Sick of Democrats and Republicans? Here's a Plan

by | Sep 5, 2011 | POLITICS

Q: Dr. Hurd, I know you’re very critical of Obama and Republicans as well. A: The overriding goal is to privatize the economy as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. I would start by cutting spending. (1) Eliminate the Department of Education. This will save billions. Put state and local governments on notice that they’re […]

Q: Dr. Hurd, I know you’re very critical of Obama and Republicans as well.

A: The overriding goal is to privatize the economy as quickly and as thoroughly as possible.

I would start by cutting spending.

(1) Eliminate the Department of Education. This will save billions. Put state and local governments on notice that they’re responsible for providing for education, or better yet requiring parents to provide for it. Most of what the federal government does has little or nothing to do with education, in the first place. It’s a federal black hole, and it should go away quickly. Ideally, parents should be given tax credits and held accountable for educating children themselves. This would open the door to a competitive and highly localized market for education unlike anything the world has ever seen. Professional providers of education would complete for parents’ dollars, driving quality up and prices down via competition.

(2) Eliminate most other Cabinet departments, except for State and Defense. Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, including the EPA? Get rid of them. Not only do these departments waste billions of dollars, but they actively do damage to the private economy. We don’t need an EPA. In a free society, private entities are entitled to sue those who damage their property through environmental means, or any other means. The EPA is a form of “proactive government” whose incentive is to create problems that don’t exist, thereby hampering the efficiency and productivity of the free marketplace. From the beginning, the core supporters of the environmentalist movement have made clear that their goal is to hamper capitalism, not save the environment. The best way to protect the environment is through private property rights. Owners of private companies are responsible for surviving and making the best profit they can. They are also legally and financially liable when any of their products or equipment do damage to another, and when evidence or proof of this exists they can be held responsible.

(3) Massively reduce and eliminate taxes. The income tax should ultimately go away. A “progressive” tax is a socialist tax. This means that the more successful and productive you are, the more you are penalized by paying a higher percentage in taxes. This has resulted in a nation where about half the people pay no taxes at all, and a small percentage of people pay the bulk of the taxes. We constantly hear complaints that “the rich” are not paying enough in taxes, but actually the richest segment of the population pay nearly all of the taxes. Coupled with the fact that the federal government shouldn’t be doing most of what it’s currently doing, and isn’t authorized by the Constitution to do so, this is the real crisis in the American economic and political system that nobody will expose.

(4) Phase out Medicare and Social Security. This should be done on the premise that these programs will end anyway. They are bankrupting the nation and they are requiring the imposition of taxes that have stalled the growth of the economy indefinitely, if not permanently. Nobody in their 40s, 30s or 20s is going to have Social Security or Medicare benefits, and the vast majority of them know it. Because these programs are going away anyway, it’s time to plan for their inevitable demise. People should be divided into three groups. The youngest group should be put on notice — not required to do anything, but simply put on notice — that the government will not be taking care of them in their old age. They should be given considerable tax incentives and reductions, such as expanded IRA programs, to allow them to save for their old age. People in the middle group, say in their late 40s and 50s, should be given the option to stay in Medicare and Social Security, but also encouraged to purchase their own retirement plans and/or save for them. This very act of government policy will open up a marketplace for health and retirement benefits that didn’t previously exist. People currently or soon eligible for these programs were forced to count on them in the first place, so every effort should be made to pay benefits to them. The best way to do this is through the deregulation and lowering of taxes for the private sector, which will stimulate economic growth and at least keep the government from going bankrupt in the meantime. Also, cutting spending in other areas will save money for retaining these programs in the short run.

(5) End absolutely all foreign aid, except when there’s a strategic or defense need involved. Most foreign aid goes to “help the poor” in other countries, but the federal government has no Constitutional right to force its citizens to do this. Plus, this aid doesn’t really help the poor people in third world countries. By fostering dependence it “helps” them stay poor and it helps their leaders, almost always brutal dictators, stay in power.

(6) Instead of term limits, cut the salary of members of Congress by 50 percent the first year, and another 25 percent two years later. This will drastically reduce the incentive to be a career politician. I trust nobody will say, “But we won’t get the best people this way.” Look at the current Congress, and the last one, and the one before that. Do you seriously think we’ve been drawing the best people? These people all claim to only care about “selfless service.” Well, let them prove it by working for next to nothing. Maybe this way we’ll get genuinely productive people coming to Congress, people whose main goal is to reduce the power and cost of government, and then quickly go back home.

(7) Phase out the Federal Reserve and allow the privatized economy to return to a gold standard. The Federal Reserve has politicized money, and that’s how we got into the current mess in the first place. The Federal Reserve by its nature will always be a political institution. It was set up as an independent one, but today the Federal Reserve works hand in hand with the political Department of the Treasury to inflate the currency or do whatever else it deems necessary to enable the administration to keep spending money it does not have, and money that will never exist. There’s a difference between real, objective value and “funny money” and the Federal Reserve unfortunately represents the latter. The interest of the Federal Reserve lies not in the expansion of the private economy, but in using political power to ensure that the government may keep spending money it does not have, and was never entitled to spend.

(8) Repeal ObamaCare immediately. Do everything possible to make the marketplace for health care and health insurance free, uninhibited and unrestricted. Take the chains off doctors and health insurance companies, and both allow and require individuals to purchase health care in a free market. This includes but is not limited to allowing for the purchase of health insurance across state lines. Absolutely nothing should be against the law — state or federal — except for objective fraud or malpractice. Beyond that, it should be as easy and competitive for people to buy health insurance and medical care as it currently is to purchase smart phones and computers. Above all, get rid of the idea that health care is not and shouldn’t be a commodity. Medical care is and should be a commodity, one of the most valuable ones of all. Let capitalism do for the free market in medicine what it did for groceries, computers and automobiles.

(9) The same applies to the FDA. Phase it out. This will not only save money, but restore innovation and competition (including price reduction) to the very important field of prescription drugs. There’s nothing in a free market to prevent people from learning about the drugs they take from entities other than the government. An FDA is not required to hold drug companies, like any other company, responsible for their actions. Government has a political incentive, while an educational organization unaffiliated with government has much more incentive to simply be objective. Doctors and patients can figure it out together, and Americans need not wait years or even decades for drugs to come on the market only once politicians at the FDA deem it proper. Communism and one-size-fits-all policies are never fair and never work in practice, not with medicine, prescription drugs nor anything else.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it’s a start. Cutting spending is not merely an accounting goal, but a Constitutional one. You want change, as Obama promised? This is change.

Cutting spending means reducing the power of the federal government, getting rid of powers not granted to it by the Constitution, and setting the United States on a path to being a land of liberty once again. A land of liberty will be a place where the best and brightest are free to think and produce. Jobs will be created and the private wealth of everyone willing to work will increase. Even moochers and dependent types will be better off than in a stagnating or declining economy.

People will have to let go of the idea that government is there to take care of them. Before long, government won’t be able to do so, anyway. A thriving and growing private economy is the only solution. Sooner or later, people will have to realize and confront this fact. Think of the untapped genius out in the world. It’s always there, waiting to be actualized, both in business and science.

Government restrains and hampers these talents. Freedom sets them loose. We want those talents and energies set loose. Look at our politicians, in both parties. They are the least qualified, morally and intellectually, to handle anything. They’re the ones we need to restrain and inhibit. It’s time to completely and totally reverse course.


Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at:

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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