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Richard "Jay" Edgar

Libertarian Candidate for 4th District US Congress

Campaign Issues

Congress must:

  • live up to its constitutional obligations and cease the practice of delegating legislative powers to administrative agencies; legislation should be passed by Congress, not by un-elected administration officials
  • before voting on any proposed act, ask whether that exercise of power is authorized by the Constitution, which enumerates the powers of Congress
  • exercise its constitutional authority to approve only those appointees to federal judgeships who will take seriously the constitutional limitations on the powers of both states and the federal government

In addition to this page also see my answers to the vote-smart NPAT questionnaire.

Social Security Reform

Social security taxes are ruining the chance for a secure retirement for every citizen of the United States. Visit Social Security Reform for my detailed analysis on social security.

National Defense and Homeland Security

I believe that the United States needs to maintain a strong national defense. Our current practice of providing welfare in the form of defense to other countries is an atrocity. We can't find enough soldiers to fight in Iraq, yet we have 320,000 troops stationed around the world in 120 countries. They are not there to provide security to the United States, but to provide free defense for other countries. I think we should.

  • Significantly reduce the number of soldiers we station overseas
  • Maintain a well trained armed force within our own perimeter
  • Have our intelligence agencies keep an eye and an ear on our enemies
  • Transform our forces by reducing bureaucracy, not increasing bureaucracy

The 911 Commission Report presents some good and some bad recommendations as well. See my analysis here.

Civil Liberties

Just 45 days after the September 11th tragedy, congress passed the Police State Act (AKA PATRIOT Act) with very little dissent. This act greatly expanded the powers of the executive branch of the United States and eroded the rights our forefathers have fought hard to secure. The Patriot Act is fraught with problems. Congress most recently attempted to fix some of the Police State Act with an amendment to an appropriations bill for the Justice Department. It would have modified the Police State Act so that the FBI would be prohibited from searching library and book-buying records without probable cause of any crime or intent to commit a crime. Probable cause is not too much to ask. My opponent Christopher Smith voted for the Police State Act and against this amendment.
It was hoped that our legislators would rein in the most egregious parts of the The Police State Act in the Patriot Reauthorization Act. Instead they made things worse. The reauthorization adds a new federal police force. The section 605 of the law reads:
"A permanent police force, to be known as the 'United States Secret Service Uniformed Division,'" empowered to "make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States committed in their presence" ... "or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such felony."
Chris Smith voted for the Reauthorization Act. So much for the Bill of Rights!
My opponent also continually strives to censor speech. Chris Smith was a cosponsor of HR 3717 which raised fines astronomically for "obscene, indecent, and profane" speech.

Farm Subsidies

In May of 2002, Bush signed a $190 Billion Farm bill that was approved by my opponent, Chris Smith. Farm subsidies cause many problems:

  • Increases the loss of small farms
  • Encourages overproduction, causing environmental devastation.
  • Has the opposite effect of its intentions. It is intended to replace lost income due to decreasing prices of crops. However it increases production, which further drives down the prices of crops.
  • Drives down the cost of producing food in the US, so that farmers in other countries can't compete. See Common Dreams article. In affect it takes money from poor farmers and gives it to big agri-business.


Heritage Foundation Farm Subsidy articleMay 2004
"Old McDonald Had a Subsidy," Salon Magazine, May 2002.
Farm Subsidies are Harm Subsidies

Corporate Welfare

According to the Cato Institute, the federal government spends $65 billion per year on programs that provide subsidies to private businesses. Welfare queens included the big 3 automakers, Boeing, Enron, and Archer-Daniels Midland. Not only is this bad for the taxpayer, but it creates an incestuous environment between business and government.

From Cato's recommendations, congress should:

  • terminate programs that provide direct grants to businesses;
  • eliminate programs that provide research and other services for industries;
  • end programs that provide subsidized loans or insurance to businesses;
  • eliminate trade barriers designed to protect U.S. firms in specific industries from foreign competition at the expense of higher prices for American consumers;
  • base defense procurement contract decisions on national security needs, not on the number of jobs created in key members' districts; and
  • eliminate the income tax loopholes carved out solely for specific companies or industries and substantially lower the tax rate so that there is no net revenue increase.


See my environmental page for details.

 Campaign Reform

In March of 2002, President Bush signed the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act into law. This law makes it illegal for non-profit advocacy groups to mention the name of a candidate within 60 days of an election.

I find the idea of the government regulating speech repugnant. Current regulation makes anonymous speech illegal. Anonymous speech was core to the founding of our nation with the publication of the Federalist Papers.

From Cato:

Congress should:

  • repeal the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002,
  • reject proposals to mandate electoral advertising paid for by the owners of the television networks,
  • reform the Federal Election Commission to bring it under the rule of law, and
  • deregulate the current campaign finance system.

Other campaign reforms that congress should consider in the name of fairness to all include.

  • Stop financing political party conventions. The Republicans and Democrats spend upwards of $40 million each putting on their conventions.
  • Dissolve the Bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates. This commission was formed by the Republicrats to keep third parties out of the debates.
  • Severely curtail the act of Franking by members of congress. Franking is used by members of congress as method of campaigning at the taxpayers expense, while avoiding any campaign finance rules. In 2001 Chris Smith spent $86,622 on mass mailings at the taxpayers expense, making him rank #53 on the National Taxpayers Union list of top franking spenders. See lewrockwell.com for article on Franking.
  • Reject proposals for public financing of campaigns. All proposals I have seen present an unfair disadvantage to third party candidates and force taxpayers to support candidates they may not support. See Cato article on taxpayer financing of presidential campaigns.

Gun Rights

I'm the only candidate in this congressional race who supports the second amendment of the constitution. The incumbent Chris Smith continually votes to restrict our second amendment rights. He was recently given a grade of F by the Gun Owners Association. While the Democrat challenger has also stated her opposition to the second amendment.

I fully support our right to self defense, in fact I believe in the entire bill of rights, and if elected will work to restore these rights to the American people.

Gun control will only make us less secure. Thomas Jefferson has stated:

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. "

In 1775 the British army under the command of Lt. Col. Francis Smith attempted to confiscate the arms of colonists. This action was met with rebellion, leading to the Revolutionary War. Gun control desecrates the memory of the many veterans who fought for our right to carry arms.

"No free government was ever founded, or ever preserved its liberty, without uniting the characters of citizen and soldier in those destined for the defense of the State. Such are a well regulated Militia, composed of the freeholders, citizen, and husbandman; who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen."
--James Madison, United States Congress, Bill of Rights Ratification, 1779

Medicare Reform

Medicare is fraught with problems. The 2003 Medicare Act, which expands Medicare to cover pharmaceuticals, will only make these problems worse. Among these problems are:

  • Costs of drugs are not related to the market economy. Prior to last years bill, the price of drugs was set at the average wholesale price. A 1997 study found that Medicare was paying as much as 10 times the actual drug costs. The 2003 Medicare Bill attempted to fix this by amending Part B. It set the price of drugs at 106% of the average sales price. This was only a partial fix. Government price fixing will have the opposite of the intended effect. The sales price is set on the open market based on the laws of supply and demand. With Medicare becoming the major consumer, the average sales price will be driven up for all. Government price fixing does not allow true price competition.
  • The 2003 act was the largest expansion of Medicare entitlement since 1965. The cost of entire program is outrageous. Medicare has never covered out-patient pharmaceuticals, however in 2003 an exception was made for cancer drugs administered by oncologists. The cost was $10.5 billion in 2003. Expanding Medicare to cover all drugs will burden the taxpayer with bills estimated from $409 to $550 billion over ten years.
  • Encourages erosion of employer sponsored retiree health benefits. Why would any company want to offer a benefit, if the taxpayer will provide it for free?
  • Squanders tax money on providing benefits to upper and middle income retirees.

HR 3767 attempts to correct the lack of market controls in the fixing of drug prices. It however is an inadequate solution to the problem. A better solution would be to do away with the enormously complex Medicare systems and instead enact a Direct Contribution (DC) system. In such a system the taxpayer will provide a subsidy to be used to purchase healthcare insurance from a traditional insurer. This will protect the taxpayer from expensive ever-expanding entitlement programs. It will stimulate market competition between insurers, while driving down costs for the consumers.

See also: White House threatened to fire actuary over projected price of Medicare plan

Paid for by Edgar For Congress