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The Race for President: Bob Barr Analyzed

A few months ago, the Libertarian Party nominated Bob Barr as their candidate for president. So here is my analysis:

About the candidate: Bob Barr started his career with the CIA in 1971. He left the CIA in 1978 and began practicing law and eventually became a federal prosecutor. Barr was a member of the US House of Representatives where he represented Georgia’s 7th district as a Republican from 1995 to 2003. Barr attained national prominence as one of the leaders of the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. In 2006, he joined the Libertarian Party.

Issue/Voting Criteria Candidate’s Stance Candidate’s Record Grade
1. Strengthening the Family “School reform starts by shifting control over education from government to parents. We must abolish the Department of Education, eliminate federal grants and regulations, and begin moving power back to the states and local communities. States should consider tax credits or deductions for parents who home school or send their children to private schools. Public schools should be managed locally, increasing accountability and parental involvement.” BobBarr2008.com -“He authored and sponsored the Defense of Marriage Act, a law enacted in 1996 which states that only marriages that are between a man and a woman can be federally recognized, and individual states may choose not to recognize a same-sex marriage performed in another state. At the 2008 Libertarian National Convention, he apologized for the part of the Defense of Marriage Act. He opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment, contending it is a violation of states’ rights.” From Wikipedia
-“In Congress, Barr’s strong stance against medical marijuana put him at odds with marijuana policy reformers such as the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). Despite this historic antagonism, in March 2007, Barr reversed his stance on medical marijuana and began lobbying on behalf of MPP.” From Wikipedia
Barr “voted YES on banning partial-birth abortions. (Apr 2000). He voted YES on barring transporting minors to get an abortion. (Jun 1999).
He voted YES on banning gay adoptions in DC. (Jul 1999)
Voted YES on allowing vouchers in DC schools. (Aug 1998)
Voted YES on vouchers for private & parochial schools. (Nov 1997)
Supports requiring schools to allow prayer. (Jan 2001)” From OnTheIssues.org

B
1A. Pro-Life/Anti-Abortion “The Constitution does not empower the federal government to regulate this issue, whether to ban or legalize abortion… Court decisions, beginning with Roe v. Wade, that restrict the right of states to decide the issue of abortion should be overturned.” BobBarr2008.com
A
1B. Pro-Traditional Marriage
“Regardless of whether one supports or opposes same sex marriage, the decision to recognize such unions ought to be made by each state rather than imposed as a one-size-fits-all mandate by the federal government. Any federal laws that prevent states from determining their own standards for marriage should be repealed; the federal government should not define marriage, whether by statute or constitutional amendment.” BobBarr2008.com C
2. Defending Our Country “It is time to reemphasize the word “defense” in national defense. By maintaining a military presence in more than 130 nations around the world in more than 700 installations, with hundreds of thousands of troops deployed overseas, the U.S. spends more to protect the soil of other nations than our own.” BobBarr2008.com “In 2002 Barr voted for the Iraq Resolution. He has since called for withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, leaving no permanent military bases. A press release from Barr’s presidential campaign stated: ‘The next president should commit to a speedy and complete withdrawal from Iraq, and tell the Iraqi people that the U.S. troops will be going home.'” From Wikipedia
-“He voted for the Patriot Act, but only after his amendments adding “sunset clauses” were added to the final bill…He now publicly regrets his Patriot Act vote.” From Wikipedia
“Barr sat on the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association from 2001 to 2007.” From Wikipedia
“Voted YES on more prosecution and sentencing for juvenile crime. (Jun 1999)
Voted YES on making federal death penalty appeals harder. (Feb 1995)
More prisons, more enforcement, effective death penalty. (Sep 1994)
Voted YES on deploying SDI. (Mar 1999)
Voted NO on more immigrant visas for skilled workers. (Sep 1998)
Sponsored bill declaring English the US’ official language. (Jan 1999)”
From OnTheIssues.org
B
2A. Defeating Terrorists “The invasion and occupation of Iraq were two separate mistakes, which collectively have cost thousands of American lives and hundreds of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars. Every day that the occupation in Iraq continues without a withdrawal plan is a day that more American blood and treasure (some $400 million a day) is needlessly wasted.” BobBarr2008.com C
2B. Protecting Our Borders “The government must balance security and sovereignty concerns, which necessitate controlling the border, with the economic benefits of immigration. The best policy would be to stop illegal immigrant flows while accepting more of the world’s economically productive who want to come to America.” BobBarr2008.com A
3. Free Market Economic Policy -“The free market, driven by consumer choice and reflecting the real cost of resources, should be the foundation of America’s energy policy. The federal government should eliminate restrictions that inhibit energy production, as well as all special privileges for the production of politically-favored fuels, such as ethanol.”
-“Federal health care programs, most notably Medicare and Medicaid, have become financially unsustainable. These programs need to be transformed to emphasize patient choice, focus on the truly needy, and add cost-saving incentives. Here, too, market principles should be applied to bring better quality health care at less cost.”
BobBarr2008.com
“Voted YES on reducing Marriage Tax by $399B over 10 years. (Mar 2001)
Voted NO on $156M to IMF for 3rd-world debt reduction. (Jul 2000)
Voted NO on Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China. (May 2000)
Voted NO on $167B over 10 years for farm price supports. (Oct 2001)
Voted YES on $99 B economic stimulus: capital gains & income tax cuts. (Oct 2001)
Voted YES on Tax cut package of $958 B over 10 years. (May 2001)
Voted YES on eliminating the Estate Tax (“death tax”). (Apr 2001)
Voted YES on eliminating the “marriage penalty”. (Jul 2000)
Voted YES on $46 billion in tax cuts for small business. (Mar 2000)
Allow $3 on 1040 form to pay off National Debt. (Sep 2000)
Supports balanced budget amendment & line item veto. (Sep 1994)
From OnTheIssues.org
A
3A. Lower Taxes -“Government should eliminate regulatory barriers that inhibit private philanthropy, and expand tax deductions to encourage charitable giving.”
-“Tax reform is desperately needed in the United States; but before we can reform the tax code, we must sharply reduce the tax burden on Americans made necessary. Second, we need a tax code that makes taxation fairer and simpler for all citizens. Meaningful tax reform begins with reining in government spending. “
BobBarr2008.com
A
3B. Smaller Government “The government cannot continue spending at this rate if America is to remain competitive in the global marketplace. The new administration’s number one job will be to drastically reduce spending by limiting federal outlays to only the government’s legitimate functions, as provided in the United States Constitution.” BobBarr2008.com
A

On social issues, Barr gets mixed review. He seems to want to strengthen families, and when he was a congressman did a lot of good, but in recent years has repented of the good things he has done, all in the name of states rights. On national security issues, Barr again gets a mixed review. He voted for the Iraq War, but now calls it a mistake. Barr is pretty good on Second Amendment issues and has a record of being tough on crime. In word and deed, Barr is for the free-market and smaller government and has consistently voted to lower taxes.

All in all, Barr scores a very respectable 3.33 on my grade point scale. In fact, that puts him and the Libertarian party in the lead based on my system. My former leader, the Constitution Party’s nominee, Chuck Baldwin, got a grade point average of 3.22. The Republican’s nominee, John McCain got a score of 2.56. And of course the Democratic Party’s nominee, Barack Obama, scored a dismal 0.56.

The Race for President: Wayne Allyn Root Analyzed

Since both of the major political parties are or will be nominating a liberal as their presidential candidate (Republicans have nominated John McCain, and Democrats will nominate either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton), I am in search of other alternatives. I never thought the day would come when I would have to vote for a third party candidate or a write-in, but here we are. Below is my analysis of the leading Libertarian party candidate for President, Wayne Allyn Root.

About the Candidate: Wayne Allyn Root is a business mogul, TV producer, best-selling author, professional sports handicapper, and prospective Libertarian Party presidential candidate based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Root attended Columbia University as a Political Science major (graduating in 1983 in the same class as Barack Obama).

Issue/Voting Criteria Candidate’s Stance Candidate’s Record Grade
1. Strengthening the Family From Root’s website
-“I support Freedom and Parental Choice in the Educational System- We need to give parents and students the freedom to pursue the education of their choice- just as my wife and I do by choosing to home-school our 4 children. I support giving parents control of the education of their own children, instead of government bureaucrats. I support utilization of school choice, vouchers or tax credits on the state and local level to increase education competition.”
-“I support the legalization, regulation & taxation of Online Gaming”
From Wikipedia and BlackJackHero.com
-Root was the creator, executive producer and co-host of King of Vegas on Spike TV. First airing in January, 2006, King of Vegas was a gambling competition where players competed in a variety of different games to win a million dollars.
-Root has been married to a former Miss Oklahoma, Debra Root, for over 16 years. The couple have four children.
-Root is also the author of several books, including The Zen of Gambling, and “The King of Vegas’ Guide to Gambling”
C
1A. Pro-Life/Anti-Abortion From Root’s website
“I believe abortion is a matter of personal choice and not intended for federal government intervention. It is a States’ Rights issue. Let’s get the federal government out of a woman’s right to choose what to do with their own body- this will prevent the death of innocent women at the hands of butchers in back-alleys. BUT I also support common sense limitations on abortion.”
D
1B. Pro-Traditional Marriage
From Root’s website
-“I support gay rights and civil unions. Gay marriage however is not a federal issue. It is a States’ Rights issue only.”
-Root derides the Republican party for making “the banning of gay marriage a top priority.”
F
2. Defending Our Country From Root’s website
-“Support our troops with the best weapons, protective body and vehicle armor.”
-“Let’s keep our military and national defense strong. One way to ensure this is to dramatically reduce foreign aid (especially to our enemies) and foreign military bases across the globe.”
From Wikipedia
-Although a longtime staunch Republican who had been a big contributor to Republican candidates throughout the country, Root has never held political office. (Therefore he doesn’t have much of a record if any, on the issues to the left.)
-“I’m certainly not the usual Presidential candidate as a small businessman and son of a butcher… I will govern with common sense, not fancy college degrees. I have no interest in running government, or growing government. My only goal is cutting government. I will lead America back to prosperity by restoring fiscal discipline, personal responsibility, rugged individualism, and individual rights and freedoms. Just as our Founding Fathers intended.”
B
2A. Defeating Terrorists From Root’s website
-“Use the success of the surge to declare victory and make plans to get out of Iraq as soon as reasonably possible.”
-“The first line of defense against terrorism is the armed American”
-“It is time to admit that while there is a “war on terror,” the war in Iraq had (and has) little do with it…It’s time to admit that the war in Iraq has fostered terrorism.”
D
2B. Protecting Our Borders From Root’s website
-“We must first secure our borders to control the entry into our country of foreigners who pose a threat to the security, health, property or economic well-being of Americans. We must secure our borders before we can deal with the issue of how to deal with illegal immigrants already in our country.”
-“I oppose public funding and entitlements for illegal aliens. But I support providing a “Path to Citizenship” for 12 to 15 million illegal immigrants already here.”
C
3. Free Market Economic Policy TV Interview posted on Root’s website
-“It’s not greedy to want to keep your own money. It’s greedy to want to take others’ money. Even if you say it is to give to other people, it’s still stealing.”
-“I support a Free Market health care system- Let’s get the federal government out of the health care business and leave it up to individuals.”
Root has no public record. See above.
A
3A. Lower Taxes From Root’s website
-“I pledge that if elected, my first act is to give the power back to the people. It’s your tax money, it’s your government. I plan to return it to you!”
-“Low taxes and a booming economy that creates unlimited opportunities for upward mobility and wealth. But raise tax rates and the window of opportunity shuts closed on millions of ambitious, courageous, entrepreneurial risk-takers.”
A
3B. Smaller Government From Root’s website
-“I support restoring the constitution, getting the federal government out of our lives, and solving problems at the most local level possible.”
-“I support cutting, shrinking and/or streamlining entire departments of the federal government- departments that based on the Constitution are not under federal jurisdiction.”
A

After reading Root’s position on fiscal issues, I thought I might have a viable alternative to the Republican party, where I have traditionally voted. But Root’s position on social issues, such as strengthening the family (or lack thereof), ruined his chances with me. Roots position on national defense was also weaker than I would like to see. Overall, he earns a 2.33 grade point average. Surprisingly, this is a score just lower than John McCain. McCain scored higher on family and defense issues; Root scored higher on economic issues.

So it looks like my search for a presidential candidate who can win my support based on my presidential selection criteria will have to continue.