Continuing our series on the Libertarian candidates for President we turn to Jacob Hornberger.
Jacob is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation (fff.org), a non-profit educational foundation whose mission is to present the principled case for the libertarian philosophy.
In the introduction to Jacob’s book former presidential candidate Ron Paul states, “When I hired new staff and brought in new groups of interns, I would always recommend that they read everything they could get their hands on from Jacob Hornberger’s Future of Freedom Foundation. Jacob’s book is a battle cry against the tyranny of the state. His is not an offensive battle, but a fight to defend us against a state that wants to trample us, rob us, and ultimately kill us. That is why I am so happy to see that Jacob has written this very personal memoir of his life, and especially about his conversion to libertarianism. I am proud to call Jacob my good friend and I am so pleased that he has written this book.”
Hornberger is a trial lawyer from Texas that shares many of the libertarian philosophies of the Mises Caucus.
Abolish the federal income tax and the IRS.
People have the fundamental, God-given right to keep everything they earn and decide for themselves what to do with it — spend, save, donate, or invest. The right to keep and dispose of the fruits of one’s earnings is a necessary prerequisite to a free society.
Our American ancestors understood that principle, which is why the American people lived without income taxation for more than a century. When government is prohibited from taking people’s income, the citizens are the masters and the government is the servant.
At the same time, the freedom to accumulate wealth is key to a rising standard of living in society. That’s because people tend to save a portion of their income, which then becomes productive capital in the hands of businesses. Through competition among firms, more productivity brings higher wage rates for workers and a higher overall standard of living for society.
The adoption of the income tax in 1913 changed everything for Americans. By wielding the power to tax people’s income, the federal government became the master and the American people became the servants. To enforce the tax, the federal government brought into existence the Internal Revenue Service, one of the most tyrannical, destructive, and feared agencies in history. At the same time, the income tax is one of the major reasons why young people are today having such a difficult time getting started in life.
The ideally free society is one in which people would be trusted and relied upon to voluntarily fund the legitimate functions of the federal government, which are few and inexpensive. Absent that, the second-best method is the indirect taxation methods chosen by our American ancestors. The most destructive method of taxation is the income tax.
End the Fed and separate money and the state.
The Federal Reserve is nothing more than a socialist central-planning agency, one whose mission is to plan monetary policy for hundreds of millions of people. That’s why it is not a coincidence that there has been a continuous process of monetary debasement and economic bubbles and busts since the establishment of the Federal Reserve in 1913.
The Constitution brought into existence a monetary system in which gold coins and silver coins were the official money of the United States. The Framers of the Constitution rejected paper money because they knew that governments inevitably use it to plunder and loot the citizenry through monetary debasement.
From the founding of the American republic to the 1930s, America had the most stable monetary system in history, which was a major factor in the enormous and continuous rise in the standard of living of the American people.
That came to an end in the 1930s, when President Franklin Roosevelt nationalized the gold-coin holdings of the American people, ordering them to deliver their gold coins to the federal government, on pain of a felony conviction and punishment for failure to do so.
Roosevelt’s excuse for revolutionizing America’s monetary system without even the semblance of a constitutional amendment? The Great Depression, which, ironically, was brought about by monetary manipulation by the Federal Reserve. Ever since, Americans have seen decade after decade of monetary debasement to fund the ever-increasing expenditures of America’s welfare-warfare state.
As the Nobel Prize-winning libertarian economist Friedrich Hayek pointed out, the ideal is a free-market monetary system, one in which people are free to use whatever medium of exchange they choose, one that would entail ending the Fed and separating money and the state.
Among the hallmarks of America’s heritage of freedom is the recognition and protection of civil liberties. Stretching all the way back to Magna Carta in 1215, it is a heritage that is enshrined in the Constitution and the Bill of the Rights.
Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. Freedom of the press. Freedom of assembly. The right to petition the government for redress of grievances. Habeas corpus. Due process of law. The right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. The right to effective assistant of counsel. The right to confront witnesses. The right to a speedy trial. The right to be free from cruel and unusual punishments. The right of trial by jury. The right to privacy. The right to be presumed innocent. All of this is what is means to be an American.
Unfortunately, however, both Republicans and Democrats, in the name of “keeping us safe” ‘ from terrorists, Muslims, illegal immigrants, drug dealers, communists, foreign regimes, and other bugaboos have severely damaged, if not destroyed, these critically important rights.
Indefinite detention. Torture. Denial of trial by jury. Denial of speedy trial. Military tribunals. Hearsay evidence and evidence acquired by torture. Denial of effective assistance of counsel. Secret surveillance. Denial of due process of law. The USA PATRIOT Act. FiSA courts. Assassination. TSA searches. Homeland Security. Highway checkpoints. Warrantless trespasses, searches, and seizures.
Infringements on civil liberties are the hallmarks of totalitarian regimes. They have no place in a free society. Unfortunately, such infringements are are now core features of American life. Restoring a free society to our land necessarily means restoring civil liberties.
The United States was founded on the principle of a non-interventionist foreign policy, one in which the federal government does not go abroad “in search of monsters to destroy.” That was the title of a speech delivered to Congress by John Quincy Adams on the Fourth of July, 1821, in which Adams summarized America’s founding foreign-policy principle of non-interventionism.
Adams observed that there are lots of monstrous conditions under which people around the world suffer — tyranny, oppression, war, revolution, starvation. It was not the the role of the U.S. government, however, to go abroad and save people from such horrors.
Modern-day Republicans and Democrats have abandoned America’s founding foreign-policy principle of non-interventionism in favor of empire and foreign interventionism. Military bases in hundreds of countries around the world and all over the United States. Coups. Regime-change operations. Invasions. Endless wars of aggression and occupations. Torture. Rendition. Foreign aid to dictators. Sanctions and embargoes. The infliction of massive death, suffering, and destruction.
Foreign interventionism has also given rise to the threat of anti-American terrorism, which U.S. officials have used to justify their “war on terrorism,” which, in turn, has been used to destroy the liberties and privacy of the American people, such as with the TSA, Homeland Security, USA PATRIOT Act, mass surveillance, torture, assassination, indefinite detention, and denial of due process of law.
Meanwhile, America’s massive warfare state, combined with the massive welfare state, continues to head the country toward bankruptcy through the out-of-control federal spending and debt needed to fund this monstrosity.
The only solution to this morass is to restore America’s founding principle of non-interventionism and, at the same time, liberate the American people to interact freely with the people of the world.