John Stossel recently released his new book "No They Can't: Why Government Fails - But Individuals Succeed" in opposition to the Obama campaign slogan of "Yes We Can". To promote his book John has been doing speaking tours, and one of the stops along the way was today at Southern Methodist University.
His book is a cry for an end to the vast number of regulations and laws passed by government on an almost daily basis; laws that keep piling up to a point where even the most educated lawyers and tax professionals don't even understand them. As such, today's event inevitably attracted many liberty minded and politically active people; particularly a sizable group of Ron Paul supporters showed up flaunting their Ron Paul buttons, T-shirts and pamphlets.
John Stossel even mentioned Ron Paul during his speech, in a supportive manner, which prompted applause from the audience. John also opened up the floor to questions, giving answers promoting smaller government, Libertarian candidates, and his non-profit organization: Stossel in the Classroom - for which he deservedly received a standing ovation. He also noted that while he thinks many taxes could be done away with, he didn't agree that all taxation was robbery, rather necessary to insure government is there to enforce the laws.
The most convincing argument he used for his ideals was Hong Kong; a country that went from an impoverishment to great economic success in just 50 years. Hong Kong accomplished this without any natural resources or special help from the outside world, other than the British Empire enforcing the rule of law while otherwise leaving them alone. In this environment the people of Hong Kong were able to innovate and grow on their own into the major economic force they are today.
While signing books John mentioned that while he used to attack big corporations for their misdeeds and mistakes, he started to recognize that this was not necessarily the root cause of many of the problems he saw. After reading Reason Magazine he realized the real problem had more to do with large government handing out favors, creating regulations that make it harder for new business to start - keeping competition away from big businesses - and putting otherwise peaceful people in jail.
Overall everyone seemed to enjoy the event with the auditorium filled to capacity by obvious fans, and Mr. Stossel talking with them smiling for the camera as they got their pictures taken together.
North Texas GOP Senate District Conventions, April 21st 2012
Where is Ron Paul? Right here in North Texas
Recently Fox news asked the question “Where is Ron Paul”? Well today he was in North Texas, and many of his local supporters are overjoyed! He made two stops along the way, one in the Dallas area for a fundraser, and one in Fort Worthwith the Youth for Ron Paul group.
Ron Paul stopped off at the Addison Marriot first for a fundraising lunch, and Dallas Ron Paul supporters took the opportunity to greet him as he drove to the event. They occupied the intersection of Beltline and Quorum for about two hours waving signs and getting many honks of approval from those driving by. After his arrival this group of self-organized supporters had a chance to see Ron Paul in person, if even just for a few minutes.
Texas, being Ron Paul’s home state, is expected to support him in a big way; especially after he won the Saddle Up Texas Straw Poll back in January. With 155 delegates at stake - more than any other state other than California - andhis recent momentum with winning delegates in the Missouri Caucuses, he will likely come away with a large chunk of delegate support for the GOP national convention in Florida; or possibly the entire state if the SREC decides to make a last minute change to turn Texas into a winner-takes-all state.
If you still don’t think Ron Paul has much of a chance at winning, you might be surprised that some analysts have put him at second place in the delegate counts right behind Mitt Romney. Regardless of who wins, Ron Paul has already won the hearts of many North Texans, as is evident by the hard work they are doing to prepare and train delegates for the state's GOP convention.
Seth Hollist answers Women League of Voters Questionnaire
Seth Hollist's responses to the Collin County Women League of Voters, 2012 primary elections questionnaire
Occupation: Information Backup and Recovery Specialist, Political Columnist for Examier.com
Campaign Phone: 972-413-TX32
Web Site: Seth.Hollist.org
Answers were limited to 1000 characters, leaving insufficient room for a full answer to some questions.
What training, experience, and attributes qualify you for this position?
I have been heavily involved in politics for over a decade in many ways. I served as a Salt Lake Republican Party county delegate in 2002-2003. I’ve working on campaigns, most notably for Morgan Philpot in 2002, and the Ron Paul Dallas 2012 political activist group. I’m also an active writer and blogging (blog.spaldam.com) on political issues; most notably as Examiner.com’s Collin County Independent Examiner (http://www.examiner.com/collin-county-independent-in-dallas/seth-hollist).
I'm always following the latest political news stories and issues in a variety of ways, from many different perspectives and sources. I frequently write my representatives to try and provide solutions and issues. I'm currently working on a treatise about the U.S. Constitution (http://worldhistory.spaldam.com/index.php5?title=Seth_Hollist%27s_treatise_on_The_US_Constitution) to help myself better understand it. I’m also taking the Hillsdale College free on-line courses on the Constitution.
What would you propose to stimulate job growth in this country? Explain how your proposal would actually create jobs.
The problem that most politicians have when they propose job growth, is that they forget it is not the government that creates jobs; at least not without further taxation or deficit spending to pay the salaries and benefits of more government employees.
The reason we have an official unemployment rate of around 9% - and an actual rate of more than double that - is because of the size and intrusiveness of the government that is preventing entrepreneurs and small businesses from thriving. If you look at all the nations worldwide, you'll find a pattern that clearly shows the bigger the government is vs. GDP, the higher the unemployment rate is.
The answer is clear; get the Federal Government out of the regulatory business. Eliminating bureaucracies such as the EPA, HUD, DOT, and the Departments of Commerce, Education and Energy would be a good start. These agencies have proven ineffective at achieving their objectives and today only create barriers to progress and innovation.
What should be the U.S. position with regard to China’s economic policies?
The best policy we can have with any nation is open dialog and trade. China should be allowed to pursue its own economic policies, while we provide an economic model that is so superior that all nations, including China, will eventually want to follow us.
Tariffs, or import and export taxes, are the only real means of affecting another countries economy that the U.S. constitution authorizes. If we feel the Chinese workers are unfairly exploited, the only means of fighting this, that we should pursue, is through diplomatic persuasion and tariffs that insure our domestically produced goods can compete on equal ground.
These same policies should be applied universally and equally, so that all nations are clear on what they can expect when doing business with the United States of America and the companies within it.
What changes, if any, should Congress make in immigration policies, and why?
This nation was built on the backs on immigrants looking for peace, freedom and opportunity. As we move further away from making these things available to ourselves and the rest of the world, we will continue to deteriorate as a world leader.
My personal and recent experience with immigrant friends is that they are treated worse than the criminals who choose instead to illegally invade our country. In other words, our immigration laws are too strict, while our border security is too lax. We will have a difficult time fixing either one, without also addressing the other.
I favor an immigration policy of providing - at clearly designated entry points into the country - short term guest visas to anyone who is reasonably able to make the journey, pass a background check and clear any terrorist watch lists. This would give them ample time and opportunity to gain employment or voluntarily leave. Violations, including seeking government aid, would be treated as grounds for exportation.
What changes, if any, would you support to the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs and why?
Social Security and government funded health insurance are two of the three biggest expenses threatening our government’s ability to be fiscally responsible. I do not believe the Federal Government has the constitutional authority to provide these kinds of services to anyone beyond government employees and vets.
However, I do think these programs can be saved (http://blog.spaldam.com/2010/04/spaldams-3-point-plan-to-fix-social.html), but only if we are all committed to it. I would point out that saving Social Security means keeping a government enforced retirement plan (instead of just making gains on savings and investments nontaxable) that was originally meant to only help those who out-lived the average life expectancy. I would also point out that government programs already pay for a majority of all health care provided in the U.S.A. today, and may be the reason for the inflated cost of health care. Finally, such programs should really be the sole responsibility of the states.
How would you balance the development of energy sources with environmental concerns?
The air and cleanliness of the environment today is already very much improved over what it was even just a few decades ago. To give credit for this to laws and government is short sighted and disrespectful to the scientists and engineers who have actually made it possible through discoveries and innovation. Yet still today many more great ideas get left by the wayside thanks to political posturing, special interest funding of "green" corporations, and illogical mandates and regulations of bureaucracies like the EPA.
I believe that energy independence is becoming increasingly vital to the survival of our nation. The way to reach this is to enable our innovative scientists, engineers, and private corporations to explore and tap into our vast natural resources. To allow this to happen, we need to get our own government out of the way, so innovation and true capitalism (without the cronyism) can provide many diversified sources of energy in clean and responsible ways.
How would you address the federal budget deficit and why? Please be specific.
The deficit is a simple matter of being responsible, doing without things we don't need, and ultimately changing behavior. Improving and diversifying revenue can also help.
First, we need to pass an actual budget, which hasn't been done in years. Without a hard set budget, it’s a free for all every time a new law is passed.
Second, we must stop spending money on unconstitutional programs, government run corporations that should be privatized (i.e. Fanny & Freddy), bailouts, and undeclared wars against countries that aren’t threatening us.
Third, we need a simplified, easy to understand tax code. If we must tax income, let’s set a single percentage, and a single standard deduction, based on the poverty level, and leave it at that.
Fourth, end the Federal Reserve’s monopoly strangle hold on our economy that has caused instability most notably in: 1920, 1929, 1970’s inflation, 1987 stock crash followed by the S&L crisis, 2001 .com, 2008 recession, and today’s inflation trends.
What other issues do you believe will be most pressing in the next session of Congress, and what is your position on these issues?
I’m currently drafting an Amendment that will bring to light the mistakes of the last century - thanks to “progressives” / “Humanists” - that have enabled the economic, monetary, energy, and moral crises that we now face. It includes “sunset” requirements, preventing “back-door” legislation, and insuring constitutionality on all bills. It targets two laws and two amendments passed/ratified in 1913 that created unequal taxation, the Federal Reserve, limited the U.S. House to 435 members, and changed senators from state ambassadors into popularly elected politicians.
The dollar is continuing to be look down on by many, including China, Russia, India, Brazil, and South Africa who are already creating an alternative. This will lessen our purchasing power of foreign goods; especially oil that is almost universally traded in dollars. Surviving this power shift will require self-sufficiency, and less intrusiveness into the rest of the world, while protect our own assets and interests.
The true GOP presidential race delegate counts and Texas debate in May
Many people are starting to endorse Romney for the GOP presidential nomination, calling him the clear winner; however much his perceived lead is based on primary voting numbers, and not based on actual delegate counts. Certainly Romney is in the lead in pledged delegates, but where does he stand with un-pledged delegates?
Ron Paul has been talking about the un-pledged delegates, and while some may see this as a last ditch effort to keep his campaign alive, there is actually good reason for this. If the delegates stay divided enough through the June primaries, up to the August GOP national conventions in Tampa Florida, then many of the pledged delegates will be free to vote their conscious after the first round; potentially giving their votes to any of the candidates.
There are still plenty of unelected delegates in states that have not yet held there primaries, or have not yet finalized which people will be going to Florida in August. In an effort to re-legitimize the Texas and California primaries, the Texas GOP is attempting to organize a May debate in Huston, and so far all but Romney has accepted; possibly thinking he's already going to win and a debate could only hurt him at this point.