I'm a recent college graduate with a degree in English and a minor in Journalism. This blog contains my opinions on news, politics, and life in general. As an American citizen, I'm entitled to my First Amendment rights, and I'm not afraid to use them. Don’t like my opinion? Don’t blame me. Blame the 1st (Amendment).
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What I Support
Noninterventionist Foreign Policy. Our country spends nearly $700 billion on the military—more than the next 17 countries combined! The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq alone cost the country $4 trillion. It is imperative that we end all foreign wars, withdraw all our troops and bases overseas, slash military spending, and focus our military effort on national defense rather than policing the world. Our foreign policy should seek to strengthen foreign relations and influence countries through diplomacy and free trade rather than through military action.
Protection of Civil Liberties. Benjamin Franklin once said that “those who trade liberty for security deserve neither.” The past decade has seen a decline in civil liberties for the sake of national security with policies such as the PATRIOT Act, waterboarding, body scanners, and the suspension of habeas corpus. The War on Terror should be seen as the quixotic quest it is and ended promptly, with all laws that violate constitutional rights repealed.
Flat Tax. Every American should pay their fair share in taxes. Unfortunately, most politicians, especially liberal Democrats, interpret this as raising taxes on the rich, who already pay the most in taxes (the richest 1% pay roughly 40% of the country’s total income tax and 28% of the total tax burden). We should replace our progressive tax system with a flat tax system where everyone pays at the same rate regardless of income, which would still allow the rich to contribute more in taxes.
Free Markets. Contrary to popular misconception, there is no free market. There has been no deregulation of the market, as regulation has increased, not decreased. Investor’s Business Daily claims that over three thousand new regulations are enacted every year, and that “a new federal rule hits the books roughly every 2 hours.” Is it really fair to claim that every one of those regulations is necessary? While there should be regulations that protect consumers (like regulations against lead paint in baby toys), regulation that hurts businesses, especially small and new businesses, should be repealed.
Entitlement Reform. While many Americans depend upon entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security, unless these programs are reformed, they will eventually run out. Medicare is expected to go broke by 2024; Social Security by 2036. The ideal solution would be to privatize both programs, as private pensions programs in other countries like Chile have proven to be hugely successful. However, a less controversial solution would be to reform both programs in order to prevent waste and fraud. In Medicare alone, $35 million had been allegedly given to 118 “phantom” clinics (illegal operations designed to defraud the system).
Affordable Healthcare. America offers the best healthcare in the world. The problem is not with quality, but with access, as most Americans cannot afford health insurance. This can easily be solved with minor legislation to the system without replacing it with socialized medicine. Laws that prevent people from buying insurance across state lines should be repealed. Health insurance should be independent of one’s employment, and healthcare decisions should be left to the individual and their doctors, not to their employers, the government, or insurance companies. The Food and Drug Administration should be reformed (even privatized) to more easily allow life-saving medicine into the market. The American Medical Association should be stripped of its monopoly power, allowing other organizations to license physicians, thus increasing the supply of doctors and decreasing medical costs.
Education Reform. Our public education system is broken. Politicians have suggested fixing it through increased funding, but unless that funding goes to reform, it will amount to little more than filling the gas tank to a broken car. The entire system needs to be reformed. Curriculum should focus on teaching phonics, critical thinking, and science. Parents should have the freedom to send their children to the school that will best meet their educational needs, be it public, private, parochial, charter, or home school. They should be offered vouchers if they choose to send their children to private school, and tax credits if they choose to home school them. Educational decisions should be left to the state and local governments rather than the federal government. Local communities should have the option to convert failing public schools to more efficient charter schools.
Legal Immigration. America is a country built upon immigration—a Great Melting Pot where people from different cultures come together to form a new stronger culture. We should gladly welcome immigrants into our country provided they come here legally with proper documentation, learn English, and assimilate into our culture. Not only should our border security be strengthened to prevent those coming in the wrong way, but our immigration laws should be relaxed to encourage those coming in the right way. Businesses that hire illegal immigrants should be fined by the government and boycotted by the market.
Drug Legalization. Prohibition in the 1920s did nothing to stop the sale and distribution of alcohol and everything to push it into the black market to be controlled by criminals. The same can be seen with the War on Drugs, which the Global Commission on Drug Policy has declared a failure. All recreational drugs, including marijuana, should be legalized, taxed, and regulated. Drug abusers should be treated as patients and not as criminals.
State Rights. The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively.” States should be allowed to be “laboratories of democracy” where new laws are experimented with. If these laws succeed in one state, other states may feel free to adopt them. Therefore, states should be allowed to pass their own laws regarding issues such as gay marriage, gun control, drug legalization, minimum wage, and abortion.