TLQ 202007 From the Chair: Defund the State

A message from Joe Dehn, County Chair:

Among the most interesting slogans being tossed around during the recent urban unrest is "defund the police". What do people mean by that? Well, it turns out that different people mean different things, and many of them aren't literally demanding that funds be cut at all. Some of them only want the funds currently spent on police services used differently, e.g., more training rather than military-style weapons.

But just shifting money around from one thing to another within the law enforcement budget, or even from one department or agency to another, is not what we as Libertarians seek. We can see that in the larger picture, the real problem is too much government spending in all areas. High government spending is a serious problem in several different but all very important ways:

  • It violates the rights of individuals and businesses by taxing their earnings and property without their consent.
  • These high taxes also create distortions in the market, pushing individuals and businesses to behave in ways that make less effective use of resources.
  • The funds enable the government to make further intrusions into the market, through regulation, subsidies, and by creating monopolistic operations which push aside more effective private alternatives.
  • Money is power, and these vast sums of money give politicians and bureaucrats even more ways to exercise control over every aspect of our lives -- including, but not limited to, actual "police" functions.

What we need, to reverse all of these bad effects, is nothing less than to DEFUND THE STATE. Not just the police, not any one department, but the whole sorry mess.

Defunding the state can take many forms. Reducing tax rates is one way to defund the state. So is eliminating specific taxes entirely. In the case of some kinds of taxes, approaches like exempting certain activities or increasing deductions or exemptions may be a good way to get started.

All of these are policies that the Libertarian Party has advocated in its Platform for decades. They are all ways to make progress in defunding the state. Anything that reduces the amount of money available to politicians and bureaucrats is a good thing!

So let's continue and re-double our efforts to defund the state!