Libertarian Presidential candidate Bob Barr had a lot to say in Richmond yesterday. He unveiled his plan for helping restore our nation back to the limited federal government that was described by our federal Constitution. Congressman Barr stated that the focus of his administration would be devoted to shrinking the size of the federal government. To accomplish this he proposes to convene a new Grace Commission “on steroids”. As you may recall, the Grace Commission was founded back in 1982 by President Reagan. It resulted in an independent comprehensive review of the federal budget in the search for “waste, fraud, and abuse” within the many agencies, departments, offices, and programs of our federal government. Sadly, while the Grace Commission found over $424B in potential savings (out of a federal budget of $746B), Congress and the Senate did not implement the report’s recommendations.
Presidential candidate Bob Barr stated his goal was to end wasteful Federal government spending using the following three criteria;
For every federal agency, department, office, and program of our federal government ask the following questions and take the following actions:
1) Is the federal agency, department, office, or program required by the U.S. Constitution? If not, get rid of it.
If the federal agency, department, office, or program is required by the U.S. Constitution then ask:
2) Is the work best performed by the Federal government? If no, privatize it or pass it off to the state or local governments as appropriate.
For each federal agency, department, office, or program that is required by the U.S. Constitution and it is determined that the federal government is best to perform the work ask:
3) Do the benefits to the taxpayers out weigh the cost? If not, eliminate it.
He cited the federal Department of Education as an example. He stated that this federal department is not a Constitutional requirement for the federal government. He went on to explain that we can save $70B a year by abolishing that non-required Federal agency. Bob Barr promised to pass the savings onto the American people. He got my vote!
He went on to discuss the fact that the American people have a right to decide who will educate their children and perhaps that $70B would be better spent if returned to parents and they decide what education provider is best for their children.
Congressman Barr discussed the massive federal government debt. He said it was now $3.1 Trillion dollars. He made a convincing case that this massive debt burden actually results in a loss of freedom for the American people. He explained that our nation’s debt ceiling is $10.6 Trillion and we are now approaching $9.4 Trillion in federal debt.
He explained that national polling data reveals that more than 80% of respondents feel the nation is “heading in the wrong direction and that the government is on the wrong track”. He explained that while this is very high it represents a real opportunity for broad public support for a third political party. He said that this general feeling of pessimism is not healthy for our nation and needs to be changed. He went on to explain that the Libertarian Party is a true “party of change” but that the change his administration would bring to our nation is not plowing new ground, but rather returning to the constitutional government envisioned by our founding fathers.
He explained to the audience and media gathered in Richmond that Libertarian Party is truly a political party that embraces individuals having a vest diversity of principles, values, and viewpoints. However, he stated that while most Libertarians will passionately disagree with each other on many issues, every Libertarian is strongly united in the shared belief that what is most needed in our nation is to return liberty to every citizen.