Barger for US Senate

Official campaign website of Al Barger, 2004 Indiana Libertarian Party candidate for US Senate

"It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows that the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?" - James Madison, Federalist #62

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Indianapolis Star senate questions follow-up

The Indianapolis Star featured answers from the three Indiana US Senate candidates to a series of questions on the front of the Focus section on Sunday, October 3, 2004. CLICK HERE for the story on their website, or HERE for my backup. CLICK HERE for my personal favorite part of the deal, the caricature of the candidates that illustrated the print edition.

A few notes in response to my opponents' answers:

Note the essential non-responsiveness of both Bayh and Scott to this question: "How should the federal government reduce the budget deficit?" Neither one actually listed even one specific program they would be willing to cut.

In his first answer, Evan takes credit for having "assisted in creating and protecting thousands of jobs." How, exactly? Mostly, his website notes on economics and job creation seems to be bragging on the jobs he's helped create by getting government contracts for Indiana companies, and such related pork barrel type considerations.

Of course, he needs to factor in the jobs lost because of the tax money pulled out of the economy for his government projects.

Also, the protectionist policies that he's edging up to with the fair trade talk will badly HURT rather than help the economy.

As to political role models, boy did Evan make the most boring picks possible. What was it exactly that Evan got from Jefferson? I don't think TJ would see much in common with modern welfare state Democrats.

As to the Social Security question, what has the senator done in the last six years to stop the systematic looting of Social Security taxes by the Congress? Does he not bear culpability for the trillion dollars or so of Social Security surpluses that have been squandered by Congress since he's been there?

For his part, our Republican opponent supports the Medicare drug benefit just passed by his party and president. Moving to throw a huge new unfunded entitlement benefit on top of everything else pretty much destroys any credibility Mr Scott may have had on the topic of Social Security or entitlement reform.

Here were my complete answers before the paper's editors snipped at them a bit:

1. Briefly, why do you want be to a U.S. senator from Indiana?
As our founding fathers said of King George in the Declaration of Independence, the modern US government "has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance."

I want to restrain the federal government to only the functions specifically authorized to it by the US Constitution, which means mostly just national defense and a few specific lesser designated functions, such as copyright law and printing money.

2. Was the U.S. justifed in going to war with Iraq?
I still say yes, for we are in fact under continuing attack at home. We must aggressively take the fight to our enemies. We're far better off drawing the bad guys to fight our soldiers in Iraq or Iran rather than New York or Indianapolis.

3. Do you support the reimportation of prescription drugs from other
countries? Why or why not?
I say yes on general principles and as a pro-consumer measure. However, I'm still somewhat concerned about what effects this might have on the drug companies, and their ability and motivation to continue critical r&d for new drugs.

4. Should American workers be allowed to invest a portion of their
Social Security contributions in individual accounts? Why?
Yes, but I'd go further. The Social Security tax should be abolished, and you should get ALL of your money put in your own accounts that YOU control because 1)there's no constitutional authority for Social Security to begin with, and 2)the federal government has absolutely proven itself utterly irresponsible with Social Security money. This is my #1 issue, and I've written about it extensively at

Retirement savings should be the bedrock of the economy, providing the capital for future investments and a secure future for retirees. Instead, under the ironically named "social security" system, 15% of your income is confiscated and squandered. There is NO trust fund, no "lock box." If any private company treated retirement accounts this way, the whole board of directors would be in prison for securities fraud.

5. How should the federal government reduce the budget deficit?
Reduce government spending by eliminating all the programs and departments that are not specifically authorized by the US Constitution. That would reduce federal spending by at least two thirds. For starters, let's eliminate the federal Department of Education. Also high on the list, eliminate all farm subsidies and other corporate welfare.

6. Which political leader of the past or present would you most like to
Barry Goldwater He fought for a vigorous national defense, and a minimal amount of government interference in our lives. He was known as a staunch fiscal conservative with a strong respect for separation of powers. Critically, he was also very socially tolerant.

7. Why should voters go to the polls on Nov. 2?
People should go to the polls because they care about the civic affairs of our nation, and have made some effort to study the candidates and issues, and want to give their best informed judgment.

On the other hand, please do NOT vote if you don't care that much about it, and just feel obligated or pressured in some way. If you don't know anything about the candidates, you'd be better off to leave it alone. Take your vote seriously if you're going to cast one. An uninformed vote is far worse than no vote.

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