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    Default Official Party Platform (warning long post)

    Preamble
    As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives, and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.

    We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.

    Consequently, we defend each person's right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power.

    In the following pages we have set forth our basic principles and enumerated various policy stands derived from those principles.

    These specific policies are not our goal, however. Our goal is nothing more nor less than a world set free in our lifetime, and it is to this end that we take these stands.


    Table of Contents
    Statement of Principles
    Executive Summary
    Individual Rights and Civil Order

    FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY
    CRIME
    VICTIMLESS CRIMES
    THE WAR ON DRUGS
    SAFEGUARDS FOR THE CRIMINALLY ACCUSED
    JUSTICE FOR THE INDIVIDUAL
    JURIES
    INDIVIDUAL SOVEREIGNTY
    GOVERNMENT AND MENTAL HEALTH
    FREEDOM OF COMMUNICATION
    FREEDOM OF RELIGION
    THE RIGHT TO PROPERTY
    THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY
    GOVERNMENT SECRECY
    INTERNAL SECURITY
    THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS
    CONSCRIPTION AND THE MILITARY
    IMMIGRATION
    FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND GOVERNMENT DISCRIMINATION
    WOMEN'S RIGHTS AND ABORTION
    FAMILIES AND CHILDREN
    SEXUAL RIGHTS
    AMERICAN INDIAN RIGHTS
    Trade and the Economy

    THE ECONOMY
    TAXATION
    INFLATION AND DEPRESSION
    FINANCE AND CAPITAL INVESTMENT
    GOVERNMENT DEBT
    MONOPOLIES
    SUBSIDIES
    TRADE BARRIERS
    PUBLIC UTILITIES
    UNIONS AND COLLECTIVE BARGAINING
    Domestic Ills

    ENERGY
    POLLUTION
    CONSUMER PROTECTION
    EDUCATION
    POPULATION
    TRANSPORTATION
    POVERTY AND UNEMPLOYMENT
    HEALTH CARE
    RESOURCE USE
    AGRICULTURE
    OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT (OSHA)
    SOCIAL SECURITY
    POSTAL SERVICE
    CIVIL SERVICE
    ELECTION LAWS
    SECESSION
    Foreign Affairs
    A. Diplomatic Policy
    NEGOTIATIONS
    INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL AND FOREIGN INVESTMENTS
    HUMAN RIGHTS
    WORLD GOVERNMENT
    B. Military
    MILITARY POLICY
    PRESIDENTIAL WAR POWERS
    C. Economic Policy
    FOREIGN AID
    INTERNATIONAL MONEY
    UNOWNED RESOURCES
    D. International Relations
    COLONIALISM
    FOREIGN INTERVENTION
    SPACE EXPLORATION
    Omissions



    Statement of Principles
    We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.

    We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.

    Governments throughout history have regularly operated on the opposite principle, that the State has the right to dispose of the lives of individuals and the fruits of their labor. Even within the United States, all political parties other than our own grant to government the right to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits of their labor without their consent.

    We, on the contrary, deny the right of any government to do these things, and hold that where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual: namely, (1) the right to life -- accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and action -- accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form; and (3) the right to property -- accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation.

    Since governments, when instituted, must not violate individual rights, we oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others. They should be left free by government to deal with one another as free traders; and the resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free market.

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    Executive Summary

    Individual Rights and Civil Order
    No individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government.


    Freedom and Responsibility
    Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make.


    Crime
    The appropriate way to suppress crime is through consistent and impartial enforcement of laws that protect individual rights.


    Victimless Crimes
    Only actions that infringe on the rights of others can properly be termed crimes.


    The War on Drugs
    The War on Drugs is a grave threat to individual liberty, to domestic order, and to peace in the world.


    Safeguards for the Criminally Accused
    Until such time as persons are proved guilty of crimes, they should be accorded full respect for their individual rights.


    Justice for the Individual
    We support restitution for the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or wrongdoer. We oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense.


    Juries
    We favor all-volunteer juries and urge the assertion of the common-law right of juries to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law.


    Individual Sovereignty
    We favor an immediate end to the doctrine of "Sovereign Immunity" which ignores the primacy of the individual, and holds that the State may not be held accountable for its actions.


    Government and Mental Health
    We oppose the involuntary treatment for mental health by health officials or law enforcement.


    Freedom of Communication
    We defend the rights of individuals to unrestricted freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the right of individuals to dissent from government.


    Freedom of Religion
    We defend the rights of individuals to engage in or abstain from any religious activities that do not violate the rights of others.


    The Right to Property
    All rights are inextricably linked with property rights. Property rights are entitled to the same protection as all other human rights.


    The Right to Privacy
    The individual's rights to privacy, property, and to speak or not to speak should not be infringed by the government.


    Government Secrecy
    We condemn the government's use of secret classifications to keep from the public information that it should have.


    Internal Security
    The defense of the country requires that we counter threats to domestic security; however, we call for repeal of legislation that violates individual rights under the color of national security.


    The Right to Keep and Bear Arms
    We affirm the right to keep and bear arms and oppose all laws at any level of government restricting, regulating, or requiring the ownership, manufacture, transfer, or sale of firearms or ammunition.


    Conscription and the Military
    We oppose any form of compulsory national service.


    Immigration
    We hold that human rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of nationality and welcome all refugees to our country.


    Freedom of Association and Government Discrimination
    Individual rights should not be denied or enhanced at the expense of other people's rights by government.


    Women's Rights and Abortion
    Individual rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of sex. Recognizing that abortion is a very sensitive issue and that people, including libertarians, can hold good-faith views on both sides, we believe the government should be kept out of the question.


    Families and Children
    We believe that families are private institutions, which should be free from government intrusion, and that parents have the right to raise their children according to their own standards and beliefs.


    Sexual Rights
    We believe that adults have the right to private choice in consensual sexual activity.


    American Indian Rights
    American Indians should be free to determine their own system of governance and should have their property rights restored.


    Trade and the Economy
    The only proper role of existing governments in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected.

    The Economy
    Government intervention in the economy imperils both the personal freedom and the material prosperity of every American.


    Taxation
    All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. We oppose all government activity that consists of the forcible collection of money or goods from individuals in violation of their individual rights.


    Inflation and Depression
    Government control over money and banking is the primary cause of inflation and depression.


    Finance and Capital Investment
    Regulation of financial and capital markets represses capital ventures.


    Government Debt
    We support a constitutional amendment requiring government budgets be balanced by cutting expenditures and not by raising taxes.


    Monopolies
    Government is the source of monopoly, through its grants of legal privilege to special interests in the economy. We advocate a strict separation of business and State.


    Subsidies
    The unrestricted competition of the free market is the best way to foster prosperity. We oppose all government subsidies.


    Trade Barriers
    Tariffs and quotas give special treatment to favored special interests and diminish the welfare of consumers and other individuals.


    Public Utilities
    We advocate the termination of government-created franchise privileges. The right to offer services on the market should not be curtailed by law.


    Unions and Collective Bargaining
    We support the right of free persons to associate or not associate in labor unions. An employer should have the right to recognize or refuse to recognize a union.


    Domestic Ills
    Current problems in such areas as energy, pollution, health care delivery, decaying cities, and poverty are not solved, but are primarily caused, by government.

    Energy
    We oppose all government control of energy pricing, allocation, and production.


    Pollution
    Pollution of other people's property is a violation of individual rights. Strict liability, not government agencies and arbitrary government standards, should regulate pollution.


    Consumer Protection
    We support strong and effective laws against fraud and misrepresentation.


    Education
    We advocate the complete separation of education and State.


    Population
    The American people are not a collective national resource. We oppose all coercive measures for population control.


    Transportation
    We support transit competition and deregulation.


    Poverty and Unemployment
    We support the repeal of all laws that impede the ability of any person to find employment. The proper source of aid to the poor is voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals.


    Health Care
    We favor restoring and reviving a free market health care system. We advocate a complete separation of medicine and State.


    Resource Use
    Resource management is properly the responsibility and right of the legitimate owners of land, water, and other natural resources.


    Agriculture
    Farmers and consumers alike should be free from the meddling and counterproductive measures of the federal government -- free to grow, sell, and buy what they want.


    Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
    We call for the repeal of OSHA, which denies the right to liberty and property to both employer and employee and interferes in private contractual relations.


    Social Security
    Replace the fraudulent, bankrupt Social Security system with a private, voluntary system.


    Postal Service
    We propose allowing free competition in all aspects of postal service.


    Civil Service
    The Civil Service system entrenches a permanent and growing bureaucracy and is inherently a system of concealed patronage.


    Election Laws
    We call for an end to government control of political parties, consistent with First Amendment rights to freedom of association and freedom of expression, and propose electoral systems that are more representative.


    Secession
    We recognize the right to political secession by political entities, private groups, or individuals.


    Foreign Affairs
    The United States government should return to the historic libertarian tradition of avoiding entangling alliances, abstaining totally from foreign quarrels and imperialist adventures, and recognizing the right to unrestricted trade and travel.

    Diplomatic Policy


    Negotiations
    The important principle in foreign policy should be the elimination of intervention by the United States government in the affairs of other nations.


    International Travel and Foreign Investments
    We call upon the United States government to adhere rigidly to the principle that all U.S. citizens travel, live, and own property abroad at their own risk.


    Human Rights
    We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights against governments or political and revolutionary groups.


    World Government
    We oppose U.S. government participation in any world or international government. We oppose any treaty under which individual rights would be violated.


    Military

    Military Policy
    Any U.S. military policy should have the objective of providing security for the lives, liberty and property of the American people in the U.S. as inexpensively as possible and without undermining the liberties it is designed to protect.


    Presidential War Powers
    We favor limiting the presidential role as Commander-in-Chief to its original meaning, namely that of the head of the armed forces in wartime.


    Economic Policy

    Foreign Aid
    We support the elimination of tax-supported military, economic, technical, and scientific aid to foreign governments or other organizations.


    International Money
    We favor withdrawal of the United States from all international money and credit schemes, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.


    Unowned Resources
    Individuals have the right to homestead unowned resources, both within the jurisdictions of national governments and within unclaimed territory.


    International Relations

    Colonialism
    We favor immediate self-determination for all people living in colonial dependencies and the termination of subsidization of them at taxpayers' expense.


    Foreign Intervention
    We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid, guarantees, and diplomatic meddling. We make no exceptions.


    Space Exploration
    We oppose all government restrictions upon voluntary, peaceful use of outer space.

    Omissions
    Our silence about any other particular government law, regulation, ordinance, directive, edict, control, regulatory agency, activity, or machination should not be construed to imply approval.

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    I. Individual Rights and Civil Order
    No conflict exists between civil order and individual rights. Both concepts are based on the same fundamental principle: that no individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government.
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    Freedom and Responsibility

    The Issue: Personal responsibility is discouraged by government denying individuals the opportunity to exercise it. In fact, the denial of freedom fosters irresponsibility.

    The Principle: Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. We must accept the right of others to choose for themselves if we are to have the same right. Our support of an individual's right to make choices in life does not mean that we necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices. We believe people must accept personal responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

    Solutions: Libertarian policies will promote a society where people are free to make and learn from their own decisions.

    Transitional Actions: Repeal all laws that presume government knows better than the individual how to run that person's life. Encourage private sector dissemination of information to help consumers make informed decisions on products and services. Enforce laws against fraud and misrepresentation.


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    Crime

    The Issue: The continuing high level of violent crime -- and the government's demonstrated inability to deal with it -- threatens the lives, happiness and belongings of Americans. At the same time, governmental violations of rights undermine people's sense of justice with regard to crime. Victimless crime laws themselves violate individual rights and also breed genuine crime.

    The Principle: The only justified function of government is the protection of the lives, rights and property of its citizens.

    Solutions: The appropriate way to suppress crime is through consistent and impartial enforcement of laws that protect individual rights. We applaud the trend toward private protection services and voluntary community crime control groups.

    Transitional Action: We call for an end to "hate crime" laws that punish people for their thoughts and speech, distract us from real crimes, and foster resentment by giving some individuals special status under the law. Laws pertaining to "victimless crimes" should be repealed. We support institutional changes, consistent with full respect for the rights of the accused, which would permit victims to direct the prosecution in criminal cases.


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    Victimless Crimes

    The Issue: Activities which do not affect anyone but the actor have been criminalized by government on the basis of encoding a particular morality into law.

    The Principle: Only actions that infringe on the rights or damage the property of others can properly be termed crimes.

    Solutions: We favor the repeal of all federal, state and local laws creating "crimes" without victims.

    Transitional Action: In particular, we advocate:

    A. the repeal of all laws prohibiting the production, sale, possession, or use of drugs, and of all medicinal prescription requirements for the purchase of vitamins, drugs, and similar substances; the repeal of all laws restricting or prohibiting the use or sale of alcohol, requiring health warning labels and signs, making bartenders or hosts responsible for the behavior of customers and guests, making liquor companies liable for birth defects, and making gambling houses liable for the losses of intoxicated gamblers; the repeal of all laws or policies authorizing stopping drivers without probable cause to test for alcohol or drug use; the repeal of all laws regarding consensual sexual relations, including prostitution and solicitation, and the cessation of state oppression and harassment of homosexual men and women, that they, at last, be accorded their full rights as individuals; the repeal of all laws regulating or prohibiting the possession, use, sale, production, or distribution of sexually explicit material, independent of "socially redeeming value" or compliance with "community standards";

    B. the repeal of all laws regulating or prohibiting gambling;

    C. the repeal of anti-racketeering statutes such as the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), which punish peaceful behavior -- including insider trading in securities, sale of sexually explicit material, and nonviolent anti-abortion protests -- by freezing and/or seizing assets of the accused or convicted; and

    D. the repeal of all laws interfering with the right to commit suicide as infringements of the ultimate right of an individual to his or her own life.

    We demand the use of executive pardon to free and exonerate all those presently incarcerated or ever convicted solely for the commission of these "crimes." We condemn the wholesale confiscation of property prior to conviction by the state that all too often accompanies police raids, searches, and prosecutions for victimless crimes. Further, we recognize that, often, the Federal Government blackmails states which refuse to comply with these laws by withholding funds and we applaud those states which refuse to be so coerced.


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    The War on Drugs

    The Issue: The suffering that drug misuse has brought about is deplorable; however, drug prohibition causes more harm than drugs themselves. The so-called "War on Drugs" is in reality a war against the American people, our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It is a grave threat to individual liberty, to domestic order and to peace in the world.

    The Principle: Individuals should have the right to use drugs, whether for medical or recreational purposes, without fear of legal reprisals, but must be held legally responsible for the consequences of their actions only if they violate others' rights.

    Solutions: Social involvement by individuals is essential to address the problem of substance misuse and abuse. Popular education and assistance groups are a better approach than prohibition, and we support the activities of private organizations as the best way to move forward on the issue.

    Transitional Action: Repeal all laws establishing criminal or civil penalties for the use of drugs. Repeal laws that infringe upon individual rights to be secure in our persons, homes, and property as protected by the Fourth Amendment. Stop the use of "anti-crime" measures such as profiling or civil asset forfeiture that reduce the standard of proof historically borne by government in prosecutions. Stop prosecuting accused non-violent drug offenders, and pardon those previously convicted.


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    Safeguards for the Criminally Accused

    The Issue: Instant-punishment policies deprive the accused of important checks on government power -- juries and the judicial process.

    The Principle: Until such time as persons are proved guilty of crimes, they should be accorded full respect for their individual rights. We oppose any concept that some individuals are by nature second-class citizens who only understand instant punishment and any claim that the police possess special insight into recognizing persons in need of punishment. We oppose reduction of constitutional safeguards of the rights of the criminally accused.

    Solutions: Cases must no longer be treated as "civil" strictly to avoid the due process protections of criminal law. Government must no longer be allowed to seize property for criminal offenses, prior to civil or criminal proceedings. Full restitution must be made for all loss suffered by persons arrested, indicted, tried, imprisoned, or otherwise injured in the course of criminal proceedings against them that do not result in their conviction. When they are responsible, government police employees or agents must be liable for this restitution.

    Transitional Action: Police officers must be prohibited from using excessive force on the disorderly or the criminally accused, handing out what they may consider to be instant punishments on the streets, or using preventive detention and no-knock laws. The judicial system must be reformed to allow criminal defendants and civil parties to a court action a reasonable number of peremptory challenges to proposed judges, similar to their right under the present system to challenge a proposed juror.


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    Justice for the Individual

    The Issue: The present system of criminal law is based almost solely on punishment with little concern for the victim.

    The Principle: The purpose of a justice system is to provide restitution to those suffering a loss at the expense of those who caused that loss. In the case of violent crimes, an additional purpose is to defend society from the continued threat of violence.

    Solutions: We support the following:

    a) restitution for the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or wrongdoer;

    b) an end to the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense; and

    c.) an affirmation of the right of the victim to pardon the criminal or wrongdoer, barring threats to the victim for this purpose.

    Transitional Action: End all "no-fault" insurance laws, which deprive the victim of the right to recover damages from those responsible in the case of injury. Affirm the right of the victim to pardon the criminal or wrongdoer, barring threats to the victim for this purpose. Change rape laws so that cohabitation will no longer be a defense against a charge of rape.


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    Juries

    The Issue: The right to a trial by a citizen jury is an important check on the infringement of our rights by government. Current practice has seriously eroded that protection.

    The Principle: Juries should be composed of volunteers, not forced jurors. In addition, the common-law right of juries, to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law, should be recognized and encouraged.

    Solutions: In all cases to which the government is a party, the judge should be required to inform the jurors of their common law right to judge the law, as well as the facts, and to acquit a criminal defendant, and to find against the government in a civil trial, whenever they deem the law unjust or oppressive.

    Transitional Action: End the practice in capital cases of excluding jurors who are opposed to the death penalty (referred to as "death qualification"), which denies capital defendants the right to a trial before a jury representative of community values.


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    Individual Sovereignty

    The Issue: The government has placed itself in a position of superiority above its citizens, has denied our rights under a policy of "compelling state interest" (thereby becoming the primary threat to our rights, rather than the protector of them), and has denied its citizens their right to sue their government for redress of grievances, claiming a position of sovereign immunity.

    Principle: The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights -- life, liberty, and justly acquired property -- against aggression, whether by force or fraud. This right inheres in the individual, who -- with his or her consent -- may be aided by any other individual or group. The right of defense extends to defense against aggressive acts of government.

    Solutions: Government must be returned to its proper role as protector of rights, and once again be made accountable for its actions to the individual citizen. Individual elected officials and bureaucrats must be held accountable if their actions directly violate the rights of individual citizens.

    Transitional Action: We advocate an immediate end to the doctrine of "Sovereign Immunity" which ignores the primacy of the individual over the abstraction of the State, and holds that the State, contrary to the tradition of redress of grievances, may not be sued without its permission or held accountable for its actions under civil law.


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    Government and Mental Health

    The Issue: Individuals are forcibly medicated or denied medication, not based on medical need, but based rather on a social agenda as enforced by government.

    The Principle: Medication must be voluntary.

    Solutions: We oppose the involuntary commitment of any person to or involuntary treatment in a mental institution. We strongly condemn Involuntary Outpatient Commitment (IOC), where the patient is ordered to accept treatment, or else be committed to a mental institution and forcibly treated. We oppose government pressure requiring parents to obtain counseling or psychiatric drugs for their children. We also oppose forced treatment for the elderly, the head-injured, or those with diminished capacity. We are against the invasion of people's homes and privacy by health officials or law enforcement to either require or deny drug taking.

    Transitional Action: We advocate an end to the spending of tax money for any program of psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral research or treatment. We favor an end to the acceptance of criminal defenses based on "insanity" or "diminished capacity" which absolve the guilty of their responsibility.


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    Freedom of Communication

    The Issue: We oppose any abridgment of the freedom of speech through government censorship, regulation or control of communications media, including, but not limited to, laws concerning:

    a) Obscenity, including "pornography", as we hold this to be an abridgment of liberty of expression despite claims that it instigates rape or assault, or demeans and slanders women;

    b) Reception and storage equipment, such as digital audio tape recorders and radar warning devices, and the manufacture of video terminals by telephone companies;

    c) Electronic bulletin boards, communications networks, and other interactive electronic media as we hold them to be the functional equivalent of speaking halls and printing presses in the age of electronic communications, and as such deserving of full freedom;

    d) Electronic newspapers, electronic "Yellow Pages", file libraries, websites, and other new information media, as these deserve full freedom; or

    e) Commercial speech or advertising. We oppose speech codes at all schools that are primarily tax funded. Language that is deemed offensive to certain groups is not a cause for legal action.

    We strongly oppose the government's burgeoning practice of invading newsrooms, or the premises of other innocent third parties, in the name of law enforcement. We further oppose court orders gagging news coverage of criminal proceedings -- the right to publish and broadcast must not be abridged merely for the convenience of the judicial system. We deplore any efforts to impose thought control on the media, either by the use of anti-trust laws, or by any other government action in the name of stopping "bias." The Principle: We defend the rights of individuals to unrestricted freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the right of individuals to dissent from government itself. We recognize that full freedom of expression is possible only as part of a system of full property rights. The freedom to use one's own voice; the freedom to hire a hall; the freedom to own a printing press, a broadcasting station, or a transmission cable; the freedom to host and publish information on the Internet; the freedom to wave or burn one's own flag; and similar property-based freedoms are precisely what constitute freedom of communication. At the same time, we recognize that freedom of communication does not extend to the use of other people's property to promote one's ideas without the voluntary consent of the owners.

    Solutions: We would provide for free market ownership of airwave frequencies, deserving of full First Amendment protection. We oppose government ownership or subsidy of, or funding for, any communications organization. Removal of all of these regulations and practices throughout the communications media would open the way to diversity and innovation. We shall not be satisfied until the First Amendment is expanded to protect full, unconditional freedom of communication.

    Transitional Action: We advocate the abolition of the Federal Communications Commission.


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    Freedom of Religion

    Issue: Government routinely invades personal privacy rights based solely on individuals' religious beliefs. Arbitrary tax structures are designed to give aid to certain religions, and deny it to others.

    Principle: We defend the rights of individuals to engage in (or abstain from) any religious activities that do not violate the rights of others.

    Solution: In order to defend freedom, we advocate a strict separation of church and State. We oppose government actions that either aid or attack any religion. We oppose taxation of church property for the same reason that we oppose all taxation. We condemn the attempts by parents or any others -- via kidnappings or conservatorships -- to force children to conform to any religious views. Government harassment or obstruction of religious groups for their beliefs or non-violent activities must end.

    Transitional Action: We call for an end to the harassment of churches by the Internal Revenue Service through threats to deny tax-exempt status to churches that refuse to disclose massive amounts of information about themselves.


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    The Right to Property

    The Issue: We oppose all violations of the right to private property, liberty of contract, and freedom of trade, especially those done in the name of national security. We also condemn current government efforts to regulate or ban the use of property in the name of aesthetic values, risk, moral standards, cost-benefit estimates, or the promotion or restriction of economic growth. We specifically condemn all government interference in the operation of private businesses, such as restaurants and airlines, by either requiring or prohibiting designated smoking or non-smoking areas for their employees or their customers. The taxation of privately owned real property actually makes the State the owner of all lands and forces individuals to rent their homes and places of business from the State. We condemn attempts to employ eminent domain to municipalize sports teams or to try to force them to stay in their present location.

    The Principle: There is no conflict between property rights and human rights. Indeed, property rights are the rights of humans with respect to property, and as such, are entitled to the same respect and protection as all other human rights. All rights are inextricably linked with property rights. Such rights as the freedom from involuntary servitude as well as the freedom of speech and the freedom of press are based on self-ownership. Our bodies are our property every bit as much as is justly acquired land or material objects. The owners of property have the full right to control, use, dispose of -- or in any manner enjoy -- their property without interference, until and unless the exercise of their control infringes the valid rights of others.

    Solutions: We demand an end to the taxation of privately owned real property. Where property, including land, has been taken from its rightful owners by the government or private action in violation of individual rights, we favor restitution to the rightful owners.

    Transitional Action: Repeal property tax laws and force government to fund property protection services with user fees.


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    The Right to Privacy

    The Issue: Privacy protections have been eroded gradually over many years. The Social Security Number has become a universal ID number, causing rampant and massive identity theft. Government routinely keeps records on the bank accounts, travel plans, and spending habits of law-abiding civilians, for no other reason than they "might" commit a crime in the future.

    The Principle: The individual's right to privacy, property, and right to speak or not to speak should not be infringed by the government. The government should not use electronic or other means of covert surveillance of an individual's actions or private property without the consent of the owner or occupant. Correspondence, bank and other financial transactions and records, doctors' and lawyers' communications, employment records, and the like should not be open to review by government without the consent of all parties involved in those actions.

    Private contractual arrangements, including labor contracts, must be founded on mutual consent and agreement in a society that upholds freedom of association. On the other hand, we oppose any use of such screening by government or regulations requiring government contractors to impose any such screening.

    Solutions: We support the protections provided by the Fourth Amendment and oppose any government use of search warrants to examine or seize materials belonging to innocent third parties. We oppose all restrictions and regulations on the private development, sale, and use of encryption technology. We specifically oppose any requirement for disclosure of encryption methods or keys, including the government's proposals for so-called "key escrow" which is truly government access to keys, and any requirement for use of government-specified devices or protocols. We also oppose government classification of civilian research on encryption methods. If a private employer screens prospective or current employees via questionnaires, polygraph tests, urine tests for drugs, blood tests for AIDS, or other means, this is a condition of that employer's labor contracts. Such screening does not violate the rights of employees, who have the right to boycott such employers if they choose. We oppose the issuance by the government of an identity card, to be required for any purpose, such as employment, voting, or border crossing. We further oppose the nearly universal requirement for use of the Social Security Number as a personal identification code, whether by government agencies or by intimidation of private companies by governments.

    Transitional Action: We also oppose police roadblocks aimed at randomly, and without probable cause, testing drivers for intoxication and police practices to stop mass transit vehicles and search passengers without probable cause. So long as the National Census and all federal, state, and other government agencies' compilations of data on an individual continue to exist, they should be conducted only with the consent of the persons from whom the data is sought. We oppose government regulations that require employers to provide health insurance coverage for employees, which often encourage unnecessary intrusions by employers into the privacy of their employees.


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    Government Secrecy

    The Issue: We condemn the government's use of secret classifications to keep from the public information that it should have.

    The Principle: Government is the servant of the individuals who own this country; withholding information that the public has a right to know is dishonest, deceptive and a perversion of the proper relationship between government and its employers.

    Solutions: We favor substituting the present secrecy system with one in which no individual may be convicted for violating government secrecy classifications unless the government discharges its burden of proving that the publication either:

    a.) Violated the right of privacy of those who have been coerced into revealing confidential or proprietary information to government agents; or

    b.) Disclosed defensive military plans so as to materially impair the capabilities to respond to attack. It should always be a defense to such prosecution that information divulged shows that the government has violated the law.

    Transitional Action: Abolish the entrenched system of classification of information except for all matters that pass a private sector citizen review board and are determined as true national security.


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    Internal Security

    The Issue: Lacking appropriate citizen oversight, government bureaucracies have deprived citizens of their privacy, property, and freedom, under the pretense that such action is necessary to protect us from our enemies. Such actions include the suspension of the right of habeas corpus during the Civil War, the internment of Japanese-American citizens during World War II, the Patriot Act and the classification of "enemy combatants" today.

    The Principle: The rights of due process, a speedy trial, legal counsel, trial by jury, the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty, personal privacy, the freedoms of assembly, expression and religion; and other individual liberties and rights must not be denied on the basis of national security. The Bill of Rights provides no exceptions for a time of war.

    Solutions: Wherever possible, private security agencies should replace public institutions. Agencies, public or private, duly constituted to preserve the security of the nation must be subject to independent oversight, accountable to the citizenry whom they serve, and subject to the law, including full responsibility for any violations of individual rights. Individual awareness of the requirements of security must be the ultimate supplement to any public protection.

    Transitional Action: We opposed the establishment of a new cabinet level Department of Homeland Security and now call for its elimination. Abolish the subpoena power as used by Congressional committees against individuals or firms. We oppose any efforts to revive the House Internal Security Committee (or its predecessor the House Committee on Un-American Activities), and call for the destruction of its files on private individuals and groups. We also call for the abolition of the Senate Subcommittee on Internal Security. Intelligence and law enforcement agencies like the CIA, NSA, and FBI must be prevented from abusing individual rights or else be abolished.


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    The Right to Keep and Bear Arms

    The Issue: Governments at all levels often violate their citizens' right of self defense with laws that restrict, limit or outright prohibit the ownership and use of firearms. These "gun control" laws are often justified by the mistaken premise that they will lead to a reduction in the level of violence in our society.

    The Principle: The Bill of Rights recognizes that an armed citizenry is essential to a free society. We affirm the right to keep and bear arms.

    Solutions: We oppose all laws at any level of government restricting, regulating or requiring the ownership, manufacture, transfer or sale of firearms or ammunition. We oppose all laws requiring registration of firearms or ammunition. We support repeal of all gun control laws. We demand the immediate abolition of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

    Transition: We oppose any government efforts to ban or restrict the use of tear gas, "mace" or other self-protection devices. We further oppose all attempts to ban weapons or ammunition on the grounds that they are risky or unsafe. We favor the repeal of laws banning the concealment of weapons or prohibiting pocket weapons. We also oppose the banning of inexpensive handguns ("Saturday night specials") and semi-automatic or so-called assault weapons and their magazines or feeding devices.


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    Conscription and the Military

    The Issue: We oppose any form of national service, including conscription into the military, a compulsory youth labor program, or any other kind of coerced social program.

    The Principle: Impressment of individuals into the armed forces is involuntary servitude.

    Solutions: Recognizing that registration is the first step toward full conscription, we oppose all attempts at compulsory registration of any person and all schemes for automatic registration through government invasions of the privacy of school, motor vehicle, or other records. We call for the abolition of the still-functioning elements of the Selective Service System. We call for the destruction of all files in computer-readable or hard-copy form compiled by the Selective Service System. We oppose adding women to the pool of those eligible for and subject to the draft, not because we think that as a rule women are unfit for combat, but because we believe that this step enlarges the number of people subjected to government tyranny.

    Transitional Action: We call for the immediate and unconditional exoneration of all who have been accused or convicted of draft evasion, desertion from the military in cases of conscription or fraud, and other acts of resistance to such transgressions as imperialistic wars and aggressive acts of the military. Members of the military should have the same right to quit their jobs as other persons.

    We call for the end of the Defense Department practice of discharging armed forces personnel for homosexual conduct. We further call for retraction of all less-than-honorable discharges previously assigned for such reasons and deletion of such information from military personnel files. We recommend the repeal of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the recognition and equal protection of the rights of armed forces members. This will thereby promote morale, dignity, and a sense of justice within the military.


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    Immigration

    The Issue: We welcome all refugees to our country and condemn the efforts of U.S. officials to create a new "Berlin Wall" which would keep them captive. We condemn the U.S. government's policy of barring those refugees from our country and preventing Americans from assisting their passage to help them escape tyranny or improve their economic prospects.

    The Principle: We hold that human rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of nationality. Undocumented non-citizens should not be denied the fundamental freedom to labor and to move about unmolested. Furthermore, immigration must not be restricted for reasons of race, religion, political creed, age or sexual preference. We oppose government welfare and resettlement payments to non-citizens just as we oppose government welfare payments to all other persons.

    Solutions: We condemn massive roundups of Hispanic Americans and others by the federal government in its hunt for individuals not possessing required government documents. We strongly oppose all measures that punish employers who hire undocumented workers. Such measures repress free enterprise, harass workers, and systematically discourage employers from hiring Hispanics.

    Transitional Action: We call for the elimination of all restrictions on immigration, the abolition of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Border Patrol, and a declaration of full amnesty for all people who have entered the country illegally.


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    Freedom of Association and Government Discrimination

    The Issue: Discrimination imposed by government has caused a multitude of problems. Anti-discrimination laws create the same problems.

    The Principle: Individual rights should not be denied, abridged or enhanced at the expense of other people's rights by laws at any level of government based on sex, wealth, race, color, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference or sexual orientation. The right to trade includes the right not to trade -- for any reasons whatsoever. The right of association includes the right not to associate, for exercise of this right depends upon mutual consent.

    Solutions: While we do not advocate private discrimination, we do not support any laws which attempt to limit or ban it.

    Transitional Action: We support repealing any laws imposing discrimination by government, rather than extending them to all individuals.


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    Women's Rights and Abortion

    The Issue: Recognizing that abortion is a very sensitive issue and that people, including libertarians, can hold good-faith views on both sides, we believe the government should be kept out of the question. We condemn state-funded and state-mandated abortions. It is particularly harsh to force someone who believes that abortion is murder to pay for another's abortion.

    The Principle: We hold that individual rights should not be denied or abridged on the basis of sex. It is the right and obligation of the pregnant woman, not the state, to decide the desirability or appropriateness of prenatal testing, Caesarean births, fetal surgery, voluntary surrogacy arrangements and/or home births.

    Solutions: We oppose all laws likely to impose restrictions on free choice and private property or to widen tyranny through reverse discrimination.

    Transitional Action: We call for repeal of all laws discriminating against women, such as protective labor laws and marriage or divorce laws which deny the full rights of men and women.


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    Families and Children

    The Issue: Government involvement in traditional parenting responsibilities has weakened families and replaced family-taught morals with government-taught morals.

    The Principle: Families and households are private institutions, which should be free from government intrusion and interference. Parents, or other guardians, have the right to raise their children according to their own standards and beliefs, without interference by government -- unless they are abusing the children. Because parents have these rights, a child may not be able to fully exercise his or her rights in the context of family life. However, children always have the right to establish their maturity by assuming administration and protection of their own rights, ending dependency upon their parents or other guardians, and assuming all responsibilities of adulthood. A child is a human being and, as such, deserves to be treated justly.

    Parents have no right to abandon or recklessly endanger their children. Whenever they are unable or unwilling to raise their children, they have the obligation to find other person(s) willing to assume guardianship.

    Solutions: We recognize that the determination of child abuse can be very difficult. Only local courts should be empowered to remove a child from his or her home, with the consent of the community. This is not meant to preclude appropriate action when a child is in immediate physical danger.

    Transitional Action: We would repeal all laws that impede these processes, notably those restricting private adoption services. In particular, we call for the repeal of all laws restricting transracial adoption. We oppose laws infringing on children's rights to work or learn, such as child labor laws and compulsory education laws. We also oppose the use of curfews based on age.

    We call for an end to the practice in many states of jailing children not accused of any crime. We call for repeal of all "children's codes" or statutes which abridge due process protections for young people.


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    Sexual Rights

    The Issue: Government has presumed to decide acceptability over sexual practices in personal relationships, imposing a particular code of moral and social values and displacing personal choice in such matters.

    The Principle: Adults have the right to private choice in consensual sexual activity.

    Solutions: We advocate an end to all government attempts to dictate, prohibit, control or encourage any private lifestyle, living arrangement or contractual relationship.

    Transitional Action: We would repeal existing laws and policies intended to condemn, affirm, encourage or deny sexual lifestyles, or any set of attitudes about such lifestyles.


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    American Indian Rights

    The Issue: The rights of American Indians have been usurped over the years.

    The Principle: Individuals should be free to select their own citizenship, and tribes should be free to select the level of autonomy the tribe wishes.

    Solutions: Indians should have their property rights restored, including rights of easement, access, hunting, and fishing.

    Transition: The Bureau of Indian Affairs should be abolished leaving tribal members to determine their own system of governance. Negotiations should be undertaken to resolve all outstanding differences between the tribes and the government.


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    II. Trade and the Economy
    We believe that each person has the right to offer goods and services to others on the free market. Therefore we oppose all intervention by government into the area of economics. The only proper role of existing governments in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected.

    Efforts to forcibly redistribute wealth or forcibly manage trade are intolerable. Government manipulation of the economy creates an entrenched privileged class -- those with access to tax money -- and an exploited class -- those who are net taxpayers.

    We believe that all individuals have the right to dispose of the fruits of their labor as they see fit and that government has no right to take such wealth. We oppose government-enforced charity such as welfare programs and subsidies, but we heartily applaud those individuals and private charitable organizations that help the needy and contribute to a wide array of worthwhile causes through voluntary activities.

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    The Economy

    The Issue: Government intervention in the economy imperils both the personal freedom and the material prosperity of every American.

    The Principle: The free market, which respects individual rights in voluntary trade with other individuals, should be allowed to function unhindered by government. The only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected.

    Solutions: To ensure the economic freedom and enhance the economic well-being of Americans, we would implement the following policies:

    a. Dramatic reductions in both taxes and government spending;

    b. An end to deficit budgets;

    c. A halt to inflationary monetary policies;

    d. The elimination of all government impediments to free trade; and

    e. The repeal of all controls on wages, prices, rents, profits, production and interest rates.

    Transitional Action: We call for the repeal of the income tax, the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service and all federal programs and services not required under the US Constitution.


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    Taxation

    The Issue: Government manipulation of the economy creates an entrenched privileged class -- those with access to tax money -- and an exploited class -- those who are net taxpayers.

    The Principle: All persons are entitled to keep the fruits of their labor. Government activity should not include the forcible collection of money or goods from individuals in violation of their individual rights. No tax can ever be fair, simple or neutral to the free market.

    Solutions: Specifically, we: a.) support the right of any individual to challenge the payment of taxes on moral, religious, legal or constitutional grounds; b.) oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes; c.) support the repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment, and oppose any increase in existing tax rates and the imposition of any new taxes; d.) support the repeal of all taxation; and e.) support a declaration of unconditional amnesty for all those individuals who have been convicted of, or who now stand accused of, tax resistance. We oppose as involuntary servitude any legal requirements forcing employers or business owners to serve as tax collectors for federal, state, or local tax agencies. We oppose any and all increases in the rate of taxation or categories of taxpayers, including the elimination of deductions, exemptions or credits in the spurious name of "fairness," "simplicity," or alleged "neutrality to the free market."

    Transitional Action: As an interim measure, all criminal and civil sanctions against tax evasion should be terminated immediately. In the current fiscal crisis of states and municipalities, default is preferable to raising taxes or perpetual refinancing of growing public debt.


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    Inflation and Depression

    The Issue: Government control over money and banking is the primary cause of inflation and depression.

    The Principle: Individuals engaged in voluntary exchange should be free to use as money any mutually agreeable commodity or item, such as gold coins denominated by units of weight. We support the right to private ownership of and contracts for gold.

    Solutions: We call for the repeal of all legal tender laws and of all compulsory governmental units of account, as well as the elimination of all government fiat money and all government minted coins. All restrictions upon the private minting of coins must be abolished, so that minting will be open to the competition of the free market. We favor free-market banking, with unrestricted competition among banks and depository institutions of all types. The only further necessary check upon monetary inflation is the consistent application of the general protection against fraud to the minting and banking industries.

    Transitional Action: We call for the abolition of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Banking System, and all similar national and state interventions affecting banking and credit. Our opposition encompasses all controls on the rate of interest. We also call for the abolition of the Federal Home Loan Bank System, the Resolution Trust Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the National Credit Union Central Liquidity Facility, and all similar national and state interventions affecting savings and loan associations, credit unions, and other depository institutions. To complete the separation of bank and state, we favor the Jacksonian independent treasury system, in which all government funds are held by the government itself and not deposited in any private banks. Pending its abolition, the Federal Reserve System, in order to halt inflation, must immediately cease its expansion of the quantity of money. As interim measures, we further support: a.) the lifting of all restrictions on branch banking; b.) the repeal of all state usury laws; c.) the removal of all remaining restrictions on the interest paid for deposits; d.) the elimination of laws setting margin requirements on purchases and sales of securities; e.) the revocation of all other selective credit controls; f.) the abolition of Federal Reserve control over the reserves of non-member banks and other depository institutions; and g.) the lifting of the prohibition of domestic deposits denominated in foreign currencies.


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    Finance and Capital Investment

    The Issue: Government regulation of capital markets inhibits investment, and creates marketplace advantage for those with political access, through exemptions to laws against fraud and breach of contract.

    The Principle: Free markets should operate unhindered by government regulation, while government should punish fraud, theft and contractual breach without exception.

    Solutions: We call for the abolition of all regulation of financial and capital markets. What should be punished is the theft of information or breach of contract to hold information in confidence, not trading on the basis of valuable knowledge.

    Transitional Action: We call for the abolition of the Securities and Exchange Commission, of state "Blue Sky" laws which repress small and risky capital ventures, and of all federal regulation of commodity markets. We oppose any attempts to ban or regulate investing in stock-market index futures or new financial instruments which may emerge in the future. We call for repeal of all laws based on the muddled concept of insider trading. We support the right of third parties to make stock purchase tender offers to stockholders over the opposition of entrenched management, and oppose all laws restricting such offers.


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    Government Debt

    The Issue: Government debt forces individuals to assume debt that they did not choose to incur; distorts capital markets and rates and ruins the economy.

    The Principle: Government must not incur debt, nor should it be allowed to hold assets, for these are debts incumbent on and assets taken away from the individuals of this country.

    Solutions: We support the drive for a constitutional amendment requiring the national government to balance its budget, and also support similar amendments to require balanced state budgets. To be effective, a balanced budget amendment should provide:

    a. that neither Congress nor the President be permitted to override this requirement;

    b. that all off-budget items are included in the budget;

    c. that the budget is balanced exclusively by cutting expenditures, and not by raising taxes; and

    d. that no exception be made for periods of national emergency.

    Governments facing fiscal crises should always default in preference to raising taxes.

    Transitional Action: The Federal Reserve must be forbidden to acquire any additional government securities, thereby helping to eliminate the inflationary aspect of the deficit. At a minimum, the level of government should be frozen.


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    Monopolies

    The Issue: We recognize that government is the source of monopoly, through its grants of legal privilege to special interests in the economy.

    The Principle: Anti-trust laws do not prevent monopoly, but foster it by limiting competition. We defend the right of individuals to form corporations, cooperatives and other types of companies based on voluntary association.

    Solutions: We condemn all coercive monopolies. In order to abolish them, we advocate a strict separation of business and State. Laws of incorporation should not include grants of monopoly privilege. In particular, we would eliminate special limits on the liability of corporations for damages caused in non-contractual transactions. We also oppose state or federal limits on the size of private companies and on the right of companies to merge. We further oppose efforts, in the name of social responsibility or any other reason, to expand federal chartering of corporations into a pretext for government control of business.

    Transitional Solutions: We call for the repeal of all anti-trust laws, including the Robinson-Patman Act, which restricts price discounts, and the Sherman and Clayton Anti-Trust acts. We further call for the abolition of both the Federal Trade Commission and the anti-trust division of the Department of Justice.


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    Subsidies

    The Issue: The unrestricted competition of the free market is the best way to foster prosperity.

    The Principle: In order to achieve a free economy, in which government victimizes no one for the benefit of any other, we oppose all government subsidies to business, labor, education, agriculture, science, broadcasting, the arts, sports, or any other special interest. In particular, we condemn any effort to forge an alliance between government and business under the guise of "reindustrialization" or "industrial policy." Relief or exemption from taxation or from any other involuntary government intervention, however, should not be considered a subsidy.

    Solutions: We call for the abolition of the Federal Financing Bank, the most important national agency subsidizing special interests with government loans. We also oppose all government guarantees of so-called private loans. Such guarantees transfer resources to special interests as effectively as actual government expenditures and, at the national level, exceed direct government loans in total amount. Taxpayers must never bear the cost of default upon government-guaranteed loans. All national, state and local government agencies whose primary function is to guarantee loans -- including the Federal Housing Administration, the Rural Electrification Administration and the Small Business Administration -- must be abolished or privatized. Furthermore, the loans of government-sponsored enterprises, even when not guaranteed by the government, constitute another form of subsidy. All such enterprises -- the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, the Federal National Mortgage Association, the Farm Credit Administration, and the Student Loan Marketing Association -- must either be abolished or completely privatized.

    Transitional Action: We oppose any resumption of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, or any similar plan that would force the taxpayer to subsidize or sustain any enterprise.


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    Trade Barriers

    The Issue: Tariffs and quotas serve only to give special treatment to favored special interests and to diminish the welfare of consumers and other individuals, as do po

  2. #2
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    Great idea to post the official Libertarian Party Platform! Its long, but worth the read.

  3. #3
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    I really think it's a great platform. It surprises me how many people are misinformed about what Libertarianism really is. Most think it is like an ultra Republican and that simply isn't the case. It is much closer to say, Jeffersonianism than anything else.

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