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Why I am running for president

Editor’s note: Harry Browne has been writing for WorldNetDaily
since before he announced his run for the presidency. We are proud to
have him as a columnist, but his appearance here does not constitute an
endorsement of his candidacy. WorldNetDaily also prints periodic columns
by Republican Alan Keyes, and we welcome column submissions by bona fide
presidential candidates of any other party.

By Harry Browne

© 2000, WorldNetDaily.com

I hereby formally announce my candidacy for president as a

I am running for president because it’s obvious that no Democrat or
Republican is going to stop the relentless growth of the federal
government. No one but a Libertarian will reduce your taxes
dramatically, allow you to live your life as a free American, and
restrict the federal government to its constitutional limits

I am running for president because the Republican and Democratic
candidates argue only about which of them can best run your life. I
believe you know best how to run your life.

Today (according to the U.S. Census Bureau) federal, state, and local
taxes take 47 percent of the national income. The Republican and
Democratic candidates are discussing whether that figure should be
raised to 48 percent or lowered to 46 percent. I want to cut it in half
at the very least and do the same to your overall tax burden.

I am running for president because the federal government has stuck
its nose into virtually every area of your life, with no constitutional
authority. It has made a mess of our health-care system, of education,
of welfare, and of law enforcement.

If we get the federal government out of all these activities, not
only will they work much better, but we will no longer need a federal
income tax — and we won’t need to replace it with a new tax. The money
collected today from tariffs and excise taxes is enough to finance a
strong national defense, the federal judiciary, and the other functions
the Constitution actually authorizes — just as those taxes did for
America’s first 124 years.

I am running for president because you shouldn’t be forced to put 15
percent of your income into a bankrupt Social Security system. I believe
you are better able than any politician to plan for your future — and
you certainly care more about it. I want to sell off unneeded federal
land and other assets to finance secure, fully paid-up, private
retirement accounts for today’s Social Security recipients — and free
you immediately from the 15 percent tax.

I am running for president because I want to bring peace to your city
and your neighborhood by ending the nightmare of drug prohibition. The
insane War on Drugs has caused the worst crime wave since alcohol
Prohibition of the 1920s. It has filled our prisons with non-violent
people who are no threat to anyone — requiring that murderers, rapists,
and thugs be freed on early release to terrorize our communities.

I am running for president because no Republican or Democratic
politician will end the dangerous foreign policy that makes America the
world’s policeman, the arbiter of everyone’s dispute, the bully inciting
terrorism, and the enemy of half the world. I want you to be able to
sleep securely — knowing your children will never fight and die in a
foreign war and terrorists will never attack your city.

There is no way to put a price on liberty — the liberty you’ve lost
to politicians who want to run your life. But here’s one way to look at
it: If yours is a typical middle-class family, when we repeal the income
tax your take-home pay will increase by at least $10,000 a year. When
that happens, what will you do with the money?

Whatever it is you want, that’s what you should have. Not
what the politicians think is best — or what I think is best.
Every dollar you earn should be yours to spend, to save, to give away as
you see fit.

Can we have an impact on the political process? No one can predict or
guarantee the future, but we have assembled the largest campaign
organization in Libertarian history, and we’re raising money faster than
any previous Libertarian campaign. We have an excellent chance to make a
breakthrough, to change the terms of debate in American politics, to
pave the way for Libertarian victories in 2002 and 2004.

Are the American people ready for the dramatic changes I’m proposing?
I believe so. We Libertarians are the only party offering Americans the
freedom to live their lives as they think best, not as the politicians
think best.

I am running for president because I want to propose to every
American the Great Libertarian Offer:

“Would you give up your favorite federal programs if it meant you’d
never have to pay income tax again?”

I hope you say “yes” to this offer because — most of all — I want
you to be free.