The Loyal Opposition
Loyal Opposition (Merriam-Webster): “a minority party especially in a legislative body whose opposition to the party in power is constructive, responsible, and bounded by loyalty to fundamental interests and principles <a well-fortified minority will tend to improve … legislative debate and can become a genuine loyal opposition — American State Legislatures>”
The current state of affairs in Sacramento has California under one-party rule. The Democrats hold a majority in both houses and the Governor’s office. The Republicans are nowhere to be found. This presents a unique opportunity for the Libertarian Party of California to move up the ranks and become the #2 party in the state and fulfill the role of Loyal Opposition vacated by the Republicans long ago (and hopefully more to #1 in a few generations).
Pick an issue. The Democrats offer their “solution,” usually more government. The Republicans offer their “solution,” usually a little less government than the Democrats. In either case, no one is offering constructive and responsible solutions bounded by loyalty to the founding documents of our state and country. No one is defending the Constitution any more. Should we not step up?
Covered California (ObamaCare’s California franchise): Democrats are all for it because it “helps regular folks afford health care.” Republicans like it, but want to dial it back a bit to allow their corporate sponsors to sell across state lines. What is the LPC’s position? Why not argue the Constitutionality of the issue, as well as offer a practical solution?
For Covered California, we could argue that once the scheme was implemented, provider networks narrowed and annual deductibles skyrocketed. This is largely because Covered California is a closed system with a captive audience. Citizens were forced to purchase coverage that they don’t need to support the system by increasing the overall pool of people paying into the system. By uncoupling health insurance providers from the state, providers could sell al-la-carte policies that people could afford. Men would not have to purchase pregnancy coverage, women wouldn’t have to pay to support erectile dysfunction, and etc. You pick a plan with the coverage, network, co-pays, and deductibles that suit your budget – or not. Yes, or not. The current scheme does not allow the citizen to opt out without penalty. The LPC’s a-la-carte insurance proposal would be voluntary, as it should be.
Public Education: Democrats engage in a massive money-laundering scheme whereby tons of money are funneled to public schools and public school employee unions, but accountability and results are left behind. Schools require more and more funds and Johnny still can’t read. Any cry from parents results in a request for more money. Property owners without children, or with children who attend schools elsewhere are forced to pay for schools to which they have no ties. What is the LPC’s position? Why not argue the Constitutionality of the issue, as well as offer a practical solution?
Parents generally want what’s best for their kids. The government education cartel assigns kids to the local school, regardless of the kids/parents needs. If you want to go to another public school, you must petition the district to transfer. This does not often work as schools are overcrowded. If you have a child with special needs, and the local school can’t accommodate those special needs – too bad. If you want to send your child to a public charter school, you must enter into a lotto system. The chances of winning that lotto aren’t all that good. If you can afford private schools, you do. If you can afford to homeschool, you do. But the majority of the people in California believe that they can’t afford private / home education. What’s the LPC to do?
Remember, the Democrats take a mafia like tone in saying, just pay or else. The Republicans still want control with government vouchers and charter schools. Many good religious schools won’t accept vouchers as it allows government into their school and gives government a say in how the school runs. You want the government’s money; you play by the government’s rules.
The LPC’s response should be the elimination of taxes that go to support public education. Let the people keep their money and pay the school of their choice directly. Public schools remain open and functional. But now, they must compete for the best students and the best employees. They don’t automatically get money from the government; they must get it from their customers – the parents.
As a homeschooling parent, I know that I can provide a quality and customized education for my five children at less that $500 per child per year (including two children whom the public school system would describe as “special needs”). In the LPC’s world of “public education,” you really need only teachers, classrooms, and an accountant to process payments and pay the bills. $500 per child per year becomes affordable when you are keeping more of your own money through the elimination of various taxes. For those that truly can’t afford it, there’s a variety of charities that can be leveraged to support education that don’t require the forced confiscation of people’s hard earned money.
Income Tax. In California, we don’t stand much of a chance in eliminating the IRS or abolishing the national income tax. But we can change a few local rules. We can start with the elimination of the Franchise Tax Board’s policy of requiring employers to serve as FTB collection agents. We can eliminate the “withholding” scheme that currently shields the government from the average taxpayer’s monthly wrath. Let each taxpayer see what the cost of their government is on a monthly basis. Require the state to bill each taxpayer monthly, thus requiring each taxpayer to cut a monthly check. Let each taxpayer see his/her income swell as withholding stops – only to have to cut that check to government each month.
When people have to process their payments for their TV and phone service, they shop around for the best deal. They look at performance vs. price. They choose their levels of service. If you don’t want to use the parks and recreation facilities; don’t pay for them. Those that do can be issued ID cards, much like fitness centers do. Other city/state services can work the same way: libraries, parks, etc. If a library, park, museum, etc. is having trouble staying afloat, and they’re properly managed, they can look to charity for help and not the person making $15/hour with no kids and no time for recreation.
I believe the a-la-carte idea works in so many ways and across so many sectors of our government controlled society. It also works as a stepping-stone to getting government out of people’s lives whilst preserving their version of status quo as best possible. Remove the shock, lessen the blow, but move towards a day when people get what they want and remove government as the middle-man/deliverer of services.
No one is currently advocating these positions in Sacramento. There is no Loyal Opposition in California. This presents a unique opportunity for the LPC to become a relevant force in state politics. It also represents a chance for us to get our “brand” in front of a great many people, helping them rid themselves of the yoke of forced governance – helping free as many Californians as possible.
What say you?