Libertarians stand for maximizing individual liberty, vigilantly protecting your rights, and eliminating government interference in your life. Government should exist only to protect individual liberty and individual rights.
This federal government has continued to strengthen its iron grip on the healthcare industry, stifling patient freedom of choice, eliminating free market competition, and taking us down a dark path toward full authoritarian government control of our healthcare system.
With government controlled healthcare, everyone will be at the mercy of a massive government bureaucracy to provide for themselves and their family. When this monolithic, government controlled system proves unsatisfactory and unacceptable, fundamentally, there will be no recourse, and no escape from it.
We need separation of healthcare and state, a liberated healthcare system free from government coercion and control, a free-market system which will drive down prices, inspire innovation, and increase quality through competition. We need a healthcare system where patients and healthcare providers interact with each other voluntarily, and where patients are free to pursue the medications and treatments they want without any interference from government.
Only the patient has the right to decide what medication they take or what treatment they pursue, because it is their body, and it is their choice. The FDA must be immediately transitioned to an advisory agency, and then responsibly phased out. The FDA has absolutely no right to forcibly prevent any patient from taking a medication or pursuing a medical treatment.
In the face of COVID-19, separation of healthcare and state is more important now than ever before. We need to get rid of government restrictions preventing those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 from taking medications which might be beneficial in treating that disease. We need to let the free market work to manufacture and deliver COVID-19 tests and vaccines. A free market, voluntary healthcare system is the answer, now, more than ever.
Regarding pre-existing conditions, a free market system is the only ethical answer to this problem, and it is also the most practical. Free market competition and innovation will provide a myriad of options and solutions for those with pre-existing conditions who don't have health insurance. Only through free market innovation and competition can we solve this problem. The free market always rises to meet customer demand, often in unpredictable ways, and it always drives prices down, often in unforeseeable ways.
Patients with pre-existing conditions have the right to a free market healthcare system and the incredible benefits that system will produce. The government has taken this right away from them.
The answer to pre-existing conditions is not our current path, which is an endless downward spiral of government coercion and impulsive, short sighted edicts. These government actions will not fundamentally provide an adequate and sustainable solution for uninsured patients with pre-existing conditions, and will inevitably lead to total government control of the health insurance system and healthcare sector as a whole, which will prove disastrous.
Indigent people are not receiving adequate healthcare in our current government dominated system. Similar to patients with pre-existing conditions, indigent patients have the right to the incredible benefits that can only be achieved by a free market. The consolation offered by government, mainly Medicaid, is a poor substitute for the myriad of healthcare options that would be available to indigent patients in a free market.
We need a foreign policy of peace, strength, and non-interventionism.
The United States’ current interventionist foreign policy is causing unnecessary harm and suffering here at home in the United States and around the world. We need to stop policing the world, interfering in other nation's affairs, and engaging in endless wars.
Our current interventionist foreign policy is not in our national security interest, it makes us less safe, it unnecessarily places our brave young men and women in harm's way, and it results in catastrophic loss of life for everyone involved. In addition, we can't afford these expansive military operations, as we are now over 26 trillion dollars in debt.
In our increasingly dangerous world, we need libertarian foreign policy now, more than ever.
Let’s bring our troops home. Yes, bring our brave young men and women home, each and every one of them, no exceptions. We must cease engaging in endless wars, and must responsibly withdraw all troops from foreign countries as soon as possible. Let us build a robust, efficient defensive military here in our own country.
Policing the world is not the United States’ responsibility. We need to stop getting involved in other nation's messy and complicated internal affairs. Wars and disputes between other nations, or within a nation, are none of our business, and they can never justify the loss of American soldier’s lives.
We must acknowledge the dangerous blowback caused by our interventionism. We create animosity toward our country when we intervene in other nations’ affairs. Further, our intervention in other countries’ wars and internal disputes only causes more harm and suffering for the individuals in those countries.
One issue that isn’t discussed enough is the alarming suicide rate among our military veterans. This is a crisis, and the status quo is unacceptable. Let’s take the money we are currently spending on military operations around the world that are not in our interest, the money we spend maintaining military bases in other countries around the world, policing the world, and intervening in other nation’s internal affairs, and let’s use that money to make sure our military veterans are getting the healthcare treatment and the help they need. Let’s take the money we are pouring into the military industrial complex, and put those resources into taking care of our military veterans and all of our active duty military personnel.
You don't have to take part in sending our soldiers off to endless, unjustified wars. The human suffering and loss of life caused by these wars in incomprehensible. But the Libertarian Party has consistently advocated for peace, non-interventionism, and bringing out troops home.
We need to responsibly minimize taxation as much as possible and as soon as possible, and ultimately transition toward a system of voluntary taxation. Nobody should be forced to provide the fruits of their labor to further policy and government actions they don't agree with. Further, no person should be forced to labor for the benefit of another, or have the fruits of their labor forcibly taken from them for the benefit of another. A free society requires that the welfare state be phased out and replaced with sustainable, voluntary charity.
The minimum wage destroys jobs and is a violation of employer's and employee's rights to freely contract with one another. The minimum wage is particularly harmful for our poorest communities and those who need entry-level jobs.
In 2020, in our new digital age, my particular concern is that a sudden spike in the minimum wage is going to dramatically expedite automation, throwing a large portion of the workforce out of their jobs very quickly, instead of the market gradually adopting automation, which would allow for slowly displaced workers to adapt to the changing job market and find new employment over a longer period of time.
Above all, the government has no right to forcibly prevent someone from taking a job, which is precisely what minimum wage laws do.
Social Security is unsustainable and forces individuals to be dependent upon the state. We need to allow people the choice to opt out of Social Security. We need to gradually transition toward privatization of retirement.
Of course those who have paid into Social Security and depend upon Social Security should continue to receive those payments, however, we must take steps to responsibly phase out this program for future generations.
The status quo for Social Security is financially broken and forces people to be dependent on government in their older age, instead of allowing individuals to keep their money and invest it themselves.
The federal government has failed to protect our environment. Because the federal government is so big, bloated, and involved in so many areas it should not be involved in, the federal government has neglected one of its only legitimate responsibilities: protecting our environment.
It is important to note that the federal government is by far the biggest polluter in the United States, no other entity comes close.
This EPA failed the American people when in 2010 it allowed BP to dump millions of gallons of the hazardous chemical "Corexit" into the gulf of Mexico as an impulsive response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This Corexit dumping, approved by the EPA, only exacerbated the problem and added to the long-term ecological damage and human suffering caused by this disaster.
We need a revamped EPA that is one main sector of a limited government, where government can focus dramatically increased effort and attention on protecting our environment.
In addition, this government has failed to effectively fight global climate change by severely blunting the development of nuclear power. Nuclear power, in terms of carbon emissions, is by far the cleanest mass produced source of energy we have today. Nuclear power plants produce virtually zero carbon emissions. Nuclear power, here and now, is exactly what we need to fight global climate change. The government needs to stop restricting the development and production of nuclear power immediately.
While I'm optimistic about green energy sources being primary generators of electric power in the future, we have clean nuclear technology right now with the potential to power the entire country. Experts and scientists are telling us we are in an urgent situation with global climate change. We need to heed their admonitions. The government needs to immediately cease forcibly preventing nuclear power development and production.
Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Reform
I am saddened, angered, and disturbed by the senseless murder of George Floyd. This is a time for real, substantive policy change in our justice system. In addition to criminal prosecution, it is also essential that police officers who violate the rights of others be held personally liable in civil court. I stand with Congressman Justin Amash who is introducing the "Ending Qualified Immunity Act," which will allow for civil action against individual police officers who have harmed others and violated their individual rights. While this is only one of many issues that needs to be addressed, ending qualified immunity would be a small but important step in the right direction toward fighting injustice and addressing racial disparities in our justice system. The tragic death of George Floyd highlights the urgency of the need for change.
Another practical solution is to require law enforcement to wear body cameras and to be required to turn those cameras on during any police stop or other interaction. These body cameras provide an objective recording of any incident and protect both citizens and police officers properly carrying out their duties.
Monetary Policy and Spending
This federal government has taken the nation over 27 trillion dollars into debt. This 27 trillion dollar national debt is the result of decades of unsustainable federal spending that threatens to do catastrophic damage to our economy in the future.
Even in the face of COVID-19, we must set our sights on balancing the budget as soon as possible. To the extent possible, we need to cut all spending, across the board, equally by percentage, in order to balance the budget and restore fiscal responsibility. We will never be able to balance the budget in a timely fashion (if ever) by playing political games, picking winners and losers, trying to decide what funding gets cut, by how much, and what funding doesn't get cut.
Given the urgency of this matter, the only reasonable solution is to cut all spending equally by percentage across the board, and this goes for all federal spending, with no exceptions. Then we can start living within our means and adjusting spending levels for the different sectors of government. This is our responsibility to future generations of Americans, to not spend any more than we take in, and to live within our means.
This national debt crisis illustrates the fundamental problem with government controlled fiat currency. Fiat currency allows the government to have disproportionate power over everyone else. With fiat currency, government can print up as much money as it wants and spend it on whatever it wants, including military interventionism, corporate bailouts, etc.
For every debt financed dollar that government spends, this increases government power and weakens everyone else's buying power by diluting the American dollar. Bringing the American dollar back to the gold standard would be a step in the right direction.
In this 2020 campaign, in the here and now, we are in a state of emergency with this out of control national debt. This is a crisis, and we must urgently act now to do as much as possible to balance the budget.
We need to transition to a privatized education system and allow our students to be lifted up by competing teachers and schools. School leadership needs to be able to easily replace personnel who are failing students. Just as leadership in the private sector can easily replace an employee who is failing their customers and co-workers, our schools should be no different. On the other hand, education providers who are exceeding expectations and helping students succeed should be, and certainly would be promoted and rewarded in a free market.
Likewise, students and families should have freedom of choice in selecting their school which includes the right to eschew schools that are not meeting student needs. Free market incentives, innovations, and competition, particularly in our new digital age, would transform our education system and make the United States the global leader in education.
We need to vigilantly protect our right to keep an bear arms; the American people should never be helpless, defenseless victims.
We must resist so called "red flag" laws, which are a dangerous slippery slope toward government obtaining the power to disarm American Citizens at will and without any semblance of due process.
Let me be clear on this critical issue facing our country today: I will do everything I can to maximize your individual right, your human right, to keep and bear arms.
Sex work should be decriminalized. People have the right to do as they wish with their bodies, without punishment or interference from the state. If this activity is brought out of the shadows, all individuals participating in this industry will be far safer. This has been the case with legalized sex work in Nevada.
We need to end the war on drugs, because people voluntarily taking a substance into their body is their right, and should be their choice. Voluntary drug use in and of itself is a victimless crime. Most drug overdose deaths are from street drugs where the user didn't know exactly what they were ingesting. Freedom would allow for drug users to know exactly how much of a drug they were taking, and would ensure the substances were not contaminated.
I believe that innovations in medical technology unleashed by the free market can make abortion obsolete in our society. The abortion issue is part of the reason why “separation of healthcare and state” is the most important issue in our campaign. If we get the government completely out of healthcare, I believe the healthcare industry will be able to quickly develop the technology to enable pregnancies to be viable from conception, without any need for the mother’s continued involvement in the pregnancy. We are very close to having the technology to take a fetus at any point after conception and transfer that fetus to another woman's womb, or to an artificial womb. After this advance in technology comes to fruition, which will be dramatically expedited in a free market, fetuses will be viable from conception, and will be able to be placed for adoption at any time after conception.
This technology will help to fill the overwhelming need from loving, qualified families eager to adopt. There are already far more families wanting to adopt in the United States than there are children available for adoption.
In addition, a birth mother in a free society will have the right to be freely compensated for giving the parental rights to her child over to a loving family that has demonstrated they are capable of raising that child, a family the mother wants and has approved of herself. Why should it be that adoption agencies, government agencies, healthcare providers, lawyers and so on, are all allowed to be compensated for effectuating an adoption, but the birth mother isn’t? Everyone involved in effectuating an adoption and providing the adoptive family with the incredible value of a child, especially including the birth mother, should be allowed to be compensated, and would be allowed to be freely compensated in a free society.
The free market, a free society is the best hope for reducing abortions and making abortion obsolete in our society.
You can have unrestrained immigration, and you can have a welfare state, but you can't have both.
The ideal in a free society without compulsory taxation or a welfare state is that immigrants would be able to move across borders as freely as possible. In the context of a free society, immigration would be immensely beneficial for our economy and our society. In a free society, immigrants should be and would be welcome and able to come to the United States as freely as possible, and our economy and country would benefit.
However, we do not live in a free society. In our current government system of compulsory taxation and a massive welfare state, American taxpayers' dollars are going to provide benefits to undocumented immigrants who are not taxpayers.
American taxpayers at the very least have something like a property right in the tax dollars that have been taken from them. American taxpayers at the very least have the right to directly benefit as much as possible from government spending of their tax dollars.
I cannot in good conscience advocate for unrestricted immigration in the context of our current system where taxpayers are currently forced to provide benefits to undocumented immigrants who are not taxpayers. Unrestricted immigration in our current system of compulsory taxation and a massive welfare state will surely increase spending of tax dollars forcibly taken from Americans, or debt taken out in the name of unborn Americans, to provide benefits to undocumented immigrants who are not taxpayers.
As a libertarian, I believe that no individual should be forced to be responsible for another, no individual should be forced to labor for the benefit of another, and no individual should have the fruits of their labor taken from them to provide for the benefit of another.
In the free society I advocate for, with no welfare state and no compulsory taxation, immigrants seeking a better life, immigrants eager for freedom, would provide a benefit to our economy and society. In a free society these immigrants should be, and would be welcome to the United States. This is the ideal and the system I ultimately advocate for.
Libertarians want to build a bridge to a better future, a liberated society, where individuals are free to pursue their interests without interference from the state. In large part, government should only include law courts, police, military, and an environmental protection agency. With few exceptions if any, any other use of force by government against an individual is a violation of that individual's rights and their individual liberty. Peaceful people have the right to be left alone, and should be allowed to pursue their goals and dreams without interference from government.
Again, my name is Tom Schmitz, I'm the Libertarian candidate for Congress in Missouri's 8th Congressional District. If I'm elected to congress, I will do everything I can to achieve these ideals, to protect you from federal coercion, and to move us toward a free society. I humbly ask for your vote, thank you.