My name is Wayne Root. I am the Vice Presidential nominee on the Libertarian Presidential ticket of Barr/Root (with my running mate, former 4-term Congressman Bob Barr). I am proud to have no prior experience as a politician and no connection of any kind to government. What I am is a common sense, no-nonsense, â€œCitizen Politicianâ€�- the first small businessman and home-school father on a Presidential ticket in modern political history. The only government check I have ever seen is an IRS refund of my own money and a student loan that I paid back in full. That loan, by the way, helped pay my way through Columbia University Class of 1983, the same graduating class as Barack Obama.
Perhaps most importantly, I am the first Nevadan ever on a Presidential ticket. It is my Nevadan roots (excuse the pun) that I'll address in this column. I believe that it is time for the â€œNevada modelâ€� to be adopted by the entire country- smaller government, lower taxes, free enterprise, rugged individualism, self-reliance, personal responsibility, individual rights, and FREEDOM- both economic freedom and personal freedom. I am proud to be a Nevadan. The biggest difference between Las Vegas and Washington D.C. is that in Las Vegas, the people gamble with their own money- as opposed to Washington D.C. where the politicians gamble with the taxpayers' money.
In direct contrast to the big-government, big-spending, big-tax, Nanny State career politicians of the D.C. Beltway, Nevada has zero state income tax, zero business income tax, zero inheritance tax, and property taxes limited by law to 3% per year increases (with a citizen initiative underway to lower them further).
Even more important, when you have no business income taxes, you also have less rules, regulations and bureaucracy, as well as no Gestapo-like state tax authority. Therefore it is easy to open and grow a small business in Nevada. That could be why Nevada has led the entire nation in small business creation and â€œBrain Gainâ€� (college graduates moving to Nevada) for most of the last two decades. How important is the creation and success of small business? Small business now produces 75% of new private sector jobs. Small business is the economic engine of America.
I am proud to have spent my career in the 25 years since graduating Columbia University, creating small businesses, risking my own money, creating jobs, paying payrolls and health insurance for my employees, and pumping tens of millions of dollars into the American economy. It is telling to contrast my choices with those of my college classmate Barack Obama- who graduated on the same day 25 years ago. While I chose low-tax, small government Nevada as my home, Barack chose Illinois- one of the highest tax states in America. A place where big government is king, and runs roughshod over the rights of citizens and taxpayers. Barack in his 25 years since graduation has never started a business, never risked his own money on the American Dream, never created a single job, and never paid any employees' health insurance. Our lives and choices present quite a contrast.
Lower taxes leads to economic freedom – the freedom to keep more of your own money and make your own decisions on how to spend (or save) it. I believe that individuals always make better spending decisions than government bureaucrats. Often that decision is to start their own small business- which in turn creates more jobs, more tax revenues, and fuels the economic growth of America. But politicians like Barack Obama and John McCain wouldn't know a thing about starting a small business or creating jobs- it's something they've never experienced.
In addition to economic freedom, the Nevada Model has created a unique, Libertarian form of personal freedom. In an upcoming issue of Reason magazine, Las Vegas is rated the #1 major city in America for personal freedom (out of 35 big cities examined on a range of issues).
What does Nevada's rare combination of economic and personal freedom really mean? It means remarkable success. Americans are voting their approval with their feet (and their assets). For twenty of the past twenty-one years Nevada has been the #1 population growth state in America and the U.S. Census Bureau projects that trend to continue for the next 25 years. (That is provided, of course, that our own entrenched bureaucratic politicians do not destroy the goose that is laying the golden eggs.)
How has Nevada been able to keep its state government under control? Simple. Our Nevada founding fathers, in their infinite wisdom, limited the damage that politicians can do by creating a part time â€œCitizen Legislatureâ€� that meets for only a few months every 2 years, making it difficult (although not impossible) for politicians to damage our economy, complicate our lives, and violate our freedom.
Want proof that politicians do more damage than good? A new mutual fund called the Congressional Effect Fund proves that the more politicians rule, the more damage they do. The fund, run by Eric Singer, examined the effect of politicians on our economy since 1965- it then invests its funds based on this model. The results are astounding. During the past forty-three years the stock market has been up 1.6% when Congress has been in session. When Congress is out of session, the market is up 17.6%- concrete proof that the more politicians do, the worse it is for the people (especially taxpayers, investors, and job creators). Our Founding Father (and my political hero) Thomas Jefferson, the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence, put it best, â€œThe government is best, which governs least.â€�
Today your choice as a voter is no longer between a â€œConservative Republicanâ€� or â€œLiberal Democrat.â€� I call Republicans and Democrats big and bigger, dumb and dumber. They both have the same goal- acquiring more power for themselves, and more control over your life. The real choice in this 2008 election is the choice between an â€œEntrenched Bureaucratic Politicianâ€� (both parties fit that bill) or a â€œCitizen Politicianâ€� represented by the BARR/ROOT Libertarian Ticket, who truly cares about the economic and personal freedoms of the citizens and taxpayers of the United States of America.
As Vice President, I want to spread the Nevada model of economic and personal freedom from coast to coast. The ONLY way to make a change from Big Brother and bigger government, to more power for the people, is to elect anti-establishment, anti-status quo, â€œanti-politiciansâ€� from outside the Beltway. We need to elect politicians who understand the best government is that which governs least. It is time to elect politicians who will downsize and dismantle government- politicians not afraid of limiting their own power and influence. The day has come to give power and their own money back to the people. It is time for a political Hippocratic Oath: Above all else, DO NO HARM. Perhaps it is time for a small businessman, home-school dad, citizen politician from Nevada to show the country how it's done- the Nevada way.
Wayne Root is the Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee on the Libertarian Presidential ticket of Bob Barr/Wayne Root. His web site is: www.ROOTforAmerica.com.