Michael Cole for U.S. House of Representatives, TX
Michael answers the Liberty Candidate questions below:
I) Re. the U.S. Financial System:
1. What is your view of the monetary system in the U.S. today?
Our monetary system is fundamentally flawed. Congress through the Federal Reserve Act has abdicated fiscal responsibility and oversight to a private entity that is answerable to no one but its own agenda and whims. Because of this we have rampant inflation
2. What corrective actions could we take right now to improve the economy?
Stay out of the way of business growth. Stop all corporate welfare and stimulus money; let the markets begin to correct themselves.
3. Do you agree with the actions the Federal Reserve has taken to solve the financial crisis? If not, what could the Fed have done differently?
Not in the slightest. The Fed should have made the decision to let the market correct them early on; this would have allowed for free market mechanisms to work. The recession would have been a blip on the radar scope and over in months, not years.
4. Should the Federal Reserve be audited fully, no secrets, or does it need to keep some information under wraps?
The Federal Reserve needs to be fully accountable for the job it has been entrusted to do for nearly a century. It holds a public trust to be fiscally responsible. Therefore, there needs to be a top to bottom audit of the Federal Reserve. Secrets should only exist in the government when preserving lives in a military role, there is not a viable argument to keep Fed information a secret, except to shield dubious actions and incompetence
II) Re. Foreign Policy:
1. What is your opinion on current US foreign policy?
Current foreign policy has changed America from a defensive nation to an aggressor nation. We fight wars and interfere in other nations internal affairs even when there exists no apparent US national interest
2. How should we fight a “war on terror”?
The war on terror is not a conventional war where armies meet on the battle field. More progress has been made with special operations and cooperation with allies than with military campaign. We should work strangle Al Qaeda by hurting their ability to recruit. Every bomb dropped by US warplanes adds a fanatic to their roles, every act of aggression adds one more person that wishes to seek revenge for our meddling.
3. Should the U.S. occupy other countries? If not, would you push to close all bases? Are there any you would keep open?
The United States should not occupy other countries. We are not an imperial power and should not attempt to be one. If it becomes necessary to invade a nation (and then only after a declaration f war by Congress) once the need for occupation is over we should withdraw to let that nation’s government to retake internal control. American troops should not even have an active role in UN or NATO nation building. It is not in the American psyche to be a conqueror.
4. Should the U.S. maintain its standing army?
Yes, but we do not need to keep it at present troop levels. American military prowess is amazing. Yet modern battlefields do not require the same troop level commitment as the cold war. US military doctrine even now calls for much troop commitment from the National Guard, which fits into traditional American values of a citizen army. Israel is a perfect example. Their military can expand exponentially in times of need (72 hours) when their reserves and National Guard is activated. We should have a core regular army and military with a well develop National Guard to augment whatever role is needed in the field.
5. Is the Patriot Act necessary to protect America? If not, would you vote to repeal it?
Not only is the Patriot Act unnecessary, it is illegal and immoral. We now have the government with unfettered access to spy on its own citizens. It should be repealed, and I hope to cast a vote to do so.
III) Re. Personal Liberty:
1. What information may the U.S. government legally gather about its citizens? When would it be necessary to overstep those boundaries?
Census, Tax records, criminal records and other public documents. Anything that is not necessary to fulfill its mission should not be collected by the government. There is really no reason to overstep those bounds.
2. What limits, if any, should be placed on the U.S. government’s ability to search its citizens without a warrant?
The US government should not be allowed to do any type of searches without warrant. The only time a warrantless search should be done is in the case of imminent danger, and then the local authorities would be the ones involved, not Federal
3. Ought the U.S. government be allowed to protect its citizens’ health by outlawing foods it considers unsafe, or to force medicate (i.e., fluoridation) or force vaccinate citizens?
That is for the states discretion under the general health and welfare clause, not the federal. It can suggest things, but it should never regulate them unless to prevent deliberate actions of negligence under interstate commerce or damaged goods entering the United States
4. What controls, if any, should be placed on the right to own a gun? Is there an effective way to keep guns out of the hands of madmen and criminals without encroaching on the rights of free, law-abiding citizens?
None, however, it makes sense to require someone to register that firearm, or to take a gun safety course. We require people to license to drive their car, why not a gun safety course to prove they can properly handle one.
IV) Re. U.S. Sovereignty:
1. Is our involvement in and subjugation to global organizations, such as WHO, NATO, the UN, etc., a benefit to U.S. citizens?
Yes and no. If the purpose of that organization is to promote democracy and liberty to all peoples worldwide, then it is a benefit and should be encouraged. If it is contrary to those expressions of liberty America holds dear, then no, it is not helpful to be involved; in fact, it is just the opposite. The organizations mentioned in their current forms do not compliment America’s commitment to liberty and need to be changed, abolished or we need to withdraw.
2. Would you work to repeal international agreements that purport to hold U.S. citizens and/or property under its jurisdiction, or do you think there might be times when benefits outweigh concessions?
American law is sovereign within its borders. The United States government does not have the authority to make citizens of a state obligated to international law, especially if it violates the US 10th Amendment. International agreements should be subject to Senate approved treaty and even that subject to review by the courts.
3. Are trade agreements with other nations, i.e., NAFTA, CAFTA, good for U.S. citizens?
Trade agreements are helpful if they are fair and free. A free market helps the citizens of all countries involved.
4. Should the U.S. give foreign aid to other countries? If yes, for what purposes would it be justified? If not all countries, which would you continue to support?
If by foreign aid, you mean aide in time of crisis, such as after the tsunami hit Asia or the devastation in Haiti, then yes. However, that should be the extent of it. Once the danger has passed the aid should end. If you mean ongoing international welfare, then now, that money is better spent in private hands growing business and infrastructure. Foreign aid in the past seven decades has not met a single goal it was established for.
V) Re. State Sovereignty:
1. When does state law take precedent over federal law?
Anything involving powers reserved specifically to the state.
2. Would you stand up to the federal government and demand that it stay within the bounds of its enumerated powers and out of state business?
I would oppose any legislation that violates the compact between federal and state government.
3. Do federal officers have the right to arrest non-military citizens within the individual states for any crimes?
I would like to say no. It is the perfect world answer. In a perfect world there would be no organized crime, then again any need for law enforcement as well. I can say this; I think that federal agencies should coordinate local efforts, but the actual arrest should be done by local authorities.
VI) Illegal Immigration:
1. What do you see as the #1 problem with illegal immigration?
I have problems with how we are handling it. Once we were a nation of immigrants, now that does not seem to be the case. If someone is willing to uproot themselves from their homes, brave all sort of obstacles to come here for a better life, then they have met the first part of being an American. We need to revamp how we let people into the country. However, making living the American dream illegal for people who wish for a better life is insane. If someone is willing to come here, learn the language and customs, take the path to citizenship and work to improve society, why is that a problem?
There needs to be a sane way to allow people to enter the country that wish it. And for those that are already here, there needs to be a path to becoming legal. The only alternative is to go door to door to find the illegal immigrants here. Only the military has the size or resources to do that; do we really want the US military rounding up people on the streets of America? What doors does that open?
Limits on citizenship violate the libertarian belief of individualism and state control that we must hold dear.
2. What actions could we take to stop illegal immigrants from taking advantage of social services?
Require proof of citizenship for all but life threatening emergencies
VII) Misc. Questions:
1. If you could make one amendment to the U.S. Constitution, what would it be?
I would revoke the amendment allowing for direct election of United States Senators. They were intended to be ambassadors of the state. Government grew more slowly when the states had more say. The senate was the house of states, just as the House of Representatives was the house of the people
2. Would you vote to end government subsidies to private industry?
Yes. If you are too big to fail, you should be too big for a hand out. And as well, viable business will find investors.
3. What should our government’s action be against Julian Assange, if any?
None, he did not do anything that constitutes spying. He did not obtain sensitive information to destroy the US. His actions are the same as those that did the Pentagon Papers or the whistleblower at Enron. It is more of an embarrassment than espionage.
4. Do you know what Agenda 21/Sustainable Development and the Communitarian agenda is? Do you support it? Why or why not?
No, I have not heard of it. If you send me links so I can, I will tell you my opinion.