Statement of Principles
We, the People of the City of Williamsport, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the United States of America, declare that we are free and independent citizens, and that we are entitled to inherent and inalienable rights for which our ancestors fought to protect and for which they established governments to ensure. In the charters of those governments, our rights have been clearly and undeniably established to the exclusion of any encroachment by the civil servants elected to carry out the People’s business. However, a long train of abuses and usurpations has evinced a clear trend which, if followed to its logical conclusion, would reduce the People under absolute Despotism. We protest these encroachments upon our natural and indefeasible rights and liberties and demand that they be redressed. Among the abuses, we submit the following:
Taxes have grown continuously and geometrically, both in number and in scope, such that greater than half of all one’s income is now claimed by governments. At some point, a reasonable duty to support the administration of law and order becomes involuntary servitude, which has been strictly abolished in this federal union. Citizens cannot be bound so completely by taxation and regulation as to deny them their own priorities, methods, aspirations, and conscience, and still remain a free and productive people. We therefore insist that the government significantly reduce spending across the board, in every department and agency, including the elimination of departments and agencies which are redundant or unnecessary to the core powers and duties of the government as specified in the Constitution. Furthermore, we demand that government be made progressively more efficient, enabling yearly tax cuts until the personal income tax can be completely eliminated.
2. National Debt
The public credit has been tapped beyond any reasonable ability to repay within the current generation. This has invariably committed the youth, and even the unborn, of this nation to a liability that they had no hand in creating and were given no possible voice in opposing. This amounts to taxation without representation and is a treacherous malfeasance toward both our founding principles and our posterity. We demand a Balanced Budget Amendment to the constitution which prevents annual deficits and additional national debt. Moreover, Congress needs to create an amortization schedule to pay off the national debt completely within 50 years, and the annual payment must be non-negotiable, core component of the annual budget.
3. National Defense
The U.S. has for decades maintained standing armies on foreign soil during a time of peace and has engaged in “police actions” against sovereign nations without a declaration of war. We demand that the government reign in the massive U.S. Military presence around the globe. As George Washington advised, it must be our policy to steer clear of permanent alliances and maintain an impartial and neutral relationship with foreign nations; while encouraging liberal commerce, neither seeking or granting exclusive favors or preferences. On the contrary, we insist that our own borders and ports be secured against illegal entry and smuggling of dangerous goods, and that our national defense resources be concentrated on national defense rather than on waging foreign campaigns.
4. Political Corruption
Incumbent politicians on all levels of government have molded the political machinery via gerrymandering, debate commissions, ballot access, campaign finance laws, and other means to defeat the popular will and favor the entrenchment of politicians generally and the two major parties specifically. As such, the government has become unaccountable to the People and has therefore pursued goals at odds with the public welfare. We call on State, Local, and Federal governments to reform the electoral process in this country, to the extent that they are so empowered by their jurisdiction, in order to ensure fair and honest elections where all candidates have equal opportunity and all votes are thoroughly and accurately counted, with an audit trail for transparency and simple resolution of disputes. Consideration of an instant-runoff type of system is highly recommended. We call for the repeal of campaign finance laws—including subsidizing of political parties, contribution limits, and federal reporting requirements—on the grounds that these laws unfairly benefit incumbents and handicap challengers while violating the fundamental rights of the People to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of association. Furthermore, we insist that term limits be implemented at all levels of government to break the paradigm of career politicians. In a free republic, representatives are elected from amongst the citizens, not from an elite professional class. And to ensure that our representatives keep their campaign promises, we require a Recall Amendment to the Constitution so that corrupt politicians of any branch may be replaced through the Will of the People.
5. Central Banking & Money
The U.S. Congress has illegally delegated their vested powers of coining money, taxation, regulation of commerce, making treaties, appropriating public money, and legislating to a private, unregulated banking cartel — the Federal Reserve. Furthermore, Federal Reserve Notes, which are paper, flat, bills of credit, not backed by anything of value, have been proclaimed legal tender despite a Constitutional prohibition of anything but gold and silver from being legal tender in any state. This has had the effect of stealing the wealth of the People via the insidious tax of inflation. We demand that the Federal Reserve be audited so that the American People know what they are doing behind closed doors. Moreover, we insist on having honest money, which means that the legal tender law must be repealed and that precious metals must be free of sales tax so that they can fulfill their Constitutional role as money.
6. Central Planning
Constant Intervention in the economy through regulations, subsidies, tariffs, taxes, and monetary policy have deleteriously altered the fabric of the nation’s free market economy, causing or exacerbating capital misallocations, financial bubbles, and panics. The vast and all-encompassing power the central government exerts over economic matters has shifted the focus of private enterprise from providing valuable services to competing over government favor. This foundational dislocation is at the root of our present economic turmoil. We forbid government from further undue influence in the private transactions of the economy. Congress has no authority, legal or moral, to “bail out” industries, companies, or individuals, and must cease and desist from the practice immediately. Politicians and bureaucrats have no more wisdom or insight into the complex system of voluntary transactions in the market economy than anyone else and cannot reasonably know what is best for any one free participant let alone all of them. We all pay for such arrogance with the unintended consequences of such interference, and we refuse to pay any longer. The economy—save for enforcing contracts, protecting property rights, and punishing theft and fraud—is hereby off limits to the government.
It has become common practice for Congress to “suspend the rules” and pass legislation without an oral reading or sufficient debate. Bills are rolled together into behemoths which address a myriad of disparate issues so that our representatives must either accept undesirable laws or fail to support good ones. And it has recently become a practice to not even finalize a bill until after it is voted on. These practices are unacceptable. We insist that bills cite the Constitutional authority for the powers to be exercised. No details of the legislation may be left to unelected bureaucrats to fill in after the fact. Bills must be finalized and posted on the public Congressional website for 30 days before being brought to a vote. Every member who votes must sign a sworn affidavit, under penalty of perjury, that he or she has attentively either personally read, or heard read, the complete bill to be voted on. Any less is a dereliction of duty as a representative of the People.
These grievances merely scratch the surface of what has been usurped in opposition to both the letter and spirit of our founding documents. We no longer have confidence that our system of government protects our lives, our liberty, or our property; nor is it any longer suited to effect our safety and happiness. We the People remain the sovereigns in this nation and insist that our subservient government conform to the limits we have imposed via the Constitution, repeal all unconstitutional encroachments upon the liberty of the People, and conduct the People’s business responsibly and with integrity.