Liberty Is America's Destiny

Harry Browne's Acceptance Speech
Libertarian Party Convention
July 6, 1996


Thank you ladies and gentlemen. You are most kind -- as you have been to Pamela and me for the past two years.

And today, I want you to know I am proud and humbled and honored that you have selected me to be your candidate. And it is with a great sense of excitement and renewed energy that I accept your nomination.

As a matter of fact, I would like to spend all my time just thanking you. But this is our time to talk -- via C-SPAN -- with the American people. Please bear with me while I do.

I have three questions for every American voter:

More or Less Government?

Question #1: If you had your choice, would you want more government than we have now, less government than we have now, or just about the government we have now?

As Pamela and I have traveled the country, I've asked this question of people everywhere -- taxi drivers, bell men in hotels, young people, old people, black, white, men, women, liberals, conservatives. Almost invariably, the answer comes right back at me: "Oh, I want a lot less government."

People everywhere recognize that government doesn't work. It doesn't deliver the mail on time; it doesn't keep the cities safe; it doesn't educate our children properly. And they know the remedy isn't to reform government, it isn't to find someone with a better plan for managing big government. It is to reduce the federal government to the absolute minimum possible.

One of the few exceptions occurred in a drugstore in Indianapolis. I asked the question of a young woman of 20 or so, who thought about it for what must have been a minute or so -- until she finally said, "I guess I'd like more government."

"Oh, really?" I said, surprised that I had finally found someone who actually wanted more government. "What is it you want government to do that it isn't doing now?"

She said, "Get all those people off of welfare."

The fact is that people everywhere are fed up with government, fed up with politicians, fed up with the two old parties. They, like you, are ready for a credible program that will actually reduce government substantially.

Higher or Lower Taxes?

Question #2: Are your taxes too high, too low, or just right?

I've asked this question as well. And you may be amazed to know that very few people think that taxes aren't high enough.

People everywhere are sick to death of supporting a wasteful, extravagant, oppressive government at the expense of their own families.

And they want huge tax cuts now, huge spending cuts now, a balanced budget now.

The Great Trade

Government is good at one thing. It knows how to cripple you, hand you a crutch, and then tell you that you couldn't walk without government.

The politicians have put people on the dole, and then when the budget cutters come along, they rebel at the idea of cutting government because they've become so dependent on it.

You may be in that position yourself. You may be receiving a regular government check --a farm subsidy or a student loan -- or you may even work for the government -- or maybe you're just in love with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Question #3: But now I'd like to ask you the most important question in politics today, the question that might change the direction of government once and for all: Would you be willing to give up your favorite federal programs if it meant you would never have to pay income tax again?

If we get the federal government out of every activity not specified in the Constitution, just the way the 9th & 10th amendments say we should, the federal government doesn't need an income tax. The current revenue from tariffs and excise taxes would be sufficient to finance national defense, the federal judiciary, and maybe even a few White House tours.

This is what separates Libertarians from the two old parties. The Democrats and Republicans come before you at election time and tell you what you want to hear -- that they've changed their stripes, that despite all the big-government programs they've voted for, they now intend to give you smaller government. They recite slogans about the Constitution, and say that taxes are too high, and that federal regulation is way too oppressive and must be reined in.

But have you noticed something? They never tell you specifically what they're going to do. They never say, "These are the government programs we're going to eliminate." Or "These are the taxes we're going to dump, and this is exactly how much difference it will make."

In other words, it's all talk and there will never be any action.

But we, the Libertarians, are going to get the federal government out of everything not specified in the Constitution. And a Harry Browne presidency will send such a program to Congress on my first day in office.

And so this is the first important difference between us and the old parties. We mean to adhere to the letter of the Constitution, and we're not afraid to tell you exactly what that means.

* The Democrats and Republicans each want to reform welfare -- by saying "two years and you're out" or by block-granting it to the states. We want the federal government out of welfare -- completely and immediately.

* Bill Clinton wants to use federal aid to education to indoctrinate American youth with his social agenda. Bob Dole thinks that's outrageous, because he wants to use federal aid to education to indoctrinate American youth with his social agenda. We want the federal government out of education -- completely and immediately.

With program after program, they want to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic -- reinvent government, make it "user friendly," abolish the Department of Education but transfer all the destructive educational programs to other government departments. They don't want to make government smaller, they just want your vote this year and then it's back to business as usual.

They refuse to recognize that government doesn't work. Its War on Poverty has increased poverty in America. It's War on Drugs has escalated drug use and created a crime wave in every American city.

Government has failed. Government reforms have failed. Government politicians have failed. Government doesn't work.

So we don't want to reform the federal government. We don't want to slow its growth. We don't want to improve the management of it. We want to reduce it to the absolute minimum possible.

And I don't want to raise the hood and tinker with the engine. I want to throw the engine out and replace it with a much smaller motor.

We want the federal government completely out of welfare, education, transportation, housing, health care, agriculture, crime control, and regulation. Not in some dim, 7- year, pie-in-the-sky future, but now.

And in return, we offer you the repeal of the income tax -- so that you won't need that subsidy any more, so that you're life, your money, and your freedom are yours once again. So that America will be a free country again.

It's all very simple.

We want huge spending cuts now.

We want huge tax cuts now.

We want a balanced budget now.

And we have a specific, credible, workable program by which this can be done.

It's all laid out in this book, Why Government Doesn't Work. You can get it in any bookstore. And it presents my entire program to reduce the federal government to a fraction of its current size.

This is the cornerstone of our program -- to repeal the federal income tax and replace it with nothing. No flat tax, no sales tax. We don't want to rearrange today's oppressive tax burden. We want to get rid of it by reducing government.

You will never get rid of the income tax unless you reduce government, because any replacement tax will have to be so big that the American people will never agree to it. Once the politicians go to work and start exempting food, medicine, and a multitude of other things, the tax will have to be so large -- 25%, 30%, or 35% -- that no one will agree to it.

But it's also true that you will never reduce government unless you repeal the income tax. The Republicans have demonstrated that they couldn't cut even $1 from the federal budget. In fact, their budget plan makes the federal government larger in 1996, larger still in 1997, and every year through 2002. That's not smaller government; that's making big government bigger.

And why can't they cut government? Because they're not offering the American people anything in return for giving up federal programs. Try to cut even the growth in Medicare or the school lunch program, and all the people affected by the change will scream and shout -- and the Democrats will claim this will cause people to starve to death. And who will rally to the support of the budget-cutters? No one. Why should they? No one's life will be changed for the better in any noticeable, immediate way. So why should the American people turn their time and attention away from the awesome task of working overtime to pay today's taxes in order to support the budget-cutters when they won't get anything in return for their trouble?

So I ask you again: would you be willing to give up your favorite federal programs if it would mean you could escape the income tax forever?

I've asked this question all over America. My wife Pamela and I have campaigned in 38 states already. Through talk radio, I've spoken with 20 million Americans. I've spoken at college campuses, service calls, before religious groups, and other assemblies of Americans. I've asked this question again and again: would you be willing to give up your favorite federal programs if it meant you would never again have to pay income tax?

Do you know what is the most common answer I get? "I don't have any favorite federal programs."

The next most popular answer is, "Of course, I'd give up the program if I could escape paying income tax."

A few people have said, "No, I wouldn't make the trade. I like paying my taxes and I think we get something good in exchange for it." And, of course, since I believe in freedom of choice, I'm quite willing for that person to continue to paying his taxes for the programs he likes. But I want the same freedom of choice for others -- and most everyone else would make a different choice.

And it's time to return to Americans the freedom to run their own lives with their own money by their own values.

Mr. Dole, Mr. Clinton: You folks love to talk about family values. Well, let me issue a little challenge to you. If you really do care about family values, then repeal the income tax and let families keep the resources to take care of their own values.

Americans want much smaller government. They may not agree with us on the exact destination we're seeking. But then no two of us agrees completely either. If I asked you how big the federal budget should be, there might be people in this room who would say "Zero." And there might be other people who would say it should be as large as seven, eight, or even nine hundred dollars.

The important issue is not the differing destinations we might all have in mind, but rather the fact that we all want to move in the same direction -- toward a lot less government. And our first goal should be to make the politicians abide by the Constitution. We agree on that, and so does the vast majority of the American people.

Social Security

Government doesn't work. And government Social Security doesn't work.

The Social Security system is on its way to bankruptcy for the umpteenth time. And the American people know it. All polls show that less than one American in three believes he'll ever get anything back for all the money he's put into Social Security.

Our senior citizens are scared to death that their benefits are going to be cut off -- and with good reason. Our young people are angry that they have to pour money into a system that is bound to go broke before it's their turn at the cashier's window.

And how do the politicians respond to this understandable discontent?

* Bill Clinton ignores it. He says Social Security isn't on the table -- not to be discussed. In other words, let 'em eat cake.

* When Bob Dole is asked, he says haughtily, "I saved Social Security back in 1983, and I can do it again if I have to." He neglects to mention that he 'saved' Social Security with one of the largest tax increases in American history.

We Libertarians aren't afraid to discuss the issue, because we have a way out of this. We know that the only way to avoid the coming Social Security collapse is to get Social Security completely out of the slippery hands of the government.

I want to sell off trillions of dollars worth of unused and unneeded federal assets to finance the liquidation of Social Security through the purchase of private lifetime annuities for the senior citizens who are dependent on Social Security. These people will then have guaranteed contracts with private companies who have never broken their promises-- unlike the U.S. Congress. And you will never again have to pay the 15% Social Security tax -- which is really just throwing part of your wages down a rathole.

This is the only solution that makes sense -- that doesn't leave your parents and grandparents holding the bag.

After the Social Security system is liquidated, the remaining proceeds from the sales will be used to pay off the federal debt -- so that we and our children and our grandchildren will no longer have to continue paying interest on all the long-since-failed, long-since-abandoned, long-since-forgotten programs the politicians foisted on us years ago.

The politicians got the glory when the programs were started, they got their pensions when they retired, and we got the bills when the programs failed.

If we don't sell off those assets, if we don't pay off those old debts, there will be an unprecedented financial crisis down the road that will break most of the promises the politicians have made to our parents, to bank customers, to homeowners, to almost everyone else who thinks the federal government will be there when he needs it.


For many Americans crime is the #1 issue today. Their streets aren't safe. They fear for their children walking to school.

The Democratic and Republican politicians respond to these fears by playing "macho man" with our lives. One party says, "We have to get tough on crime -- tougher sentences, more police forces, more prisons, three strikes and you're out."

The other party says, "No that's not tough enough. We say two strikes and you're out."

The first party says "You think that's tough? We say one strike and you're out."

To which the other party says, "Oh you crime- coddling wimps, we say you're out before you even come up to the plate. We'll make America safe by putting everyone in prison."

Looked at from another perspective . . .

* Democratic politicians think that by using gun-control laws to take away our ability to defend ourselves, they are fighting crime.

* Republican politicians think that by taking away the Bill of Rights -- by allowing the federal government and local police to invade our privacy, our homes, and our financial records -- they are fighting crime.

And through it all, with one tough-on-crime bill after another, crime just gets worse and worse and worse.

But where in the Constitution does it give the federal government any authority to fight crime. All crime is local. It occurs in the jurisdiction of a police department or a Sheriff's department somewhere. There is no reason for the federal government to be involved in crime control in any way, and the Founding Fathers would be shocked at the idea of federal police forces. Thomas Jefferson would be aghast to learn of the BATF, or the Drug Enforcement Agency, or even the FBI.

Government doesn't work. And the federal government's crime control has made crime worse. The federal government has no ability or Constitutional authority to fight crime.

If we really want to reduce crime, if we really want to make the streets safe again, we have to get the federal government completely out of crime control.

We have to get rid of all the gun-control laws that leave our citizens defenseless in the face of armed criminals.

We have to end the asset-forfeiture laws that motivate law-enforcement agencies to conduct raids because of the property to be seized rather than because of any crimes committed.

We have to end federal aid to local enforcement, which always comes wrapped up in all kinds of strings that have nothing to do with fighting crime.

The War on Drugs

But if we really want to reduce crime dramatically, if we really care about making America safe again, the most important thing we need to do is to end the insane War on Drugs.

I hope that doesn't frighten you. It really should give you hope.

Perhaps you aren't aware that before we had drug laws, we didn't have any drug problems in America.

There was a time in America when a 10-year- old child could walk into a drugstore and buy heroin. Can you imagine? A 10-year-old child could buy heroin right off the shelf -- without a doctor's prescription, without his parents' permission. Heroin was sold in measured doses as a pain-reliever or sedative, just the way Bayer sells aspirin today.

Yet, despite this unrestricted availability of drugs, children didn't buy heroin, and there were no drug problems.

There were no muggers on the street trying to support a $100-a-day habit, no pushers hanging around high schools trying to hook children on drugs, no gangs fighting over monopoly drug territories, no drive-by shootings, no crack babies, no overdose problems. Outside of the 14 years during alcohol Prohibition, nothing like that had ever occurred in America before the War on Drugs.

But once the federal government declared War on Drugs, the destruction of our cities was set in motion. Naturally, a black market in drugs developed -- with sky-high prices that included a healthy component for evading the law. Gangs formed expressly for the purpose of marketing drugs. It became profitable to give away free samples to hook kids on drugs. In other words, everything we take for granted about drugs became a reality because drugs had become illegal.

The federal government is incapable of reducing drug use. It can't keep drugs out of the country. It can't keep drugs out of the cities. It can't even keep them out of its own prisons.

There probably isn't anyone in America who thinks we're winning the War on Drugs today. I doubt that anyone thinks we ever will. But the politicians profit from the War on Drugs, corrupt law-enforcement agents profit from it, federal agencies profit from it, criminal gangs profit from it.

The only way we will reduce drug use in this country is to take the criminal profit out of the illicit drug trade -- by making drugs completely legal.

If drugs were legal, would some people take drugs? Of course, just like now -- only fewer of them would do so because no one would be trying to hook them on drugs in order to develop a new cash cow.

Would some people abuse drugs? Of course, just like now -- only it would happen a lot less often because there would be fewer people taking drugs to begin with. And the people with drug problems could seek medical help without fear of arrest.

Would some people die of a drug overdose? Of course, just like now -- only far, far fewer people would do so because they would no longer be buying unknown drugs from unknown dealers; they would be buying drugs in measured doses, so they would never overdose by accident.

The only way we will reduce drug abuse in America is to end the War on Drugs. The only way we will reduce crime substantially in America is to end the War on Drugs.

If we care about our cities, if we care about our country, if we care about our children, we have to end this insane War on Drugs.

What Government Is

We've seen some spectacular examples of government tyranny in recent years -- people losing their property to asset forfeiture; the BATF and the FBI storming a compound and destroying men, women, and children; government snipers shooting innocent people in Idaho.

It's easy to dismiss these events as irrelevant to our own lives, because we assume that those people are so different from us that what happened to them could never happen to us.

But the woman who stood with her baby in her arms in the doorway of her cabin in Ruby Ridge and was gunned down by an agent of your government could have been you or your wife or your mother. Despite the government's attempts to make her seem an evil genius, she was an innocent woman who lived and loved just as you do.

The black man who is subject to a shakedown by a federal narcotics agent at an airport -- just because he is well dressed and carrying a few hundred dollars in cash -- could just as easily be you when the agents run out of black men to shake down.

The people who lived in the Branch Davidian complex were accused of all sorts of things in an attempt to make us believe they weren't like us -- that what was happening to them couldn't possibly happen to us. But they were just like us . . . until the government wiped them out.

These were real people -- just like us. When you prick them, they bleed. When you gas them, they cough. When you burn them, they die.

This has got to stop. In the Libertarian administration of Harry Browne every government employee will respect the Bill of Rights or pay the consequences. There will be no search and seizure without a warrant. There will be no shakedowns, no vendettas, no bureaucratic ladder-climbing on the backs of innocent taxpayers, property owners, businessmen, blacks, and other people unable to fight back.

Any government employee found guilty of violating the Bill of Rights will be censured, dismissed, or even prosecuted.

This is America, not the Old World. In America, it is the government that must bow down to the people -- not vice versa. We are not the raw material for the reformers' grand schemes. We are not statistics in the Gross National Product. We are not to be toyed with by federal bureaucrats, like mice being tortured by cats. We are sovereign. It is the government that should obey us, not vice versa.

In the Libertarian administration of Harry Browne, things will change. As Thomas Jefferson said, we will bind down the politicians with the chains of the Constitution.

What Can the President Do?

I've heard people say, "Your ideas are all well and good. But you'd never get them enacted by a hostile Congress."

I don't think they realize how powerful the President is and how much he can do without even consulting Congress.

If elected President, I will set to work immediately to make this a freer, safer, more prosperous country -- and I won't have to wait for the help of Congress.

By getting the non-violent federal prisoners out of prison, we can increase the prison space available for rapists, murderers, muggers, and other violent criminals. This is something the President can do about crime without raising your taxes or stealing your civil liberties.

So on my first day in office, by Executive Order, I will personally:

* Pardon everyone who has been convicted on a federal, non-violent drug charge.

* Pardon everyone who has been convicted on a federal tax-evasion charge.

* Pardon everyone who has been convicted on any federal gun-control charge.

* Pardon anyone else who has been convicted of any kind of federal victimless crime.

* I will end federal affirmative action immediately. End all federal quotas, set- asides, preferential treatments, and other discrimination practiced by the federal government.

* I will bring an immediate end to all asset- forfeiture cases, and initiate steps to make restitution to anyone whose property has been impounded, frozen, or seized by the federal government.

* As Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, I will quickly and completely bring all American troops back to America. Europe and Japan can pay for their own defense, and they can risk their own sons and daughters in their eternal squabbles. This alone will save billions of dollars a year in taxes, but -- more important -- it will save American lives.

* As Commander in Chief I will remove all American troops from under the command of the United Nations or any foreign power.

* Everything put into the Federal Register by previous Presidents can be taken out by this President. I will put a hold on regulatory activities while my staff reviews the Constitutionality of all existing regulations.

And then I will break for lunch.


When I get back to work, I will submit a budget for the fiscal year 1998 (the first budget during the presidential term), cutting the federal government in half immediately and repealing the income tax. I will veto any 1998 appropriations that exceed a total of $800 billion -- not counting the money appropriated to buy annuities for former Social Security dependents. (This, of course, is just a start. I want to reduce government far more in the second year.)

Congress will undoubtedly pass a larger budget and expect me to sign it. I won't.

Will Congress override my veto?

It's possible, but not likely. I will have a mandate from the American people and I'll need only one third of one house of Congress to sustain my veto.

They may keep passing budgets and I'll keep vetoing.

Finally, it will get to be September and the end of the 1997 fiscal year. And Newt Gingrich will say, "Look, Mr. President, you can't fool around any longer. If you don't sign a budget by the end of the month, we'll have to shut the government down."

And I'll say, "Oh no, don't throw me into the briar patch."

When Bill Clinton and the Republicans reached an impasse and had to shut the government down, Clinton divided the government into "essential" and "non-essential" services, and then thought he'd be cute by immediately shutting down the Park Service so that people would be upset with the shutdown.

I'm afraid that isn't my style. The first agency I'd shut down would be the IRS. How do you think people would feel about the shutdown then? Then the DEA and the BATF. And then on to the Department of Education, HUD, Agriculture, and so on. Of course, if we kept shutting down the non-essential services, there really wouldn't be much left of the government, would there?

Even if Congress eventually passed a budget over my veto, at least the battle finally would be joined. At last there would be two sides arguing in Washington -- one to increase government and one to cut it sharply -- instead of the current trivial debate between Democrats who want government to grow by 5% a year and Republicans who want it to grow by 4%.

The reason government has continued to grow through Republican and Democratic administrations is that we haven't, in my lifetime, had a President who had the will and determination to make government smaller. Any President could have done so. Despite all their good words, none of them really wanted to.

Only a Libertarian President can be counted on to do what is necessary to reduce government dramatically.

Matching Funds

But how do you know I would do what I say? How do you know I won't turn out just like all the rest of them?

Well, for one thing, I didn't suddenly seize on reducing government as a campaign issue when I decided to run for President. I've been a libertarian for 35 years. And the only reason I'm running is to reduce government.

I'm 63 years old. I have no interest in a career as a professional politician. I want to go to Washington for four years, clean up the mess, and then go home and live the rest of my life in peace and freedom.

After all, I have only 20 or 30 years left to live -- maybe 40 if we can get rid of the FDA. I don't want to live those years watching government get bigger and bigger every year.

But there's a more persuasive reason you can trust me. Like Bob Dole and Bill Clinton and Pat Buchanan and Phil Gramm, I have raised enough money to qualify to receive federal matching campaign funds from the U.S. Treasury. But unlike Bob Dole and Bill Clinton and Pat Buchanan and Phil Gramm, I don't believe in welfare -- not for individuals, not for corporations, and certainly not for politicians.

So I'm the first Presidential candidate in American history to qualify for matching funds and refuse to take them.

Now, if I won't take the 30 pieces of silver to get elected, you know I'm not going to sell out once I'm safely in office.


Do I have any chance to win?

It's a long shot, I grant you. But I want to thank the Republicans and Democrats for doing all they can to help me -- by nominating two lifetime politicians in the face of all the anti-government sentiment today.

When I decided two years ago to run, I calculated the odds at 100 to 1 against me. But then Libertarians all over America came forward to help me, and I figured the odds had dropped to 75 to 1.

And then, lo and behold, the Democrats and Republicans started helping us. First, Mr. Clinton announced he would run for reelection and the odds dropped to 50 to 1. Then Bob Dole started winning primaries and the odds dropped to maybe 30 to 1. Then all the other Republicans dropped out, and so now we're down to 20 to 1.

Now everyone wonders whom Mr. Dole will pick as his running mate. With the genius he's shown up to now, I think he'll probably choose Teddy Kennedy and the odds on me will drop to even money.

But, of course, it's still a long shot. We won't get $60 million of your tax money to run our campaign as each of the old parties will. We didn't get $12 million of your tax money to stage this convention as each of the old parties will. Everything we spend comes from the pockets of someone who donated the money voluntarily because he believed in what we're doing. And despite that handicap, we're succeeding.

We've had to fight enormous hurdles to get on the ballots in state after state where the two old parties have made it easy for themselves and close to impossible for anyone to challenge them. But we have succeeded in spite of that. We will be on the ballot in all 50 states this year.

Wherever you are in America, you can vote for Harry Browne for President and Libertarian candidates for federal and state offices.

Still, it's a long, uphill battle.

But what if I were to get into the Presidential debates in October? I think that would change the face of politics in America forever.

Can you imagine someone confronting Bill Clinton and forcing him to justify taxing your income?

Can you picture someone making Bob Dole explain why he wants to keep Social Security in the hands of a government that has bankrupted it?

What will happen when someone makes them justify continuing to let children be preyed upon by drug dealers, and killed in drive-by shootings -- letting these things happen because they won't give up their precious War on Drugs?

What if, every time Bill Clinton or Bob Dole proposed one of his wondrous government elixirs as the solution to some social problem, there was someone there to say, "But government doesn't work. Government reforms don't work. Why should your next government program work any better than all the failed, expensive, destructive government programs of the past?"

Wouldn't you like to see Harry Browne in the debates?

If you would, talk it up -- by calling into radio talk shows, writing letters to the editor, writing to national TV shows, telling your friends about this campaign, by getting everyone to demand that Harry Browne be included in the debates.

Call our 800 number -- 682-1776 -- and ask for information. We'll send you a brochure describing "Eight Ways You Can Help Harry Browne get into the Presidential Debates."

Do it. Let's storm the citadels of the Establishment and make them include our issues, our desires, our demands in the national debates.

Winning & the Wasted Vote

I wouldn't have made the decision to run for President if I had thought there were no chance to win. I have no interest in becoming a professional candidate or a professional politician. I want America to be a free country again. That is my only motivation.

But the chances are slim, I grant you. A lot of things will have to happen for me to win. We're doing everything we can to make those things happen, and I'm prepared to act upon them if they do. Still, I'm not standing here telling you I'm going to be the next President of the United States.

But what if we get only 15 to 20% of the vote this year. If that happens, we will have become the balance of power in American politics. We will compel the politicians to become honest.

No longer will they be able to campaign like Libertarians, and then govern like Democrats.

No more can they come before us at election time, telling us they think taxes are too high and that they stand for smaller government -- the way Bill Clinton and Bob Dole and hundreds of Congressmen and Senators are doing this year -- and then go back and vote for more and more government, more and more regulations, more and more interference in our lives.

No, they will know that 15 to 20% of the voters will no longer stand for "let's pretend" politicians. They will know that those voters will vote Libertarian rather than tolerate pretense politicians. They will know they have to make good on their promises in Congress and the White House because the voters finally have somewhere else to go. The Libertarians' getting 15 to 20% of the vote will do more to reform the two old parties than any sort of party activism you may be contemplating.

So if you're a Republican who's fed up with the hypocrisy and the contradictions of your party . . . if you're shocked that the party that claims to be for smaller government would make the all-time champion tax-raiser its Presidential candidate . . . if you're sick of Republican politicians who come before you every election year and tell you they're for smaller government, and then go back to Washington and vote for bigger budgets, censoring the Internet, more health- care tyranny, and all the rest of the Democratic-Republican litany . . . in short, if you want to reform the Republican Party, vote Libertarian.

Or if you're a Democrat who's sick of hearing about "change" while your leader keeps dishing out the same old politics as usual . . . if you realize that the party of the working man has turned into the party of class warfare, special privilege, and back- room politics . . . in short, if you want to reform the Democratic Party, vote Libertarian.

But better than reforming the Democratic or Republican parties, just imagine how our getting only 15 to 20% of the vote will change America. Finally, Americans will have somewhere else to go. Finally, they'll have a party to rally around, one that is always and ever on the side of individual liberty, personal responsibility, and freedom from government on all issues at all times -- a party that can lead them back to the Constitutional government their Founding Fathers bequeathed them.

If you truly want smaller government, if you truly want to send a message to the politicians that you aren't going to roll over and play dead for them anymore, if you truly want to be sure your vote isn't wasted on a big-government, lifetime politician, vote Libertarian.

Message of Hope

I know sometimes it seems impossible to overcome the entrenched system. But don't despair. There are people all over America who feel as you do. What they've needed is the opportunity to focus on a credible program. And now we offer that.

And we bring a message of hope to everyone in America. We will spread the blessings of liberty to everyone.

To the young we say:

You'll no longer have to pour money down the Social Security rat hole. You'll be free to plan and provide for your own retirement, or make arrangements to have your employer help you. Your future is unlimited because no income tax will keep you from accumulating the fruits of your work. America will once again be the land of opportunity.

To the elderly we say:

No longer will you fear that Congress will cut your Social Security benefits, because you'll have a firm contract with an honest company that will honor it. And your children and grandchildren will have opportunities far beyond yours. They can live longer, live better, earn more, and keep what they earn.

To minorities in the inner cities we say:

We will end the War on Drugs, so your neighborhood won't be infested with drug deals, gang battles, or pushers preying on your children. We will abolish the income tax -- so business and job opportunities will improve, so you can afford a better home and neighborhood, so you can buy a private-school education for your children, so you can finally escape the desperation the government has led you into.

To people of every religion we say:

With the income tax gone, you can afford to put your children in a religious school, and to support your faith to an extent never before possible. You'll be able, if you choose, to survive on one parent's income, so the other parent can be there to raise your children in your values. No longer will they be taught alien philosophies by strangers.

To government employees we say:

The new economy will be big enough to accommodate everyone. A private company may need exactly what you're doing now. If not, there will be new opportunities everywhere. And you, too, will keep what you earn. The price of your current job has been an enormous tax. But in your new job, everything you make will be yours to spend, to save, to give away as you see fit. Your retirement will be more secure. And going to work may be more exciting than you ever imagined.

To people on welfare we say:

Take heart, help is on the way. We are tearing down the Berlin Wall of government programs, regulations, and taxes that have imprisoned you in hopelessness. A prosperity is coming that will let everyone work who wants to -- that will set you free from dependence on government -- free to assert your dignity, self-respect, and responsibility for your own life -- free to give your children a better life than you've had.

And to everyone we say:

With the federal government out of the picture, your cities can be safe, your schools can reflect your values, your earnings are yours to use as you think best. You can buy what you want, sell what you want, deal with your employer without the government to interfere, and live your own life by your own values.

The blessings of liberty touch everyone. But in this final minute, let's not talk about everyone. Let's talk about you and your family. How would all this transform your life?

Look at the stub that comes with your next paycheck, and see how much is being taken from you in income and Social Security tax. Or look at last year's 1040 form. How many thousands of dollars a year will be available to you that's being drained away now by the government? What if all that money was available to you? What if you could keep every dollar you make -- to spend, to save, to give away as you see fit?

What will you do with that money when the income tax is repealed? Will you put your children in a private school? Will you save up for this business you've always wanted? Will you support your favorite cause, charity, or church in a way you never could before? Will you move into a better home, a better neighborhood?

That money is yours. You earned it. And I swear to you that as President of the United States I will not rest until the income tax is repealed and the government can no longer control your money, your freedom, or your life.

Yes, the blessings of liberty touch everyone. And liberty is America's destiny.

Let's make America a free country again.

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