Libertarian Party Response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address
Full text of the response delivered by Arvin Vohra, vice chair of the National Libertarian Committee, on January 20, 2015:
Good evening. I’m Arvin Vohra, vice chair of the Libertarian National Committee.
Mr. President, in your State of the Union address, you propose to make Big Government even bigger.
You propose pouring more taxpayer dollars into another federal education program, this time for community colleges. But federal intervention has driven up the price of higher education.
What if we could make college affordable right now by simply getting government out of higher ed? Without subsidies and costly mandates, competition will force colleges to decrease their tuition or go out of business. Massive student debt would be a thing of the past.
Mr. President, we can have world-class education. The first step is defunding and eliminating the federal Department of Education, abolishing Common Core, and allowing parents to take full control over their children’s education. Free-market competition will raise educational standards, lower costs, and prepare students to compete in a global economy.
Mr. President, your attempts to raise the minimum wage will destroy one of the most important forms of education in this country. Many young people develop responsibility and marketable skills in entry-level, minimum-wage jobs. Those skills make workers more attractive to future employers.
The Republican answer, to leave the issue to the states, is a cop-out. All minimum wages kill jobs and hurt the poor. Libertarian candidates have pledged to sponsor legislation to eliminate the minimum wage in every state. That makes it easier for young people to gain experience, for the poorest workers to gain a foothold in the job market, and for small businesses to grow.
Here’s how we really grow the economy and create jobs: dramatically cut taxes and government spending. Libertarian candidates have pledged to sponsor legislation to cut federal spending to 1998 levels and eliminate the income tax. That means that you keep the money you earn, and spend it how you see fit: on charities and the arts, science research, education, and the health care of your choice.
Eliminating the income tax also defunds government’s ability to infringe on our privacy, to create enemies through needless wars, and to imprison our fellow citizens for victimless crimes.
Mr. President, so many of your supporters have begged you to defund and end the War on Drugs, but you have refused their pleas. Drug prohibition separates families, fosters violence, and destroys communities. You can end the war on drugs today, by doing what so many Libertarian gubernatorial and presidential candidates have pledged to do: pardon all nonviolent drug offenders.
Libertarian candidates have pledged to completely end the war on drugs, and thereby eliminate the black market profits that fund violent cartels. Ending the Drug War will make our streets safer, and people will no longer have to fear incarceration if they seek help overcoming an addiction.
Mr. President, over the last weeks you have repeatedly argued that Americans should be able to go online without risking their privacy. On that, we completely agree. Americans should be able to use their computers and phones without fear of anyone listening in or recording their communications through mass surveillance.
But your words, Mr. President, don’t match your actions. You have funded and enabled the surveillance state. To protect privacy, Libertarian candidates have pledged to defund the NSA’s mass surveillance program, repeal the Patriot Act, and massively downsize and consolidate redundant spy agencies.
Mr. President, your party and the Republican Party are damaging lives here and abroad through misuse and overuse of the military.
Libertarian candidates have pledged to sponsor legislation to end all foreign military operations, shut down needless foreign bases, cut military spending by at least 60 percent, and bring our troops home.
Even after those spending cuts, we will still outspend both Russia and China combined. We will also be safer, because our military will be focused on defense. We will stop creating enemies through unwarranted military intrusions.
Republicans have talked about repealing and replacing Obamacare. With what? Romneycare? That will continue to damage businesses and make health care worse.
When Republicans controlled the House, they had the chance to defund Obamacare. They refused.
Libertarian candidates have pledged to completely repeal Obamacare along with the many laws that stand in the way of low-cost, high-quality health care. Providers will compete for customers by lowering costs and increasing quality.
To help people in need, Libertarian candidates will make charitable hospitals legal. Doctors should not have to leave our borders to be able to offer free care.
We need to massively downsize and defund the federal government. But Republican and Democratic politicians only want to make it bigger. Get involved with the Libertarian Party in your state by going to LP.org, and by voting Libertarian.
Politicians can do one thing well: count votes. When you vote for a Democrat or Republican, it tells them, “Keep doing what you’re doing.” But when you vote for a Libertarian, it tells them, in no uncertain terms, “You have neither my approval nor my permission to grow or sustain Big Government. Shrink it now.”
Thank you for listening. Let’s bring liberty back to our communities and to the United States of America.
Listen to Joshua Cook’s full interview with Arvin Vohra, vice chair, Libertarian National Committee.
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