The following is an opinion piece by VTLP member Travis Spencer:
As individuals we don’t like to be lied to. We don’t tolerate it when our kids or spouses do it. We get angry and question things an individual who lied to us says in the future. So why do we allow our politicians to continue to lie to us on a regular basis? We have elevated the messenger over the message. Let’s take the recent debt ceiling debate as an example. In 2007 then Senator Obama as well as Harry Reid and many Democrats opposed raising the debt ceiling under President Bush. These folks said raising the ceiling was “unpatriotic” and “showed a lack of leadership”. Fast forward to this past October and Harry Reid and now President Obama claim we need to raise the debt ceiling or the country will fall apart. Well which one is it guys? Apparently the more important issue is the messenger and not the message.
This is a two way street and both parties play the game. Let’s stick with the recent debt ceiling debate to show the hypocrisy on the right. Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell who claims to be a “fiscal conservative” and has railed against government spending finds solace in voting to raise the debt ceiling and ending the government shutdown because his home state was given a $2.9 billion earmark for a dam project. What is good for the goose is clearly good for the gander. No need to leave the table empty handed Senator McConnell since it is just tax payer money.
This is the game the Washington beltway plays with us every year lies on top of lies and the only thing that matters to them is who is in power when the lie is made. Why do we continue to allow this to happen, why do we believe the messenger and continue to reelect them. Only once since 1994 has the incumbent re-election percentage dropped below 90% and since 1964 it has never dropped below 85% but we constantly hear how low the approval rating of congress is. It is the classic case of my elected official is great it is the rest of the bums who are the problem.
It is time we hold our politicians to the fire. We need elected officials of principal, ones with ideas that they stand behind with conviction not blowing in the wind with the recent media poll. Men and women who want a better nation and are willing to sacrifice for what’s right not just tell you what you want to hear to get re-elected. This however takes work by the populace; it takes time to educate yourself about issues. Time to investigate on your own not just to believe the sound clip on TV. If a politician says one thing on Monday and the opposite on Tuesday don’t accept it send them a message. We send our kids to their rooms when they lie so maybe it is time to send our politicians home to their rooms. The career politician who plays both side of the coin has no pride and doesn’t deserve your respect. This nation was founded on a message and folks that believed the message was more powerful than the messenger. It is time we get back to that belief. Time to elect individuals of conviction, individuals of honor who will protect and defend your rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and not use your tax dollars as their personal bank account.
Last week, the Washington Post revealed the NSA is collecting list of contacts from individuals e-mail and instant messaging services. This is another in a list of private communications the government is monitoring. After 9-11 we were told that in order to keep America safe from terrorist we had to be willing to give up some freedoms and accept a level of domestic spying.
Supposedly this surveillance was only used to monitor “suspicious” activity but as we are learning millions of individuals are being tracked. According to the Washington Post each day the NSA collects an estimated 500,000 contacts from individual chat services and e-mail accounts. The NSA claims they are not interested in every day Americans, that they are trying to locate terrorist or drug smugglers but with those type of daily numbers that is roughly 250 million people a year they are gathering info on clearly not all of them mean harm to America or are running a drug cartel.
This follows findings earlier this year where the Postal Service is photocopying the envelopes of all mail sent in this country, as well as the story of millions of phone records being collected daily by the NSA. This shows communication records of millions of US Citizens are being collected in bulk regardless if there has been any wrongdoing. It is easy to see how these three programs can create a road map of a person’s life.
Why is the American public allowing this to happen? Are folks unaware, do they assume their data isn’t involved? What was sold to us as protection from terrorism under the Bush Administration has continued on to status quo under the Obama Administration and in some cases grown even larger. Two separate parties, same results, domestic spying and erosion of Freedom. If you believe that your mail, e-mail, and phone calls are private then you need to send a message. A message that you will not sacrifice your Freedom for a false sense of security. A message that the two party system is broken. A message that only the Libertarian Party will defend your rights and fight for Liberty.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 15, 2013
On Thursday, October 15, 2013, state chair Jeremy Ryan stated the VTLP’s position that there is really no reason for any of the attractions in the National Park system to be closed because of the budget impasse between Congress and the President.
Under Libertarian Party representation, the parks would all be funded with user fees or would be leased to private companies to be run under contract. All things park would then have no bearing on the federal budget. There is no reason that non-park goers should have to pay for their existence and upkeep as they do, at least in part, now.
There are common sense solutions to many of the problems of federal government within the platform of the LP. The Libertarian Party is the largest third party and is willing to work with all parties on issues relating to reducing the footprint of government.
About Vermont Libertarian Party
The Vermont Libertarian Party is an affiliate of The National Libertarian Party. The motto of the VTLP is “Small Government, Low Taxes, More Freedom.” The VTLP has been more or less active in the Green Mountain State since the
early 1980s. Despite the relatively small size of our state Party, the Libertarian Party is the largest third party in the country and driving a renaissance in libertarian thinking in this country.
Jeremy Ryan, Chair
Vermont Libertarian Party
PO Box 5475
Burlington VT 05402-5475
The following is an opinion piece by VTLP member Travis Spencer:
So as we all know healthcare is a huge topic. Many people I talk to always ask what would you do, how would you change it. Below is how I would blow up and reform Health Insurance because really that is the debate, not access to care but paying for it.
Hope you enjoy and I encourage feedback and dialogue.
Steps for Health Insurance Reform
First off we have the best health care system in the world. The issue is not access to healthcare or quality of care it is cost. Regardless if you have insurance or not you can get medical care. If it is an emergency you can go to the ER if it is an annual check -up you can make an appointment and go. We are a nation of folks who spend thousands on a vacation but complain about a $50 co-pay to take care of ourselves. So let’s have an honest debate that healthcare isn’t the issue it is Health Insurance reform that we need. The following is how I would blow up the current system and start fresh.
• Remove the Employer-Employee Health Insurance Relationship. We are trained that we need to find a job that offers good health insurance. This is a concept that needs to change; individuals need to be responsible for their own coverage. Our employer doesn’t take care of our auto or home insurance so why health. If an employer wants to offer a subsidy to its employees to offset the cost that is fine and can help the employer attract workers but the Employer should not be responsible for finding insurance and administering the plan.
• Individuals should have access to insurance across state lines. Again we can buy our auto or home on-line from multiple companies so Health Insurance should be the same. Also you should have more flexibility in the type of plan you choose. For instance men or women who don’t want kids shouldn’t have to have maternity coverage. You should have the ability to tailor a plan around your needs, with multiple levels of co-pays and deductibles. These steps will lower the cost.
• Give everyone access to Health Savings Accounts. Putting away money to offset any future healthcare expense is a smart idea. Making these plans available to all and allowing the growth to be tax free is even better. This also can be a benefit offered by employers to attract employees.
• Create tax breaks to offset the cost of the insurance plans based on income. If the government is so concerned about access to insurance give people a tax incentive to purchase it.
• We need Tort Reform. Liability Insurance cost are outrageous and with student loans, rent and insurance cost a Physician is losing money before they even turn the office lights on. We need tort reform so the cost of doing business for doctors comes down.
• With individuals in charge of their own insurance they also need to take more responsibility in the healthcare. We need to encourage shopping of procedure prices. Again when we go on vacation we shop for the best hotel or air fare rate but we blindly go to the doctor without knowing the cost in advance. We need to allow doctors to advertise prices and also allow cash discounts which are similar in many other businesses.
People are more concerned when they have a vested interest in things. We need to create that atmosphere with health insurance. Personal responsibility is a great thing and if we can motivate people to take better care of themselves and spend more time on their own well being we will all be better off. If you don’t want to do that fine but you must pay for your lifestyle. All this can be done without the government running anything and individuals will win because they have the freedom to live how they see fit.
It’s time for all parties in Vermont to reform their town committees. The Vermont Libertarian Party will hold its town caucuses on September 18. If you are interested forming a town committee in your town, then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org asap so I can send you the forms you need and the directions.
We hope to be adding some new towns, but we also will be losing some town committees so your help is vital in making sure we can easily put presidential, statewide, and local candidates on the ballot to give Vermonters a choice of lower taxes, less government, and more freedom.
Caucusing is simple to do, but there are some laws that must be followed. For example, you need to post a notice in two places in your town at least 5 days in advance of your caucus, and if you have more than 1000 people in your town, then the notice must also appear in your local paper.
Chair, Vermont Libertarian Party
Vermont Libertarian Party
PO Box 5475
Burlington, VT 05402-5475
Phone: (802) 735-2149