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Bringing reason to an unreasonable political world: An interview with Austin Petersen

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Over the last couple of years, our politics have become more and more polarized and those in politics have become more unreasonable, seemingly day by day. One of the few voices of calm, reason, and stalwart principles that have emerged over that time is Austin Petersen.

The former Libertarian Party candidate for President who gathered a huge following during his run is now running for US Senate from Missouri, looking to gain the Republican nomination and challenging the far-Left incumbent, Claire McCaskill.

Missouri, a state that went for Donald Trump in 2016, seems like a perfect spot for the GOP to pick up a seat now held by a Democrat. I got a chance to speak with Mr. Petersen about what some of his priorities would be if the voters of Missouri are ready to be represented by someone other than a far-left ideologue.

I have to say that while I’ve met dozens of politicians, Mr. Petersen came off as one of the most authentic, a man dedicated to securing a future for Americans and who really wants government to stop invading every aspect of our lives.

BW: What issue(s) do you see as most crucial to ensuring continued American prosperity?

AP: Well one of them was tax reform which the GOP Congress passed and the President signed. That legislation has brought people in Missouri pay increases and bonuses. Senators McCaskill voted against those tax cuts for working Americans and that’s something I plan on bringing up during this campaign.

The next thing we need to do now that we’ve gotten some tax reform is spending reform at the Federal level. Federal spending is out of control and leaving us with more debt year by year. This is something I’m very intent on fixing.

BW: You’ve long been a strong and outspoken supporter of the 2nd Amendment. If elected, what would you do to strengthen the rights of gun owners?

AP: Well I think one of the biggest problems has been that we need to stop playing defense in the assault on the 2nd Amendment. We need to start playing offense. Instead of debating new restrictive regulations we need to start rolling back the regulations we already have. I would even support a repeal of the National Firearms Act.

BW: How do you feel about Attorney General Sessions crack down on states that have legalized marijuana.

AP: I think it’s a waste of DOJ resources to police cannabis at the Federal level. It’s a state matter, and I would support the bipartisan bill proposed by Senators (Cory) Booker (D-NJ) and (Rand) Paul (R-KY) that would decriminalize marijuana at the Federal level.

BW: Would you cosponsor that Bill?

AP: Yes, I would.

BW: What do you feel needs to be done about the illegal immigration in America today?

AP: Well I think there are two extremes, neither of which is right. We don’t need open borders and we don’t need the other extreme of shooting anyone who comes across.

I think the best thing we can do is reform our welfare system to make sure illegals aren’t coming here to live on the taxpayer dime. If we set up a system that prevents this, it will set up our economy to be present for those who want to come here, work hard, and build their American dream, rather than coming and expecting handouts.

BW: Since you brought it up, what kind of welfare reforms would you like to see?

AP: Well the elephant in the room (on welfare) is corporate welfare. Corporations just got their tax rate so lowered with excellent results for workers, and it’s time taxpayers stopped giving out welfare to corporations. This is something I would like to tackle head-on.

BW: What is the most important thing the voters of Missouri should know about you?

AP: I keep my promises. I’ve been offered bribes and received pressure, even threats, in order to get me to change my position on certain issues. I never have. My primary opponent has made promises he then backed off of due to political pressure. I never have and I never will.

BW: Do you think the St. Louis Cardinals have made enough moves to be competitive this season?

AP: No, I don’t. I will admit that while I like the Cardinals, I’m a Royals fan. I root for the Cardinals, as long as they aren’t playing the Royals.

*Authors note: I’m a huge Cardinals fan but you have to respect a guy who stands by his team even when asked about the OTHER Missouri team.

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Economy

A reminder to GOP lawmakers from Justin Amash

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A reminder to GOP lawmakers from Justin Amash

When Representative Justin Amash (R-MI) hadn’t been in Washington DC for very long when he said this amazing quote. At the time, many weren’t paying much attention. After all, many Republicans say similar things when they get to DC, but over time they become jaded, corrupted, or start to get used to being in the DC Country Club.

Amash is different. He has remained consistent with his message and views throughout his career. Now, it’s time for other Republicans to remember what they were sent to Washington DC to do in the first place. Defense of the Constitution is their top priority as it’s the best protection against a government that wants desperately to control every aspect of our lives. From healthcare to the internet to how we use our energy, government intervention has become so commonplace, it’s often hard to see the fabric of our nation behind all the layers of bureaucracy that has been placed on top of it.

“I follow a set of principles, I follow the Constitution. And that’s what I base my votes on. Limited government, economic freedom and individual liberty.”

If more Republicans followed the same principles and didn’t just use them in campaign speeches, we may actually be able to return liberties that have been taken and remove layers of government that have been formed unnecessarily.


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Immigration

What Allen West has been saying for years is extremely relevant today

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What Allen West has been saying for years is extremely relevant today

Reading this quote, one might believe LTC Allen West said it today. It’s fitting as we’re seeing the exact effects he warned us about many years ago as a Congressman. Today, as a political commentator, he could repeat this quote over and over again and it would never get old.

Unfortunately, Washington DC decided not to confront the issue until now. The results: a porous southern border, activist judges who want to hamper enforcement of the law, sanctuary cities, and an entire political party that would rather shut down the government than do what it takes to improve border security.

“One of the critical issues that we have to confront is illegal immigration, because this is a multi-headed Hydra that affects our economy, our health care, our education systems, our national security, and also our local criminality.”

We should have headed his warnings a decade ago. Instead, we’re scrambling to put together something, anything that can defend our borders from the Hydra he referenced.


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Economy

Art Laffer on why a trade deficit is a good thing

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Art Laffer on why a trade deficit is a good thing

Conservative economist Art Laffer has been preaching the benefits of free trade and understanding what the numbers behind the economy really mean for most of his life. He’s taken many progressives to school on how to truly boost the economy and has always been a harsh opponent to the leftist’s favorite trade tool, the tariff.

Unfortunately, he’s having a harder time reaching so-called conservative who have abandoned basic economics in favor of Trumponomics. The concept of free trade has been replaced in the eyes of many conservatives and most Republicans with Trump’s idea of fair trade. The result: a trade war with China that is going nowhere fast and costing American businesses and consumers billions of dollars.

As Laffer correctly points out in this quote, running up a trade deficit is an unavoidable side effect of having a capital surplus. In other words, as American consumers spend more money, American businesses make more money. As American businesses make more money, they buy more products from foreign companies. This fact seems to have slipped over President Trump’s head.

“The trade deficit is the capital surplus and don’t ever think of having a capital surplus as being a bad thing for our country.”

Tariffs on China were considered a far-left progressive notion less than four years ago when Senators Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders proposed them. Now that President Trump has adopted their plans down to the letter, tariffs are suddenly the GOP way.

For a better explanation, please refer to this article by Benjamin Powell from 2006. Over a dozen years later, the truths still apply.

Trade Deficit Is Really A Capital Surplus

http://www.independent.org/news/article.asp?id=1832As long as our country remains a good place to invest and we have a low saving rate, foreigners are going to invest in the U.S. more on net than we invest overseas. That will generate a capital account surplus and the resulting trade deficit. This is a good thing.

But whether the payment is to a foreigner or to a fellow citizen, the customer’s purchase still indicates that he deems himself better off from the transaction.

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