â€œThe federal government should stop trying to do everything, which it doesnâ€™t do well, and start doing, and doing better, the few tasks that only it can handle,â€ says Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate for president.
â€œFor instance, Uncle Sam has become a nanny-state, telling us what we can eat and how old we must be to drink. More than 100 university presidents have called on Washington to reduce the drinking age of 21. Maybe they are right and maybe they are wrong, but this isnâ€™t a job for Congress. It should be the decision of the 50 states, which have very different histories, traditions, and views of such issues.”
â€œThe same goes for the speed limit,” says Barr. “Republican Senator John Warner wants to revive the national 55 mph limit, but why should politicians in Washington decide how fast people can drive in Butte, Montana; Chicago, Illinois; Decatur, Georgia; and Lubbock, Texas? The respective limits should depend on local conditions, and are questions for the states and local communities.â€
â€œToday the national government seeks to run every school system in America,” Barr continues. “Washington has nationalized much of the welfare system. Congress funds everything from left turn lanes to bridges to nowhere across the country. It makes no sense to tax all Americans, ship their money to Washington, deduct a big handling charge, and then have legislators and administrators hand it backâ€”with lots of strings attached.”
â€œUnfortunately, both Senators John McCain and Barack Obama believe in an all-powerful federal government. While they and other members of Congress act like city councilmen and state legislators, they are failing to deal with national problems,â€ observes Barr.
â€œThe deficit next year will run a half trillion dollars. The occupation of Iraq continues to drag on. Social Security and Medicare are heading towards financial disaster. The federal government is filled with waste. Our liberties and privacy are under attack. But congressmen and presidents prefer to spend their time on local matters that should be decided by local people.”
â€œEven if politicians in Washington were competent to manage local affairs, that wouldnâ€™t be their job,â€ notes Barr. “They donâ€™t know what is best for local communities. At the same time theyâ€™ve made a mess of the issues that are their constitutional responsibility. Only by looking beyond the Republicans and Democrats to Bob Barr and the Libertarian Party will we get real change in America.â€