Monthly Archives: October 2008

The Battered Voter Syndrome

"He lies to me all the time. He takes my money and tells me that I can't spend it as well as he can. I've watched him spend us into financial ruin, giving money to his friends. Wasting money on irresponsible schemes. We're so far in debt, we'll never get out.�

"I work extra long hours to support him. I bring home all the money, yet he tells me what to do all day long. He winds up controlling almost every aspect of my life. He even tells me that I don't know how to properly raise my own children.�

"When he needs me, he's nice to me. He tells me how he wants the same things I do. After he gets what he wants, he goes back to his real personality. The truth is that he couldn't care less about me. He couldn't care less about anyone or anything. He only cares about himself. He uses the rest of us to get what he wants.�

"He keeps hurting me and I don't know what to do. I'm really scared. But he has me convinced that anyone else would treat me worse. He's probably right. So I stay.�

"It's probably all my fault. I just need to show him that I support him 100%. Maybe than he'll treat me better."

Everyone has heard of “battered spouse syndrome.� Battered spouses lack self-esteem or confidence, and actually choose to stay in disastrous, depressing, dangerous, and even deadly relationships. In many cases, the more loyalty they show to their abusive spouse, the worse they are treated and the more abuse they absorb. Most of us cannot understand how someone can choose to stay in a relationship with someone that torments them, hurts them (physically or psychologically), or threatens to kill them (or their children).

But the tale of woe you just read above is not from a battered spouse. This person is suffering from "battered voter syndrome."

Both Republicans and Democrats fall victim election after election to such abuse.

Let's start with battered Republicans. How many times can conservative or free market libertarian voters be lied to, without waking up to the deception? Year after year, at election time Republicans trot out candidates who portray themselves as libertarian conservatives standing for free markets, smaller government, lower spending, lower taxes, and more freedom. But after they are elected, they govern very differently than they promised. The reality is that Republicans talk about smaller government, but once elected, they expand government just like Democrats. They treat us like battered voters.

Even one of my heroes was guilty of this offense. Remember when Ronald Reagan said, “The nine worst words in the English language are 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'� Then he was elected and oversaw a dramatic expansion of government. Reagan also said he'd eliminate the Department of Education. It is still standing almost three decades later- not only standing, but growing at an alarming rate. The budget of the Department of Education is $80 Billion dollars almost 3 decades after Reagan pledged to eliminate it. Eighty billion dollars.

Remember when George H.W. Bush (daddy of W) said, “Read my lips, no new taxes.� Then after his election, he promptly raised taxes.

Remember George W. Bush's promises to cut government and reduce spending. Then he was elected and went on a spending rampage that would embarrass a drunken sailor. The first veto of his Presidency was against stem cell research. But earmarks, pork, waste and bloated budgets never seemed to bother W.

Now we have John McCain- yet another Republican Presidential candidate promising to be a conservative free market libertarian. But in his prior political life McCain voted against tax cuts; supported amnesty for illegal aliens- whose demands for government spending and entitlements threaten to bankrupt our nation; supported more government regulation, more bureaucrats, and higher taxes in the name of global warming; supported violations of our civil liberties (like warrantless wiretaps); and created a campaign finance bill (McCain Feingold) that eroded our free speech.

And that was all BEFORE McCain joined with Barack Obama to support the trillion-dollar government bailout- the greatest rip-off of taxpayers in American history.

Yet the specter of socialist radical Barack Obama has once again been used by Republican campaign consultants and strategists to frighten conservatives and free market libertarians reluctantly into the arms of McCain and Palin. I keep hearing those sad, pathetic words (that are trotted out every 4 years by Republicans), “well they are the lesser of two evils.� But is that good enough? Republicans threaten us with the specter of bigger government- then they get elected and give us bigger government. Should anyone be surprised when President John McCain governs in much the same way as prior Republican Presidents once elected? Any fiscally conservative, small-government advocate that votes for John McCain is certainly suffering from battered voter syndrome.

But it isn't only Republicans who suffer from battered voter syndrome. Democrats have spent their fair share of time being abused by their own heroes too. Democrat politicians promise responsible government that will help “the little guy,� and then give us Congressman Barney Frank to oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while his lover runs the very programs that put the housing market and financial system into crisis.

Then there is Obama- the man of “change.� Well he has raised over $600 million dollars in change- smashing all-time records for campaign contributions. Who gave him $600,000,000? What do they expect in return? How did he do that in the worst economy in our lifetime? Does this ring any alarm bells in your mind? When Obama promises to “spread the wealth around,� to whom will he give your money?

Is Obama really for the “little guy?� He has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of contributions from Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac. All of them were at the very center of our credit crisis, investment banking meltdown and Wall Street bailout. Why did they choose to give so much money to Obama? What did they expect in return? Did all that campaign cash prevent Obama from speaking up about the looming financial meltdown?

Obama comes from the Chicago political machine- a modern day Tammany Hall. The economy of Chicago and the state of Illinois have been wrecked by this corrupt Democratic machine- with bloated budget deficits; out of control spending; unfunded state government employee union liabilities; among the worst public schools in the country; among the highest taxes in the country; the highest murder rate in the country; and one of the biggest population exoduses in the country.

If you like Chicago, you'll love America with Obama as President. If you think Obama is the man of change, you are a battered voter.

Do you see a pattern? Republicans promise smaller government and more freedom from Big Brother. But once elected they bring us bigger government and the Nanny State. They expand government in order to help their friends- defense contractors, oil companies, pharmaceutical companies and agribusiness (billion dollar farm conglomerates). The small business owners that Republican politicians talk about at election time are thrown overboard in favor of corporate lobbyists.

Democrats promise to take care of the “little guy.� But once elected they throw the little guy overboard and hand the country over to trial lawyers, teachers unions, federal and state employee unions, radical environmentalists, and entitlement addicts. Democrats swear they will raise taxes only on the rich in order to spread the wealth around. But once elected, you become “the rich.� The reality is that Obama wants to spread the wealth around from those who work hard, achieve success and create jobs to those who don't- because those are his voters. His economic philosophy isn't about “fairness,� it is simply about BRIBERY.

Polls show that 90% of Americans now believe we are on the “wrong track� as a nation. That's the highest rate in history. Yet if you've been voting for the same 2 choices- Republican or Democrat- for the last 20 or 30 or 50 years…if you've been voting all these years for “the lesser of two evils�…perhaps it's no coincidence why we are on the wrong track. You've been voting for the wrong track.

Voters who choose the same 2 flawed choices of Republican or Democrat year after year are starring in “Groundhog Day.� You make the same choices election after election, yet you keep expecting different results! You fall for the same deceptions, lies and fraud year after year, yet you're shocked that nothing changes. You still believe it when the politician offers “CHANGE� without asking what is his track record, and exactly what is the change that is he now offering? You are a battered voter.

But there is another choice. There is a way out. There is a right track. The Libertarian Party is here to end the abuse. As “America's Third Party� we offer you the relationship with government that you've always desired.

We don't deceive or lie or defraud voters. We support smaller government, reduced spending, lower taxes, school choice and more freedom. We do not support special interest pork-barrel spending or corporate welfare. We don't just talk about these principles of limited government. We don't just trot out actors (known as “candidates�) to portray a love of these principles every election day. We live these principles every second of every day. And once elected, Libertarians have a proven track record of actually doing what we said we'd do.

The Libertarian Presidential ticket of Bob Barr and Wayne Root could never hope to raise the $600 million dollars like Obama. Doesn't that tell you something? Follow the money. Whoever gets the big corporate contributions is expected (or required) to return the favor- only one thousand times bigger (with taxpayer's money).

Barr/Root isn't bought or paid for by special interests or large corporations. Our campaign and convention were not funded with your tax money. We don't owe anyone anything. Our only interest is you- the American citizen and taxpayer.

Isn't it time that you supported a candidate who actually cares about you- the taxpayer? A candidate who actually says what he or she means- not just at election time, but after the election too. Isn't it time you supported a candidate who is actually committed to a set of principles- not just to using principles as a “marketing tool� to get elected. Someone who actually pledges to make their own office less powerful, less important- so they can give the power back to the citizens and taxpayers.

The Libertarian Party and the Presidential ticket of Bob Barr/Wayne Root want a long-term healthy relationship with you. Together, we will build a future that is better for our children and better for our country. No, we're not going to win this Presidential election. Not this time. But we have achieved all-time Libertarian Party records for media appearances and exposure to mainstream American voters. We are building a foundation of credibility for future victory at the national level. And it's what that foundation is built upon that should be most important to you. We offer you the unique opportunity to take power back from the politicians, bureaucrats, lawyers, lobbyists and special interests.

We don't batter our voters. We better them.

I started my campaign 18 months ago by announcing a 16-year detailed plan to win the White House. A small businessman and home-school dad from low-tax Nevada, who has never collected a government paycheck, or been corrupted by the "Beltway Insiders" or special interests in Washington D.C., is now the Vice Presidential nominee of a major third party ticket. I'd say that's one heck of a successful start for my plan. November 4th isn't an end, but rather the beginning of my long-term vision to give power back to the citizens.

Join us in starting the process of recovery from battered voter syndrome. You can do it. You can leave. You can change the self-destructive pattern. You can stop wasting your vote on the two parties that 90% of American voters agree have led us in the wrong direction. It's never a wasted vote to choose a candidate that you really like, instead of someone you neither like nor trust. You actually have a choice. A third choice- the Libertarian Party is “America's Third Party.�

Stop accepting the battering and abuse. Stop accepting the lies and deception. Choose a positive, healthy relationship with Bob Barr, Wayne Root and the Libertarian Party. On November 4th, come home to us.

Make your vote count. Go to www.LP.org and join us today.

Wayne Allyn Root is the Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee on the Libertarian Presidential ticket of Bob Barr/Wayne Root. His web site is: www.ROOTforAmerica.com

Colin Powell's Big Announcement- Proof that the 2-Party System is Big and Bigger, Dumb and Dumber

I sat stunned on Sunday morning upon hearing that Colin Powell had endorsed Barack Obama for President of the United States. Stunned, but completely at peace with my decision to leave the Republican Party two years ago. I left because the GOP had abandoned freedom-loving, limited government, anti-tax, fiscal conservatives like me. I left because the expansion of government under President George W. Bush was larger than any big-government liberal could have dreamt about under a Democratic President. I left because of my Republican President's willingness to violate the civil liberties of law-abiding American citizens (warrantless wiretaps). I left because of the willingness of a Republican-controlled Congress (at the time) to ban the chosen form of entertainment (online poker) of millions of Americans in the privacy of their own home, on their own computer, with their own money. I left because the GOP had become so manipulative, hypocritical and controlling that it tried to force the power of the federal government upon a brain-dead woman in a coma in the last days of her life (Terri Schiavo).

My decision was reinforced recently when GOP Presidential candidate John McCain joined Barack Obama in supporting the greatest federal power grab and rip-off of taxpayers in the history of America (the trillion dollar bailout of banks, housing, AIG and Wall Street). A bailout filled with waste and bribery, yet supported by McCain- the man who claims to fight earmarks and waste with his every breath. A bailout filled with handouts to firms that manufacture wooden arrows, wool, rum in Puerto Rico and products in American Somoa. A bailout that provides tax breaks for bicycle commuters (that is sure to save the U.S. economy). A bailout that socializes the banking and financial system of the United States. A bailout that gives the I.R.S. expanded powers for undercover sting operations against our own American people.

If John McCain had chosen to take a stand against the bailout, the election would have been his. Yet even in this moment that so clearly defined big government vs. limited government; Big Brother and big corporate interests vs. American citizens and taxpayers; capitalism and personal responsibility vs. socialism; John McCain and the GOP joined hands with Barack Obama and sang cum-ba-ya. They proved that there are no longer any big differences between the 2 major parties.

But nothing has made me feel better about leaving the GOP than Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama. Can you even imagine? For months now as the Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate, as a guest on hundreds of radio talk shows and media interviews, I've said that there is no longer any big difference between the 2 major parties- they both support the same long term goal: BIGGER GOVERNMENT. I dubbed the Republicans and Democrats "big and bigger, dumb and dumber." Neither has any interest in defending the constitution. Neither has any interest in supporting beleaguered taxpayers. Neither has any interest in actually cutting the size, scope or power of government. Both parties believe in nothing, but the core principles of bribing the electorate with handouts and entitlements; supporting the lawyers, lobbyists and corporations who provide the biggest campaign contributions; and taking more control over the lives of ordinary Americans. Both major parties crave one thing and one thing only: POWER. That much is now clear.

The endorsement of Democrat Obama by Republican hero Colin Powell makes my case. Supporting McCain and his ideas for bigger government would have been bad enough. Enough to make my heroes Thomas Jefferson, Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan roll over in their graves. But Powell didn't choose McCain's vision of big government. That wasn't big enough for Colin Powell. Powell chose Obama's vision of FAR bigger and more intrusive government. Powell chose Obama's vision of re-distribution of wealth. Powell chose the most draconian tax increases in American history. Powell chose a man who supports the punishment of the successful citizens in our society, in order to reward the rest (Obama's core voters) with handouts, entitlements and outright bribes. Powell chose a man named by the National Journal as the most partisan left wing extremist in the entire United States Senate.

Powell has chosen a man that is against tort reform- who literally wants lawyers to run wild and unleash lawsuits across America. Powell chose a man that is against school choice and vouchers- even if they might help black students in the failing hellhole public schools of Washington, D.C. Powell chose a man who supports a government takeover of health care. Powell supports a man who has opposed offshore oil drilling his entire career, while in bed with radical left-wing environmentalists. Powell supports a man who on every issue is to the extreme left of everything mainstream America believes in, let alone what conservatives and Republicans in his own party think. Colin Powell chose socialism.

If Colin Powell could make that choice, as have several other GOP power players like former U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee and former Congressman Jim Leach, then the difference between the 2 major parties has blurred to the point of indistinguishable. Powell's announcement proves that there is no longer a GOP. The party of Goldwater and Reagan is dead. The party of fiscally conservative, limited government principles is long gone. There are no longer any principles left in politics, if a Republican can leave his party to support a radical left-wing, tax-raising, redistribute-the-wealth, socialist who supports a government takeover of health care. Powell has sealed the deal.

McCain may yet win this election against all odds. But it won't change a thing. The charade is up. There is no longer any big difference between Republicans and Democrats. Not when a Republican hero like Powell can choose Big Brother socialism without blinking. Big and bigger, dumb and dumber. It's now a reality.

It's time for change all right. But neither McCain nor Obama will change anything- except for the worst. Among the 2 major parties there is only a choice between a moderate Democrat and a socialist. Sadly, McCain is playing the role of the moderate Democrat who will simply continue President Bush's expansion of government. Throw into the toxic mix the continued violation of civil rights (in the name of "security"); nonstop wars across the globe; and the endless expansion of military spending- all of which will lead to the bankruptcy of America.

On the other hand, Obama is a far-left socialist who will expand government far beyond anything ever imagined. Obama will choose to tax successful citizens to death (literally- by bringing back the death tax and raising the rates of taxation on money we all have left on the day we die AFTER a lifetime of paying taxes). He will bankrupt America even sooner- by handing the keys to government spending to his friends- lawyers, lobbyists, radical environmentalists, obstructionist teachers unions, and greedy government employee unions. No matter who is elected, McCain or Obama, American taxpayers face a bleak future. It's bankruptcy soon, or sooner.

Or voters can choose Bob Barr and Wayne Root. For real change- smaller government; dramatically reduced spending; lower taxes; school choice; energy independence through drilling for our own natural resources; more freedom and rights for gun owners; and more freedom and individual rights for the American people. Most importantly, we stand for less power for the politicians and government bureaucrats, and more power to the people. If that's the kind of change you desire, it's time to leave behind big and bigger, dumb and dumber. I invite you to join the Libertarian Party at: www.LP.org

Wayne Root is the Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee on the Libertarian Presidential ticket of Bob Barr/Wayne Root. His web site is: www.ROOTforAmerica.com

A Columbus Day Story: The Great Economic and Political Battle of Private Sector Taxpayers Versus Government Employee Unions

As I sit writing this commentary on Columbus Day, it occurs to me that I've worked all day. On a holiday. From 5 AM until 10 PM. I've run my business; run my Vice Presidential campaign; done numerous media interviews; and now I'm spending my night writing a political commentary. These are things you do when you're an entrepreneur with lots of ambition and no guaranteed paycheck each week. You earn your keep. From morning until night, you make phone calls, send emails, attend business meetings- anything and everything to survive and THRIVE. I know my friends in the private sector understand exactly what I'm talking about. When you work as a business owner, or independent contractor, or in sales (real estate, stocks, bonds, insurance, mortgages, automobiles), there is no such thing as an “off day.�

We work early mornings, late evenings, weekends, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, during our kid's ballgames and dance recitals. And the thought of “early retirement?� Well it's just not in the cards for ambitious entrepreneurs. If you're employed in the private sector, I know you understand exactly what I'm talking about. But if you're a federal or state employee, this kind of work schedule is something you can't even begin to understand. And that is exactly the problem. A big problem. A cancer upon our nation. It's a big problem for all of us- you, me, taxpayers, cities, states, our entire country. We are all in grave danger.

Because there is a war brewing in this country. I'm not talking about the Iraq war. Nor the Afghanistan war. Nor the threat of any war with Iran. I'm talking about an economic war that threatens to bankrupt our cities, our states, and our country. A war that threatens to burden our children and grandchildren with debt they can never hope to pay off. It is a war of government employees and their unions, versus all of us in the private sector.

We have created a monster- a privileged class of government employees who think they are entitled to a better deal than any of the rest of us- the taxpayers. They work for us, yet they think they're better than us. They act as if we work for them. They think that while the country is in recession, they deserve ever-higher salaries, pensions and benefits.

We are a nation in the midst of severe recession. Business is down everywhere. Ask any small businessman or woman- sales are down a severe 30% to 40% (or worse). Car dealerships are seeing 50% or higher drops in revenue. America is in crisis. Businesses are drastically cutting budgets and laying off millions of employees. Yet guess who isn't cutting? Guess who isn't laying off employees? Guess who isn't reducing salaries or pensions or benefits? I'll give you three guesses. Government. Government. And more government. Local, state and federal governments want more money during the worst recession of our lifetimes. Bigger budgets. Higher taxes. More money spent on education (which translates to higher teacher salaries). More employees. Higher cost of living increases. Bigger pensions. More health benefits. Can you even imagine the gall?

My business revenues are down 30% to 40% and they want increases? Government is still hiring, while the rest of us are laying employees off? Government is asking for budget increases, while the rest of us are busy cutting budgets? It's obvious that government employee unions want to bankrupt America the same way that auto worker unions destroyed the entire auto industry. The same way that auto unions wrecked the biggest companies in the world- Ford, Chrysler and GM. The same way they bankrupted the economies of the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan.

It is no coincidence that Michigan now has the single worst economy in these United States of America. They won't rest until all of us in the private sector slave away 9 months a year to meet all their demands, to pay all their obscene salaries and pensions and health benefits. They won't rest until the whole America is one big decaying, depressed, economic disaster like Detroit.

If you doubt me, please Google the Los Angeles Times cover story of Sunday 6/10/07 on this economic tsunami headed our way. The normally ultra-liberal L.A. Times reports that California will surely go bankrupt sometime in the near future under the weight of unfunded public employee liabilities. The Times reports that health care benefits alone for retired California public employees will grow from $4 billion today to $31 billion by 2020. That's just the healthcare! There is no possible way to pay for it all. It is a looming disaster for every state in the nation. But the bleeding-heart liberal, “People's Republic of California� is the perfect test-tube, poster-child for the disaster headed our way.

That article was “the canary in the coal mine.� It was written over a year ago. Today Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is pleading with the federal government to loan California $7 billion dollars- or the state will go bankrupt. The chickens have come home to roost. You can't pay state employees 40% higher wages than other employees in the private sector- at least not if you want to survive economically. California now has the highest state income taxes in the country. Those two are no coincidence. In order to pay one privileged class a "decent living wage" (as liberals like to call it) you have to redistribute wealth away from those who actually earn it (by risking their own money and by creating actual jobs). In other words someone has to pay for all these big salaries and pensions for government employees- so taxpayers get fleeced. The result is that successful business owners (and anyone with assets) are leaving (or should I say escaping) California in droves. Tax revenues are therefore going down, not up, due to this exodus of brains and talent to low tax states like mine- Nevada.

The problem exists all over the country- although on a smaller scale (simply because California is that much bigger, more liberal, and obviously more ignorant of simple mathematics). The L.A. Times article entitled “Public sector reels at retiree healthcare tab� reports that local governments will soon be overwhelmed. "It will be impossible to meet their obligations. The only possibilities are bankruptcies, or a death by a thousand cuts in services to the public." That's a direct quote from the ultra-liberal Los Angeles Times. And that prediction of being overwhelmed “soon� is obviously referring to today. My prediction is that over the next 4 years, hundreds, if not thousands of cities throughout the USA will declare bankruptcy in order to get out from under their government employee union contracts. Bankruptcy will give them the leverage to renegotiate more reasonable (some would say “sane�) deals with government employees.

The Times quotes nonpartisan studies that report wages for state and local government workers are 40% higher than private employees, and retirement and fringe benefits are a whopping 60% higher. The liberal media bombards the public nonstop about the "divide between rich and poor in America." But this is truly the secret "fairness divide" the liberal media has up until now completely ignored (or hidden): the obscene compensation and benefits lavished upon public employees (who happen to vote virtually 100% Democrat just like the media), and the divide between employees of the public sector, and taxpayers of the private sector.

Why do public employees deserve so much more compensation than those in the private sector? Based on what? Small business owners like myself take massive risks, often put their life savings and homes on the line as “personal guarantors,� create jobs, make payrolls, pay millions in taxes (payroll, state and local, federal, sales taxes), and pay for health insurance for our employees. We make it possible for others to live the American Dream. And of course the massive taxes that we pay, make it possible for government to keep hiring, to keep over-paying government employees, and to keep expanding their bloated budgets.

To do all this, we in the private sector work weekends, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and overtime for no extra pay. We never get to retire early. I have yet to meet a business owner retired at age 55. Not one. Yet we in the private sector have no guaranteed paychecks (actually we often pay ourselves nothing in order to make employee payrolls when things are tight), no tenured jobs for life, no pension of any kind, and no one to pay our health insurance after retirement. Heck, we have no idea if we can ever retire.

Why do public employees deserve so much more than the rest of us? Why do they get to retire early on an obscene pension of 80% of their last year's salary for life? Why do they deserve health care for life, when the rest of us in the private sector don't?

Why do they deserve to get the day off for Columbus Day and weekends and sick days when the rest of us don't? There simply are no “sick days� when you own your own small business- you either show up or you lose your customers (and your business). There is no time to get sick when you own your own business- so you just don't. I haven't missed a day of work in 25 years. Why is this gigantic divide between public sector employees and private sector taxpayers “fair�? The answer of course is it is not. And it is time for a citizen revolt to end this travesty of justice- simply because the rest of us can't afford to pay for a privileged class anymore.

Tens of millions of American taxpayers are going to start asking these crucial questions: First, why should we in the private sector take all the risks, work 14 hour days (including weekends and holidays) and labor under the burden of ever-higher taxes, so we can pay for the lavish salaries, pensions and benefits of public service employees? Secondly, why are government offices closed on weekends and on holidays, when we often work on those days? Third, why should we slave away at work until the day we die, so we can pay for the early retirements at age 55 or 60 of public employees who get to play golf for the rest of their lives with pensions of 80% (or more) of their last annual working salary, plus full health care for life?

Why should the private sector taxpayers be stuck with this burden? Who are these government employees that they should be paid so much better than the typical taxpayer? No one is saying that they don't deserve to be paid a good wage. What we are saying is simply that it should be in line with what private sector employees with similar jobs receive. And when times are tough and the rest of us in the private sector are cutting budgets and laying off employees, government should be doing exactly the same thing.

The real issue is not whether the overwhelmed taxpayers and small business owners can pay for it or not- we cannot. The real issue is what happens when the unfunded liabilities come due? California, and the other 49 states are facing bankruptcies and economic crisis of epic proportions. Meanwhile the real heroes of the American economy- the job creators and risk-takers called small businesspersons and entrepreneurs- will be forced to work from January to October just to pay the 70% to 80% taxes that will be necessary to save this country from economic disaster.

Can that happen? It already has- it's called France. That's why our American economy is so successful year after year when compared to the stagnant French economy. It's because America encourages and rewards entrepreneurship, ambition and personal responsibility; while France encourages a welfare state where virtually everyone has a guaranteed job, guaranteed medical care and guaranteed pension for life. The result is high unemployment, high taxes, and shared misery for all. Unfortunately California is becoming our American version of France.

Brave politicians (if there are any left) must deal head-on with this looming economic crisis now, before public employee unions destroy the greatest economy in world history and bleed taxpayers and private industry dry. History proves that great democracies are always destroyed when too many citizens believe that they are entitled to feed off the public dole. When 1 of 5 (or more) citizens works for the government; and many more live off companies that do business with the government; and even more citizens depend on government handouts; our economy is in deep trouble, our way of life is threatened, our taxpayers are drowning in debt.

Worst of all, it is quite simply a recipe for political bribery and extortion (“Pay me more, increase my pensions and benefits, and I'll vote for you, support you, contribute to you, and my union will go door to door on your behalf�). Why should government employee unions that donate millions of dollars to politicians, then be allowed to negotiate with those same politicians for obscene pay raises? Why should one class (private sector taxpayers) shoulder all the burden of another class (entitlement junkies and government employees)?

Our Founding Fathers created our constitution to keep the government out of our lives. That constitution clearly gives the power to the people- not the government. But if a majority of Americans live off of, and work for the government, then the tables have turned. Those same people that work for the government; depend on the government; and pay their bills and mortgages with government paychecks; therefore desperately need the government to grow ever-larger (to protect their jobs, benefits and entitlements).

Afterall, the more government keeps hiring, the more employees are available to join the government employee unions. And therefore more union members available to contribute to union political action funds; to vote for union-friendly politicians; and to man phone banks or walk door to door to campaign for union-friendly politicians. These same union organizers and “community organizers� (as Obama calls them) can therefore be counted on to rig the system to continually fleece the taxpayers and benefit themselves- with the full cooperation of the corrupt politicians they helped elect.

I'm sad to say that this war being waged today is all about the same issues as the American Revolution of 232 years ago: freedom; excessive taxes; and taxation without representation. But today it isn't American peasants versus British soldiers. Today it is a battle of government employees and government employee unions, versus the rest of America (the taxpayers who create all the jobs and pay all the taxes). Today it is private sector, versus public service employees. No lives are being lost in this war. But taxpayers are fighting for our economic lives- and the future of our children. There is no blood spilled. But taxpayers are sacrificing blood, sweat and tears to toil all day, every day in order to pay the heavy taxes required to feed this privileged class.

When the ultra-liberal Los Angeles Times makes it a front page story, the disaster is bigger, closer and more devastating than we ever imagined. The time to act is now- before the people working for and depending on government outnumber the people that depend on ourselves and want government out of our lives.

My Columbus Day is now over. I've been working for 17 hours. I'm going to sleep. I have to be up at 5 AM again tomorrow…and the next day…and the day after. Remember, I have 4 young children, a big mortgage, no guaranteed weekly paycheck, no pension, no government guaranteed job for life, and no early retirement on the horizon. For me, it's “off to work I go� for the next 30 years (or more). For those of us who aren't members of the privileged class, there is no rest.

Wayne Root is the Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee on the Libertarian Presidential ticket of Bob Barr/Wayne Root. His web site is: www.ROOTforAmerica.com

And The Winner of the Presidential Debate Was….

There were no winners in the latest Presidential debate. But there was a clear-cut loser: the American taxpayer. While Barack Obama and John McCain argued strongly about a multitude of issues, they never even discussed or debated (or even commented) on the biggest bailout in American history. You know…that $700 billion dollar taxpayer rip-off that was so necessary to our economic survival that in the days since it passed, the U.S. stock market has literally crashed.

Bush, McCain, Obama, Biden, Pelosi, Barney Frank- they all joined hands and cried wolf. “Without the bailout, our economy is doomed, our stock market will plummet� they shrieked. So what do they say now? The market has plummeted hundreds of points SINCE the bailout was approved. We are in a free fall and it is obvious the vote is in: the average American stock investor has rejected the bailout. If I'm not mistaken, I thought I heard all of our politicians hysterically screaming in unison that only a bailout could prevent a stock market collapse. Yet now it appears the bailout is causing a stock market collapse. And to add to the misery, we have just thrown away another $700 billion of taxpayers' money to boot- the worst of all possible out-comes. The moral to the story is that anytime politicians hold hands, agree and sing Cum-ba-ya, grab your wallet because we're all about to get violated.

Yet in a critical national TV debate, with the whole nation watching, neither candidate thought to even mention the investor reaction to the bailout. Not a word. Not a thought. I guess if you pretend it never happened, it will all go away. As a matter of fact, all I heard from the two Presidential candidates (otherwise known as tweedle-dee and tweedle-dumb) in reaction to the economic crisis of a lifetime caused by government intervention, was MORE government intervention. Obama wants hundreds of billions of dollars worth of new spending- paid for by raising taxes on successful people and small business owners who create jobs. A surefire recipe for disaster.

And McCain isn't happy spending $700 billion through a massive government intervention. He announced a new $300 billion government intervention to aid homeowners. Where does it end? We all know California will now demand $7 billion (or more) from the federal government or threaten bankruptcy. Other tax and spend bastions of liberal thinking like New York, Massachusetts and Barack's beloved big-government, big spending Illinois cannot be far behind. Soon all of America will be on welfare- the people, the biggest corporations, and now even the states themselves. We're just one big, happy, bankrupt family.

Here's the crucial debate point that Obama and McCain both avoided. What did a few hundred billion dollars in pork and outright bribery have to do with a bailout that was supposed to save the U.S. economy? What does giving millions in tax breaks to rum producers in Puerto Rico do for taxpayers on Main Street? How does giving away millions of dollars to companies in American Samoa help taxpayers? Or how about giving away millions of dollars to the manufacturers of wooden arrows? Sounds like somebody has a wooden arrow manufacturer in their Congressional district. I'll bet that Congressman will be getting more than a turkey for Thanksgiving.

But worst of all, why was a provision added to the $700 billion dollar bailout bill that gives the I.R.S. the right to violate and entrap American taxpayers? Why was it “necessary� to give the IRS the right to spend taxpayer money to set up undercover sting operations? You mean imprisoning more American taxpayers on tax evasion charges will help prevent an economic meltdown? Really? Silly me- I just don't see the connection.

But wait- it gets better. The same bailout bill that had Nancy Pelosi smiling and laughing and hugging Congressmen and women like she'd just saved the world, also violates the privacy of American taxpayers. Not only does it allow the IRS to set up undercover operations to entrap our own citizens, it allows the IRS to now share your personal tax information with any federal, state or local agency. This isn't a bailout, it's a hold up. The American taxpayer is being gagged, robbed and violated by multiple government entities. First Congress takes the taxpayers' money without asking our permission, to pay for a socialist bailout of their biggest contributors on Wall Street…then they give the IRS permission to entrap us, imprison us and legally violate our privacy.

I have a better idea. I think my fellow taxpayers might really appreciate this suggestion. Here is my bailout proposal to Congress: Instead of asking taxpayers to take all that risk, and to guarantee $700 million in bad loans, let's put up current and future Congressional salaries, pensions and health benefits as the guarantee. Then let's see how many members of Congress want to proceed with the bailout? I'm guessing none.

Now there's an idea you didn't hear from Obama or McCain at the Presidential debate. There's an idea you'll never hear from two United States Senators (or any member of Congress). Why? Because they are only confident (or arrogant) when giving away YOUR money, not theirs. That's the kind of creative thinking that American voters are missing by not including Libertarians like Bob Barr and Wayne Allyn Root in the debates.


Wayne Root is the Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee on the Libertarian Presidential ticket of Bob Barr/Wayne Root. His web site is: www.ROOTforAmerica.com.

The Vice Presidential Debate from a Unique Perspective: A Vice Presidential Opponent

After watching the Vice Presidential debate tonight, I have several opinions to share. I have a rather unique perspective- I'm the “other guy� not in the debate. I am the Libertarian Party Vice Presidential nominee. Now I know why I wasn't invited- the two parties are so much alike, having me on that stage would have exposed them as the fakes they are. There is so little difference between the 2 major political parties, it was painful to watch as they tried hard to look different. But I digress. First let me analyze the winners and losers. Then I'll get to the good, bad and ugly.

As far as winners- the clear-cut winner was Governor Sarah Palin. First, because expectations were so set so low. She did a very credible job- one that far surpassed what was expected of her. Second, because the biased liberal media once again has proven its own worst enemy. The media tried so hard to create the impression of Palin as being unqualified and “out of her league,� that they made her the big underdog. Palin more than rose to the occasion. What the media fails to understand is that America loves an underdog. The more the media belittles Palin, the more America (especially middle America) will rise to her defense. Third, the intellectual elite of this country thinks far too much of themselves. The pompous, arrogant “Beltway Insiders� crowd thinks that no moose-hunting, hockey mom and beauty queen contestant from the University of Idaho can ever debate them on a national stage. To the contrary, middle America loves to see one of their own do battle (and win) versus an elite D.C. establishment-insider like Senator Joe Biden. Most Americans- if given a choice- will always root for a Sarah Palin over a member of the millionaire boys club.

Palin lacks the U.S. Senate pedigree, law degree, or the D.C. Beltway credentials of Biden, but she has Reaganesque-like charm, charisma and middle American values. She also has something that even a brash New Yorker like me appreciates- CHUTZPAH. Sarah, in an “aw shucks� kind of way, is more confident of a speaker and debater than any 5-term United States Senator. Like Reagan, she knows how to connect to her audience- soccer moms and NASCAR dads (or as she calls them “Joe Six Pack�).

More than any other politician in the country, I understand why McCain took the gamble of a lifetime to choose Sarah Palin. She is a female me! We're both unusual non-traditional politicians. I speak often of being a small businessman, home-school dad, S.O.B. (son of a butcher) and citizen politician, from a far Western frontier state like Nevada- where we love guns and hate taxes. Sarah talks of being a small-town hockey mom who hunts, fishes and shoots moose, from a far West frontier state like Alaska- where they love guns and hate taxes. We both come from humble blue-collar beginnings- my dad was a butcher, my mom a homemaker. Her dad was a teacher, her mom a homemaker. We both speak often about our beliefs in smaller government and more power to the people. We are both family-oriented with long-lasting marriages and large families- Sarah has 5 children, including a new baby; my wife Debra and I have been blessed with 4 children, including a new baby. We're both young, enthusiastic, and passionate spokespersons for our political causes. We both get our supporters pumped up with enthusiasm. We are both proud of our lack of connections to Washington D.C. and fancy-pants lawyers or lobbyists.

And we both have a signature line that ties into who we are and where we're from- Sarah talks of the difference between hockey moms and pit bulls- lipstick. I talk of the big difference between my hometown Las Vegas and Washington D.C.- in Vegas the drunks gamble with their own money!

McCain sensed in the “Palin style� what I've understood for a long time: America is looking for a hero, an ANTI-POLITICIAN. Someone who is not a lawyer; not an elitist; not an intellectual; who understands middle America and small town values; who will govern with common sense; who wants to give the power back to the people- NOT the lobbyists and corporate interests. So I say BRAVO to Governor Palin for a job well done. You “get it� in a way so few politicians do (or ever have).

But that is where my compliments end. And that is also where our similarities end. You see Sarah is much like me when it comes to “style.� But when it comes to substance and reality, not so much (as Sarah would say). You see I'm the real thing. I'm a Barry Goldwater-loving, anti-government, anti-tax rebel who despises politicians, lawyers, lobbyists, government spending, earmarks, waste and corporate welfare.

Read my lips: I will NEVER in my lifetime support a tax increase- taxes are already far too high. I pledge to lower taxes, and oppose any attempt at a tax increase. How's that for putting a bold promise in writing? Etch it in stone- I will NEVER support a tax increase. When it comes to spending, I join great fiscal conservatives like Barry Goldwater and Dr. Ron Paul in playing the role of “Dr. NO�- I pledge to oppose any and every spending increase that is not authorized by the constitution. Government spending is already far too high. I will only vote (and fight) to lower government spending.

Governor Palin is not an anti-politician. She's been a politician for 13 years now. She is not against tax increases- she has in fact supported tax increases. She is not against earmarks- as Governor of Alaska she has requested more earmarks (per capita) than most any other Governor in America. She is not against government spending- while she did cut some spending out of the budget, she also signed the biggest budget in Alaska history into law. She was not against the Bridge to Nowhere- she was actually for it, before she was against it. After it was killed by public opinion, she actually kept the federal money allotted for the infamous bridge. And unlike me (a home-school dad)- she certainly is no fighter for parental freedom and school choice. To the contrary, she has publicly denounced vouchers in speeches in front of Alaska teachers unions. So it appears Sarah's “citizen politician� image is just that- an image portrayed by a skilled actress.

The Vice Presidential debate was most shocking to me for what it exposed- a 2 party system that I call big and bigger, dumb and dumber. There was no smaller government candidate on that stage in St. Louis. There were only 2 big government supporters arguing over how big to make it. The party of Goldwater is long gone. Palin and her running mate McCain support the $700 billion bailout that socializes the U.S. banking system- just like Obama and Biden. Palin used every opportunity at the V.P. debate to denounce “greedy Wall Street� just like Biden and Obama (instead of strongly stating the truth- that it was corrupt and incompetent government that caused our economic and credit crisis). Palin supports more government regulation over Wall Street- just like Biden and Obama. Palin supports carbon caps- just like Obama and Biden. Palin agreed that mankind has caused some degree of global warming- just like Biden and Obama. Palin thinks the federal government should spend more money on failing public schools- just like Biden and Obama. No mention by Palin of failing public schools; greedy teachers unions; the need for choice and competition; or Democratic politicians being bought and paid for by teachers union contributions. Note that Goldwater supported an end to all federal meddling and spending on education. Reagan promised to terminate the entire Department of Education (although he never did). Palin proudly promised to spend more on education. Palin never mentioned one program or cabinet department she would cut. Not one. I have no doubt that Goldwater and Reagan were rolling over in their graves after this performance.

And when it comes to taxes, Palin simply says she wants to lower taxes, while the Democrats want to raise them. But she never clearly stated a detailed case for dramatically lower taxation or spending. She had no answer at all when Biden pointed out that McCain has supported tax increases hundreds of times. Is this what it has come to? Both sides arguing over who has supported tax increases the most? Is a conservative now the candidate who has supported tax increases only 120 times, instead of 400 times by the liberal Democrat?

And when it comes to war, Palin obviously supports ever-expanding military budgets (and taxation) to support more intervention and wars all over the world. There was not a mention by either candidate of cutting foreign aid, military bases or waste in the pentagon budget. Perhaps major contributions by defense contractors got in the way of that possible policy difference?

In the end, this debate proved the differences between the two major political parties to be small. Both Biden and Palin stand for bigger government- the only debate is over how big. With Biden (and Obama) it's always just a little bigger. Palin was chosen by McCain to win back conservative and Libertarian votes. She is an actress playing a part: the part of Wayne Allyn Root- a fiscally conservative, anti-tax, Libertarian small businessperson and citizen politician from a Western state, that wants to restore common sense and give power back to the people.

Every 4 years Republicans pull the same charade- then they get elected and go back to bribing corporate interests and spending like drunken sailors (no offense intended towards drunken sailors). Democrats don't even bother to hide what they stand for- higher taxes, bigger spending, bigger government, more power to teachers unions. Republicans just hide their true intensions much better. They run for election as small government Libertarians, then get elected and expand government to record levels. I call it “the November surprise�- they talk like Libertarians, then govern like liberals. Only now- after all the decades of promises broken- it should no longer come as a surprise. Having me on that stage would have exposed the 2-party system for the sham that it is. I now understand why I wasn't invited to spoil the party. But boy would it have been fun!


Wayne Root is the Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee on the Libertarian Presidential ticket of Bob Barr/Wayne Root. His web site is: www.ROOTforAmerica.com.