In editing this transcript, the chat host, Jim Merritt [Presbyte], has eliminated "housekeeping talk," and has slightly rearranged the sequence of entries, to permit as many member questions and guest answers to be contiguous.
The chat room quickly filled to capacity, sustaining a peak of 48 attendees throughout much of the hour, and well over 40 for most of the hour. There were some technical difficulties during the first few minutes. Merritt was dropped from the system twice, and by the time he reappeared online and started this log, backup host and "greeter," Brian Carlisle [AnchorMan3], had just introduced Browne [HBrowne96].
95.09.27 6:03:27 PM Opening "Chat Log 95.09.27" for recording. Presbyte : Harry, do you want to wade right in? HBrowne96 : Yes. Let me have the first question. Libertyn96 : How do you plan to save social security? HBrowne96 : I want to sell govt assets and use the proceeds to buy private annuities for people now dependent on SS. They'll never have to worry about Congress changing benefits again. For others, they'll never have to pay the 15% SS tax again. GO PAT GO1 : Mr. Browne, do you feel that abortion is murder? BOSWELLSYN : Is anyone here aware of any conservative-based stores? STINGRAYZR : conservative stores? AHoward76 : Mr. Browne, what is your stand on the UN and Bosnia -- arms embargo, etc.? HBrowne96 : The US has no biz in any of these areas. I will bring all the troops home and get us out of all these areas -- Somalia, Haiti, the UN, NATO, etc. RRfree : ? Don't you have to sell govt assets just to pay off the debts run up? Many $tril. HBrowne96 : You're right. After taking care of SS. We go on to sell more assets & hope there are HBrowne96 : enough to get rid of the fed. debt entirely. If not, pay it down as far as possible. Trekbw : How did we get 40 people in here? Harpo3 : How soon will you eliminate the national debt? HBrowne96 : If we can get $12 trillion for the fed. assets, we can do it in 6 years. Otherwise, there should be a yearly principal payment in the yearly budget. Presbyte : May I break in with a reminder? Presbyte : We're observing protocol, please. Anchorman is sending you instructions as you enter the room. Please ask your question when called upon. AHoward76 : Mr. Brown, what about Perot? Why didn't he invite you to Dallas? HBrowne96 : Perot will further split the vote of all those people who believe gov works and want to fix it. I hope to get the votes of all those who know that gov doesn't work, and want to reduce it as far as possible. Trekbw : Clap, clap. Libertyn96 : clap,clap HBrowne96 : He didn't invite me to Dallas because he doesn't want another 3rd party candidate./ AHoward76 : thank you GO PAT GO1 : HBrowne96, you are talking just like a Republican. Accually just like Pat Buchanan. HBrowne96 : Buchanan talks like a libertarian. Unfortunately, he'd probably govern like a Democrat. AHoward76 : amen JHunterS : When is your book going to be available? HBrowne96 : My book will be available October 23 -- in all stores. "Why Government Doesn't Work." STINGRAYZR : pat is for restricted trade where libertarians are for free trade GO PAT GO1 : Mr. Browne, why do you beleive Mr. Buchanan will govern like a Democrat? Libertyn96 : pat's a socially intolerant witch-hunter Trillian77 : Pat-- protocol!! AnchorMan3 : *** Folks let please hold all comments until called upon. GO PAT GO1 : sorry HBrowne96 : PB believes he knows what's right for people -- just as Dole, Gramm, Clinton, & the others./ PFJW : Pat is the greatest and best hope of the Democrats. As a liberal, I request that the Republicans nominate him. PLEASE!!! JM4Liberty : Mr. Browne, what is the role of firearms in a free society? HBrowne96 : What people want them to be. As long as they aren't used to threaten or coerce, there shouldbe no restrictions on them whatsoever./ Freematt : Can you compare your tax reduction program with Republican Steve Forbes? HBrowne96 : I haven't seen Forbes' program. I want to eliminate the income tax entirely, with no replacement. This can be done by shrinking the fed. govt to its constitutional functions. That would leave a budget of less than 1/3 the current. Eventually, I want a budget of $100 billion -- which would include a stronger defense than we have now./ Freematt : How should legitimate Gov't be funded then? HBrowne96 : The current excise taxes & tariffs bring in more than that. At the end of my 6-year program we could reduce those to $100 bn. But the income tax & the SS tax go out the first year./ Presbyte : I'd like to thank everyone who has waited patiently for their chance to speak. The queue is long. Presbyte : But we are getting around to everyone. JimnLes : How would you control the multiplicity of federal police forces? specifics? No more Ruby Ridges? HBrowne96 : The Constitution specifies only 3 fed. crimes -- piracy, treason, & counterfeiting. All normal crime is local. There is no reason for a fed. police force. State govts can contract for whatever national services they need. I would do everything possible to get rid of the FBI, CIA, BATF, etc./ JimnLes : Great, thanks. Trekbw : Clap, clap, clap, clap!!!!! JHunterS : What kind of TV or Radio spots do you have airing in Pasadena for the CityVote Debates? GO PAT GO1 : Keep the CIA, ditch the FBI & ATF! HBrowne96 : I'm not sure what commercials are running. I'm running so hard I can't keep up with it all. But my campaign staff handles all that. I know we're running ads in NH. I'll be campaigning in Pasadena & some other CityVote cites during Oct. I hope to see you at a function./ CompSpec16 : Is the electorate really ready to embrace liberty, or is it just disillusioned with government? HBrowne96 : It is disillusioned with govt. Realize we will never have everyone agree with us 100%. That isn't the way victories happen in the world of ideas. We will get a majority sooner or later and institute a libertarian govt that will be an inspiration to state & local govts everywhere. I want to see govt cut to a 1/3 its current size as a start. That's possible i in today's climate if the prez is determined to see it happen -- no matter who controls Congress. / Deslbreath : Would you abolish the Federal Reserve and return US to a gold standard?/ HBrowne96 : Yes and Yes. The FRS serves no useful purpose, and does an enormous amount of harm./ Teppy : Hot LP topic in Pittsburgh: A minority of Libertarians... (here; not me BTW) prefer Land Value tax. What are your thoughts? (vs. Sales Tax) / HBrowne96 : I can't comment, as I haven't thought about it. It's not a fed. issue, which is where I'm preoccupied right now. Land taxes are still taxes on someone's property. It's a question of how large the tax load is altogether, I guess. Sorry not to be more definite about HBrowne96 : this one, but I'm preoccupied with federal taxation -- where land taxes don't come into play./ Teppy : Thanks; This will probably come up at the convention. GO PAT GO1 : This is a two part question: Do you agree with most Americans that abortion is murder, and do you favor a national sales tax to replace all other Federal taxes? HBrowne96 : Abortion: I believe until science demonstrates otherwise that life begins at conception, so I think abortion is wrong. However, govt doesn't work, and so I don't want govt furthering my aims in this area -- anymore than I would ask it solve some other social problem. We need to win this one by education. Ask govt to do it and you'll make it worse -- or have you noticed that already? LS1776 : Ok, I'm forgetting Irwin Schiff, this guy has my vote!!// GO PAT GO1 : Don't you feel that abortion is murder, and that there are already laws against murder? HBrowne96 : Sales tax: The only virtue of a 5% sales tax is that it is better than a 15-39% income tax. But the plan I propose in my new book includes no replacement for the income tax. The sales tax would be a backup only if there aren't enough assets to pay off the SS recipients and liquidate the fed debt. Thanks for the Q. RRfree : You mentioned national debt, what about SS people, retired and disabled, lump sum for them? Presbyte : Sorry we lost you from the queue for a moment JGelt. Please go ahead! :-) HBrowne96 : One more thought on the sales tax. All the proposals now being made include huge sales or flat taxes to replace the current system because there are no cuts in govt. My plan reduces govt to 1/3 its current size so that the overall tax load is reduced dramatically./ JGELT : You want to privatize the space program, what about exploration? It's of value and I JGELT : think its of value but it's not commercially viable. HBrowne96 : Government doesn't work. If there's no commercial value to the space program, why do it? If there is, someone will find a way to fund it. I don't know how, but then I don't know how this computer I'm typing on works -- but people who know a lot more than I do about them have found a way to make them work -- for a profit. The same thing would happen with any worthwhile use for a space program./ Saugdougla : Harry, hello. How is the fund raising going so far? Arizona ballot drive? HBrowne96 : We've raised over a 1/3 million $ already. Plus we've raised money for ballot drives. We'r We're now ready to head into the second level of fund-raising -- over a wider area. Incidentally, about 1/3 of the funds raised so far have come from outside the LP. We are able to attract a lot more broad support than previous campaigns. Our time has come. We need to take advantage of it. Your help -- of whatever kind -- will be very valuable. Call the campaign office at (800) 314-8611 for literature, to make a donation, or just to get on the mailing list. Thanks to everyone who has helped up to now. Your help got me into the City Vote debates on national TV. / Saugdougla : thank you STINGRAYZR : if all taxes are just "theft" then why is an exise tax or tariff more moral? Where do we draw the line? HBrowne96 : The object of our quest is to make govt a lot smaller than it is now, w/o compromising any principle to do it. The key issue is the direction we go, not the destination. After we've reduced govt by 2/3, we can meet in the Super Bowl and argue for 6 months over how much further we want to go. Until then, let's make life a lot better than it is now./ STINGRAYZR : thanks and great to hear about your funding working out Wearer : Please talk about the impact of a more libertarian world on leisure time? NathanBaum : In the last debate, Gore skewered Perot with the line, "that's not illegal. Do you have any hook prepared for the cityvote debates? In particular is there any area you intend to emphasize? HBrowne96 : Who's next, Anchorman? AnchorMan3 : Current queue: NathanBaum, Trillian77, SteveR 007, KGSAM. Presbyte : Baum is up. Presbyte : Please wait until called upon, folks. HBrowne96 : Yes. Tune in and see. Friday, Oct 6. I don't know what time. Trillian77 : An honor, Mr. Browne-- how will you reduce gov size/spending, & how much time do you foresee it taking to do this? HBrowne96 : First year: Reduce govt by half. Second year, down to 1/3. Over 6 years, reduce to $100 billion. Repeal income tax & SS first year. If this is too slow, help me find a faster way./ SteveR 007 : 20-year LP activist ... give 'em hell, Harry! How will you respond to Perot's effort ... ... to start a 3d party this late in the game, when media question you about it? especially ... given Perot's cash being something to make it "viable"? HBrowne96 : Perot will split the votes of those who still have faith that govt works. If we get the opportunity to speak directly to the US people, we will get the votes of the 75% who don't want to fix govt, but want to shrink it sharply (all the polls back this up). Your help will make it possible for me to get that opportunity speak directly to the people. Help me get on TV. Help me speak before large organizations where you have contacts. Help me by displaying bumper stickers, yard signs, buttons, and in letters to the editor, HBrowne96 : mentioning the campaign on call-in shows, and the like./ Presbyte : KGSAM go ahead, and thanks for waiting, Sam! KGSAM : I've heard the Clinton people want him removed from the CityVote ballot. Have you any info? HBrowne96 : Apparently, the effort isn't succeeding. All the candidates will be on the CityVote ballot, but I don't know yet how many will be in the debates./ Brinkman1 : Greetings from Lansing, Harry! Since Powell is a carbon copy of Clinton, do you think it could be to our advantage to have him nominated as a Republicrat? HBrowne96 : What I said about Perot applies to Powell as well. All these people think they can make govt work better. I know govt doesn't work, and want to get rid of as much of it as possible. Let them split up the "faith in govt" vote as finely as there are candidates. I'll take the rest./ Brinkman1 : Also, do you get more press in one month when the "Independence Party" fails to get ballot access in California and the LP has it? HBrowne96 : As to the press, we haven't sought it yet. We're starting now. It won't be easy, we have HBrowne96 : to make ourselves newsworthy. Fortunately, a lot of very creative people are helping us in this campaign -- good writers, thinkers, idea people, publicity people. / FGJ4RSR : Mr. Browne What is your position about Gay Civil Rights and the 14th. Amendment (Equal Protections) Blacks, Women, the Religious are all protected but not Gay people. We (gays) should be protected under the equal protections clause of the 14th amend, too. or will you push to repeal the Civil Rights Act of '64?/ JM4Liberty : Mr. Browne, what will you do to end the "War on Drugs?"/ JHunterS : What exactly would you do about current non-violent crimes laws - Drugs, Prostitution, etc.? HBrowne96 : Gay people: I believe everyone should be equal in the eyes of the govt. But you can't make everyone equal in the eyes of the individual. Each person must be free to decide for himself whom he'll associate with. Otherwise, we'll all be forced into relationships we don't like. I don't favor extending anti-discrimination "protection" to gays. I favor removing it from everyone. Let each person decide for himself whom he'll deal with, buy from, sell to, associate with, love, cherish, and honor. Only then will peace come to civil society. Now we have groups jostling with each other to obtain the govt's blessing to get "rights" or entitlements from other groups -- creating enormous group animosities./ MuniSavyon : *clap *clap* JHunterS : What exactly would you do about current non-violent crimes laws? Libertyn96 : clap clap FGJ4RSR : I heartily agree!! Libertyn96 : right on hbrown! HBrowne96 : If we get all the non-violent people out of prison, there will room for the thugs -- w/o having early releases, plea bargains, etc. I want to see an end to diversion of law enforcement resources to chasing vice, drugs, etc. Use the police to protect us from those who would harm us -- not those who are engaging in acts we don't happen to want for ourselves./ JHunterS : I agree and the police will have more resources where we need them!!! JM4Liberty : what actions will you take as president to end the drug war? CarlosJHR : Could you elaborate more on what the federal government's constitutional functions are? Specifically, if a state denies liberty, ought not the feds intervene? HBrowne96 : The Constititution asks the fed govt to defend us against foreign enemies and guarantee a republican form of govt to each state (i.e., protect against insurrection). There's little else specified in the Constititution -- no welfare, crime control, housing, SS, education, transportation, not even the regulation of individuals or companies./ HBrowne96 : Drug war: I will immediately call off all the fed. law-enforcement agencies, and then pressure Congress (using my veto on other matters) to repeal all federal drug laws. I will, on my 1st day in office, pardon everyone convicted of a fed. drug non-violent drug charge -- as well as everyone convicted of tax evasion, fed. gun control crimes, and other non-violent crimes. I don't need the approval of Congress for that./ JHunterS :
JM4Liberty : *clap* *clap* *clap* RFGENX66 : How do you respond to charges that your way will throw people into the streets? I'll see you Fri and Sat in West Virginia! HBrowne96 : People ARE in the streets already. My way won't add any to that list. My way won't prevent a single soul from helping anyone who needs help. State govts also will still be free to do anything they want -- although I hope they'll see the light. We bring a message of hope to anyone on welfare: We are going to tear down the Berlin Wall of govt programs, regs, and taxes that have locked them in a lifetime of desperation. We are going to unleash a prosperity that will lift all people to a better life. HBrowne96 : Oops. Forgot to say: / CompSpec16 : What have you changed your mind about since you wrote _How I Found Freedom..._? I notice CompSpec16 : you're married now. / HBrowne96 : Yes, and happily so. My philosophy remains as is. But, naturally, I have grown in the past 20 years and some of my techniques and strategies have changed. Forgive me for not answering at greater length, but this forum has to end within 36 hours./ KerouacMan : ::::waving to Pamela behind Harry:::: Presbyte : Eye On Gov, please go ahead. (We have time for one or two more Qs, to go by the schedule :-( Eye On Gov : How can we overcome the media's bias against our party . Alot is being said about the opportunity for a 3rd party but noy much about us Libs. HBrowne96 : We need to be very creative. As I said earlier, we have a lot of very good people working on this. Anything you can do to get me on radio/TV shows, press interviews, etc. will be very helpful. We haven't sought press attention before now. We've been laying the groundwork for the general campaign while getting LP support. Now we're ready to go after the media. For example, I'm appearing at a luncheon of National Review editors in HBrowne96 : two weeks, and there will be many more such opps. Eye On Gov : I'm here to help.. JHunterS : Try Talk Back Live @ CNN in Atlanta , They had Nancy Lord on recently HBrowne96 : Thanks Eye on Gov and JHUnter. We appreciate it./ Call us at (800) 314-8611 if you can help in any way, or if you want literature. JM4Liberty : How can I get a seat at the CityVote debate in Pasadena? HBrowne96 : Call the campaign office. Large donors get first consideration. (Surprise!)/ NathanBaum : I'm a good writer and unusually smart. What should I do to help HBrowne96 : Nathan, Please call the campaign office. Thanks for the offer. / HBrowne96 : The blessings of liberty touch everyone. And liberty is America's destiny. Presbyte : Well, that's about all the time we have for this evening. This is the fastest hour we have ever Presbyte : spent in this chat, and I would like to thank Harry Browne for such an enjoyable evening. JM4Liberty : Thanks very much, Harry! Give 'em hell! HBrowne96 : Let's make this a free country again. Thanks for coming tonight. AHoward76 : Thank you Harry, you have my vote! Trekbw : Very good. KerouacMan : ::::applause Presbyte : And thanks to all of you, who joined us here! Eye On Gov : Your very encouraging, Harry Doggoneme : clap clap clap clap clap clap Trillian77 : Thank you Mr. Browne! Got our votes!!! Brinkman1 : CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! Saugdougla : You have my support, Harry!!!! RRfree : You got my vote! Trekbw : :::::applause clap, clap, clap STINGRAYZR : the lib's scare people. Shouldnt we have a slow cozy feeling plan to reintro freedom? JimnLes : I agree, Stingray. We scare people to death. JHunterS : Kick there a@#! Harry LibertyLvr : LOUD CLAPS!!!!! MuniSavyon : Thank you, Mr. Browne .. SteveR 007 : Keep up your fiery spirit, Harry! Libertyn96 : got my vote too!:::::::applause:::::::: EGBrady : *Hooray for Harry!****** KerouacMan : WOO WOO WOO WOO WOO!!!!! AnchorMan3 : *** Conference protocol is over. :D Presbyte : I will be posting information on how you can vote for Harry in electronic straw polls on the Internet. KerouacMan : GIVE EM HELL, HARRY! Trillian77 : clap clap clap RFGENX66 : Get an appetite youll have some good Italian Friday night in Clarksburg WV Harry! Trekbw : :D? Libertyn96 : :::::::applause:::::: EGBrady : ****applause**** JM4Liberty : Anybody interested in privately-funded space colonization visit the SpaceLaunch Foundation at http://www.spacelaunch.org LS1776 : Hear hear, Browne for President. Presbyte : Remember that libertarians get together in this chat room every Wednesday night at 9PM ET (6PM PT) I hope to see you next week, too. NathanBaum : Harry is kicking butt on the stardot strawpoll. I don't think this is an accident. People on the web are exposed to lib ideaas, people elsewhere aren't, and the difference is notable. Trillian77 : YAY!!! Trekbw : Cutting gov't by 2/3 is interesting, but he will need at least 60 Republicans/libertarians in the senate and a lot more conservatives than are in there right now. KGSAM : Well done. BRUCE1789 : im with u harry....go go go EGBrady : To Hell with 'GO PAT GO!' :-) Trillian77 : **standing ovation** JM4Liberty : Also, visit Liberty Renaissance at http://www.libren.com Presbyte : Thanks again to all, and good night! LOG IS OFF. Trillian77 : Night, Pres! Thanks! 95.09.27 7:02:15 PM Closing Log file.