Jeremy 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. Control of the supply of money belongs to Congress and the fact that a private corporation can effectively “print” electronic credits that become legal tender and thus reduce the value of our money is nothing but absurd and insane.
I would like to see the Competing Currencies Act passed first to encourage the slowdown of the Federal Reserve printing credits. (H.R. 1098: Free Competition in Currency Act of 2011) With gold and silver legal tender again, then the choice to use it instead of the fiat Federal Reserve Note (FRN) will by default will either kill the FRN or will demand that the expansion of the supply of FRN slow down.
We need to stop the Federal Reserve from being able to create any more credits that are redeemable in Federal Reserve Notes. Curtail inflation by issuing a new currency whether it is fiat or otherwise, collecting all Federal Reserve Notes and destroying them. As the new currency is released, require banks to incrementally increase their reserves going from a fractional reserve banking system to a full reserve banking system. Meaning that a bank would not be allowed to loan money it doesn’t actually have. Loans could still be made, but the money the loan is being made upon would have to be from the bank’s coffers or from a loan that a citizen makes to the bank. Banks could no longer print money simply by creating their own credits with the fractional reserve system.
While a commodity based currency is easier to keep tabs on than a fiat currency, so long as the currency is not allowed to be inflated by the governors of such money (Congress in this case) then either will work. I’m wary of a gold standard since I’m not sure that we have very much gold left and historically the poor people in this country have always pushed for silver to be allowed to be used as money as well. And I do not think that we should be trading gold backed dollars for previously fiat dollars that were printed willy nilly. This is what happened in 1971 when after the Fed had cheated the gold standard by printing more FRNs then we had gold, and France tried to redeem their collected FRNs for the gold we had left. We’d be left with no gold and a fistful of worthless FRNs.
Fiat financial instruments would also be illegal (like derivatives or mortgages where no consideration is offered.) The Uniform Commercial Code would not allow third parties to collect on contracts. No contract would be valid without consideration offered from both parties. Thus any financial instrument or any loan would require the money in the instrument physically be transferred.
Once the monetary supply was stable (and not allowed to be inflated) then prices would decrease and soon credit would not be necessary since prices would be affordable based on today’s wages. People could save up for major purchases quickly. (Like in 1950 when 18 months of average wages could purchase a new house in its entirety; the majority of home loans would become owner-financed.)
Q. What corrective actions could we take right now to improve the economy?
A. Dramatically reduce taxes. I support the Fair Tax program myself (except for the part about it being revenue neutral), but any program that eliminates corporate taxes (they are passed to the consumer anyway) will allow capital that has fled the United States to be brought back. Every dollar that is taken out of production and run through the bureaucratic machine means a dollar less of the goods and services that increase standard of living. I’d like to see all forms of income tax abolished as well (and in turn the IRS) so that if a working man (or woman) wants to save up for his/her own business, he would be able to do so.
We need to drastically reduce regulations. Those regulations that do still exist need to be uniform across all industries and not give advantages or disadvantages to one business or another.
A balanced budget/prohibition on government borrowing will ensure that any improvements we have now on the economy won’t be almost immediately made nil by interest and principal payments on the new debt.
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. Well the Fed has caused the financial crisis in part by giving these financial institutions the ability to take risks without much consequence and creating/loaning tons of high risk loans. All those financial institutions should have failed (and if any bailout should have happened, it should have been the selling off of those institutions’ assets and given to the individuals that those companies had defrauded.) A bank would not be making a high-risk loan if they had to actually give up the actual money for the loan.
The fact that none of the officers of these financial institutions went to jail by breaking their fiduciary responsibilities to their clients is nothing except cronyism.
Q. Should the Federal Reserve be audited fully, no secrets, or does it need to keep some information under wraps?
A. It should be fully audited and then shut down once a new monetary system is in place. The financial institutions that got loaned money by the Fed would pay back the government directly and that repayment would be able to pay off our national debt and probably fund the government for some years after that with no other revenue being collected.
If it does remain in business, then no, there should be no secrets. Protecting a bad bank from our knowledge does not save us, it just protects a bad bank. We should be able to pull our money out of a bank that is managing our money poorly and we should know immediately when that happens. Does that mean banks are going to fail? You bet. But banks who overextend their ability to make loans shouldn’t be in business anyway.
II) Re. Foreign Policy:
Q. What is your opinion on current US foreign policy?
A. Not great. The United States is not looked upon favorably by many countries and many of the US leaders and policies have acted like bullies to other nations. We have supported financially some of the worst human rights violators. We need to stop violating the sovereignty of others and start being the “shining city on the hill” by being a good example of liberty and treating our own citizens correctly so that other nations will follow suit.
I would like to see us be friendly with all nations, trade with all nations, and work out any differences with nations by using diplomacy. Sanctions and War is only the very last resort and should be carefully considered and only entered into legally by a declaration from Congress.
We do liberty a dis-justice when people in other nations look at us and see how we manipulate the governments in their own nations just to get our way on a certain issue (or get cheaper oil). Using our intelligence or military assets just to steal resources is immoral and is NOT what America stands for or should stand for.
Q. How should we fight a “war on terror”?
A. Terror is a concept, you cannot fight terror. It is like fighting a war on war: Impossible. However, to defend against the threats we face today, we need to start reducing new threats by stopping behavior that makes people angry. Live by the golden rule; treat others how you want to be treated. And since we have already have made enemies, we should protect our borders much better. We can use our intelligence assets to investigate those wishing to enter the country instead of whatever it is those intelligence assets are doing right now and wasting our tax dollars. If the borders are secure, we can then effectively deport those visitors who are caught committing criminal acts after their prison sentences are complete.
We are protected by two giant moats. It is unlikely that we’ll get many countries or groups to launch a successful attack against us if our borders are secure. In the last 100 years, the only foreign troops that have landed successfully were the Japanese and they only made it onto the Aleutian Islands.
In every terrorist act, the terrorists have always claimed a grievance with the government overreaching their powers. Never has any terrorist been motivated by jealousy of “too much freedom “ or “our way of life”. They have always been motivated by what they see as a slight against them: military or financial support of tyrants in their own country or neighboring countries that affect them, occupation of their land, or killing their friends and family. While we could never make 100% of the world happy, we can certainly stop the activities that make the majority of the world despise us.
9/11 could have been prevented if the intelligence agencies tracking the perpetrators actually stopped them when they landed in the country (or got arrested for saying they didn’t need to learn how to land the plane, just take off.) There were already files open on all the dissidents and they were being tracked. The FBI/CIA and other three letter agencies all knew they were here and failed to protect us by deporting them. Stronger border protection and visa/visitation policies would have prevented 9/11. The terrorists that carried out 9/11 also claimed that occupation of the Pan Arabian peninsula was a chief complaint. We had troops stationed in Saudi Arabia and the majority of the terrorists were Saudi Arabians. There is no reason for us to have troops in the Middle East. Israel is more than capable of defending herself and we should not be telling Israel how to handle her own relations with her neighbors. That is up to her to decide how to do it and we have no business violating Israel’s sovereignty to do so.
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. Sun Tzu was very clear that if you are to go to war… you attack, you kill the bad guys, you leave and go home. Occupation only creates more enemies that didn’t exist before and costs us in American lives and massive amounts of wealth. Could you imagine how many enemies China would make in America if China was occupying Texas? I would push to close most of the bases immediately and then close/sell the more long term bases to the countries where they have been built as we transfer the duty of protecting their country to their own armed forces.
Considering that I’d only want to participate in wars that were very short in duration and would be able to be landed by troops like the 82nd Airborne Division who can attack anywhere in the world from an airplane ride from North Carolina, I don’t think that we need any more than a handful of logistical bases outside of the United States. The cost of maintaining bases and going to war in general pales comparing to the benefit (if there is any) of going to war.
Q. Should the U.S. maintain its standing army?
A. Yes. While the Constitution requires that the standing army be reauthorized every two years, the world we live in is rather dangerous and we need to keep our Army strong and well-trained and that takes time. I strongly believe in the concept of deterrence. I’d like to see personnel numbers increased and training for those individuals increased, but costs should be reduced by stopping building and investing in equipment that will likely never be used again in any war (most of the tanks, many of the airplanes, infantry fighting vehicles, etc). Increasing the ability of troops to have better marksmanship, for example, requires bullets; but bullets are much cheaper than 2 billion dollar airplanes.
An increase in physical fitness should also be a goal. (Could you imagine how intimidating our Army would be if they all looked like the Spartans in 300?) That is a lot cheaper than paying for air conditioning in Afghanistan.
The army should, however, mostly remain within the borders of the United States except in joint training exercises and the like (with the exception of those forces that protect our Embassies, etc). Until the borders can be secured by law enforcement, we should use the military to secure them.
I am greatly opposed to US forces being used as peace keeping forces. The military should only be used for military work and peace keeping is the responsibility of police forces.
Q. Is the Patriot Act necessary to protect America? If not, would you vote to repeal it?
A. No. Yes. Times of war are often used as excuses by tyrannical forces to reduce our liberties. War can be invented for nearly any reason. But getting liberty back once lost is a much more difficult battle. Considering the majority of our country’s existence we have been involved in one war or another, there is no excuse, nor does the government have any privilege from the people to reduce our liberties.
All rights come from the people; we give government specific privileges by contract to help protect those rights. The only privileges that the government has are those that we list in that contract. Our contract is the U.S. Constitution. Nowhere in that document do we offer any such clause for the government to have the privilege to reduce our rights during time of war and thus if any government purports to do so, they have acted in violation of the Constitution and have committed treason. Any person voting for The Patriot Act or any other violation of the Constitution has committed treason.
III) Re. Personal Liberty:
Q. What information may the U.S. government legally gather about its citizens?
A. Outside of what is authorized in the census, I think that ought to be about it. If Social Security becomes private or changed in the future, income tax is abolished, and selective service is rightfully stopped, then there should be no other reason for the US Government to collect information on us.
Q. When would it be necessary to overstep those boundaries?
A. Only if you commit one of the four federal crimes mentioned in the Constitution or are applying for a public sector job.
Q. What limits, if any, should be placed on the U.S. government’s ability to search its citizens without a warrant?
A. Absolute limit. Outside of entrance onto Defense/Controlled Federal Property which then becomes voluntary of the person entering that property, the government should not be able to search citizens without a warrant.
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. No. Consumer watchdog groups do a much better job than the government at finding food/medicines that are unsafe and there is no authorization in the Constitution for the US Government to do any such thing.
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. Except for certain violent felons, there should be no limits on owning a gun. No registration. No licensing. There is no way to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, so except for those criminals being caught with them, no law should exist that affects everyone else to just keep them out of the hands of said criminals.
IV) Re. U.S. Sovereignty:
Q. Is our involvement in and subjugation to global organizations, such as WHO (World Health Organization), NATO, the UN, etc., a benefit to U.S. citizens?
A. Coalitions of nations can certainly help make the world a better place, but only when those coalitions are means to communicate, not to legislate. I’d like us to get out of the UN and stop funding them immediately.
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. Yes, while the Constitution allows the Federal Government to make treaties, it does not in any form allow any transfer of sovereignty. Thus no organization higher than the Federal Government can hold a US Citizen subject to any rule or law. And even then, the Federal Government cannot hold us accountable to any law that is not created in harmony with and authorized by our Constitution.
Q. Are trade agreements with other nations, i.e., NAFTA, CAFTA, good for U.S. citizens?
A. I prefer free trade with all nations. As long as our currency is sound, there is always benefit from trade with other nations. In order to raise our standard of living, we want as many goods as possible available for as cheap as possible. Trade without protective tariffs allows us to raise our standard of living across the board. Even if one industry or another is mostly outside the country, we’ll make up for that with other industries that we do better. (Like if we import jeans and t-shirts but export washing machines and airplanes to use Hazlitt’s example.)
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. No. As Dr. Paul says, “Foreign Aid is taking from poor people in this country to give to rich people in other countries.” I support voluntary aid from American citizens, churches and non-profit organizations, but forcing someone to pay taxes to give it away to someone else in another country is theft.
V) Re. State Sovereignty:
Q. When does state law take precedent over federal law?
A. For all laws that come from powers that are not specifically enumerated in the US Constitution for Federal Powers to have.
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! Nullification and Interposition!
Q. Do federal officers have the right to arrest non-military citizens within the individual states for any crimes?
A. Only for the four crimes listed in the Constitution.
VI) Illegal Immigration:
Q. What do you see as the #1 problem with illegal immigration?
A. That illegal immigrants get to take advantage of tax paid benefits without actually paying the taxes that pay for them. I will never disparage a person who is trying to make a better life for themselves and their families. Immigration should be easier to be accomplished, even by the poor. But our borders need to be secured so we can kick the criminals out and not have to worry about them coming back.
I have no problem limiting immigration during times of financial woes (although more working people generally means more production and a higher standard of living, so long as the new immigrants are producing) but I do not support citizenship through the “anchor baby” method. New citizens need to go through the process of citizenship and then their children will become citizens. Otherwise the child needs to go through the process when they come of age.
Q. What actions could we take to stop illegal immigrants from taking advantage of social services?
A. Stop offering social services from the government. If no one gets them, we don’t have to worry about illegal immigrants getting them. Charity would be much more effective anyway and our standard of living would increase if there wasn’t mandatory theft in this case. The government only pays out 25 cents in benefits for every dollar collected in taxes designed for benefits for the poor. I am very much in favor of helping out the poor, but the most effective way of doing that is through increasing production (each person can only eat a loaf of bread everyday if there is, in fact, a loaf of bread each day produced for that person) and allowing people, churches and non-profits that ability to voluntarily contribute at 100% effectiveness instead of government using force which destroy 75% of the production with only 25% effectiveness.
VII) Misc. Questions:
Q. If you could make one amendment to the U.S. Constitution, what would it be?
A. Repeal the 16th/17th amendments.
Balanced Budget/Restrict all governments from borrowing
Require sound money/No Central Banks/
Not sure I could pick just one!
Q. Would you vote to end government subsidies to private industry?
A. In every way. There is never any reason for government to intervene in private industry by giving it money. Individuals will decide what industries they want to support by voting with their money. If an industry is simply not cost effective or desired, it will not survive, if it is desired, then the people who want that industry’s produce will purchase it and that industry will flourish.
Q. What should our government’s action be against Julian Assange, if any?
A. We should reward him for helping with the transparency that we ought to have but do not. Only criminals in our government have anything to hide from we the people who own our government. The government belongs to us, we do not belong to the government.
Q. Do you know what Agenda 21/Sustainable Development and the Communitarian agenda is? Do you support it? Why or why not?
A. Yes, I know what they are. No I do not support them. Agenda 21 is nothing short of trying to usurp all individual sovereignty by using a straw man pollution argument to control private property. Unless a property owner is violating the rights of others in the use of his property, he can use his property however he desires. The United Nations has no right to decide what I will build on my own property.
The Communitarian agenda has a fatal flaw of believing that individual liberty can be attained without having economic freedom. While there isn’t a consensus on exactly what Communitarian movement agrees upon, in general it is forces all citizens to participate in social programs by “donating” their money through NGOs to social programs. Unfortunately, they fail to realize that the distinction between a government and a NGO when there is force involved is zero.
The collectivist mindset is simply that some individuals are more important than other individuals, especially when the first set can be gathered into a “group”. But there are no group rights, there are only individual rights, and when you sacrifice one individual for the good of the “group” you are really only sacrificing one individual for other individuals. And who gets to decide who gets to be sacrificed? It is nothing more than totalitarianism given a pretty makeover.
Your Name: Jeremy D. Adams
Office you seek: NC State House of Representatives District 6
State: North Carolina
District: House District 6, Beaufort, Dare, Hyde & Washington Counties
PRIMARY DATE: May 8, 2012
Friends of Liberty to Elect JD Adams
Treasurer: Shawn Daniels
PO Box 1934
Nags Head, NC 27959
Email Address: email@example.com