Review: Constitution Party Rebuttal to the State of the Union Address, Darrell Castle

I found the Constitution Party’s response to the State of the Union Address Wednesday night. Still looking for the Green Party response. Let me know if there are any others I’m missing.

  • Speech: Constitution Party Rebuttal to the State of the Union Address
  • Speaker: Darrell Castle, Party Vice President
  • Date: January 26, 2011

And away we go….

The President told us that the nation is doing well economically and is on its way to recovery from recession. Evidence of this recovery, according to the President, is the “booming stock market.”

My response is that it is utterly ridiculous to say that we are well into recovery because the stock market is booming. Tell that news to the 43 million plus who have to use food stamps to eat. Tell that to the 15 million plus unemployed people. That number would be much higher than 15 million if the government kept honest numbers and counted the people who are no longer looking for jobs. Tell that to the millions of underemployed who used to have good jobs in manufacturing with benefits and who now work in service-related jobs with no benefits.

Valid points, though I believe that Mr. Castle is shooting beyond the mark here. The president said it was recovering, not recovered. Fairly large difference between those two terms. Plus, the assumption here is that the president and the rest of government is unaware of those still looking for work, still underemployed, and struggling in other ways. That’s ludicrous.

The President said that we can’t live in the past with regard to our economy. For example, it used to take about 1000 jobs to operate a steel mill, but now it only takes 100, so we must adjust to that reality and innovate. What he didn’t say is that any jobs in steel are being performed in Korea and other countries and no amount of innovation will change that.

Not true. The reason that Korea, China, and India are growing in certain areas of the economy is a shift in efficiencies. Frankly, it is easier and cheaper to produce steel in China than here, so why would any company maintain their operations here? Innovation would certainly reverse that trend if we developed a method of more efficient production locally. Denying that is blatantly wrong.

Hmmm… I’m not too fond of the Constitution Party Rebuttal just yet.

What then is the answer to our economic problems? First, do no more harm with bailouts. Stop all bailouts and recover any money previously committed to bailouts that has not already been spent. Withdraw from all so-called free trade agreements such as NAFTA, CAFTA, WTO, and GATT which have been largely responsible for the destruction of America’s manufacturing base. Remove the regulations and restrictions that prevent businesses from doing business in America and from hiring the people they need to make the things that people want to buy.

Okay… That’s a mouthful. Let’s take each point one by one:

  • Stop all bailouts: I’m okay with that. I don’t think they should have happened in the first place, but that’s debatable.
  • Recover unspent bailout money: Definitely. While the bailouts that have happened are done and gone, I think the economy is fast moving to a point that we can cut the life line in most other areas.
  • Withdraw from free-trade agreements: I’ll admit my ignorance here. I’m loosely aware of the trade agreements, but not enough so to make intelligent commentary and offer a critique. I will say that I think some of the agreements have done less good than bad, but I couldn’t argue the point if it came to it.
  • Remove regulations and restrictions on businesses: Agreed, to a point. I think I would add the term onerous, but then who decides what is onerous? Certainly not this guy, I hope.

Finally, the economy cannot recover until the debt and deficit are resolved through de-leveraging of debt and control of spending.  Stop spending more than you take in. It is a simple concept that Americans understand but that apparently their politicians don’t. Once the debt and deficit are under control, the President should endeavor to drive a stake through the heart of the entire Federal Reserve system and return to a monetary system based on sound money principles. Stop the destruction of our currency immediately.

Obviously I agree with much of this. Obviously getting our debt and deficit under control with a plan to eliminate the debt is critical to our long-term viability. Obviously.

As for the Federal Reserve system… I laughed at the slightly veiled reference to the Federal Reserve as a vampire. It seems so appropriate some times…. I understand why the Reserve exists and what it’s main goals are, but it seems to me to have largely failed. I also worry about the expansive powers this system has as well as the seeming lack of oversight. There are certainly issues that, in my opinion, require at least a major reform of the system if not outright dismissal.

The President also told us that educationally we are doing well, but we can do better, so he launched a program called Race to the Top in all fifty states to replace No Child Left Behind. This is also total nonsense. The United States continues to lag behind other nations in math, science, and reading skills. Our system of education, controlled and paid for by the federal government, is a failure and should be scrapped and replaced with state and local control, with primary responsibility left to parents. There is no role for the federal government in education whatsoever.

Finally, something I can agree on without caveat. I do think Mr. Castle is too pessimistic about it, but I think he’s dead on with what needs to happen and the role of the Fed in education.

The nation’s energy needs could be met largely by domestic production if we were to allow our own domestic sources of energy to be exploited by repeal of harmful laws that unnecessarily restrain production. Technology will now allow energy exploration and production with minimal damage to the environment.  This would prevent the US government from exploring for oil in the Middle East through military force and help foster a more peaceful world.

Also agreed. ANWR should be opened immediately in my opinion.

What then is the foreign policy answer? Issue an order to General Patraeus and the other commanders to execute an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq. Then order a military withdrawal from the other 100 nations around the world where we have over 700 foreign bases. That would save many lives, much money, and would create far fewer enemies than we are creating now.

We simply must stop acting as if we own the world or as if we are responsible for it. That would not be isolationism but instead a lack of military domination. The US would trade with all nations who were willing to trade with us. Creditor nations would probably appreciate our new monetary policy whereby they were paid with real instead of counterfeit money.

And we’re back to disagreeing.

I’ll admit the open bias I have because I’m a military brat, but even without that, I can’t agree with this. I do think America should not be responsible for policing the entire world, but I am grateful for our active campaign for democracy and freedom around the world. Much good has come from the efforts of our military, and we must carefully weigh that against the consequences we have faced, currently face, and will face. That’s for each of us to decide on our own.

I’m also not sure what he means by counterfeit money.

If the President were to dedicate himself to the ideas proposed in this response to his speech, we would be well on our way to the most dynamic period in American history.

Ha! Frankly, Mr. Castle, your dream sounds much like a nightmare in many ways. Many of these ideas are too extreme for my tastes, and while I certainly agree with a goodly number of them, I cannot agree with the majority. And you leave no room for compromise.

That’s the end of the speech.

Can I just say that I hope we never get a president out of this party? If we thought the fighting was bad in our current government, just wait.

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