Monthly Archives: January 2008

The Lessons I Learned on My Visit to the UK

It's rare that an American Presidential candidate gets the opportunity to travel outside the USA in the middle of Presidential campaign season. But perhaps that's the problem! We keep electing full-time politicians to run our country. And the more time they spend trying to solve our problems with bigger government, the more trouble they cause, the more damage they do to the people. Perhaps we've forgotten about the definition of a political candidate as envisioned by our Founding Fathers. Just as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin envisioned, I am not a full-time politician. I am a CITIZEN LEGISLATOR. I run a small business and choose to run for political office while I continue running my business. My home state of Nevada is one of the lowest tax states in America- with zero state income tax, zero business income tax, zero capital gains tax, and zero inheritance tax. How do we do it? With a unique combination of freedom (we allow legalized gambling and prostitution), smaller government, and common sense (our legislators are part time- thereby limiting the amount of damage they can do to the people).

Why not elect a part-time President too? Why not elect someone like me- a Citizen Legislator who runs the country while he continues to face the same problems as the average American- running a small business, paying health insurance for his employees, creating jobs, taking care of a family, paying a big mortgage, worrying about how I'll find the money to pay for 4 college educations. That might be a big step in the right direction for our country- as opposed to doing "business as usual" by electing out-of-touch politicians who have spent their lives as shills for big business or big unions, or working for government- living on the taxpayer's money. Having a Citizen Legislator as President might just be a refreshing breath of fresh air for the beleaguered American taxpayer.

As a small business owner who just recently sold his business to a UK-based public company, I found it necessary to travel this past week to London to meet my new business partners, Board members and employees. I relished the opportunity to get off the campaign trail and spend some time in Great Britain- listening to the concerns of citizens (and voters) of our closest ally in a dangerous world. While I was in London, I was asked to appear on a wide variety of UK media to discuss my role as a third party U.S. Presidential candidate. I was honored to be a guest on CNBC Europe, Bloomberg Europe, Setanta TV (UK's version of ESPN), The James Whale Show (#1 evening radio show in UK with 2 million listeners), and to also sit down with a half dozen London newspaper editors. I enjoyed meeting the people of London and discussing European opinions of global issues, and hearing European thoughts about the USA politics. I respect the British people very much. But I also learned several important lessons about big government, high taxes, universal healthcare and freedom (as represented by one of my favorite issues- online gaming).

First, let's tackle the issue of big government. The British people have much more of it than Americans have ever experienced. The results are in- and it isn't a pretty picture. Big Brother is everywhere in the UK. Everywhere we drove I saw cameras- literally on every inch of London's roads and subways. Are Americans ready for this level of government intrusion? For this level of invasion of privacy? Are we ready for cameras recording our every move? Are we ready for speeding tickets from cameras (not policemen)? To be honest, I probably speed above the posted speed limit on Las Vegas highways from time to time (if only for a few seconds to pass a slower driver). Often virtually every car on the highway around me in Las Vegas is speeding. Yet I am a very safe driver- with no accidents and no tickets in over a decade. But that's in America- where a policeman must catch you speeding to ticket (and fine) you. Under the UK scenario, we'd all get 10 tickets in the mail every week (for going 5 miles over the speed limit). Do we want cameras choosing to fine us for minor offenses every day of our lives? Humans (like police officers) are capable of making decisions to go after only the most serious and dangerous offenders- not every driver going 5 MPH over the limit. What kind of society do we choose? One where the government adds to our taxes (and misery) with nonstop traffic fines based on cameras spying on our every move? Are we willing to pay for that kind of Nanny State? How high will our auto insurance rates be when we each rack up 10 speeding tickets a year?

Then there's the issue of taxes. In the UK, the average citizen keep far less of their paycheck than in the USA. Taxes are excessive (and unaffordable) by U.S. standards. Yet Europeans would say that this level of taxation cares for the poor and pays for a proper and "fair" safety net. But does it? As I've said in my many books, all high levels of taxation do is destroy hope, dreams and opportunity. I was able to tour crime-stricken, poverty-stricken minority neighborhoods in London that looked exactly like poor neighborhoods in the USA. So what has all the high taxes and big government funding paid for by UK citizens accomplished for the poor? Why are people still poor? Why are poor neighborhoods so crime ridden? Why aren't things better for the poor than in the USA? Why do teachers in UK complain of a lack of educational funding- just like teachers in the USA? Why do headlines in the newspapers complain of high levels of drop-outs and hopelessness in poor neighborhoods? Why do headlines scream about high levels of drug abuse, gangs, guns and murder among the poor? Why do headlines complain of poor health care- despite the fact that UK has Hillary Clinton's favorite form of health care (the answer to all our problems- she claims) Universal government-run healthcare?

What my trip to UK proves beyond a shadow of a doubt is that bigger government is not the answer. Just as in high tax U.S. states like New York, Illinois and California, no matter how high the taxes, it's NEVER enough. No matter how high the taxes, government spends it all (and then some). No matter how high the taxes, the poor are (get ready- are you sitting down?) POOR! No matter how much money government grabs (at gun point) from hard-working taxpayers to pay for government poverty programs- there is still high levels of poverty. No matter how much money government spends on programs to eradicate poverty, poor neighborhoods are filled with drugs, guns, gangs and hopelessness. No matter how much welfare we throw at the poor, they're lives are filled with misery. No matter how high the property taxes, government-run public schools are still failing (in every country). No matter how much money we give government to solve the health care crisis, health care is still a mess. And with government running it- it gets even worse (and far more expensive).

As a matter of fact, anything government touches is a mess. But one thing does change when you make government bigger and more powerful- in countries where taxes are high, the lives of middle class and upper middle class taxpayers are made worse. They live in smaller houses; live farther from their jobs (because higher taxes leave them with less money for a down payment- thereby pushing them further away from expensive cities); enjoy far fewer of life's luxuries (vacations, eating out, massages, playing golf); enjoy less time with their families (because they are too busy paying for all the taxes); and enjoy far less opportunity to own their own small business (because high taxes stop citizens from saving enough money to start a business). Far more people in the UK live in a small apartment instead of owning their own home; far fewer people own a car (thereby depending on cramped, uncomfortable, dirty, dangerous public transportation); far fewer people own their own business or even dream of doing so. Is that the life we choose in the USA? Do we want to give up a better life, a much higher quality of life- all in the name of paying more taxes to fund bigger government?

Then there's education- perhaps the biggest problem in every country. It seems the problem is always the same: many of the children in government-run public schools are failing. And no amount of government intervention or spending solves the problem. Why is that? Because it's not the money, stupid (as James Carville might say). It's not the teachers. It's not the system. It's the parents. Parents need to be involved in their children's lives. Children need love and discipline from their parents. Without parental involvement (and more importantly- parental choice), kids are destined to fail- no matter how much money we throw at the problem. Parents must take a central role in the process and must have freedom of choice- to send their kids to private school, religious school, magnet schools or to choose home-schooling. Government cannot solve the problem. As all Libertarians know, the solution starts and ends with the individual, not Big Brother.

Finally we come to the arena of personal freedom. Yes, we have it better in America when it comes to taxes, government and the higher quality of life we enjoy. But not everything is rosy (or better) in America. I found that despite the size of government and loss of privacy in the UK, when it comes to personal freedoms- the British often have it better than Americans. Big Brother in the UK doesn't care what British citizens do in the privacy of their homes. Gay marriage is legal in UK. The use of marijuana results in a warning, not a prison sentence. And online gaming is perfectly legal. Making a bet on your favorite soccer, cricket or rugby team is not only legal- but considered a normal part of everyday life. Gambling is seen as fun and entertainment- not a moral sin. Online gaming web sites are even sponsored by professional soccer teams- and advertised at sporting events. There are gambling shops on virtually every corner of London- where any adult can place a bet on his favorite sporting event, horserace or even political election. In the UK, any adult is free to bet on Hillary, Obama, McCain or Romney to win the U.S. Presidential election. And why not? How is that a crime? Why are Americans put in prison by the tens of thousands for smoking pot- but not for drinking or smoking a cigarette? Why are we spending (and wasting) billions to hold so many Americans in prison for non-violent drug arrests? Why are we wasting billions to prosecute victimless gambling offenses when gambling is nothing more than entertainment? What's the difference between making a bet on sports online (which is illegal)...or making a bet on a horserace or lottery (which is legal)? What is the difference between risking $1000 on a game of online poker (which is illegal)...or risking $1,000,000 on IBM or Microsoft with your online Charles Schwab account? Why do we care if someone is straight or gay? Why is any of this the business of government? In many ways, our country is MORE Big Brother than any other nation in the world. In many ways, we enjoy less freedom than our friends and allies in the UK.

I learned many lessons on my trip to UK this past week. The most important one is that the solution to any problem is simple- less government, lower taxes, more personal responsibility, more rights for the individual, more choice, more free market competition (to solve the education and health care mess), and far more freedom. That's the Libertarian message. That's not the message you'll hear from any Democrat or Republican Presidential candidate. Perhaps it's time to make a change- to vote for a third party alternative, to vote for freedom, to vote for smaller government, to vote for a part-time Citizen Legislator, to vote Libertarian for Wayne Allyn Root for President.


Wayne Allyn Root is a Libertarian Presidential candidate. For more about Wayne and his bold stands on important political issues, go to: www.WayneROOT.com

CHANGE? What Kind of Change Does Barack Obama Really Want? Libertarian Presidential Candidate Asks "What Kind of Change Do American Voters Really Want?"

I've heard the word "change" coming from the mouths of liberal Democratic Presidential candidates so many times in the past 2 weeks that I want to vomit. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards talk nonstop about "change." It's as if "change" is a magical word. It's as if all we have to do is snap our fingers, make a change, and all our problems as a nation will be solved. But the problem is that all change is not good. The question American voters should be asking is "What kind of change?" When I hear liberal Democrat politicians talking about change, I instinctively reach into my pocket to protect my wallet. They've already absconded with a large portion of your income. Now they want your change too! So perhaps not all change is good. The "change" that Obama & Company refers to means the same old tax and spend "income redistribution" policies of failed Democratic Presidential candidates like Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern, Michael Dukakis, Walter Mondale, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry. It's back to the future for liberal tax & spenders. Is that the kind of change the American public wants?

Just because Barack Obama is a good talker...just because he has charisma...just because he is charming...doesn't mean he has anything of value to offer. If you examine his flowery words (under that dynamic style) you find a great big NOTHING. Obama isn't actually saying a thing. He is offering no specifics, few if any details. He has hope, and he wants change. Wow, that's pretty radical and enlightening stuff. Obama is purposely hiding the true meaning of the "change" he wants to bring. You know why? Because he's afraid if he tells you the exact definition of the change he wants to bring, the voters will recoil. His version of change has already been defeated at the polls again and again for the last half century (usually in a landslide). Obama is George McGovern-lite. Obama offers a prettier face, more charisma, and no details.

Obama says he doesn't want to pit blue states versus red states. Well that may be what he says. But never trust what a politician says. It's more important to watch what he does. Obama's policies (and past voting record) tell a different story. Barack Hussein Obama talks about uniting America. But his ultra-liberal voting record actually proves his goal is to divide America according to race, income, and career. Barack's recycled liberal tax and spend policies pit rich versus poor; successful versus unsuccessful; business owners versus employees and unions; teachers unions versus taxpayers; those who worked hard to achieve the American Dream versus those who want it handed to them. His policies are McGovern/Kennedy/Mondale revisited. It's the same old tax and spend policies of hard core liberals recycled and repackaged with flowery words to hide the true meaning. Liberal Democrats like Barack and Hillary must think we're all fools. Well actually they have no other choice- when McGovern and Mondale actually explained the details of their policies- they both lost in landslides.

Obama is simply playing Robin Hood (like all liberal tax and spenders). I know the game plan well. First denigrate the successful people of this country (call them that dirty word "rich")...then describe them as "greedy" (for wanting to retain some of their own money)...then steal their hard-earned money under the guise of "fairness." In the world of liberal Democrats like Obama, it's "greedy" to want to keep more of your own money (earned through your sweat, hard work, long hours, and risk), but it's called "fair" to steal the money you didn't earn from others to buy things you want, but can't afford. That's an interesting way to look at it, isn't it? But I have news for Obama- Robin Hood may have been a hero for stealing from the rich to give to the poor. But no matter how you color it, no matter how eloquently you say it, IT'S STILL STEALING.

If you look at the plans for saving our economy as designed by Obama, Hillary and Edwards, it's frightening. The amount of money needed to pay for all the government programs and giveaways they envision will A) Bankrupt our nation...and B) Send anyone who isn't already poor to the poor house. There isn't enough money in the world to pay for all the "change" they are promising. But heck, if you're rich one day and bankrupt the next, I guess that does qualify as "change." Liberal politicians like Obama and Hillary talk so much about your pain, it's easy to forget that they are the ones causing it.

Three things are definite if any of these liberal tax and spenders get elected: the rich will be targeted and taxed to death (literally- as death tax rates will be raised back to old levels); the recession that appears imminent could turn into a full fledged depression (as real estate crashes and the stock market melts away); and budget deficits will soar to new records. Now isn't that interesting? For 8 years all we've been hearing Democrats whine about is the growth of our budget deficit because of tax cuts. But once Democrats are in charge, budget deficits will grow even bigger as a result of out of control government spending, ever-expanding government programs, and bribes disguised to look like giveaways and entitlements to the poor. So why is a record budget deficit a big problem only when Republicans are in charge? Why are deficits perfectly fine when Democrats are in charge? Why is it "fair" to cause a deficit by handing money to people that never earned it? But it's not good (according to liberal tax and spenders) to expand a deficit by allowing hard working Americans to keep more of the money they've earned? The hypocrisy of politics boggles the imagination.

Democratic Presidential contenders will allow the Bush income tax cuts to expire. They'll raise capital gains tax rates. They'll raise the death tax rate back to old levels. They'll remove the cap off Social Security tax rates (so the tax will come off all your income, with no ceiling). They'll most probably demand a tax surcharge on any income above $250,000. It's a mind-boggling array of tax raises. But hey, as long as Obama is a good speaker everything is fine and dandy, right? What he's actually talking about doesn't really matter, does it? Besides, change has to be good, right? Any change at all- no matter how painful to the taxpayer, no matter how damaging to the economy, is good for America, right? As long as Obama and Clinton say they feel your pain, well then it's obvious that they have the answer to all our problems, right? The fact that they will rob Peter to pay Paul is no big deal. As long as you're not Peter.

As a Libertarian candidate for President of the United States, I too believe strongly in change. But the "change" that I believe in is not the same old recycled big-government, tax-and-spend policies designed to punish successful Americans. The change I believe in will lead right back to the most perfect document ever created- the United States Constitution. I believe in smaller government, less spending by government, less federal government intrusion in the lives of American taxpayers (just as our Founding Fathers designed). I believe in lower taxes. I will fight to make the Bush income tax cuts permanent. But that's just a small start. I will fight for a simple flat tax that lowers income taxes far below current rates. I will fight to eliminate death taxes entirely. I will fight to completely eliminate the dreaded AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax). I will fight to dramatically lower capital gains tax rates on any American over age 55 (so they can retire at a younger age). I will fight to dramatically lower corporate income tax rates (now among the highest in the industrialized world). I will cut foreign aid dramatically. I will move to close military bases across the globe- let the Japanese, South Koreans and Europeans pay for their own defense. I will cut entire Cabinet Departments whose existence is not authorized by the Constitution (starting with the Department of Education). I will fight to enact the "Enumerated Powers Act" introduced by Rep. John Shadegg (R-Arizona) that would require that "Each act of Congress shall contain a concise and definite statement of the Constitutional authority relied upon for the enactment of each portion of that act." In other words if a program isn't authorized by the Constitution, it should not be funded. I will fight to eliminate earmarks, which so often lead to political bribery and government waste like the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere." I will reform Social Security by moving towards a system of individual savings accounts (similar to what every member of Congress already has). I will root out waste and inefficiency in our government to pay for our reduced tax burden.

And then there's the all-important topic of illegal immigration. But it's not immigration that's the real problem. It's the insane policies that allow illegal immigrants to obtain entitlements and government handouts. I will fight to eliminate welfare, food stamps, housing aid, and other entitlements to illegal aliens. I love immigrants. Immigrants have always served as the foundation of this country. LEGAL immigrants. There is a huge distinction. Both sets of my grandparents were immigrants who arrived on the shores of America legally through Ellis Island. If you want to come to this country legally to work and pay taxes, we will welcome you with open arms. But if you want to come here to grab government entitlements and handouts, you're most definitely not welcome. You are most definitely NOT entitled.

I think those are the kinds of changes the American people are looking for. I want change just like my Columbia College classmate Barack Obama- but our definition of "change" is far different. The change that Barack Obama envisions is to create bigger government and force higher taxes on the very people that are doing all the work, taking all the risks (small business owners), creating the jobs, paying all the taxes (otherwise known as taxpayers). My version of change is to give the power and the money back to the people who earned it- the taxpayers. Now that's a change worth fighting (and voting) for. Just remember- not all change is created equal.



Wayne Allyn Root is a Libertarian Presidential candidate. For more about Wayne and his bold stands on important political issues, go to:
www.WayneROOT.com

IOWA PRIMARY OPENS THE DOOR TO THE PERFECT LIBERTARIAN STORM!

Iowa's primary results were amazing, interesting, and surprising to the national media. But they were thrilling to me- the frontrunner for the Libertarian Presidential nomination. As a matter of fact, I'd call them a "dream come true." Will they carry over to New Hampshire (where I'll be campaigning this weekend) and other early primary states? That I don't know- and neither does the media or political pundits. But I sure hope so.

With Huckabee and Obama as the candidates of the 2 major political parties- anyone who desires a smaller (and more limited) federal government, lower spending, lower taxes, a balanced budget and more rights for the individual can no longer rationalize voting for the "lesser of 2 evils." That excuse is out the window.

Obama is perhaps the worst big-government, soak the rich, tax and spend Democrat ever to run for President in modern times (yes that includes George McGovern and Ted Kennedy). He'll give you nothing but big...bigger...or super-sized government. He'll tax America into bankruptcy. But Republican Mike Huckabee provides no alternative. On the fiscal side, he too is a big-government, tax and spender. As Governor of Arkansas, Huckabee received a grade of "D" from the Cato Institute (a small government, fiscally conservative Libertarian research group)- lower than most liberal Democrat Governors. But worst of all, on the social side, Huckabee makes Obama look like a small government Libertarian. Huckabee is a big government, Nanny State religious zealot (a former Minister) who wants "Big Brother" to enforce his views on the rest of us. What a choice.

Then there's the third party possibilities. I predict not only that Mike Bloomberg will enter the Presidential sweepstakes, but quite possibly John McCain as well (teamed with Joe Lieberman as his VP). Both McCain and Bloomberg call themselves "fiscal conservatives," but in reality neither supports cutting government in any meaningful way. They are both actually liberal big government Republicans in the mode of former New York politicians Jacob Javits and Nelson Rockefeller. Neither Bloomberg nor McCain wants any radical changes in the size of government or spending or taxes. Both crave power- and to get it, they'll expand government, and cut deals (otherwise known as "bribes") with the electorate.

Bloomberg is a typical mega-wealthy big government businessman (a 21st century Nelson Rockefeller) who just wants to brag that he got the trains to run on time. Bloomberg stands for efficiency, status quo, and by all means protect big corporations (like his own). McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts twice, and was the architect of McCain-Feingold, which violated free speech (and the constitution). McCain is not exactly a smaller government Libertarian himself.

Now those are some really pathetic choices for anyone that wants less government. My prediction is that millions of Libertarians (with a big "L") and Libertarian-leaning voters (with a small "l"), and Libertarian Republicans will no longer in good conscience choose to hold their noses and vote for the "lesser of two evils." They will look for a small government alternative. And that will send them to one obvious place- The Libertarian Party. If Huckabee and Obama become the eventual nominees, I predict a seismic earthquake in American politics- what I would call a Libertarian Awakening. The pathetic big-government choices of the 2 major parties are accelerating the need for a 21st century Boston Tea Party- whether that be a Root Revolution or a Paul Revolution.

Wayne Allyn Root is a Libertarian Presidential candidate. For more about Wayne and his bold stands on important political issues, go to:
www.WayneRoot.com