&* Daylight Savings Time!!!!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Wayne County Fair 2006

Thanks to everyone that helped out and visited our tent at the Wayne County Fair this week. We handed out about 700 palm cards espousing the wisdom of voting for Libertarians. We also found out that the 3 main things a lot Wayne County voters are upset with are property taxes, Mitch Daniels, and Wayne County Commissioner Tom 'Slick' Dickman.
From the comments we've received, I'm confident that will translate into a lot of Libertarian votes this November 7th.

Ross Bell assists some fair visitors with "The World's Smallest Political Quiz".

Gayle Bond "Quizzed" this "Democrat" that landed solidly in the Libertarian corner.

Kevin Wickes discusses the current political climate with a disgruntled voter.

Jim Staley shows off one of our new banners.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Public or Private?

The latest controversy surrounding the Wayne County Economic Development Commission is just another example of the consequences when the government gets involved in what should ostensibly be a private matter. Is the EDC a public entity? Of course it is. How could an organization that that relies almost exclusively on your tax dollars to exist be any thing else.

Should the EDC be a public entity. Of course not. Investment in private business is both the responsibility and opportunity of owners and investors that stand to gain (or lose) from that investment.

We have seen many times how the government's forced redistribution of wealth from the working class to the poor has resulted in billions of dollars of waste, and the creation of generations totally dependent on welfare handouts.

The EDC as it now exists redistributes tax money from the working class to the wealthy, and the Wayne County Council needs to put a stop to it, whether the benefactor is a County Commissioner, or a slick businessman from Minnesota.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Thanks Dad

I grew up on a small farm near Millville, one of eight children. When we finished our chores at home, the boys in the family would often work for neighboring farmers in order to make some spending money for the Mooreland Fair.

One time Oakley Paul hired me to hook the corn and jimpson weeds out of his soybean field. It was hot, hard work. When I rode my bike home for lunch, I told my Dad I wasn’t going back. He informed me that I had agreed to clean the field, and that I was going to return and finish the job. I was pretty mad at him then. I think I’ll thank him the next time I see him.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

It's not really a platform.

I’m running for District 54 State Representative, and I have of late been involved in some discussions about the proper role of Libertarian Party candidates when and if they are elected to office. A number of Libertarians feel that in order to represent libertarianism, a candidate must boldly and loudly announce his or her intentions to steadfastly promote every single icon of the libertarian philosophy. Now, I’ve never been much of a philosopher, and I’m certainly not much of a politician, so I won’t presume to tell someone else how to think, or how to behave when running for or executing the duties of office. I will, however, tell you what I think I’ll do.

I’m going to focus my campaign on property tax reform and fiscal responsibility. Issues that voters in my district are concerned about, I think. I hope they are concerned enough about them to vote for a Libertarian. I know the most libertarian thing would be to eliminate property taxes completely, and I believe that eventually we will do just that. But first we have to get elected. Then we have to start things moving in a libertarian direction. I think lower taxes, responsible spending and limited government are closer to libertarian ideals than higher taxes, uncontrolled spending and unlimited government. Not perfect, but closer. But first we have to get elected.

I plan on working to move government in a libertarian direction. I will support any bill that promotes that, however incrementally. I won’t support any bill that moves government in a non-libertarian direction, however incrementally.

While its not with in the job description of a state representative, if anybody asks, I’ll support making participation in Social Security voluntary. I won’t lead the charge screaming that it has to be eliminated. Apparently a lot of people think it is a good deal, and as long as people that don’t think it is a good deal are not forced to participate, we should be able to live with that.

I’m not to crazy about recreational drug or alcohol use. I’ve lost some good friends to both. And if prohibition actually worked, I might be able to convince myself to support it. But it doesn’t work, and as a result we have the highest incarceration rate of any nation in the world. A lot of people are in jail for victimless crimes, and a lot of violent criminals are walking the streets because of it. It’s time to try something different.
I would support legislation that would remove penalties for adult possession, and allow police to concentrate their efforts on arresting people that commit actual crimes against other people. I won’t demand that people who want a less intrusive government and lower taxes must also agree that drug abuse is acceptable. I don’t, and I hope my children and grandchildren don’t.

I’ll support legislation that helps return control of private property to its owners, and I won’t support legislation that gives the government more control over private property.

When I discovered libertarianism, I thought it would only be a matter of months, possibly even weeks before a majority of voters would see it as I saw it, and we would be well on our way to regaining our freedom before I turned 50. Reality is that it may take as long to regain it as it did to lose it, and I’ve decided that small gains are better than no gains.

I know that’s not libertarian enough for some Libertarians, but if it’s not too libertarian for 51% of the Republican and Democratic voters out there, maybe we can get this thing headed in the right direction.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Trail of taxes

The editorial in the Muncie Star-Press on June 9th calls for more government spending to build and maintain Indiana's hiking and biking trails. When it comes to government spending, whether or not the trails provide benefits for certain businesses and certain people as the paper claims is irrelevant.

What is relevant is whether or not providing hiking and biking trails is an essential government service. It should be up to the people and businesses that benefit from the trails should support the trails, so that our limited tax dollars will cover the necessary functions we expect government to provide and oversee.

Indiana is chock full of bureaucrats and politicians that are excellent at coming up with new ways to confiscate and spend other peoples' money. We need a few that are interested in reducing government instead of constantly expanding it.