Adam answers the Liberty Candidate questions below:
I) Re. the U.S. Financial System:
Q. What is your view of the monetary system in the U.S. today?
A. Arbitrary fiat currency represents a grave danger in my mind, if for no other reason than it provides a system in which an appointed money controller can undermine the primary reason for the existence of currency, that being the ability of people to control and manage their own lives prosperity. When money is devalued then the effort an individual has expended to put themselves on sound financial footing is destroyed because not only are that person’s future actions now worth less in monetary terms, but the cumulative effects of that person’s previous actions and whatever wealth they’ve amassed are also destroyed with them having no say whatsoever in the matter. Based on this principle alone, I have to believe that there are better monetary systems possible, and I’ve found a great deal of evidence to support that claim.
Q. What corrective actions could we take right now to improve the economy?
A. Working towards a return to a sound fiscal policy based on a commodity standard, such as a gold standard, would be key. A massive simplification of our tax code is also crucial. While I don’t think we are in position to eliminate taxation altogether, it is a plausible goal to work towards. To that end I would support either a flat tax or the Fairtax proposal, with the latter being my preferred choice because it shifts the focus of our tax code off of production and onto consumption with the added benefit of shifting the fight over taxation from debating what should and should not be taxed to how high or low the tax rate should be. An overhaul of our regulatory practices should also take priority, with a focus on slowing down the rate of new regulations and eliminating harmful rules already on the books, along with outright eliminations of many of our rule making agencies. Major reforms are necessary in our welfare and entitlement programs as well, particularly to Social Security and Medicare. I would prefer outright elimination and privatization of the programs, but I think that a voucher system such as the one proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan is a decent and workable alternative. However, I do think such reforms need to be implemented in a way that has a minimal impact on those already deeply dependent on these systems, such as retired seniors. Finally, a total overhaul of the federal budget must be undertaken, with a goal of not only eliminating the federal deficit, but also of reducing the overall federal debt. Doing so will ensure that the governmental effect of liquidity in the marketplace will be as minimal as possible allowing the greatest possible power of the free market to take hold.
Q. 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?
A. Absolutely not. Just off the top of my head, I would say that they should have allowed the market to create natural interest rates rather than keep them artificially low, they should have allowed corporate institutions to fail and give way to newer, more efficient institutions rather than printing off trillions of dollars in order to prop them all up with massive bailouts, and they should have allowed the effects of federal policy to be fully felt monetarily and then fully debated by policy makers rather than buy up trillions in national debt through programs such as quantitative easing in an effort to mask just how bad things are.
Q. Should the Federal Reserve be audited fully, no secrets, or does it need to keep some information under wraps?
A. Money is intrinsic to the way people live their lives. As such, the people who control the money should be allowed to keep no secrets. The Fed should be fully audited at least, and fully eliminated at most. I knew I could answer one of these in less than ten sentences.
II) Re. Foreign Policy:
Q. What is your opinion on current US foreign policy?
A. Our troops are spread too thin, the resources and money for our military are spread even thinner, and not only are a majority of our military actions around the world unconstitutional, they just plain damn don’t make sense.
Q. How should we fight a “war on terror”?
A. We may as well be fighting a war on zombies. “Terror” provides an ambiguous enemy that not only can never be defeated, but can also never be truly fought. The only way to defeat terror is to stand up as individual citizens and declare that no matter what travesties are unleashed on this nation, I am not afraid. As for a war on those who would seek to terrorize, I think the attack that ultimately killed Osama Bin Laden should be a model, albeit a controversial one due to the fact that it was a military action within the borders of an undeclared enemy. But it proves that focused information gathering and small surgical strikes are more effective against the guerilla tactics of these paramilitary militia-style groups than grandiose masses of troops ever will be. Having said all that, I think there is at least a case to be made that this guerilla warfare is a natural blowback against our military actions in their lands in the first place.
Q. Should the U.S. occupy other countries? If not, would you push to close all bases? Are there any you would keep open?
A. No, there is no constitutional case for occupation, even of an enemy after a declared war. I would push to close bases around the world, but my focus would not be on closing bases in allied countries who are welcoming to our presence. I would not support providing for the national defense of another country unless they are specifically in a declared war with an aggressor, have asked for our help, and such help has been approved by congress through our own declaration of war.
Q. Should the U.S. maintain its standing army?
A. While I believe that the overall size, scope, and focus of our military needs to be radically altered, and while I do note that the existence of a standing military is quite unconstitutional, I don’t think that a total elimination of standing armed forces in the United States is plausible. To do so would simply shift the power of force into the hands of another nations politicians, and I tend to trust them even less than the political class here in the good ole U.S. of A. (if such a thing is possible). I would much rather focus on preventing our political class from using the military as a proverbial poker chip than advocate a wholesale elimination of the military. Doing that would be a major stepping stone to realizing a world where no military is necessary.
Q. Is the Patriot Act necessary to protect America? If not, would you vote to repeal it?
A. I always think of the movie “Minority Report” whenever the Patriot Act is brought up. Even if our law enforcement and military had supernatural powers, they would not be able to prevent every violent act perpetuated in the world, and more than likely if given enough rope they’ll manage to hang not only themselves but us as well, thus completing the goals of our nation’s enemies for them. The Patriot Act should absolutely be repealed, and I would happily vote for such an action, because it represents a major violation of the rights of American citizens in exchange for our “security”. Unfortunately, the overarching suggestion that everyone is a suspect of terrorism undermines national security by presenting a very divisive false dichotomy to the American people. It asks “are you supportive of liberty, or security?” and I don’t think that the two are mutually exclusive. We should focus more on identifying and prosecuting legitimate threats to the safety of our citizens, and less on turning our citizens against one another. It is worth noting that the existence of the Patriot Act did not prevent actions such as the Christmas Day bomber and the Times Square bomber, even though these are incidents that should have been prevented if the positives of the Patriot Act are to be believed.
III) Re. Personal Liberty:
Q. What information may the U.S. government legally gather about its citizens? When would it be necessary to overstep those boundaries?
A. Constitutionally, the federal government may only obtain census information required for purposes of apportionment. So, outside of asking how many people live at a certain address, the ability of the federal government to gather information from the citizens of the U.S. (I reject the premise of the question that the citizens somehow belong to the U.S. government) should be restricted at every point possible. The only time that I feel these boundaries should be exceeded is if a U.S. citizen is in violation of and Constitutionally allocated federal crime, such as treason, and even then federal law enforcement should be able to present clear and convincing evidence of the violation before any further action can be allowed.
Q. What limits, if any, should be placed on the U.S. government’s ability to search its citizens without a warrant?
A. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution is pretty clear here. No searches or seizures without a warrant under Oath and specifically outlined. Pretty cut and dry there. Anything outside of that, I’m against. If a case is not made that makes search or seizure necessary, then no warrant should be issued.
Q. 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?
A. Absolutely not. Private food inspection companies are capable of doing just as good a job, if not better, than a federal food inspection agency. However, federal guidelines would prevent sale of products such as unpasteurized “raw” milk. These products may provide better nutritional standards than “legal” products and people should not be prevented from making that choice on their own. Even more so, people should be allowed to make their own choices on medication. With potentially lethal connections between health and fluoride, or potential connections between mental disorders and certain vaccinations, why would anyone in their right mind want such practices enforced?
Q. 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?
A. The more people who respect the rule of law who have a gun, the better. Gun control, whether it is done by the federal government or a state government or even a private institution (such as a business that does not allow concealed weapons on their premises) only allows a lawless citizen to know where they have the upper hand. It is highly unlikely that a criminal will attempt to use a weapon in an area that they know the people around them are likely to fight back, and anyone who would use a weapon in spite of that will never be stopped by a law in the first place. I would work to prevent any editing of our second amendment rights, and I would advocate for private entities to do the same. I would not be ok with ordering private entities to alter their own rules regarding firearms, however.
IV) Re. U.S. Sovereignty:
Q. Is our involvement in and subjugation to global organizations, such as WHO, NATO, the UN, etc., a benefit to U.S. citizens?
A. No, rather than being used as ways to achieve pure peace and prosperity world wide, these organizations have simply become more ways for our “benevolent” masters to hold power over the common man. The sooner the U.S. can distance itself from such destructive organizations, the better.
Q. 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?
A. There is never such a time. This goes beyond a discussion of state’s rights and federal rights and presents us with an argument between national rights and global rights. Just as I don’t think that a Senator from Wisconsin should have any say in the curriculum for a school district in Maine, I don’t think a delegate from Nigeria should have any say over the environmental policies of the state of Wisconsin. Any such agreement should be repealed.
Q. Are trade agreements with other nations, i.e., NAFTA, CAFTA, good for U.S. citizens?
A. These agreements represent a sort of “enforced capitalism” much the same as anti-trust laws do. These laws protect corporate interests under the guise of encouraging competition. The result is predictable: quality for the consumer goes down, while profits for the protected entity go up. What would be more desirable is a truly free trade policy where foreign companies can compete with local companies on the same ground, not with a subsidized advantage. The agreements that exist are not good for citizens of either country involved.
Q. 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?
A. I’m against the idea of providing aid to another country with tax dollars. Money should not be taken away from American citizens so that it may be given to citizens of another country. The sole exception that I would make would be in a time of declared war regarding money going to an ally. Even then, I would question whether or not it is right for tax dollars to support a war that taxpayers may not support.
V) Re. State Sovereignty:
Q. When does state law take precedent over federal law?
A. While the supremacy clause of the Constitution clearly states that federal law trumps state law, I would suggest that any federal law that oversteps it’s Constitutional boundaries is not subject to the supremacy clause and therefore is trumped by state law. As an example, the current mandate that all U.S. citizens be required to purchase health insurance is, in my mind, a clear violation of the Constitution and states not only have the right but the requirement to fight such a violation on behalf of their citizens.
Q. 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?
A. Yes. If there are no limits to the federal government, then there is no reason for the Constitution to exist.
Q. Do federal officers have the right to arrest non-military citizens within the individual states for any crimes?
A. I would question whether or not the citizen must be non-military or not. Any citizen charged with a crime is allowed due process under our legal system and that would require a trial in a local court first and foremost. Federal officers should be allowed to build cases for federal crimes, but arrest and judgment should first be the power of local law enforcement and judicial systems. Whether or not a citizen is a soldier should be inconsequential to that right.
VI) Illegal Immigration:
Q. What do you see as the #1 problem with illegal immigration?
A. The bureaucracy surrounding our immigration policy, much like any other abused facet of our federal government, makes immigration on the whole nearly impossible and thus results in people seeking out the less complex option of illegal immigration. The need for a simplification of our existent path to citizenship is the number one priority for immigration reform, and without it our border will never be secure.
Q. What actions could we take to stop illegal immigrants from taking advantage of social services?
A. It’s entirely too easy for LEGAL residents to take advantage of our social services, much less illegal ones. If we really want to combat the welfare magnet that we have set up, we’ll need combat welfare abuse. The fact that such services can be abused by illegal immigrants isn’t the problem; it’s the fact that these services are too easy to abuse at all that is hurting us. Sensible welfare reform will solve this problem, such as restricting the use of food stamps and providing for a private voucher system for Social Security and Medicare, and reducing the influence of the federal government in institutions such as education.
VII) Misc. Questions:
Q. If you could make one amendment to the U.S. Constitution, what would it be?
A. No citizen or group of citizens shall be able to use the police power of government to subjugate any other citizen or group of citizens so long as that second group does not pose an immediate and definite threat to the first.
Q. Would you vote to end government subsidies to private industry?
A. Absolutely yes, any and all. If a private industry must fail, let it fail.
Q. What should our government’s action be against Julian Assange, if any?
A. Instead of shooting the messenger we should try to figure out what makes the message so embarrassing and work toward fixing that. Assange isn’t the problem, the things he reports are.
Q. Do you know what Agenda 21/Sustainable Development and the Communitarian agenda is? Do you support it? Why or why not?
A. I’m very aware of the UN’s agenda for sustainable development thought up in 1987 and am totally against a top-down enforcement of such a policy. The natural result of capitalism would be a more efficient use of natural resources that allow for an equal opportunity for prosperity for all. Forcing this from a single perspective eliminates the competitive nature of creative destruction, and ultimately hampers progress. Moreover, Agenda 21 is a symptom of bad governmental policies, much like any other nefarious plot found in the conspiracy theory circles. If we didn’t have a set of policy makers so willing to subjugate American citizens to the whims of the global bureaucracy then nothing like this would ever be a threat. And it’s evident that our policy makers are willing to beg for global approval just from the fact that many of our military actions in the Middle East are supported by the global political class, but not the average American citizen.
Adam Brooks for County Commissioner, Randolph County, NC
Your Name: Adam Brooks
Office you seek: County Commissioner
District: Randolph County District 5