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LGCs Unite!

December 3, 2016

 

LGCs or Limited Government Conservatives made the mistake of not seeking the defeat of George W. Bush in 2004. By then he had already commenced a foreign policy based on imperial wars that destroyed the balance of power in the Middle East, increased government spending to levels exceeding those of his predecessors, included TSA employees within the Civil Service thus creating a federal bureaucracy and created a new Entitlement guaranteeing prescription medicine benefits.

The last time a respected Republican conservative gave a serious thought to making a Third Party race against a sitting Republican President was in 1972 when Cong. John Ashbrook announced his candidacy in opposition to President Richard Nixon.  His campaign theme, “No Left Turn,” should be adopted by LGCs and organize opposition to Big Government policies that the neophyte businessman turned President has endorsed.

Those policies include the imposition of Tariffs on companies that move manufacturing abroad, his tendency to consider or appoint General Officers to positions as heads of Departments where the principle of civilian control should prevail (NSC, Defense, State), significant personal conflicts of interest that will entangle his Administration in legal challenges to policies affecting areas of his family business (Trump University) and absence of thought on policies needed to free up capital that fuels entrepreneurs.

The cost of maintaining employees in the United States in manufacturing jobs is significantly greater by a factor of 4 than in low wage countries like Vietnam, Mexico and the PRC. Even low wage countries like South Korea could no longer compete with lower wage countries and began moving into more capital intensive industries.

Heavy investment in automation is required if manufacturing remains in-country where labor costs are high requires. There are factories in Europe making automotive parts with fewer than four employees.

The first policy of a new coalition of LGCs, therefore, should oppose Trump’s “protectionism.”  Protectionism places a damper on economic innovation and “protects” employment from reality. Ford Motor cannot make small cars in Detroit and market them at competitive prices in the United States. That applies to most labor intensive manufacturing .

A second policy is civilian control. Though all the General Officers that Trump has chosen or will chose are excellent in character and knowledge, none should occupy a position as head of a Government Department or White House council. None should be appointed National Security Advisor, Secretary of Defense or head of NSA or CIA. Appointees bring to service experience and knowledge gained in their professional careers. Military professionals are protective of their Services–Army, Navy, Air Force–and are acclimated to command and control. When an assassination attack hospitalized President Reagan the first thoughts that came to Secretary of State Al Haig were “I am in control.”  Someday, perhaps, twenty-five or fifty years from now, General Officers appointed to NSC, Defense and State will actually take control. We must fix a firm line between former military service and civilian agencies.

“Saving” Social Security and Medicaid is a third LGC policy. Social Security and Medicaid will run out of money sometime in the next ten years, yet President Elect Trump has vowed not to touch either program. At the very least, Social Security should be modified to allow citizens under forty to put a substantial percentage of their personal Social Security payments into personal savings accounts.

Prescription medicine benefits should be severely restricted and Medicare benefits examined closely to eliminate fraud and abuse.

A fourth interest of LGCs should be to repeal or severely limit the Patriot Act.  Enacted immediately after the attack on 9/11, the Patriot Act enabled President George W. Bush to engage in surveillance of personal communications (telephone and e-mail) of American citizens. A vast assembly of information and data of all Americans has been archived and may be scoured for information against political enemies. Temptation to use that information is high and efforts should be made to limit and restrict access to the accumulation of personal information and data.

A fifth LGC policy should oppose imperial wars. Though Donald Trump and Sen. Rand Paul were the only candidates for the GOP nomination to criticize imperial wars, President Elect Trump has waxed enthusiastic about using military force to destroy ISIS. In the short term, that has merits, but one war can lead to another and the anti-war President becomes a wartime President. Caution must govern all deliberations governing the use of military force. With former General Officers at NSC and Defense, it is unlikely that caution will prevail.

A sixth LGC policy should move swiftly to repeal the segregation of American citizens into two classes: accredited and unaccredited. The Securities and Exchange Act of 1935 was a New Deal program to protect American citizens from corrupt practices affecting investments in securities. That Act required the registration of securities and restricted the purchase of non-registered securities to “accredited” investors.  As a consequence, local small businesses, new startups, may not sell their equity to persons whose net assets are less than one million dollars.

Fortunately, the JOBS Act of 2012 contained a provision permitting “Crowdfunding,” the marketing of non-SEC registered securities to non-accredited investors. Unfortunately, the financial industry got control of the implementation process and the SEC has destroyed that provision of the JOBS Act. LGCs should move immediately to call for the removal of the segregation of American citizens into two economic classes.

Limited Government Conservatives–Unite!

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