Just in time to bamboozle conservative voters before the election, House Republicans unveiled their “Pledge to America” at a hardware store in Virginia in late September. Although the Pledge contains libertarian rhetoric about promoting “greater liberty” and “smaller, more accountable government,” the fact that Republicans promise to roll back spending only to the level it was during Bush’s last year in office and “advance the cause of freedom and democracy around the world” means that the Pledge is stupid and evil.
We libertarians are often told that instead of tearing down the policies of liberals and conservatives we should offer some real solutions. Well, if I were a libertarian running for office, I would issue my own pledge. But instead of vague, empty, and false promises we find in the Republican “Pledge to America,” I have come up with fifty specific, unambiguous promises that seem so radical to the average voter that I know I could never be elected. But these are not just my preferences and convictions; these are things that all libertarians should be consistently and unequivocally promising — if they are trying to be honest instead of trying to be elected.
Here is the Libertarian Pledge to America:
- I promise to end the war on drugs.
- I promise to abolish the Department of Energy.
- I promise to abolish all anti-trust laws.
- I promise to abolish the Federal Housing Administration.
- I promise to abolish the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae).
- I promise to abolish the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddy Mac).
- I promise to abolish the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae).
- I promise to repeal the Fair Housing Act.
- I promise to abolish the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- I promise to abolish the Federal Trade Commission.
- I promise to abolish the EPA.
- I promise to abolish the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
- I promise to abolish the Department of Education.
- I promise to end federal funding and control of education.
- I promise to cease funding Head Start.
- I promise to cease funding the National School Lunch Program.
- I promise to repeal the federal minimum wage.
- I promise to repeal the National Labor Relations Act.
- I promise to repeal the PATRIOT ACT.
- I promise to abolish the Department of Homeland Security.
- I promise to abolish the TSA and return airport security to airports and airlines.
- I promise to repeal all federal gun regulations.
- I promise to abolish NASA.
- I promise to abolish the National Endowment for the Arts.
- I promise to abolish the National Endowment for the Humanities.
- I promise to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- I promise to cease all drone attacks and covert activities.
- I promise to bring all U.S. troops home from foreign soil.
- I promise to close all foreign military bases.
- I promise to stop meddling in the affairs of other countries.
- I promise to limit the Department of Defense to actual defense.
- I promise to end all federal bailouts.
- I promise to stop funding the UN, World Bank, and IMF.
- I promise to end all foreign aid.
- I promise to end all farm subsidies.
- I promise to repeal all trade restrictions, import quotas, anti-dumping laws, and trade agreements.
- I promise to abolish the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission.
- I promise to repeal the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- I promise to repeal all Affirmative Action, minority set-asides, and public accommodations laws.
- I promise to repeal the Family and Medical Leave Act.
- I promise to cease funding Planned Parenthood.
- I promise to abolish the Department of Health and Human Services.
- I promise to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
- I promise to end Medicare and Medicaid.
- I promise to end all federal funding and control of medicine and medical research.
- I promise to abolish the FDA.
- I promise to abolish NPR.
- I promise to abolish the Department of Labor.
- I promise to cease funding any scientific research on climate change.
- I promise to end the FED.
These are just things that are unconstitutional according to article I, section 8, of the Constitution and its Tenth Amendment that I just thought of off the top of my head. If I took the time, I could come up with an additional fifty. Then I could ask some libertarian friends of mine to help me come up with even more. Walter Block could certainly come up with fifty more, including abolishing the Department of Transportation. Tom DiLorenzo could also come up with another fifty more, including repealing the Community Reinvestment Act.
Republicans are so statist and so opposed to liberty that they would choke on the first item. To libertarians, ending the war on drugs is a no-brainer. Aside from the moral argument for personal liberty, which is compelling enough, the costs of drug prohibition far outweigh any possible benefits. It clogs the judicial system, swells prison populations, fosters violence, corrupts law enforcement, erodes civil liberties, destroys financial privacy, encourages illegal searches and seizures, ruins lives, wastes hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars, hinders legitimate pain treatment, turns law-abiding people into criminals, inconveniences shopping, and has no impact on the use or availability of most drugs in the United States.
The libertarian pledge to America — outside of Ron Paul and a few libertarians are there any candidates who will take it?