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L. Neil Smith's
Number 464, April 20, 2008

"One Dollar Gas?
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A Simple Solution
by Mac McReynolds

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

It is more than time that the power of government was returned to the citizens of this country. The country was founded on the principle of the sovereignty of the individual, not that of vested interest or select power blocks. We have progressively watched that power concentrate in the hands of fewer and fewer with a decline in the power of the individual.

As unlikely as it is to occur there is actually a simple solution to returning the power to the individual citizen. I see little chance of it succeeding but propose it anyway.

The first and most important step is the elimination and prohibition against any national political party. No political party greater than one of an individual state should exist. This limitation would not only have the effect of strengthening each states sovereignty, but would force the party to be more cognizant of the wishes of the citizens of the state.

In addition any party organization above the county level should be prohibited from collecting and disbursing campaign funds. Funds should be contributed to the individual candidate or county party. This would prevent the party from wielding a financial club that could well bar able candidates from a chance of being elected.

An example of this is currently happening in CA. A local man who has a history of residing in and being an activist was planning on running for a vacant state senate seat. He was told by his party that not only would he not be supported, but would be actively opposed by the party, which had chosen to support a candidate with greater name recognition even though that candidate can not even vote for himself (he doesn't meet the residency requirement since he lives in another part of the state and rents a house in the district he is running in). With the current high cost of running for office the current power of the purse that the national parties have give them a much greater power then the people.

The loss of large consolidated blocks of money should also lead to a reduction of the cost of standing for election, particularly at the local level. This would have the effect of not only allowing new people to run, but increase the chances of third party or independent candidates to enter (at least at the local level). With a broader base of people entering at the local level it would increase the chance of suitable candidates being available and able to run for progressively higher office. It would also make candidates answerable to their constituency and not to a national party which exists only to keep itself in power.

Senators should once again be appointed or elected by state governments which would preclude them being the winner of popularity contests by virtue of promising the electorate unreasonable and unconstitutional benefits. They would thus be obligated to work on behalf of the state they represent.

Lobbyists and special interest groups should be registered as representatives of foreign interests as they are not acting on behalf of the citizens. All funding, gratuities, or benefits bestowed on elected officials (if allowed at all) foreign interest should be disclosed and posted on line at a single public location or available by a simple written request. It might even be a good idea to license them and require a bond be posted against undue interference or other wrong doings. In fact, licensing all representatives of foreign interests might help to lighten the tax burden on citizens by creating a revenue source.

As corporations are not citizens, it should seriously be considered that they be prohibited from campaign contributions (perhaps with the exception of those places where they have a physical presence).

It should be remembered that the intent and purpose of the constitution was to insure that the power of the government was to reside in the hands of the individual citizen. This is not the present case. We have become a nation of two confederacies (RNC and DNC) with all the faults that existed under the Articles of Confederation with the results so graphically enumerated in the Federalist Papers. Not the least of which is the bloated government with all its unconstitutional powers and the loss of states rights.

Much as the socialist movement in Europe during the first half of the 20th century we see these two confederacy splintering (liberal moderate, conservative, progressive, evangelical) and resorting to what is essentially bribery in order to retain power. The result of this is ever increasing size of government as it tries, unsuccessfully to administer programs for the "benefit" of the people. Just as the European socialist movement turned into Nazi Germany and communist Russia we see more and more government control and usurpation of rights with less and less freedom and liberty. Unless this trend is reversed there will soon be no citizens, only subjects.

While most politicians are primarily motivated by the desire of power and influence, one burning question remains. Why is it that most politicians leave office significantly wealthier than when they entered?


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