Story by Joseph Ford CottoJoseph Ford Cotto: Some claim that the surest way for America to enjoy monetary stability is a return to the gold standard. Do you believe that, given current socioeconomic affairs, this is a viable option?
What does it mean to be a libertarian nowadays?
There is no shortage of philosophical diversity among people who describe themselves as such, which is hardly surprising since libertarianism is not a belief system for those congenial to group-think. Nonetheless, when devout family values-oriented Christians and atheist gay pride marchers both claim the same label, it is understandable that many folks are left scratching their heads.
Few individuals have so much experience with both libertarianism as an idea structure and Libertarian partisan politics as Wayne Allyn Root. He is an author, talk radio host, entrepreneur, and, generally speaking, observer of the human animal. In 2008, he was the Libertarian Party's vice presidential nominee.
It can be argued that no other second-placeholder on the Libertarian ticket has ever done as much to publicize his party and its ideals as Root did. During Barack Obama's presidency, Root took voiced limited government concerns with gusto and ultimately decided that the Libertarian banner was not making a serious difference in American political life.
While supporting Mitt Romney and -- on an enthusiastic level -- Donald Trump, Root retained his libertarian values.
In a 2012 statement, which made clear his vacating Libertarian Party affairs, Root said he entered them as "a S.O.B. (son of a butcher), small businessman, home-school dad, Las Vegas oddsmaker, and political newcomer". Now, Root's recently published Angry White Male: How the Donald Trump Phenomenon is Changing America -- and What We Can All Do to Save the Middle Class has attained bestseller status.
Agree or disagree with his brand of 'Ronald Reagan libertarianism,' Root certainly has made a success of it.
He spoke with me about many issues pertaining to libertarianism and its role in American society. Some of our discussion is available below.
Wayne Allyn Root: I am a huge supporter of gold and the gold standard. We are $20 trillion in debt -- thanks to a madman named Obama. We have no choice. We cannot afford to keep spending like drunken losers, high on cocaine. This is pure insanity. If we keep spending unchecked, it’s the end of America. A Gold Standard provides a check on spending. It’s the only way to stop the politicians. They will never slow the spending unless they are limited by law. We need a Gold Standard, a Balanced Budget Amendment and a Line Item Veto. We also need a President with the courage to veto all excess spending.
And one more thing -- we need to fire one third of government employees. Their salaries are obscene, their pensions are unimaginable and unaffordable and in so many cases they spend all day watching porn and looking at their watches waiting for 25 years to arrive, so they can retire at age 50 and collect a pension for NOT working for the rest of their lives. What a waste of taxpayer money. No wonder America is a bankrupt debtor nation. This has to end.
Cotto: Many have heard about the fair tax, but fewer know much about it. In a summary sense, what are your views on the concept?
Root: I like the “Fair Tax.” My adopted home state of Nevada had led the nation in population growth, economic growth and job growth for most of the past EIGHT DECADES (only interrupted by the Great Recession, but now back to the top again). Nevada is also at the top of every survey of “Best States to Do Business In.”
We basically have a “Fair Tax” system- meaning no income taxes, only a sales tax. It works. If that system made Nevada such a success, why not adopt it nationwide? California has the prettiest scenery and the nicest weather in the nation. Nevada is a big ugly desert. Yet I left beautiful Malibu to move to Las Vegas. For one reason: low taxes. Nevada is the Monte Carlo of America- the low tax capital. No matter how much money you make, Nevada doesn't tax one cent of your income. We tax your spending (sales tax) and your fun (gambling, marijuana, prostitution).
That’s the model for America. By the way, it's not just Nevada. That model works everywhere. The six states that have zero income tax (Nevada, Texas, Florida, Wyoming, Alaska, Tennessee) badly beat the highest tax states (New York, California, Illinois) in economic and population growth. And those high tax states lead the nation in moving vans moving OUT.