WASHINGTON – Libertarian Party (LP) Chairman William Redpath issued the following statement today in response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address:
“Tonight’s speech was a reminder that, for decades, the policies of Republicans and Democrats alike have failed. Libertarians are asking people to take matters into their own hands. Instead of just complaining, we’re encouraging ordinary Americans to step up and run for Congress on the Libertarian Party ballot line.
“I can say exactly the same thing about President Obama’s speech tonight that I said about George W. Bush’s State of the Union speech in January 2008: ‘Tonight’s State of the Union address went much as expected. Instead of calling for a more limited role of the federal government in American society, the President laid out plans that would only increase the government’s intervention into the realm of economics, health care, education and foreign policy.’
“I am weary of the President’s unspoken premise that only government–indeed, only the federal government–can accomplish good in our society.
“President Obama seems to be totally blind to the concept that government can cause problems rather than solve them. His speech was filled with ‘More’: more handouts, more spending, more programs, more bailouts, more regulations. We Libertarians want less government, not more.
“Not to be outmatched by the Democrats, the Republican Party conveyed its lack of seriousness in addressing this nation’s government spending problems by having Bob McDonnell, Virginia Governor for eleven (11) days, deliver its rebuttal to the President. If they were really serious about addressing the dire fiscal circumstances of this nation, they would have had Paul Ryan, a six-term congressman from Wisconsin, who has proposed the most serious plan of anyone in the two older parties to keep us from going off a fiscal cliff.
“Last week, Alan Auerbach, Professor of Economics and Law at UC Berkeley and US government fiscal policy expert, said that the Democratic and Republican parties are in a ‘death embrace’ with their government spending. The only political party that is rationally and forthrightly addressing the need to cut government spending and end our culture of ever expanding entitlements is the Libertarian Party.
“As Americans lose hope in Obama, we Libertarians are warning voters against running back to the Republicans who got us into such big messes in the first place. Republicans started the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Republicans made the false intellectual case for bailing out banks and car companies. Republicans argued that deficits don’t matter. Republicans gave us the giant Medicare expansion bill.
“The President’s suggestion of a ‘spending freeze’ was especially ludicrous and insulting to the intelligence of Americans. The amounts involved are minuscule, and Congress won’t accept them anyway. Will Obama sign the spending bills that ignore his ‘freeze’? You bet he will. Instead, the President should demand across-the-board cuts in all areas, including entitlements.
“The President talked a lot about jobs. Unfortunately, the policies he supports are responsible for most of the unemployment we see today. High taxes, minimum wage laws, hiring regulations, firing regulations, mandatory unemployment benefits, and other government interference make it much more difficult for businesses to hire and keep employees. As expected, the President’s prescription is to increase the dosage of this government poison.
“While our nation is declining dangerously right now, a turnaround could be straightforward and simple with steps like these: 1. Bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan; 2. Stop rewarding failed companies with bailouts; 3. Cut taxes and spending and let the free market work.
“Finally, on the matter of political rhetoric, I call upon the two older parties to stop spoon feeding politics to the American people as if we are a bunch of overgrown children. These are difficult times that call for more than rhetorical flourish or positioning a group of diverse people around a politician. Older party politicians need to be specific about their proposed policies, as Libertarians are.
“And, I know I’m probably just wasting electrons, but can’t we go back to the days in which the President sent a copy of his speech to Congress and left it at that. The speech last night took 1/7000th of an entire year. I think the vast majority of the American people would agree that we have better ways to spend our time.”