Friday, January 1, 2010

A legislative program for 2010

Restoring Freedom to Ohio: Part 3 of 3
(Part 1: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself)
(Part 2: Finding the path to freedom)

Let us not delude ourselves. The struggle for liberty is ongoing. We cannot erase a century's damage to our Constitutional freedoms in a year or two; but we have to have the courage and the organization to start somewhere.

Here is what I would like to see introduced (and in my wildest dreams, passed) in the Ohio General Assembly in 2010, in rough priority order:

1. Gradually repeal the Ohio income tax (introduced in the House 12/23/2009 by Rep. John Adams as HB 400 and awaiting referral, probably to the House State Government Committee). This will make Ohio a more desirable location for business and help stop the "brain drain" we have long experienced.

2. Introduce a measure similar to my proposal to redirect federal tax funds to the Ohio Department of Taxation for escrow pending a determination of the Constitutionality of their purpose by a commission established for that purpose. This will give the State of Ohio greater control of "federal funds" to enable more realistic budgeting and elimination of unfunded mandates; and free some Ohio agencies to adopt procedures that are more efficient or which provide better service, but are contrary to federal regulations.

3. Introduce a measure to stabilize money in Ohio, which may take one or both of two forms:

a. The Honest Money initiative, which facilitates the use of gold and silver coin as legal tender by enabling the State Treasurer to accept same in payment of state taxes and other obligations.

b. Establishment of a State Bank, similar to the Bank of North Dakota, which, holding all state funds on deposit, will provide backing for secured low-interest loans to individuals and small business. The Bank could operate as a "banker's bank," eliminating concerns that it would operate in competition with existing Ohio banks.

4. Nullify mandatory participation in the federal health care system (introduced in the House 8/26/2009 by Reps. Ron Maag and Barbara Sears as HJR 3 and sitting in the House Insurance Committee, and in the Senate 9/24/2009 by Sen. Timothy Grendell, and sitting in the Senate Insurance, Comerce, and Labor Committee). The federal health care system is clearly unconstitutional, and will distort the health care market. It may also result in the rationing of health care to the detriment of the chronically ill and the elderly.

5. Nullify Federal firearms law for weapons manufactured in Ohio (introduced 10/16/2009 by Reps. Seth Morgan and Jarrod Martin as HB 315 and sitting in the House Commerce & Labor Committee). This will send the feds an important message – that we demand adherence to the strict letter of the Constitution in the federal government's dealings with the states.

Five or six measures is an aggressive agenda, but three of them have already been introduced, and the Honest Money initiative is in an advanced stage of development.

During the first half of 2010, the liberty movement should press for adoption of these measures. To the extent they are not adopted, the movement should be prepared to hold the incumbents accountable for their failure to pass them, and have candidates ready to oppose them.

There are many more ideas out there, and some of them need to be addressed later, but we need to consider which measures in 2010 are the most politically feasible, and will provide us with the greatest benefit. As I stated on Wednesday, working within state government is likely to produce far more beneficial results than a concentration on the federal.

Now, let us reason together and come up with a plan. Let us pursue that plan with such enthusiasm that, when the history of our time is written, it will show that in 2010, the people of Ohio asserted their rights as a free people, by demonstrating their preparedness to take on the corresponding responsibilities.

The views expressed in this series are my own, and do not reflect those of any organization; but they are based on years of study and some experience with practical politics. I trust that these views will make sense to the reader; but am certainly open to better strategies as we move ahead.

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