Contributed by Carolyn “Care” Clift, Libertarian Candidate for Lt. Governor
There are four teams running for governor this year, in 2018. Most Alaskan voters have heard about the “top three,” the incumbents: former Republican Walker with Democrat Mallott; the opposing Republican team, Dunleavy-Meyer; and the opposing Democrat team, Begich-Call. There is a bipartisan theme… All the candidates claim to be either Republican or Democrat. But, just like the proverbial “elephant in the room”, there is a fourth team, the Libertarian team of Toien-Clift.
So, how are we different from the Republican and Democrat politicians? THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE IS THAT WE BELIEVE THAT INDIVIDUALS HAVE THE RIGHT TO GOVERN THEMSELVES. We believe that government is too big and too controlling of our lives. We believe that the individuals must take the responsibilities of providing for themselves, their children and their own healthcare. It is not the government’s responsibility to make these choices for us, or to take an individual’s money to provide for other people’s choices.
So, let’s fast-forward to Alaska 2018. This summer at the Libertarian National Convention, there was a new caucus, the Libertarian Pragmatic Caucus (LPC.) We are, as the name indicates, ready to take the small steps towards Libertarianism, instead of rejecting candidates who are not “libertarian enough”. Together, Billy and I have three big issues: (1) Putting the state’s finances in order with no taxation of the PFD or other income, (2) end the nanny state and (3) stop the duopoly.
We will NOT even address cutting or increasing the government until the bulk of the state's revenues that have been diverted into “Off Budget” assets and revenues are audited and restored to the general fund. When the state's finances have been put in order, the only reason for cutting would be to reduce excessive government intrusion. Those that want to make a voluntary tax contribution to the state general fund through the PFD application will be able to do so and will be able to deduct those taxes on their IRS form. IT’S YOUR MONEY! You should make the decisions of how you will spend it.
When it comes to social programs and “safety-net” programs, these programs are already in place. This is where the pragmatism comes into action. We have made a commitment to serve the people who are on these programs, but there is no reason not to educate the public about how “getting off the program” should be a goal for every individual. We can do this by encouraging the use of contraceptives, disease prevention, lifting barriers to jobs and encouraging cottage industries and subsistence lifestyles. There is no such thing as a free lunch, and being dependent on the state means a loss of freedom for those that are.
I am well-known for my advocacy on behalf of parents, grandparents and other immediate family members to be able to raise and educate their own children. This isn’t just about school choice. Alaska is one of the best states in the U.S. for public school choice, and I have also researched what other states have done.
More to the point, my basic idea is that the state should not be taking children into the foster care system without due process in the courtrooms. Every child in the foster care system costs the state way more than welfare benefits, because they are automatically on Medicaid and payments to the foster parents, caseworkers, attorneys and other stakeholders. Immeasurable is the toll it takes on the mental conditions of the children and the parents because of parental alienation. Alaska has one of the highest percentages of children in foster care over all of the U.S., and many of these children will end up in jail or mental institutions because of their childhood experiences.
My last but not least issue is “Stop the Duopoly” because in Alaska, we have a two-primary, two-caucus, elective system, funded with state funds. We also have draconian ballot access laws that prevent independent and third-party candidates from running for office. Why should the Republican Party of Alaska have its own, closed, primary election at public expense? Why should the Republican Party have their own caucuses in the Senate and the House, with the ability to punish legislators by withdrawing state-paid resources from those that don’t vote the Party-line? The “Non-Republican” Primary is for the other three recognized party primaries, and the other caucuses are for all of the Democrat and independent legislators.
Libertarians are neither conservative nor liberal, we are for freedom. We are against big government, and we are for equality for every individual. We agree with Dunleavy on many fiscal issues, but disagree with him on social issues. We agree with Begich on many social issues, but not that the people should pay for the nanny state. We disagree with Walker on his way of paying for government, and we disagree with him on social issues. We think Libertarians can do better.