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Thomas Sowell "My Platform" Conservative Radicalism.
Townhall ^ | 03/30/04 | Thomas Sowell

Posted on 03/30/2004 5:55:51 AM PST by Dutchgirl

From time to time some kind readers suggest that I run for public office, including President of the United States. No need for those on the left to panic. It is not going to happen.

Such suggestions, however, cause me to imagine what my platform would be if I were in politics. Once you see what that platform would be, you can understand why it will never happen.

Since politicians like to have campaign slogans, instead of "Bring it On!" my slogan might be "Get rid of it!" to describe all the laws, policies, and government agencies that I would abolish.

A more positive slogan would be "Conservative Radicalism." That is, my policies would be based on traditional values but would make radical changes in order to restore or enhance those values.

Cabinet-level departments, for example, would be reduced to just two -- the Defense Department and the State Department, with the latter purged of the weak-kneed internationalist crowd who have dominated it for so long. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, etc., would all be abolished as just money-wasting bureaucracies serving outside special interests, instead of the people whose taxes support them.

Government subsidies would be drastically reduced, starting at the top. That is, there would be a prohibition against giving a dime of government money to anyone whose annual income or total assets exceed one billion dollars. Why should agricultural subsidies be going to Ted Turner and David Rockefeller, or "universal health care" pay for their medicine?

Who could object to cutting off subsidies to billionaires? Once that was done, however, the next step would be to cut off millionaires. Then we could proceed on down the income scale until people making a hundred grand a year could no longer expect to be subsidized with the taxpayer's money.

The great advantage of this way of proceeding is that it would rob the media of opportunities to run sob stories about how some poor person was hurt by cutbacks in some government program -- even when the vast majority of those who were hurt were the bureaucrats who run these programs and slick special interests who hide behind the poor.

By the time we got down to cutting off all government subsidies to people making $100,000 a year or more, the federal budget would probably not only be balanced but have a surplus. Of course, there would be hordes of unemployed bureaucrats being interviewed on TV, complaining that the world was going to end, without their vital contributions. But that could be brushed aside.

With all the money saved by ending vast numbers of subsidies, the government could afford to pay the kinds of salaries that would attract highly qualified people from the private sector. For example, if every member of Congress were paid a million dollars a year, that would cost less than one percent of what it costs to run the Department of Agriculture.

As things stand today, a successful doctor, lawyer, executive, engineer or economist would lose money by becoming a member of Congress. This means that Congress is largely filled with people who either already have great wealth or people who don't have what it takes to earn a high income in the private sector -- or people hungry for power, who are the worst of all.

These are not the kinds of people who should dominate the making of laws in Congress or enforcing them in the courts. Short-sighted critics might object that the kinds of people we have in politics and the courts don't deserve to get a million dollars a year. But that is the very reason for trying to get better people.

If a million dollars a year won't do it, you could raise the pay to ten million and it would still be chump change compared to what is wasted by cheap politicians, who turn out to be very expensive politicians when wasting the taxpayers' money.

Then there should be term limits. In fact, elected officials should be limited to just one term. Otherwise, they and their staffs would be spending most of their time doing things to get re-elected in all but the last term.

These are just some of the things I would do in the name of "conservative radicalism." But it may be enough to show why there is no clear and present danger of my being nominated, much less elected.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Government; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: bloated; bureaucracy; conservatism; constitution; government; thomassowell
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A breath of fresh air. I'd vote for him!!
1 posted on 03/30/2004 5:55:52 AM PST by Dutchgirl
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To: Dutchgirl
Unfortunately, he's in his 70's ...

Maybe someone else will pick up this platform, and we can vote for him or her! Sowell is the Greatest Living American Thinker, undisputed champ!
2 posted on 03/30/2004 5:59:00 AM PST by Tax-chick (Mother of a teenager for THREE days, and I'm still as sane as I ever was!)
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To: Dutchgirl
Thomas Sowell for President and Alan Keyes for VP.
3 posted on 03/30/2004 6:00:49 AM PST by ladtx ( "Remember your regiment and follow your officers." Captain Charles May, 2d Dragoons, 9 May 1846)
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To: Dutchgirl
If you nominate, I second.
4 posted on 03/30/2004 6:02:11 AM PST by stylin_geek (Koffi: 0, G.W. Bush: (I lost count))
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To: Tax-chick
he's in his 70's

He could always use Reagan's line about his opponent's youth and inexperience...

5 posted on 03/30/2004 6:02:14 AM PST by Dutchgirl
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To: Tax-chick
I agree with you that he is a great thinker, but I would put Walter Williams up there with him.
6 posted on 03/30/2004 6:03:09 AM PST by 7thson (BT AR - means end of message - no reply necessary or wanted!)
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To: Dutchgirl
bump
7 posted on 03/30/2004 6:03:19 AM PST by Guillermo (Your own personal Konservative Klick-Guerilla)
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To: Dutchgirl
"Get rid of it!"

LoL
8 posted on 03/30/2004 6:05:21 AM PST by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: Dutchgirl
I love the term limits. Citizen legislators once again instead of professional politicians with a death grip on office.
9 posted on 03/30/2004 6:07:28 AM PST by cynicom
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To: Dutchgirl
I don't like the label "conservative."
10 posted on 03/30/2004 6:08:48 AM PST by poolstick
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To: ladtx
Thomas Sowell for President and Alan Keyes for VP.

I second that. Imagine the debates!

11 posted on 03/30/2004 6:09:57 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: ladtx
Thomas Sowell for President and Alan Keyes for VP.

Or:

Thomas Sowell and Ron Paul...

The FedGov needs a good wormin'!

12 posted on 03/30/2004 6:14:17 AM PST by FreedomFarmer (In memory of FReeper Harpseal. Yorktown.)
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To: Dutchgirl
Thomas Sowell makes far too much sense to win a national election.
13 posted on 03/30/2004 6:14:44 AM PST by Choose Ye This Day ("We are delighted that Pecker will be leading the way.")
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To: Dutchgirl
Wonderful piece by Sowell; he would never be allowed to do what he and we know is right however.

As a new Senator around 1972 said to me when I asked him how things looked back in Washington, his response was "It’s all over! Washington is nothing more than a back scratching party with no thought for the people except to get re-elected."......but that doesn't mean we should stop trying to reduce government.

14 posted on 03/30/2004 6:15:14 AM PST by yoe (The worse it is the better it is!!)
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To: poolstick
I don't like the label "conservative."

I see you are relative newbie. Perhaps you missed the "list of ingredients" on the front of the package...

Free Republic is an online gathering place for independent, grass-roots conservatism on the web. We're working to roll back decades of governmental largesse, to root out political fraud and corruption, and to champion causes which further conservatism in America. And we always have fun doing it. Hoo-yah!

15 posted on 03/30/2004 6:16:30 AM PST by Dutchgirl
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To: 7thson
Walter Williams is very impressive, but I don't think he has quite the overwhelming erudition of Thomas Sowell. Shelby Steele is more comparable to Sowell as a scholar. Each of them appeals to a slightly different group of readers, thus providing a broader dissemination of conservative ideas than any one by himself.
16 posted on 03/30/2004 6:16:31 AM PST by Tax-chick (Mother of a teenager for THREE days, and I'm still as sane as I ever was!)
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To: Aquinasfan
Sowell AND Keyes?

Sorry, far, FAR too much common sense and wisdom to be on the same ticket.
17 posted on 03/30/2004 6:17:22 AM PST by Choose Ye This Day ("IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII'm comin' up, so you'd better get this jihad started." [thanks, Silverback])
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To: Dutchgirl
Sounds good to me...
18 posted on 03/30/2004 6:18:49 AM PST by tubebender (My wild oats have turned to shredded wheat...)
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To: ladtx
Thomas Sowell for President and Alan Keyes for VP.

While this would be magnificent intellectually, Thomas Sowell himself says that he's too abrupt and confrontational to be a good candidate. His memoir "A Personal Odyssey" is fascinating ... he's very challenging.

19 posted on 03/30/2004 6:19:15 AM PST by Tax-chick (Mother of a teenager for THREE days, and I'm still as sane as I ever was!)
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To: Dutchgirl
Vote for him? I'd MARRY him! No, he won't run for president. But he should have the office next to the President's and advise like mad. Wouldn't it be a wonderful day to have the kind of freedom he is talking about?
20 posted on 03/30/2004 6:23:00 AM PST by mlmr (Honest officer, I wasn't speeding. This SUV is a low-flying rocket!)
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